(WTNH) — There’s been nothing normal about the past school year for most kids. The pandemic created a new normal with a lot of screen time. But where does that leave camp? Is it in session this year, and what will it look like?
Arlene Streisand, owner of Camp Specialists told News 8, “Camp is definitely going to happen this season.”
An overnight camp experience hasn’t been a thing in Connecticut since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and families are eager to give kids experiences this year.
Tom St. Louis, Epidemiologist with the Connecticut State Department of Public Health (DPH), said, “The State DPH, local health departments, the Office of Early Childhood. We’re all working together to try to ensure that we can provide as safe an experience for overnight camps as possible. Really allow kids to recapture some of that normalcy that’s been missing this school year.”
Day camps opened last June. This summer, things will be somewhat back to normal for overnight camps as well.
Streisand’s company “Camp Specialists” connects families with camps across New England. Slots are filling up quickly with some are already booking: “Their COVID plans are out and if they’re not out to the families yet. They’re in the process of working on them, fine-tuning them.”
Streisand says fun is a major part of parents’ motivation.
“Be in the outdoors, resume their relationships with children, develop new skills, gain independence,” Streisand said.
Of course, social distancing, hand hygiene, and mask-wearing will all be in effect.
Dr. St. Louis added, “Testing will probably be a large component of what goes into overnight camps. Doing some testing and pre-quarantine with kids before they show up.”
In addition to COVID-19 testing, Dr. St. Louis says providers will be asked to have procedures in place to isolate and quarantine kids should they become sick or test positive. So, if you’ve had enough quarantining this school year, it might not be over just yet.