JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Less than a month away from the end of school for students in Duval County, parents are looking towards the start of summer. Parents said they’re worried about how the coronavirus outbreak will effect seasonal traditions-- like summer camps.
Youth development executive with of the YMCA Florida First Coast locations Candace Burrows said the bottom line for parents is to make plans now, so you aren’t left scrambling and the key is all in the questioning.
"Ask what you’re doing. What is your protocol? How many kids are you having? What is your staff doing? What happens if there is a COVID situation, how are you handling that? Always look at the historical things about that organization. Have they been running summer camps for years? If they have they are definitely adjusting to what the CDC is asking,” Burrow said.
First Coast YMCA is one of several camps changing how it will operate this summer. New normal requirements include: wearing masks, keeping kids separated, sanitizing often, taking temperatures and doing health surveys at regular intervals.
The good news is summer camps are often making changes to stay safe pandemic or not. Jax4Kids.com Publisher Alison Peters-Carlson said online resources can help parents navigate this year’s changes.
“We have an summer camps guide that is updated constantly. Parents can go to that resource, click on, just browsing around, looking for a specific kind of camp your child might be interested in. It’s all right there., It will take them right to registration pages, give them a quick snap shot of the dates, the times,” Peters-Carlson said.
A fail-proof way to get the information you need? Call the camp you’re interested in or check its website to find out if a program plans to open this year and under what restrictions, if so.