Children may be able to go to camp at the Darien Historical Society this summer.

At Darien’s recent Planning & Zoning Commission special meeting, the Darien Historical Society sent in a special permit request to establish a five-week summer camp program for up to 30 campers, plus staff.

All members of the commission were in favor of the camp. Commission members will be deliberating the request and possibly making a written decision at their next meeting, on April 21.

Planning & Zoning Director Jeremy Ginsberg and Planning & Zoning Commission member Stephen Olvany were the only members of the commission who were present at the meeting, which was held at Town Hall. All other members of the commission participated remotely.

Ginsberg said the request would be a modification of the Historical Society’s existing special permit use to allow for a summer camp there.

Joining forces with the Pink Rhubarb

Darien Historical Society's Executive Director Maggie McIntire and Pink Rhubarb’s owner Jane Mossa would be running the operation, according to Ginsberg.

Mossa, a Darien resident, operates a program that provides healthy and creative learning for 7- to 11-year-olds.

The request had been referred to the local traffic authority — which is the police department — who had no comment. The fire marshal also had no comment.

Bob Pascal, president of the Darien Historical Society, said the Society has been in its current location — at 45 Old King’s Highway North —since 1953.

“Our mission is to collect preserve and exhibit local artifacts,” he said. “It’s also to educate and celebrate the special story of Darien.”

In 2019, the Darien Historical Society had more than 700 student visits. They have more than 3,000 visitors each year.

The summer camp program was hosted last summer at The First Congregational Church of Darien.

They are estimating to have 25 to 30 children per day over the five week period. The camp would be from June 15 to July 15. This will be held when the museum is normally closed, according to Pascal.

There would be a 4:1 student-teacher ratio.

Traffic, parking

There was a question from board members about traffic flow and parking at the museum, regarding arrival and pick-up in the morning.

“The parking lot can accommodate 30 cars,” McIntire said. “On any given day on any given week, we have about that amount coming to the Historical Society to attend various programs. It’s never really a problem.”

She added that the camp would have a staggered drop-off. At pick-up time, counselors would escort campers to the parent’s cars.

“As you are driving in, there is only parking on the left,” Pascal said.

McIntire said the Historical Society has a very good working relationship with the Goodwives Shopping Plaza in case of overflow parking issues.

Watch the Planning & Zoning special meeting on Darien TV/79.