Covid’s Silver Lining for Camps

Covid’s Silver Lining for Camps

Over the past two years, COVID-19 has disrupted the way many businesses run—including summer camps. Camp directors have had to rethink and change the way they were doing things to ensure that campers and staff stayed safe while also maintaining the feeling of camp. 

While no camp director wanted COVID to change anything, some discovered that the changes they made improved how they were doing things and will keep some of these changes in place long after COVID fades away.

​​Breezemont Day Camp in Armonk, NY had always used their indoor dining hall for campers to eat lunch. But when COVID hit in 2020, they moved lunch outside for safer eating and social distancing.

“For the past two summers, campers have eaten outside under tents and it’s just so much nicer to be outside with a breeze,” says Gordon Josey, Owner and Director of Breezemont. 

Besides eating, Josey also feels they may never use their indoor spaces the same again. “We have moved so much outside because of COVID that we will likely only use our indoor spaces for campers’ cubbies and changing. Each camp group has their own outdoor area with a tent for shade, seating and ice water. Everyone just enjoys being outdoors.”

When Breezemont didn’t run busing in 2020, the camp created a QR code system where each child had their own code. When parents drove to camp for pick up, the QR code on the car was scanned and a text went to the group leader to bring the camper to their parents’ car. 

“It’s something we had talked about for a few years but up until COVID,I didn’t feel a need for it. Now, we find it so useful. We can scan a camper’s QR code on their backpack and it brings up their swim level, any allergies a child has or who is or isn’t eligible to pick the camper up from camp.”

Like most overnight camps, Camp Walt Whitman in New Hampshire opened in 2021 after not operating in 2020 due to COVID. To ensure the safety of its camp community, Camp Walt Whitman didn’t do certain activities they had done in past summers, which allowed everyone at camp to recognize that less can be more. 

“When we weren’t able to bring in entertainment for events or have kids leave camp for trips, we rediscovered how nice it is to have campfires and do skits. Without our older campers going out on trips at various times, all our campers were together at camp and the bonding was incredible. 

We did so many more in house special events that were silly and just fun,” says Jed Dorfman, Director of Camp Walt Whitman. “These moments were so positive. We all were reminded that for community building, it’s the simple things that make camp so special—not the fireworks or big events.”

Both camps will be holding on to some health and hygiene changes made. Last summer, Camp Walt Whitman set up tent triages for campers and staff outside before just sending them inside to the health center, initially set up as a COVID mitigation protocol.

“This didn’t occur to us before COVID but it makes much more sense to keep someone outside who may have a small cut then to bring them inside where they can be exposed to someone who may have a 103 fever,” explains Dorfman. “This is one thing from COVID we are happy to keep and it will help maintain a healthier camp community.” 

Breezemont Day Camp added additional hand washing and hand sanitizer stations throughout camp during COVID. “Everyone at camp is just healthier now because they are washing their hands and sanitizing constantly,” says Josey. “We will also continue to encourage parents to keep their sick children home. For the last two summers, we’ve had less colds and stuffy noses because parents kept their children home when they weren’t feeling well.”

Because of COVID, camps needed to re-envision activities, health protocols and the overall way everyday things were done. Although they weren’t looking to make changes, these camps discovered some silver linings that might not have otherwise been considered.

Do you need more information about summer camps? Check out Top Ways to Find A Camp

Relevant Directory Listings

See More

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

<div>Surrounded by 140 acres of natural beauty, Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts is the perfect place for your child to joyfully express their creativity. We offer 1, 4, and 8-week day camp programs for students K through 12. Classes are taught by exceptional educators and professional artists in music, art, theater, creative writing, chess, and more. Bus transportation is available from Long Island and NYC to our woodland campus in Wheatley Heights.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Scholarships</strong></div> <div><br />We believe that every student who wants to attend Usdan should be able to. Usdan has offered need-based scholarships since our opening in 1968 and on average 45% of our campers received some kind of scholarship. We welcome you to apply.</div> <p> </p>

The Harvey School Day Camp

<p>At the Harvey School  Day Camp, children in grades 1-9 will participate in the arts, sports, science, music, and theater as well as games and camp-wide events. In addition, campers in grades 5-8 can also choose to take a more in-depth approach by attending our Art Camp, Dance Camp, or Sports Camp.</p> <p> </p> <p>Dates: June 27 through August 5, 2022, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We are closed July 4.</p> <p> </p> <p>We also offer specialty camps in Circus Arts, Robotics, and Basketball. See our website for program information and dates.</p>

Rella’s Spielhaus Summer Camp

<h1>2024 Rella’s Summer Camp</h1> <p>Guten Tag! Rella's Spielhaus Summer Camp is New York's premier German Summer Day Camp, excited to be back for the 10th summer in a row!</p> <p>Located on 50 West 97th Street, half a block away from Central Park, we offer 9 weeks of summer camp between June 24 th and August 30 th . Kids 1-12yrs are invited to enroll week-by-week. Sibling/twin discount.</p> <h3>Daily schedule:</h3> <p>Mon – Fri: 9am – 3pm <br /><br />Early Drop-off Mon - Thu: 8:30am <br /><br />Aftercare Mon - Thu: 3-5pm </p> <p>Any level of German welcome, no potty training required. The younger kids can nap.</p> <p>Be it the kids’ favorite "Fussball" , an introduction to the mighty music of "Mozart" or a magical week of wizardry during “Abrakadabra”, the children will be immersed in singing, dancing, arts & crafts, and reading and writing - all tailored to their age group and level of German. In the second part of the morning, we will head out to nearby Central Park and enjoy the sprinkly summer activities.</p> <h3>Testimonial of a 2023 Rella’s Spielhaus Summer Camp Parent:</h3> <p>Rella’s is awesome! We started off with Saturdays and now our 3+ year old daughter is going to the summer camp every day and loves it. The entire team lead by Barbara genuinely cares and if you would see the level of thought and attention to detail, they put in each week is incredible. The kids spend so much time outside, are active and come back home happy and excited… couldn’t ask for more.</p> <p>M-A. B.</p> <p><strong>It is our goal to instill a life-long joy in the German language and culture and create a summer experience for your child she will remember for a long time.</strong></p> <p><strong>Call us today, wir freuen uns!</strong></p>