AUSTIN, Texas – As the virtual school year starts wrapping up across Texas, many parents are left wondering what will happen to the summer camps they signed their children up for long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S.
What You Need To Know
- Many camps have yet to make a decision on summer programs
- Some are delaying start dates or outright canceling
- Others are looking at virtual options
Many organizations that host camps say they are still waiting to decide how the will proceed. For example, as of May 7, officials with the City of Austin say they are still deciding what will happen to camps and other children’s summer activities that are normally hosted through the Parks Department.
Other camps have pushed back start dates or outright canceled early summer sessions. One of those is Camp Olympia in East Texas. According to its website, the camp is pushing its first camp start date to June 28, and when campers and staff do eventually arrive, they will be required to have been tested for coronavirus ahead of time as well as receive daily temperature checks.
Camps across the country that do open though may look completely different than previous years.
Last month, the CDC issued guidelines for how certain businesses should operate when reopening, including recommendations for summer camps.
One of the recommendations include getting kids to maintain social distancing, including keeping sleeping and eating arrangements six feet apart.
Other recommendations include not taking kids on field trips and keeping them designated to the same small groups, making it less likely if they do get sick that they will spread the illness to a large number of other campers.
Some camps though have decided to go ahead and make the leap to host virtual camps this summer.
The Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America is one of those organizations that will be virtual. Starting in the beginning of June, the organization will host three different themed virtual camps that promise four hours of activities a day, for five days. Organizers say they are providing physical materials campers will need in order to participate.
Camps like this may be the option many parents take in order to keep their children and other household members at home safe.