The coronavirus pandemic has taken so much from our kids already, but there’s one thing the virus can’t have — and that’s our summer camps.
Summer camps are a rite-of-passage for our kids, and camp leaders all across Macomb County are working hard to make sure kids can have the fun and safe summer camp experience that they deserve.
Still not sure that you’re ready to send your kids off this summer? Take a closer look at the protocols camps are following to keep your kids healthy during their camping experience.
Camp safety recommendations
Like most camps, Macomb County’s camps are following recommendations set by the American Camping Association, or ACA.
The ACA is the governing body that oversees summer camps across the nation and has been doing so for over 100 years. The ACA recognized that all camps would be affected by COVID-19 in some way, so it set about creating a resource center that outlines health-related plans and safety procedures for camps to follow.
Under the ACA’s guidelines, camps should offer pre-screenings for both campers and staff for 14 days prior to arrival at the camp.
If a child or staff member is flagged during the prescreening process, camps are to follow the communicable disease plan and make a decision based on that plan to decide whether to allow the child or staff member admittance.
Once campers have arrived at camp, the camp’s staff should must implement the following:
- Encourage proper hand-washing/sanitizing techniques
- Teach campers to cough or sneeze into their sleeves
- Teach campers to keep their hands away from their faces
- Ban the shared use of personal items such as hairbrushes, pillows or makeup
- Ban the shared use of drinking cups or bottles
- Enforce social distancing rules, especially in high-traffic areas such as dining halls
- Sleep campers head-to-toe rather than nose-to-nose
- Maintain at least 30 inches between beds
- Isolate campers who have questionable symptoms until communicable disease can be ruled out
- Maintain safe food handling practices
Camps may also limit shared equipment and outside field trips, decrease group sizes and add a face mask requirement, too.
In-person Macomb County camps
As camps in Macomb County are gearing up to welcome kids this summer, these recommendations and the safety of their campers are at the forefront of everything they do. Here’s a closer look at the specific safety measures some local camps are taking.
- Location: Macomb Family YMCA, 10 N. River Road, Mount Clemens
- Dates: Vary by camp
The Macomb Family YMCA is offering all kinds of camp options this year, including the Y Olympics, which features relay races and Olympics-style games, Awesome Arts camp, Best of Camp (which offers favorite camp activities), nature camp and animals camp.
The Macomb Family YMCA is following ACA and CDC recommendations during their day camps. Health waivers will be required upon drop-off, and health screenings will be done daily. Any campers exhibiting symptoms will be monitored and immediately separated from other campers.
The camp has also modified drop-off and pick-up procedures to include designated times for pick-up and drop-off. Groups are limited to a 9-to-1 ratio, curtailing the number of campers to nine per every staff member. Children are expected to remain in their designated group as often as possible.
Shared equipment will be set up for each child to use and will be disinfected after each use. In addition, field trips are suspended, social distancing and proper hand-washing will be enforced, the sharing of items is limited and face masks are encouraged.
- Location: Macomb Corners Park, 19449 25 Mile Road, Macomb
- Dates: July 27-31, 2020
Kids ages 3-14 of all abilities are invited to learn the best soccer practices from around the world. Activities include individual footwork, passing and moving, skill challenges, small-sided games, speed, power and more.
Early summer camps are being offered as virtual options. Physical camps are planned in July and August. Leaders from Challenger Sports are keeping in contact with camp ambassadors to enforce safety procedures based on a specific area’s COVID-19 risks and CDC recommendations.
- Location: Varies by the session
- Dates: Sept. 27-31 and Aug. 3-7, 10-14, 17-21 and 24-28, 2020
Kids get individual attention as they fine-tune their golfing skills. Before- and after-camp care is available for an additional charge. Aimed at kids in grades 1-9. Groups are paired by age and skill level.
This camp is ensuring a low camper-to-instructor ratio to ensure proper social distancing. They’re also stepping up equipment sanitation in between use.
At-home camping options
If you still aren’t comfortable sending your child to an in-person camp this summer, try one of these online or at-home options.
- Location: Online via Zoom
- Dates: July 27-31 and Aug. 17-21, 2020
This free at-home camp option is for Girl Scouts from Brownies to Juniors and aims to connect scouts to the great outdoors and teach them to care for their bodies. They offer an option for intellectual wellness, Aug. 10-14, 2020, too.
- Location: Your home
- Dates: Aug. 3-7, 2020
This nationally acclaimed summer option brings science, technology, engineering and math concepts to life through kids’ natural curiosity. The program is aimed at kids in grades K-6 and spans five days.
- Location: Anywhere
- Dates: Aug. 3-6 and 17-20, 2020
In an effort to keep your Girl Scout engaged, its outdoor education team created kits to help scouts experience summer camp from their own backyard and earn several patches along the way.
- Location: Online via Zoom
- Dates: July 27-30, 2020
Find camping options for ages 5-10, 11-14 or 15-18 that focus on science and space exploration. Kids can expect activities including a virtual space scavenger hunt, video game design and more. Handouts with these activities will be provided mid-week to extend learning.
For a complete list of summer camps in Macomb County, including pricing details and how to register, visit Make Macomb Your Home online.