The CDC recently released a framework to help summer camps decide if and how they can reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, but many camps are still waiting for critical guidance from local and state officials.
As some camps decide to shut their doors more and more campers will be home for the summer, counselors could be jobless, and the $18 billion industry will take a major financial hit this season.
Many parents are eager to get their kids outdoors, but camp directors are concerned about campers’ health and safety.
“I would say that 90% of the parents I’ve spoken to have a lot of trust in us and they say, ‘If you guys can safely open, please take our kids,'” one camp director told us.
One family we talked to improvised a solution: enrolling their kids in an online camp and planning outdoor activities they can do together.
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After nearly two months of quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, kids across the country are eager to get outside for summer. But for more than 7.2 million kids who attend summer camps each year, getting outdoors could prove more challenging than usual — especially when it comes to camps.
American summer camps are an $18 billion industry. But this year, the impact of COVID-19 is not only damaging summer camps’ revenues, it’s threatening the livelihood of camp employees and a yearly opportunity for children to learn and participate in outdoor experiences with their peers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidance for camps nationwide. The guidelines included a decision tree to help camp directors decide whether they should consider opening, and if so, how to do it safely. But ultimately, state and local officials have the final say on reopening guidelines for camps.
Some camps already decided to shut their doors for the summer and absorb the financial loss, but many are still waiting to receive guidance from local health departments and state officials as to whether they will be permitted to open for the summer. And if they are given the green light, answers for how to operate their camps in as safe away as possible.
The American Camp Association, the only organization that accredits camps with national standards of health and safety, has more than 3,100 summer camps under its umbrella. This year, the organization is operating as an educational resource for camps more than ever, providing camp directors with information about COVID-19 and guidance on what protocols to implement.
Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, said camp openings will not be uniform across the country, but rather a patchwork of operational levels depending on each state and county’s decisions.
“Once states can define timelines and rules on how to operate, camp directors have to decide if they can operate with the adaptations,” Rosenberg told Business Insider.
Fever screenings, COVID-19 testing, and forms of social distancing would be key modifications.
But with some camps already closing or planning to operate in modified capacities, families are being …read more
Source:: Business Insider