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Summer camps opening under new CDC guidance

(Robert F. Bukaty | AP)
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 10:08 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s almost that time of year when parents drop their kids of at summer camp. But in the era of COVID-19, those camp activities look a little bit different.

The CDC has made some new recommendations that places like the YMCA Storer Camp in Jackson plan on following.

They’re recommending teens who are eligible receive the vaccine before going. They also recommend the kids to stay in small groups rather than mingling with all the campers. However, when they do run into another group, they’re asked to mask up.

Becky Spencer, V.P. Of Camping for YMCA Storer Camps, says a lot of their campers are under the age of twelve and unable to receive the vaccine. Instead, they plan on utilizing tests to keep people safe.

“We’re asking that PCR or antigen tests are being done 1-3 days before summer camp starts,” Spencer said. “For those who cannot get the test, we’re going to have them here at our check-in process.”

One thing this camp has had to do to provide more safety is decrease their capacity to about 700, where normally they’d have about 1,200. Holly Snyder is a nurse, and the mother of a camper.

“They always come back from camp and have the best stories,” Snyder said. “It’s their first foray of independence.”

Snyder has been sending her kids to camp since they were five. She believes even with the situation surrounding the pandemic, it’s important for her kids to go.

“Don’t play in the mud and stick your hands in your mouth,” Snyder said. “But, don’t be afraid of the world. You can’t live like that. I’d rather my kids get those experiences and maybe get exposed to a virus that they were maybe going to get exposed to regardless.”

The message is clear with most summer camps. Whether it’s rain, shine, or even a pandemic, it’s not enough to keep kids away and make memories with their newly found best friends at camp.

Becky Spencer also says they are not mandating their employees to be vaccinated but are encouraging it.

A full list of the CDC’s camp guidelines and recommendations can be viewed HERE.

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