Are Summer Camps in 2020 in Jeopardy from Pandemic?

Delays associated with COVID-19 has many parents wondering if summer camps are in jeopardy. Here, we offer some expert information on the future of summer camps in 2020.

Little girl at summer camp

Will the coronavirus kill a summertime rite of passage, summer camp, for kids who have already seen their spring plans destroyed? 

That’s the question camp professionals all over the worldare tackling. In some cases, camps held on college campuses may have to find other locations since some campuses have canceled all events through the summer.

“Camps are working hard to figure out what does this summer looks like. There’s a lot of  uncertainty right now for all of us,” says Colette Marquardt, executive director of American Camp Association, Illinois, based in Chicago.

She says she’s collaborating with camp professionals world-wide through webinars the association is hosting multiple times each week.

“There will be something. It may look different. It may feel a bit different but at the core, that community and that focus on the development of a child will still be the mission,” she says.

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Ensuring safety of the campers is at the heart of the discussions, she says.

One possibility for this summer is that camps could go virtual, much like schools have done.

“What do virtual camp experiences look like? So many camps are researching how to stay connected and serve their community in other innovative, different ways,” Marquardt says.

Her advice to parents: Now is the perfect time to continue researching summer camps at, which contains more than 3,700 day and overnight camps. Use this time to plan the summer experience you want for your child, she suggests.

Concerned about putting down a deposit in case the summer camp doesn’t happen? She recommends reaching out to the camp director directly about their thoughts and refund policies. She says camp directors are welcoming conversations with families.