Safe Summer Camp During a Pandemic
Brianne Feinour shares how Camp NAC successfully provided a safe summer camp for youth in their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s bring a sense of warmth and comfort in knowing that despite the long road in the calendar ahead, a summer home awaits us all. We all aspire to gain parts of our “normal” life back. And a safe, social atmosphere will be essential in helping some children find their footing again. Summer camp will matter now more than ever, because it provides children with structured, extracurricular activities where they are engaged with friends and have emotional support.
This past summer, Camp NAC, affiliated with the Newtown Athletic Club, followed safety standards from the CDC, WHO, American Camp Association, and local government to provide a COVID-19 free camp to approximately 600 children from June to August.
While social distancing was a new part of our lives, staying active and connected remained important. Our enhanced standards this summer included, but was not limited to, heightened levels of cleaning and sanitizing, limited capacity of group sizes, camper and employee protection, new activities and structure to increase social distancing, on site camp nurse and a three-day extensive staff training.
Being one of the few camps in the country to open, we were able to utilize the entire Newtown Athletic Club, and by following these guidelines and making program modifications, Camp NAC was able to provide a safe, fun and active summer. The safety of each child has always been our top priority and will continue to be.
Camp NAC has always been a strong supporter of the community, but this year more than ever, we reached out to other counselors and campers who needed a new camp home this past summer. Camp NAC has quickly become a “home away from home” for many. Through our efforts, our hope is to continue to join forces with counselors from other camps and to help them continue to pursue their passion in making summer better for children, as well as create a safe and positive summer camp experience for children.
We strive for campers to be able to express themselves in their own unique way, and encourage them to #BeYourUnique. In times of uncertainty, a positive summer camp experience could be what a child needs to rebuild confidence and connect with their peers, and at Camp NAC we welcome everyone with open arms.
This upcoming summer, camps will provide a service to the campers and to society at large. Camp is always important, but this summer we think it’s more essential than ever. If you drive by the NAC Sports Training Center at the Newtown Athletic Club you will see rainbows on the windows. These rainbows represent the hope we want to restore back in each child’s life this summer and remind everyone that inside each child is a rainbow waiting to shine.