Utica, N.Y. - Summer camp is filled with activities and is definitely something that many kids look forward to as the summer approaches, but kids and their parents are still in limbo as to what their summer this year will look like.
The coronavirus pandemic has left just about every aspect of society waiting to see what will happen when things start to reopen, but some of the most wide-eyed people anxiously awaiting, are kids.
Susie Lupert, Executive Director of the American Camp Association for New York and New Jersey, tells News Channel 2 that parents may be just as anxious, "Parents, like children. I think we're going to need camp more than ever."
Lupert says her office has had direct contact with Governor Cuomo and his team, "We're working hard to try to determine with him and the people in charge of the DOH, if this is something that can happen. We are still certainly hopeful. We are in the process of writing very detailed guidelines. We've been working with the CDC and with independent firms and with the American Association of Pediatrics to try to determine how do we do this. How do we get children together in a safe way where they're not standing 6 feet apart or they're not wearing masks. Can we keep them in small groups and find a way to do this. Can we test them, can we screen them, what can we do because it is time for children to get back outside. It's time for them to start socializing and we're really, really trying to find a way to make that happen."
Lupert says the hope is to know if camps can open as soon as possible, so everyone can make plans, "I think they really are looking hard at it. For a lot of local towns, this is a big part of their economy, big part of property taxes, it's a big part of their summer. And so I do believe the state is looking at it very closely. What we've been getting from the top level is that they get it, they understand, and they want to make it happen. We just have to figure out a way to do it safely, and that we're not spreading the virus."
Lupert says the decision has to be made soon, "I think we're getting down to the wire. I think in the next couple of weeks the state is going to have to make a decision, either the camps can run or they can't. And if they can, what are the parameters and how are we going to make sure that we can gather children and really do this in a safe way."