Summer camps in New York and New Jersey are preparing for an unprecedented season as they anxiously await guidance from the CDC and State Boards of Health on how day and overnight camps will be permitted to operate.
In the face of uncertainty, camp directors are approaching opening for the summer in a variety of ways.
"We've hired American staff we need, to support us, in the event our internationals can't make it," Tyler Hill Camp Director Andy Siegel said. "We've readied the grounds and we're really feeling like this is gonna happen and we're ready to do so."
"I guess we could be accused of being overly cautious with somebody else's child and at the end of the day, that'll be what it will be for us," Iroquois Springs Camp Director Mark Newfield said.
Ultimately, each state's health department will decide and that could mean some camps may be allowed to open, while others won't.
Additionally, the American Camp Association has convened a panel of experts which is expected to come out with some best practices by May 15th.
While a decision has yet to be made on face masks, the ACA says children will almost certainly be limited to small groups as much as possible.
"The kids within that circle will be able to socialize just like a family does at home, but that circle will be physically distant from other circles," American Camp Association President and CEO Tom Rosenberg said.
Testing is another issue many camps will have to weigh, especially day camps.
"It's also the social and emotional and mental health of these children, who've been cooped up for 3 months," Liberty Lake Day Camp Director Andy Pritikin said.
For most parents and kids their hearts and trust are set on camp, and so they wait.
"But it's still going to be difficult to make that leap," Nicole Axelrod said.
"If there's a big risk catching such a bad disease like that, then I don't want to go the whole summer,' Axelrod's son Evan said.
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