Thea Digiammerino

Keep Camp Cool: Summer Camps Focus on Safety During Heatwave

While the heat wave has seemed never-ending, it has not slowed down the thousands of campers around the state, many of whom are a few weeks into summer camp.

Winding Trails’ camp director said this is the worst heat wave he has dealt with in his tenure at the Farmington-based camp.

“I think of my ten years...this has been the longest stretch of this hot, this humid, but it’s something obviously being an outdoor camp we have to deal with,” said Keith Garbart.

It is no easy feat keeping the camp’s 600 campers cool, but Garbart said they pull out all the stops.

”We have a giant sprinkler here,” he explained. “We have a giant mister here so we use those as alternative activities where they can run through those. We make consistent hydration announcements.”

The campers range in age from 3 to 13, with the younger kids doing a half-day. The teenage campers said they try to know their limits.

”I usually just bring like a water bottle or two and sometimes take breaks and not go all out at times when it gets too hot,” said camper Abby Yopchick.

Over at Indian Rock Preserve in Bristol some of the campers are as young as 5 years old. On Thursday, counselors were making sure everyone was staying hydrated.

”We have not had any serious incidents whatsoever,” said director Sandra Godin. “I don’t think I’ve even seen a heat-related belly ache so far because we’ve been very, very vigilant.”

They have also extended swim time by a half-hour and made adjustments to outdoor activities.

“Even the groups that need to be outdoors because of the activities that they are doing, we’re making sure that they’re either shaded or under cover in some way,” said Godin.

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