Summer camps adapt COVID-19 policies in second year with an ongoing pandemic

YMCA of Central Florida, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida ready to welcome campers

This summer will mark the second year camps will host children amid an ongoing pandemic but with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines summer camps are continuing policies to keep campers safe.

News 6 spoke to YMCA of Central Florida and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to help parents know what to expect this year.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s new branch, off of South Lakeland Avenue, is planning on focusing on activities that allow for social distancing.

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Service Director Jessica Sandoval said this year’s theme is the Olympics. She said the decision was strategic, allowing them to focus on outdoor activities, like relay races.

“When they’re outside, as long as they’re 6 feet apart, they’re able to take breathing breaks and take off their mask a little bit, " said Sandoval.

When inside, Sandoval said they will continue with the health and safety measures including wearing masks, social distancing, and hand washing.

In addition to outdoor activities, their summer program will also focus on education.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida said with the learning loss that students experience during the school year due to the pandemic, they are going to be utilizing spaces like their learning center and library to help catch students up over the summer.

What will look different from last year, Sandoval said, is no temperature checks as kids walk in.

But she stressed the importance of parents doing that at home.

Meanwhile, at the YMCA branch off of Jay Blanchard Trail, Dan Saginario, with the YMCA of Central Florida, said this summer they will be offering a lot more programs.

Even with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine available to those ages 12 and up, safety and health will still be a priority at their facilities.

The YMCA will continue to check temperatures when children arrive and masking and social distancing will still be in place at their facilities.

Saginario said they’ve staggered activity times to make sure there aren’t large groups of campers moving around at the same time.

Saginario said organizers gave a lot of thought to each class and program to make sure safety measures are in place, so that families feel comfortable.

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.