Going away for a week or two at summer camp was one of the things I most looked forward to as a kid. I spent a week every summer at Camp Algonquin in Hastings, Michigan. It was a YMCA camp and it was run by my grandfather. Overnight camp was the best, with campfire stories, late-night raids on the kitchen, and just the comradery of a bunch of kids piled into one cabin after a long day of summer camp activities.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic kids in the Capital Region won't have the opportunity to go to overnight summer camp this year. Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on Friday announced that due to the virus and all the data they had collected overnight summer camp wouldn't be allowed in New York this year.

"Unlike day camps, which are approved to open June 29, overnight camps are a difficult setting to manage social distancing and face covering and infection control practices," Zucker said. "Overnight camps have congregate settings and sleeping arrangements in close quarters that present too many risks," according to nystateofpolitics.com

The good news is that two weeks ago Gov. Cuomo announced that summer day camps can open up on June 29. So campers and parents still have that option.

Day camps will be following these strict guidelines.

  • Cloth face coverings required for staff and campers and must be worn when social distancing between assigned groups cannot be maintained
  • Staff encouraged to wear masks while working unless it would inhibit the worker’s health, if the worker is in extreme heat outdoors, or the worker is in water
  • Rules regarding cloth face coverings do not apply to children under the age of 2, as it presents a suffocation risk
  • Daily health screenings for the coronavirus added at the entry for campers and staff
  • All camps (both indoor and outdoor) should try as much as possible to have groups of children remain the same each day, and the staff with each group remain the same as well
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