YMCA Camp Eberhart, located on the shore of Corey Lake west of Three Rivers, will be hosting a Halloween “Trunk-or-Treat” event this Saturday, October 31. Families will be able to tour slowly through the camp in their cars, and more than 40 individuals, groups, and organizations will be on hand to pass out treats. Event organizers say children and adults are welcome and encouraged to arrive in costume.
Because participants will be staying in their cars as they tour and collect treats, Eberhart’s Katia Martin said the event is actually a “reverse trunk-or-treat. That way we are staying COVID safe.” The idea came from Martin’s daughter, who “was lamenting a month ago that there wasn’t going to be any trick-or-treating. She said, ‘I wish we could do trunk-or-treat at camp,’ so it really came from the mind of a 10-year-old, which is really exciting.”
The afternoon event is being co-sponsored with two area businesses. Martin said the camp is “excited and thankful to be co-sponsoring this event with Ruoff Mortgage – Shanna Johnson and Re/Max Elite Group – Rob DuFour.”
Many others will be participating with their own “trunks.” Those hosting trunks will be encouraged to decorate their vehicles or stands for Halloween. Those planning to pass out candy include local businesses, non-profit organizations, churches, and private community members. Watershed Voice will be among the organizations hosting trunks. “It really is a community event at this point,” Martin said. Families who attend will have an opportunity to vote for Scariest, Funniest, and Best Overall trunks, and prizes will be awarded.
Martin said space is still available for other trunks to join the event. “We’d love to have more trunks,” she said. “We’ve received donations for candy, but we’d love for people to come and host trunks and bring candy. It doesn’t have to be a business. It can be a family. It can be anybody” who wants to participate.
To participate in the event, Martin said visitors will follow a one-way tour route through the camp. Upon arriving at the camp’s main entrance drive, visitors will travel a short distance into the camp, where they will be greeted at main gate by Camp Eberhart staff. Those staff members will provide directions and a flyer containing a map of the trunk-or-treat driving route, materials to vote on favorite trunks, and recognition of the event’s trunk participants, volunteers, and sponsors.
As they drive the tour route, participants will be able to stop at each trunk and receive treats. Trunks will be spread along the route, permitting visitors a tour of a large portion of the camp. To ease traffic flow, the route will be one-way.
The event is formatted to ensure pandemic-related precautions are in place. In the interest of safety, Martin said all trunk personnel will be required to wear gloves and pass out factory-sealed treats only, and all participants will be required to wear masks except when properly, socially-distancing.
Because Eberhart staff are anticipating as many as 300 cars with multiple children in most of them, Martin said visitors should expect to move slowly through the camp as vehicles ahead of them visit each trunk and collect treats. “We anticipate it will move smoothly, but it’s not going to move fast,” she said, so staff ask for patience from participants.
Attendance is free and open to anyone. “In a time where so much is different for the kids in our community, we are looking forward to offering them an opportunity to safely trick-or-treat,” Martin said.
The event runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Martin said as long as participants are in line by 3 p.m., they will be permitted to make the tour through the camp and receive treats. No additional participants will be admitted after that.
Camp Eberhart is located at 10481 Camp Eberhart Road, which is a Three Rivers address. Camp Eberhart Road runs east from County Line Road a short distance south of Coon Hollow Road, and there is a camp sign at the County Line Road entrance. After completing the trunk-or-treat tour loop, participants will exit the camp by way of Corey Lake Drive, which returns traffic to County Line Road near the Corey Lake Marina.
Dave Vago is a writer and columnist for Watershed Voice. A Philadelphia native with roots in Three Rivers, Vago is a planning consultant to history and community development organizations and is the former Executive Director of the Three Rivers DDA/Main Street program.