A look ahead at camp
After a year of isolation, many children are looking forward to summer camp with more than the usual excitement. Whether they have been stuck at home, blocked from recess or kept distant from friends, camp will offer a chance to escape their parents’ and teachers’ closer-than-usual supervision and connect with their peers.
At a recent barbecue for new campers at Camp Kinder Ring, a Jewish overnight camp in Dutchess County, New York, one 10-year-old couldn’t wait to interact with other kids without being surrounded by a clear plastic barrier, said Marc Rauch, the camp’s director.
But of course, the pandemic is not over, and many campers will still be unvaccinated, so camp won’t look the way it did in 2019. (Many camps, including most overnight camps, didn’t operate last year.) So what protocols will be in place this summer?
“It’s very dynamic right now,” said Tom Rosenberg, the president of the American Camp Association.
Some states have not yet released regulations for camps. The C.D.C. issued guidance last month, but some experts criticized it as overly draconian. Now, in the wake of the agency’s advice last week that vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks, the agency has said it will update its camp recommendations “very soon.”
no longer be required to wear masks when outdoors at schools or camps.
Some are optimistic that other states might follow suit. “We’re hopeful that outdoor masking is not going to be a big part of the summer,” Benerofe said.
a matter of urgent debate, with some saying that in-person classes are clearly better, and that continuing to offer a remote option sends parents the message that schools aren’t safe.
But others argue that some parents and children are happier in remote learning and they should be accommodated.
On Monday, New Jersey’s governor, Philip Murphy, said families in his state would no longer have the option of sending their children to school virtually next year, in one of the bolder efforts to push families and districts to get children back in school.