In-person summer camps

I'm wondering if parents are considering in-person camps this summer. I'm working remotely so I don't technically need to send my child to camp, but my only child is bored, lonely and just wants to watch tv all day. I'm busy working most of the day and I'm the only parent. She is not into virtual camps. I worry about her mental and physical health, but I also worry about the risks of infection. Part of me wonders if sending her to a camp that is using masks and enforcing social distancing (or trying) in late July is that much different than attending school in August (assuming that happens). How are others thinking about this?   

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RE: In-person summer camps ()

As difficult as it is, our household is taking as zero risk as possible approach. 100% contactless delivery, masks on when taking a walk for both adults and kids. We think social distancing is not possible in Camp settings with little ones. We are beginning to think about the possibility of a social bubble including a friend or two so kids are not completely isolated. 

We are seriously considering home schooling as well because we don’t have a lot of faith that public schools can pull off safe educational environment with all the budget cuts. 

RE: In-person summer camps ()

If you haven't already signed up for camp, I don't want to be a downer but it is unlikely you can secure an in-person spot... but to your question, we have decided to send our daughter to camp this summer and have secured her a spot for 9 weeks of camp. The camp sizes and length are mandated by the county (no groups larger than 12 and camp length is a minimum of 3 weeks). The way I approached this decision was around if hospitals are at capacity, the acceptable risk tolerance of our family, and the overall health of our family. I know hospital capacity can change quickly (especially if the infection rates were to exponentially increase) but data is not showing exponential increases in the Bay area. Additionally, my family is metabolically healthy (no pre-existing conditions, not overweight, etc.) research shows metabolic health is correlated with a decreased chance of severe infection requiring hospitalization. After reflecting on those two factors, I have decided the risk tolerance of our family to this is relatively high and thus, we felt the benefits of our daughter getting outside time, more stimulation than we can offer at home as 2 FTE, and peer interaction outweighed the potential negatives of exposure to the virus. 

RE: In-person summer camps ()

We live in CC county and have our 5-year-old daughter in a dance camp. There were extensive cleaning and safety protocols and the director was serious about social distancing. The first week there were 3 kids; this week there are 5 kids. Our daughter loves it!

For us, the mental health risk outweighed virus risk. Our daughter has some adoption trauma triggered behaviors that were getting to be an every hour thing, instead of once a day or less. My husband’s office is closed and he is trying to work from home so when the camp opened, it was a no-brainer for us. We were all at the end of our rope. I’ve been trying to minimize risk in other ways—getting groceries picked up and not being in groups. We don’t have family in the area and everyone is healthy so it seemed like a worthwhile risk to take. 

RE: In-person summer camps ()

We are sending our kids to in-person camps for several weeks this summer even though we, too, would not have to since one of us is working from home. We are fortunate not to have any conditions that would make the virus particularly risky for us if we caught it. The data indicates that the vast majority of transmission occurs indoors with people sharing air for a sustained amount of time. I'm satisfied with the camp's changes to be in small, stable groups and outdoors the whole time (with masks on if they have to be close). It's a risk-benefit analysis and for us, the benefits to our kids  (physical and emotional health) outweigh the risk (which is reduced by the camp's changes and is probably lower for us than for some others to begin with). Bubbles are another great idea if you can pull it off. Good luck.

RE: In-person summer camps ()

Hi,

my kid (12) is in an arts and crafts camp 9-3 this week. There are 5 campers and 1 counselor. No masks but they have separate supplies and generally social distance. Temp checks at the beginning. No parents allowed in, masked or otherwise. I feel comfortable with this, I know plenty of parents aren’t. It is so great for my kid to be out of the house and interacting with kids! All’s well. 
Good Luck to All this summer. 

RE: In-person summer camps ()

We're in roughly the same boat as you - parents working at home, so don't *have* to send kids to camp, but worried about kids' social/emotional health, loneliness, need for exercise, etc. We are considering maybe 2(ish) weeks of camps later this summer. We are limiting our choices to only camps that meet outdoors and only camps where we are able to get a good sense of how well run they are (i.e., mostly camps that we have been to before or have solid referrals from people we trust). And a lot of the ones we are considering are half-day camps. Honestly, I think it would be a shock to all our systems to send the kids to all-day camp after these months at home all the time. So we're looking at a lot of sports camps, basically.

Obviously, this is all personal, and no one has all the answers. But we are generally comfortable with kids being outdoors.

RE: In-person summer camps ()

I made the decision to send my 8yo to one of the City of Berkeley socially distant in-person camps. I weighed the risks of contagion and mental well-being and decided it was worth sending him. They keep the same small group for four weeks, and are prioritizing hand hygiene and safety. The camp he is in is at the skate park and only runs half-day.

I really believe that at some point the kids will be back in school, and everyone has to learn how to function in the new reality. Kids and staff will have to get used to the new hygiene rigor somehow, and maybe small groups over the summer is that way. I will attempt to balance my son’s exposure by starting to get regularly tested myself, now that testing options in Berkeley have increased. 

Everyone has to balance their own risks, but this was my thought process.