Summer Camps Prepare For Busy Season – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
The countdown to summer break is on and many families in North Texas are ready to return to summer camp.
Many day and overnight camps are full and the waiting lists are growing.
The camp organizers are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of COVID-19, but there are important questions parents should ask.
“Parents crave an opportunity for children to be outside and have fun. The number of emails, phone calls and registrations we see is palpable,” said Steve Baskin, founder and chief executive officer of Camp Champions.
Camp Champions is one of the 547 camps in Texas expected to be operational this summer and welcome nearly a million campers according to the American Camp Association.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued guidelines for summer camps similar to those the state put in place last year.
Many of the recommendations are similar to those created by a Texas state strike group for summer camps last year.
“Parents get out differently. In the past, a parent got out of the car, made their child’s bed, hugged one last time and left. Now it’s more like dropping out of school,” Baskin said of an example made last year Changes.
Baskin said while many camps will continue the same protocols this summer, they have added new ones that include vaccinations and a quick tasting of COVID-19.
In some camps, all employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
They also require campers to undergo a COVID-19 test prior to their arrival.
Sick campers can have a quick test in the camp.
The hope for camps and families is to bring back the summers children had before as they prepared for the post-pandemic period.
“More than ever, children need to be able to connect with other people. They need to feel that feeling of joy and connection,” said Baskin. “I think that will make them more likely to go back to school. They will be less scared or intimidated and more likely to be a leader among their friends and say, ‘Come on, we have this. We put on’ We don’t have to be afraid. We don’t have to rely on our phones. “I don’t think there was a more important time to send your kids to camp.”
Baskin says parents should keep three important points in mind when talking to their child’s camp about COVID-19 safety precautions.
Find out what their plan for ventilation is and how often the kids are outside, where it is safest.
Find out if the camp requires staff to be vaccinated. College students often make up the majority of camp counselors.
Listen to how seriously the camp takes protocols and decide if they meet your family’s safety standards.