It’s that time of year, actually past the time, that we start signing our kids up for summer camp. Now that school has been cancelled for the remainder of the year and we creep towards summer, the big question is, will the coronavirus now destroy a summertime rite of passage, summer camp?
At post date, Governor Reynolds has not specifically addressed the issue of whether camps will be given the go-ahead to open during the long summer months. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and we’re all trying to figure out what the summer of 2020 might look like.
Here at dsm4kids, we pull together tons of summer camp options for Des Moines area families each year. And, we encourage you to continue to support those organizations. However, it wouldn’t be prudent of us, if we didn’t mention to you, to exercise some caution when registering for camps this year.
According to the American Camp Association, families across the country may see changes this year, including the number of campers that can register for camps, limited or no field trips for day camps or postponing camp start dates. Another possibility for this summer is that camps could go virtual, much like schools have done.
So, what should parents do?
Research: Now is the perfect time to continue researching summer camps. Use this time to plan the summer experience you want for your child. And, if summer camps are your childcare, you might need to start researching for an alternative.
Review the Registration Policy: Before registering and paying any kind of summer camp fee, it’s a good idea to contact the camp to ask about their registration and refund policies. Some camps will reimburse the full registration amount, while other camps require a non-refundable deposit and some camps are non-refundable. So be sure you know the policy.
Ask About Camp Safety: If the camp does take place, safety will be a big concern. Again, parents are urged to contact the camp and ask questions about and review any of the camp’s health-related plans. At a minimum, are they monitored by Iowa Department of Public Health and do they follow guidelines set by the CDC for any matter related to the safety of children at camp? How are medical issues and emergencies handled?
Any reputable camp should be expecting these types of calls from parents and be prepared to answer them, so we all feel comfortable before sending kids off to camp this summer.
What are some questions you want the answers to before enrolling your kids in summer camp this summer?