SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As Coronavirus restrictions in San Diego continue to relax, summer camps are making big plans to reopen, the YMCA San Diego is one of them with an expectant day to resume operations on June 22.
The list of safety precautions is so long it is going to take weeks for counselors to plan and train before welcoming campers for a whole new experience.
“We’re really looking at taking it back to the basics. Camp originally started in a learning environment where they can make friends and that’s still the impact we’re wanting to have this summer,” said Region Camp Director Nat Corrall.
Corrall said COVID-19 guidelines will mean innovative, socially distanced activities like using pool noodles instead of hands to play tag, and in the process, teaching new moral obligations.
“We’re always talking about how to externally care for each other but now the message is actually if you take care of yourself. If you’re washing your hands and covering your mouth and staying away, we’re helping people care for each other,” she said.
New health guidelines will also require daily temperature checks for counselors and campers. Groups will be made up of 10 instead of 12 kids.
Even with parents eager to get their little ones out of the house, smaller group sizes will mean not everyone will get to go to camp.
“Most of our branches are between 60-70% full,” said Corrall.
During a non-pandemic summer, YMCA runs camps for 50,000 children across San Diego. They’re expecting a third of that this summer.
There will, however, be hundreds of counselors on hand. More than 430 returning from furlough to meet this year’s growing demands.
“It takes a community to serve a community and so there’s been a lot of us, a lot of different experts and brains going into making this a reality,” she said.
Visit the American Camp Association - https://www.acacamps.org/ - for camp locations near you, and to find out if your camp is accredited.
The YMCA sign up and be found at: https://www.ymcasd.org/camps/day-camp.