Summer camps are returning after being closed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
They will look quite different from what campers remember from the past. The CDC issued new guidelines recently for how day and overnight camps can safely open this summer.
The CDC says conquering COVID-19 includes a return to summer camp this year. In newly updated guidance, summer kids’ venues – like Camp Fish Tales in Pinconning – can fire up by implementing a list including masks and other mitigation efforts.
“We are very excited to have camp this year. It will be different in a variety of ways,” said Shannon Forshee, executive director of Camp Fish Tales.
Those ways, following state and federal guidelines, include a reduced number of campers per session, keeping campers in cohorts, check-in and checkout procedures changed drastically with campers, caregivers assigned appointments for drop-off in 15-minute increments, and temperature checks following answering the standard COVID-19 health questions.
Only one parent or guardian will be allowed inside for camper check-in, everyone will wear masks, distance is still necessary and staying outdoors is best.
“Everything for the check-in and checkout process mostly happens outside now. And we tend to be outside constantly anyways from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at night,” Forshee said.
The CDC putting close-contact sports off-limits and says overnight camp volunteers, campers and family members should be vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days before arriving.
The goal of camp is still making every moment count.
“Camp is always a great time. The campers get to enjoy activities like the rock wall still. They’ll have archery. We will still have a very good time at camp,” Forshee said.