We did it! After much uncertainty, myriad planning sessions, efforts, and a metric ton of cooperation and patience from our camp community, we achieved a healthy, happy, and successful summer of camp. Two thirds of Connecticut’s licensed camps and almost none of the state’s unlicensed municipal summer programs chose to accept the challenge to operate this year. We embraced it and—while not without some anxiety—emerged triumphant! We got great guidance from The American Camp Association’s outside team of health consultants, the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, and the State Health Department. Mashing up their advice with our traditions, capabilities and limitations was not easy, but we trust you will all agree, it was effective!
Thank you to all the families who kept your children home when at all suspicious of their health. Thanks to those who found out they had visited a location that found its way onto Connecticut’s list of quarantine-required states, or who realized they might have been exposed to an infected person and changed their attendance dates to wait to be sure your family—and your camp—was safe. Thank you to all the families that had good reasons not to attend this summer and agreed to roll their registrations over to next year.
We cannot thank our staff enough for their extra efforts. I marveled every morning at the smooth, efficient in-take process from the parking lot to the hand-washing trough and on up to the meeting spaces where the campers gathered with their group staff for morning conversations, counseling, and ragged-start activities until everyone had arrived. Camper-counselor interactions were stronger than ever this summer as a result of the cohorting required to keep groups separated. And if you were picking up your camper on either of those crazy, fierce, dismissal storms—one where we had to keep everyone inside from 4:00-4:45 while parents’ cars filled every possible space in our parking area—you would have to agree that our staff’s performance bordered on heroism!
We operated right up until the last week in October to provide needed childcare and distance learning for several families. Now we are back to school and coping with the “new normal”. We hope you are all coping well remain healthy.
For our part, we are already preparing for next summer. With the experience we had this year, we can promise that we will be here for you next year! We will reach out from time to time with news and ideas. Stay tuned and stay well!
All the best,