How local summer camps are changing operations to keep kids safe

SPOKANE, Wash. – As we head into summer, many of us are eager to get outside, including kids.

While some summer camps have chosen to stay closed for the 2020 season, there are a few that will be opening up with restrictions.

“I’m going to get teary here,” said Connie Reynolds, Childcare Programs Executive with the YMCA of the Inland Northwest.

It’s been a tough couple of months for those working in the childcare industry.

“It’s been a tough experience because this was so unexpected,” said Reynolds.

With so much still unknown about the coronavirus, many summer camps across the Inland Northwest have decided to cancel their 2020 season.

However, the YMCA of the Inland Northwest decided to take a leap of faith. They’ll be opening their summer day camp and childcare program at the start of phase 3, but things will look a little different.

“We are keeping everyone in groups of 10, including staff and we’re having them in separate rooms so there’s a lot of distance between them,” Reynolds said.

They’ve also decided not to do any off site field trips until phase 4.

They’re not alone. Campfire Inland Northwest will also be holding their summer camps this season in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, while also enforcing safety guidelines.

While it hasn’t been an easy decision, they believe opening up slowly will be a step in the right direction.

“We believe that social, emotional learning that happens from camp is crucial right now, especially because kids have been out of school,” said Poppy White with Campfire Inland Northwest.

“It’s been a lot of planning and work but we’re really excited to get back to being with the kids,” Reynolds said.

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