NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– Whether they are run by the Groton Parks and Recreation Department or Project Oceanology, all summer camps this year will be following the same rules even if the activities are different.
“We’ll head out on skiffs or on the big boat, eat a bag lunch in the field, and spend the whole day exploring outdoors, that’s the ideal,” said Molly Jacobs of Project Oceanology.
All campers will be divided into groups of no more than ten.
“It’s gonna be very different,” said Eileen Cicchese, Program Supervisor with Groton Parks and Recreation.
The groups will have no interaction with each other.
“They’ll have their own entrance, they’ll have their own rooms, own bathrooms. We’re really going to end up partitioning our building quite a bit,” explained Jacobs.
Project Oceanology which usually has forty kids in its residential camp, will now only have day campers per the governor’s order. While Groton is cutting its capacity in half to accommodate the added social distancing requirements.
“We’ve asked parents who don’t need it to give priority to parents who do need it,” said Cicchese.
But Groton will help out families who really need to give their kids time outside of the house.
In New London, they have three sites which were set to accommodate thirty kids each who would then be broken up into groups of ten. But the need there is so great for summer camps that the city immediately applied to the state for a waiver so it could split each site, like the one at Bates Woods Park, which is very large into two sites to double its capacity.
“It wasn’t are we going to do it. It was how can we do it so we kind of just put that in place immediately,” said Sharon Bousquet, Recreation Program Coordinator for New London Parks and Recreation.
There will be no more team sports but two can play a game of tennis as long as players only touch their ball.
“We have a whole list of games that we compiled that we’re working on. Obstacle courses. A growing list we’re hoping to keep them busy,” said Bousquet.
And safe during this pandemic. This will mean more cleaning and more work at a time when campers and parents may need summer camps the most.
“We have such a good group of staff and they’re like ‘we’re up for the challenge,'” said Cicchese.