2. Wide pan of zipline or "fly lines" safety training for camp staff and view of campgrounds
Atlanta – 9 June 2021
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tom Rosenberg, President and CEO of American Camp Association:
"We need to work together this summer to provide our kids with the best summer ever. It's going to be so much joy, so much happiness, so much friendship and learning happening at camp. So, but to get there, we actually have to agree to follow these basic rules and listen to those camp directors who are doing their best to take care of your children; make sure they're safe and healthy and happy."
Glorieta, New Mexico - 21 May 2021
4. Various of zipline or "fly lines" safety training for camp staff
5. Go-pro view of camp staffer ziplining
Glorieta, New Mexico - 25 May 2021
6. Camp staffers waiting in line to get the Johnson & Johnson jab
7. Camp worker Miguel Ángel Ramírez from Puebla, Mexico, entering mobile clinic truck
8. Close of vaccines on tray
9. Ramírez getting vaccinated
10. Mobile clinic truck and camp buildings in the background
"They have the same bunk rooms, that's where they can take their masks off at night. Or when they're sitting down at meals at their table, they can take their mask off to eat, and it's really the only time you're going to see these guys with masks off – it's in their cohorts. And then second to that, it's also keeping our staff separated. So, the people who are working with different groups are not going from, 'OK, I'm working in the kitchen, or now going to activities and working. I'm going to this group over at family camp or backpacking.' Backpacking staff will stay with backpacking staff. Conference staff will stay with conference staff."
12. Various of zipline or "fly lines" safety training for camp staff
13. Various of campgrounds waterfront and slide
Leawood, Kansas – 9 June 2021
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Margaret Chaffee, Daughters will be attending camp this summer:
"More than anything else, it's a sign that things are getting back to to normal and that we can start to look forward to things again, and look forward to to to gathering and some some some socialization that maybe we've been cut off from with all of the the restrictions and the changes to schools, and all of that."
All 50 states are allowing summer camps this year — good news for millions of young campers — but many camp leaders are worried about a lack of guidance and a pandemic labor crunch.
The Southeast is the first region to kick off summer camps this month, while other parts of the country will follow in July.
Even though most summer camps will be open, reduced capacity necessitated by COVID-19 restrictions and the labor shortage will keep numbers well below a normal threshold of about 26 million summer campers, said Tom Rosenberg, of the American Camp Association.
Across the country, many summer camps are facing competition for camp counselors in a tight job market. Nonetheless, preparations are underway for the season — even if directors are still lining up workers and sorting out health rules.
At Glorieta Adventure Camps, outside Santa Fe, located at the foothills of pine forest, between the mess hall and the water slides, a group of summer camp staff started their orientation by rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated.
All of those vaccinations will help stop the spread of COVID-19 even though campers under 12 are deemed too young to get the jab.
That means the experience will be similar to what was offered at the small number of overnight camps that operated last year.
Those tried-and-true measures include grouping kids in cohorts, mandating masks, emphasizing social distancing – and lots of hand washing.
At Glorieta, staff arrived in May from Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico to train on safety protocols, from virus protection to ziplining to lifeguarding.
The camp is running at one-third capacity — 1,100 out of 3,000 slots are filled — and staff will be grouped in pods. Kids are expected to wear masks, even outdoors, except when they're eating meals or in their sleeping dorm.
"Really the only time you're going to see these guys with masks off – it's in their cohorts," said Josh Nelson, of Glorieta Adventure Camps.
More than 90% of the staff agreed to be vaccinated but there was no mandate for vaccinations.
Even with those safety limitations, things are in much better shape than last year when camp was canceled and 80% of the staff was laid off by March, Nelson said. Federal Paycheck Protection Program loans helped but didn't alleviate all of the financial pain, he said.
For Tom Rosenberg, camp is more important than ever this year in terms of providing normalcy for kids who've dealt with remote learning, canceled events and boredom at home, not to mention health worries.
"We need to work together this summer to provide our kids with the best summer ever. It's going to be so much joy, so much happiness, so much friendship and learning happening at camp," he told The Associated Press.
He cautions that families with children attending day camp must follow the rules in order to keep everyone safe: "To get there, we actually have to agree to follow these basic rules and listen to those camp directors who are doing their best to take care of your children; make sure they're safe and healthy and happy."
Last year, about 19.5 million kids missed out on camp. Rosenberg said he's hopeful that many more kids will be able to attend camp, but he declined to hazard a guess as to how many may be there.
Most of the overnight camps that did remain open last summer mostly operated successfully.
But there were a few notable outbreaks. More than 250 people were infected at a camp in Georgia, and more than 80 people were infected at a camp in Missouri, for instance.
Child and teen health , Business , Personnel , Workplace safety , Lung disease , Coronavirus , Diseases and conditions , Infectious diseases , Coronavirus , COVID-19 pandemic , Health , Public health , Immunizations
New Mexico , Missouri , Mexico , North America , United States