How Summer Camps Plan On Keeping Children Safe This Summer 2021
As we get closer and closer to the official start of summer, parents have been left to wonder about whether they should send their children off to summer camp. As the CDC has officially published the guidelines that summer camps should follow, we wanted to explicitly highlight the changes that are taking place in order to keep campers safe during this summer season.
The pandemic has completely transformed our day-to-day lives in ways that most of us could never have imagined possible. It’s made making decisions like this – whether or not it’s safe to send our kids to summer camp – a lot harder than ever before.
Those in the summer camp industry are doing everything they can to provide a safe space for children over the summer. Here are some ways in which summer camps are planning on keeping your child safe while attending.
Supplement Already in Place Safety Guidelines
Right out of the gate, it’s essential to understand that everything summer camps are doing to make sure that your children stay safe while in attendance is supplementing the already in place safety guidelines as mandated by the local, state, and federal government.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuously updating its guidelines about how best to fight the novel coronavirus. State and federal leaders continue to adjust safety regulations based on the data available.
All summer camps are required to abide by these guidelines. This should give you a bit more peace of mind, knowing that all of the facilities that are open and available to accept campers are going above and beyond the baseline to make sure that your children stay safe.
Limit Group Size and Keep Groups Together
While other summers it may be normal for campers to separate into groups often and intermingle, camps are reducing risks by keeping campers in the same group throughout the day and forming smaller groups lead by specific staff. Preventing mixing between groups is a top priority for us.
Sending Campers Home
There are policies in place to send campers home at the first sign of symptoms and ensuring proper communication with parents and anyone else that needs to be notified.
Campers will have their temperatures checked upon arrival and sent back home if they have a particularly high temperature.
Focus on Hygiene and Social Distancing
Summer camps are placing severe emphasis on new hygiene rules —particularly those revolving around handwashing.
Camps are redoubling their efforts to make soap, water, and hand sanitizers available in numerous locations throughout the camp, providing easy access to these critical hygiene tools.
Camps are committing to social distancing protocols. They are doing everything they can to enforce social distancing protocols to keep kids safe 24/7 while attending the facilities. This means reducing the number of campers at camp and limiting the number of children per camp activity.
Add Face Mask Protocols
The realities of life at camp may make it impossible – or the very least very challenging – for younger campers to wear a mask around-the-clock. Summer camps are being proactive in making sure that they have systems and training to make sure that everyone stays safe with masks as much as possible.
Face masks are critically important when people are indoors with one another (like in the cafeteria, for example). Summer camps are aware and are doing everything they can to abide by these regulations. While it may be difficult for younger campers to keep masks on, camp directors and staff are planning to use face masks extensively.
Making Emergency Plans
Although it’s something summer camps don’t want to think about, emergency plans are being formed for worst-case scenarios where campers show symptoms or result in infection. Plans include steps to take to isolate those who may be infected and how transportation will work.
Procedures for cleaning and disinfecting anything they may have come in contact with are being included in emergency plans. Camp nurses and staff are trained to be on the lookout more than ever for campers who may be showing symptoms and take steps to deal with the situation appropriately.
Keeping Supplies Handy
Not only are summer camps stocking up on typical hygiene supplies like soap and hand sanitizer this summer, but they also are stocking up on face masks, disinfectant sprays, paper towels, tissues, and no-touch garbage pails.
Maintain Strong Lines of Communication
Summer camps are committing more than ever to open communication lines with parents and guardians throughout the summer.
Camps want you to know that your child is well taken care of and the camp is doing everything in their power to make sure they stay well.
Summer camps plan to implement regular weekly updates (or even more frequent updates) – usually via email – to put parents’ minds at ease. You should always feel comfortable contacting the summer camp directly to check in on things. You should never feel like you are being unreasonable calling and asking about your child’s health and wellness while away at camp.
Summer camps are working hard to maintain a “new normal” for kids away at camp this summer and helping them enjoy all the benefits that a camp experience brings. This includes educational benefits, even if things this time around are a little different than they usually are.