CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Summer Camp is a time for children to go out and have fun, learn new things, and make new friends. With COVID-19 still drastically rising, these programs are taking extensive caution when reopening.
The YMCA in Charlotte hosts a summer camp for children. While many parents are working or staying at home, the YMCA becomes an important place for children to play, exercise, and be outdoors.
The Charlotte YMCA has spent several months making plans to give children a place to enjoy their summer while implementing effective safety strategies.
“Kids, of course, are super excited about seeing other kids and getting time to engage and get back to some sense of normal,” says Ashley Morgan, one of the YMCA camp directors.
Throughout this time, they have been actively planning regiments for their staff, the children, and parents. The goal is to provide a safe area for kids – this includes implementing social distancing but still allowing kids to be kids.
“A lot of the difference focused on our group sizes, what our ratios look like and how we’re able to keep the kids socially distancing as well as the cleaning was doing,”
“if you’re doing arts and crafts you have your own cup of markers,” Morgan said. “Trying to keep separate and keep kids safe in that manner as well.”
Everything is a creative process. Some examples include having children decorate their own cups for markets and writing, to giving them their own cubby and having hem personalize it.
COVID-19 has locked many children indoors and without the social interaction that they would have during school. There has been a level of concern over a child’s social well-being.
“We are really focusing on social-emotional stuff as well. More so this year, really prioritizing that knowing kids have been socially disengaged for a couple of months so staff went through some training on that making sure they were prepared to help the kids.”
Overall the camp is happy to have things up and moving. They are more excited to have children out and playing.