A Guide for First-Time Campers: Acclimating in Pandemic Times

For many young children, day camp is an opportunity to meet with friends and other important adult figures in the early years of their lives. At day camp, they continue to learn new skills and appreciate their time spent outdoors. But for the past year, the day camp experience has been difficult to navigate. The good news is that opportunities await for Summer 2021.

As the warmer months come closer, it’s important to provide children with the space to explore the people and things around them in sensory ways, and with the proper safety guidelines and procedures in place, administrators can facilitate day camp activities for campers safely and responsibly.

The Importance of Establishing and Following Proper Protocol

For young campers, it’s imperative that parents and guardians stress the importance of establishing and following proper coronavirus safety rules for day camp in Summer 2021. Key components of your child’s day camp safety plan will include the following in addition to the camp’s individual safety requirements:

  • Social distancing
  • Mask wearing
  • Frequent sanitation and disinfection of camp facilities and grounds
  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Activities broken up into smaller groups

Depending on your family’s chosen day camp, administrators will have age-appropriate processes in place to enforce coronavirus safety guidelines. For younger children who will need frequent reminders to wash their hands or keep their masks over their noses, it would be helpful for parents to begin enforcing such rules at home prior to the first day of day camp.

Staying Safe at Day Camp During Summer 2021

In addition to following federal coronavirus safety guidelines, young campers and their parents can take extra measures to maintain a safer environment while attending day camp.

Choosing the Right Day Camp

When choosing a day camp for your child, select a program with ample outdoor activity with fresh air which may lower the risk of spreading the virus.

Being Proactive About Testing and Camp Communication

Depending on the age of your child, it may be a good idea to have him or her tested for COVID-19 prior to the first day of camp, even if no detectable symptoms are present. Throughout the summer, parents and camp administrators should keep in close contact regarding health and safety issues. Practice over-communication!

Take Illness Seriously

If your child or another child at day camp gets sick, everyone should take the illness seriously. Whether the cause of sickness is related to COVID-19 or not, ill children should stay home until they feel better to prevent the spread of illness to more vulnerable campers.

Planning for your child’s first time of day camp can be overwhelming, especially for young parents. As you navigate the day camp process, communicate with your pediatrician to ensure the health and well-being of your child. He or she can help you address any medical or emotional concerns to help make the acclimation to camp easier during pandemic times.