Summer Camps Will Be Allowed to Open Under New Guidelines

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Summer camps will look a little different this year. The state's allowing them to start in late June but with several new guidelines in place.

In Southington at YMCA Camp Sloper, preparations are underway for summer camp. Already you can see signs placed around the property reminding everyone to social distance.

"This has been a challenging time for families across Connecticut, and we're hoping for some return to normalcy for children and families knowing that summer camps can open for their children in an environment subject to Coronavirus prevention guidance," said Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye.

The Office of Early Childhood says summer camps can open on June 29 in the state with specific guidance in place. That guidance includes enhanced health screening, limiting group size to no more than 10 children with the camp needing permission to serve more than 30, for employees to wear cloth face masks, to implement hand and respiratory hygiene, develop protocols for intensified cleaning and disinfection, and to implement social distancing strategies.

Hartford County 4-H Camp decided to suspend all activities for the 2020 season, saying that the guidelines are not conducive to their camp environment and programming.

At YMCA Camp Sloper in Southington, they say they'll work on what they need to adjust and do differently in order to open.

"We are going to do whatever we need to do to make sure that kids are safe, number one, and they're healthy out here with us," said Justin Hubeny, YMCA Camp Sloper's Outdoor Center director.

Hubeny says while things may look a little different, they're going to make sure it's still a fun experience for the kids.

"We realize that kids have been in their homes for an extended period of time now. They're going to need camp probably more than they've ever needed it for social interaction and seeing their friends and being around positive role models and being outside and playing and having fun," said Hubeny.

Additional guidance for camps is expected to be released late next week.

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