2021 camps opened with great success!!
Never in my 20 years of advising families on summer programming have I felt the absolute necessity for children to be at camp or teen programs. An entire year of pandemic protocol, opened and closed schools, shutting of after school programs, and family units under one roof day in and day out required a social separation of families to maintain mental health.
And although it was done in camps and colleges all over the country, it wasn't easy.
Staff was hard to get!
Camps, for years, have recruited overseas, for the 20-somethings skilled in certain areas, especially outdoor adventure, looking to come to the USA for a few months. Due to Covid-19, they could not travel abroad leaving gaping holes in qualified instructors at camp. In addition, staff was not permitted to leave campus during the summer, in order to secure the "camp bubble" and that was not necessarily appealing to new camp counselors who would want some freedom from camp to enjoy their summer.
Children were behind socially!
Across the board, camp directors had many more issues with children who struggled with social skills to live with other people. There was a bit more bullying, a bit more homesickness and a bit more behavior that had lost its filter in a civilized society.
Activities were not as robust!
At many camps, they had to cut back a bit on activities offered to the campers because they just didn't have enough specialists to run the previous list of programs successfully. The ones that were run were often run at top marks! But there was definitely a feeling of something lost this year.
Parents felt a lack of communication!
Again, across the board, parents felt the challenge of separation as well. Often, that first letter comes home with a child unhappy about something. But by the time a parent calls, the problem is typically resolved and the leadership are able to communicate this easily. But due to a trickle effect of shortness of staff, the owners and directors were often challenged to provide the best level of communication with parents because they were out in the fields with the kids on an ongoing basis. And of course, without visiting day, so many felt that the full summer was just way too long.
BUT DESPITE ALL THE CHALLENGES, OUR CHILDREN WERE FREE TO PLAY, FREE TO HUG, FREE TO LAUGH OUT LOUD, AND FREE TO RECONNECT WITH SEEING A HUMAN IN REAL LIFE RATHER THAN THROUGH A SCREEN!!!
And after three weeks of Covid-free life at camp, mask bonfires were all over social media. The three week Covid-free mark at so many camps was the requirement to open up to a wonderful life of freedom and normalcy.
We all pray for the pandemic to end, for all to be healthy and for our children to return to the normal ways we can barely remember of 2018. But alas, we have summers! And the right summer camp or teen program for your child has never been more important than now.
For summer 2022, the numbers may still need to be limited in order to provide proper distancing to avoid transmission. Early registration will be critical
to secure a spot at the camp that fits your needs. The best opportunities are available in the northeast and midwest, which will tend to keep the cabins cooler at night providing proper ventilation in the evening. And believe it or not, some camps are already full on this day of August 31, 2021.
For more information, contact Karen Meister
or complete our on line form
and we will give you a call.
Always expert and always at no charge nor obligation.