Social distancing still in practice at the camp
By Daniel Baldwin
Live summer camps are happening again at YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley, which serves the Rome, New Hartford and Oneida areas.
This year’s summer camps will run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. between June 28 and Sept. 3.
“This year’s camp will be a little different than last year’s,” said Elizabeth Blair, childcare director and summer camp supervisor at the Y. “Just a few added things, but nothing that will change the safety measures. Children still enjoy coming here. Staff still enjoys working here. COVID hasn’t changed the enjoyment of what camp is.”
Blair said there was a lot more work involved in the preparation for this year’s camps. With COVID-19 still lingering in the air, the camp’s staff had to do an extra job cleaning and sanitizing all the toys, supplies and rooms.
According to Blair, this year’s summer camp attendees still have to wear masks, except when they are outside. The kids will have to socially distance themselves from other campers and constantly wash their hands. Instead of being in one big group, the children are split into assigned groups in an effort to reinforce social distancing. The kids will have to stay in that specific group throughout the entire day.
Blair said that she and the YMCA staff are used to the extensive amount of labor, planning and cleaning because the organization ran summer camps live and in-person in 2020, while the pandemic was happening.
“We had no cases here of COVID,” Blair said. “We were following the regulations. The families were communicating with us. We had no risk here.”
The group of kids that attended last year’s summer camps was between 20-30, according to Blair.