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Coronavirus Ruined the School Year — Will It Take Away Summer Camps Too?

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In these challenging times, we’re all becoming pretty accustomed to hearing the news that something we’ve been looking forward to has either been postponed, moved to the virtual world, or canceled entirely. Now that we’re approaching the summer months, however, many people — parents, especially — are really starting to wonder whether summer camps will be in operation this year. Will summer camps be canceled for 2020? Here’s what we know.

Though there hasn't been official word, most likely camps will be canceled for the summer of 2020.

At this time, there hasn’t been any official word about summer camps being either open or closed this year, but it’s not too hard to read between the lines. Obviously, if a state’s government has cautioned against large groups of people gathering together, it’s safe to assume that summer camps are off the table.

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Source: Getty Images

Some camps in Michigan (a state hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic) have decided to postpone camping sessions until July and August — at least until we know more about how things will look in the next few months. 

Latitia McCree, who works for the YMCA of Metro Detroit, says that the Y’s summer camp program is definitely still part of the plan. “We are definitely planning to have summer camp," she told The Detroit News. "We don’t have the dates and times. We are waiting on a directive from the governor's office. We want to provide camp, and we want to provide it safely."

On Thursday, April 30, the Union for Reform Judaism announced that they would be canceling not only its 15 summer camps but also its travel programs and all other in-person youth activities for the summer, a decision affecting nearly 25,000 teens (and their parents).

Summer camp cancellation deals yet another blow to kids who are already missing their friends.

For kids who are already missing their friends from school, getting word that their summer camp plans are also canceled makes things even more difficult. In many cases, schools closed with very little notice or time for students to say a proper goodbye to their teachers and friends (and we all know that a Zoom conversation is nothing like the real thing).

Now, many of those same kids who had to deal with the abrupt goodbyes at the unforeseen end to their in-person education are learning that summer camps — one remaining vestige of normalcy — are gone. Along with their little league teams, dance classes, gymnastics events, and so much else that makes childhood special.

If you’re looking for news about a specific summer camp and its plans for the summer 2020 season, your best bet is to continue checking in with the camp’s social media pages for updates. As we all struggle to maintain some flexibility in these uncertain times, note that many camps’ plans may change abruptly (and be prepared to share yet another change of plans with your kiddos).

The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.

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