As a kid, what’s better than attending summer camp?
We already know you know the answer (it’s next to nothing!) but we want to say it out loud anyway. So, here it is…
Nothing beats summer camps! Kids know it and parents know it. Summer camps are filled with open-ended play, nature, adventure, imagination, life lessons, friendships, sports, independence, and more. The list goes on and on. The truth is, every kid should enjoy at least one summer camp experience in their lifetime.
This year return campers are extra antsy to get at it. Especially after several months of being stuck indoors- thanks to COVID-19. Sorry, we tried not to give power to the name. But the fact of the matter is, like it or not, this thing is going to be our reality for a little while longer.
So, how does it impact summer camps and how can camp owners make the most of it? Sure, it requires extra preparation, training, and care but it doesn’t have to dampen the fun.
By now, you could talk about health information, social distancing, cloth face coverings, and handwashing in your sleep! You’re a pro and that’s good news because none of it is going away just yet.
Here’s how to help stop the spread of COVID-19 at camp in a way that kids won’t mind (or maybe even notice.)
- Turn handwashing into an activity.
- See who can draw the best hand-washing signs for display on campus.
- Challenge campers to invent their own hand-washing jingle to be voted on.
- Host a friendly hand-washing competition like, a wash station relay race.
- Practice social distancing by assigning fewer groups of campers to each camp staff member.
- Promote group bonding by doing team building activities that can be spaced out naturally. Think: Karaoke, charades, art and obstacle courses.
- Encourage campers and employees to wear their cloth face coverings from home or:
- Provide masks with fun colors and the camp logo.
- Give kids a sewing lesson where they can whip up their own.
Plan A is to open camps on schedule. (Cue wild cheering and proceed to “Preparedness”.)
Policies and Procedures and CDC guidelines
At the top of the to-do list is getting acquainted with the CDC guidelines pertaining to health and safety for all campers and staff.
- CDC Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps.
- Additionally, stay up-to-date on both your local and national news. Policies and procedures vary from state to state.
After you’ve given your routine employee run-down, you will need to update all camp staff on the new health and safety protocols in place. This includes:
- Extra cleaning measures
- Group size
- Flexible work hours
- Camp Alternatives
- Daily temperature checks for all campers and staff
- The signs and symptoms of the virus
- Customer service
You have kids to plan for, staff to train, and new health information to learn- oh my!
Take away some of the stress by having your community-center management software ready to go. One of the many benefits of management software for camps this year is that it can be used to track the absences of each camper and potentially spot an illness pattern before you do. Schedule your free demo today.
We know- Plan B isn’t anybody’s first choice. That’s why it’s Plan B. But it’s okay. Sometimes, things have a way of surprising you. So, don’t discount these options yet.
At first, it might be hard to get excited about virtual camp. Especially when it feels like everything is going virtual. School, work, fitness, happy hour and now summer camps too? How does a virtual summer camp even work? And will you have to cancel field trips?
Virtual summer camps work by getting everyone together online for group activities. You can still do your team building and you have to get creative for field trips. The good news is it won’t affect group size, either. You could sign up multiple kids this way. Then all you have to do is map out ways to keep busy.
Zoom Karaoke? Yes. Cooking classes? Absolutely. Craft sessions? Kids love it. Sports? Double yes!
The same way gyms are offering online classes, you can too. Hire specialty instructors and mix up your schedule with martial arts, yoga, dancing, cardio, etc. The possibilities are truly endless.
You don’t have to cancel field trips. Have them go virtual also. Plan a “vacation” where everyone can dress up for a specific theme and then explore with you through music, language, art and food lessons.
Before turning virtual, another option to consider is a flexible schedule like day camps. Keep kids mainly virtual but bring them to the campus once or twice a week for special, socially distanced, fun.
Or, how about alternating schedules? Staff and campers can share the campus by breaking down into small groups of campers and staff and putting them on a block schedule. If you ever had a block schedule in high school, you have an idea of how it works. Except, in this case, the same group of adults and kids will always rotate together to help stop the spread of covid-19.
Good luck at camp. We hope everyone stays happy and healthy all summer long and creates memories to last a lifetime.