North Alabama summer camps take extra measures to stay open

With many camps closed, the open summer camps are dealing with waiting lists and tasked with trying to keep kids safe while still having fun.

Posted: Jun 15, 2020 6:30 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2020 8:09 AM

While many summer camps are closed, the ones that reopened are dealing with wait lists and other precautions.

Summer camp at the YMCA looks differently than previous years, but the executive director told WAAY 31 they're doing everything in their power to keep everybody safe so that the doors can remain open and the kids can keep having fun.

"Kids have been cooped up for such a long time through this pandemic, so it's something that parents are relieved to lose, some of this energy. Kids seem like they're having a good time," Daniel Kasambria, the Executive Director of the Hogan YMCA, said.

Kasambria said he was happy the YMCA was able to operate their summer camps this year.

In order to reopen, staff began temperature checking the children and staff, requiring camp counselors wear face masks throughout the day and playing games that keep the children six feet apart.

"Making sure that it's a safe but fun environment for the children that we're involved with," he said.

Kasambria said because they're one of few summer camps open right now, they've had an influx of parents who want to enroll their children.

But because of CDC safety guidelines, they've had to cut how many children can attend the camp, keeping many families on the wait list

"Unfortunately, I wish we can accept more children, but just to keep things safe, to keep the kids social distancing and make sure our staff and our members are protected, we make sure we reduce our numbers," he said.

He said with the recent spike in cases across the state, he hopes they won't have to close down camp early, but they are prepared if it comes to that.

"We're doing every precaution to make sure that doesn't happen. If it does, we're prepared to respond to that. We've had numerous meetings in preparation if it does happen," he said.

Kasambria said right now, the Southeast YMCA branches have about 160 children a week in their camps, and they're hoping they won't have to reduce those numbers any more.

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