Reopen NY: Day camps open again for summer fun

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York summer camps opened for the first time this week as the state continues to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

Six YMCA camps on Long Island saw their first children arrive for up to 10 weeks of fun.

"We were greeted with open arms by happy families," said Dan Weir, senior director of program development for YMCA of Long Island. "It was great to see people wanting to be at camp."

Camp openings were not linked to the different phases of reopening.

"We have 100 kids at this site right now," Weir said. "At the center where I am at right now, the Great South Bay, where they are having a great time."

The YMCA camps run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, though they are seeing attendance a bit lower but with plenty of availability.

"New York state put some guidelines out for us in terms of the capacity of indoor spaces, which we are following," he said.

Prior to camp opening, parents also went through an orientation.

"We walked them through what the camp day would look like and how things are adjusted for this day and what is required when they come to camp," Weir said.

That includes an emphasis into the various protocols that are overseen by the state and county.

"When we are indoors, we do wear face coverings," Weir said. "And New York state put our a really great list of regulations for license camps too. So I highly recommend for any family looking for a summer camp to see that they are licensed by the Department of Health."

And just being around other children, staff says, makes for a fun time.

"Being able to be there in person really makes a difference," Weir said. "And kids and staff are able to make these regulations work, and it works out really well."

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