Will New York Have Sleep-Away Camps This summer?
Going to overnight summer camp is something a lot of kids missed out on last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sitting around a campfire, making smores, learning about nature, survival, crafts, and just having fun is so important, especially after all we've been through this year.
Last year overnight summer camps had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. So far the state hasn't given summer camps the go-ahead to reopen for the 2021 summer season. According to News 10, Camp Chingachgook on Lake George didn't have any campers last year for the first time since 1932.
Camp directors have asked the state to let them reopen. They have already made changes like allowing 50% camper capacity, a smaller number of campers in each cabin, staggered dining, and smaller group activities. They are essentially adopting some of the guidelines that schools have used to reopen to students.
Now, some people might say with everything going on, who cares about summer camp. Well, we should all care about summer camp. In my family going to camp was a very big deal. When my grandfather came back from WWII he started the first YMCA camp in Barry County, Michigan. He ran the camp, my grandmother was in charge of the kitchen, my Dad and aunts and uncles worked at the camp, and my brother and I went to summer camp there for years. Some of my best memories growing up happened at that camp. I learned about nature, friendship, socialization, and a lot about myself in those weeks away at camp.
Also, the staff at the summer camps are mostly college-age and are making money as a counselor to help pay for college. My daughter has worked at a summer camp as an assistant counselor for years. Not only has it been a great way to make some extra money for school, but she has grown into a confident leader because of her experience at summer camp.
Currently, the state of New York is allowing day camps to operate this year, but haven't given the okay for overnight camps. Hopefully, that decision will be made soon and overnight summer camps will reopen this season.
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