Two weeks of a MAHUBE-OTWA Head Start “summer boot camp” ended Friday at the Frank White Education Center in Park Rapids.

The program’s 22 students across three classrooms focused on getting ready for kindergarten and farm animals.

“The children loved being back with their friends and teachers,” said teacher Desiree Ackermann, adding that they followed their regular school-year routines with only a few safety refinements.

“We did a lot of cutting, practicing our letters and counting,” said Achermann. “We also watched as a couple of caterpillars ate on a milk plant and made cocoons. We anxiously wait for them to turn into butterflies.”

According to Ackermann, the hardest part of being back during the pandemic was trying to maintain social distancing.

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“Kids at this age are wired to touch and explore their surroundings, and our curriculum supports that,” she said. “Now, during this unusual time, we strive to meet their educational and social-emotional needs with less touching and sharing of supplies.”