As the school year winds down, there’s one thing a lot of Connecticut kids are looking forward to: summer camp.
As these camps prepare to open, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated guidelines, relaxing mask requirements for fully vaccinated campers and staff.
Among the key points, the CDC said fully vaccinated people do not need masks or physical distancing. However, they strongly encourage all unvaccinated people to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor settings.
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Meriden’s Cuno Camp said it will adopt those recommendations for staff.
“Our camp counselors who are not vaccinated will be fully masked the entire time,” said camp Executive Director Larue Graham.
With these measures in place, Cuno Camp has already registered over 300 campers for the season.
“I think people are more comfortable and looking forward to having the opportunity to be involved with camps again,” said Graham.
Around the state, youth camps are in the midst of processing these safety recommendations while preparing for what could be a busy season.
“I think the consensus is that this is a blockbuster year,” said YMCA Camp Ingersoll Director Ben Silliman.
Silliman said registrations at the beginning of the season are generally slow. This year, the first two June sessions are almost filled.
Noting increased enrollment, Silliman said he's planning. He’s processing safety recommendations from the state, Office of Early Childhood, the local health district, and the CDC.
“It’s taking all that information and figuring out what’s best for our families, our camp, the YMCA, the campers themselves,” said Silliman.
Among those registering is Jay Vodola. He said he’s confident sending his son Jackson to Camp Ingersoll.
“We’re okay with it. I mean, he’s been playing sports, going to school,” said Vodola.
The Vodola family, from Portland, said their 9-year old son, who is still too young to be vaccinated, will wear a mask if he’s asked to.
“He’s fine with wearing them. He’s mature for his age. He understands that it’s important and he’s willing to wear if he needs to,” said Vodola.
While the CDC is relaxing its mask recommendations for fully vaccinated campers and staff, it is still urging camps to use cohorts.