Summer camp might look a little different this year, but it’s not dampening the spirits of kids and counselors.
While camp is all about being social, attendees are not letting the virus distance them from having fun. The parks and recreation departments in North Riverside, Riverside and Brookfield have summer camp in session, but children and counselors are required to wear masks and adhere to the CDC’s guidelines.
“Both staff and campers seem to be adapting well,” said Stevie Ferrari, director of parks and recreation in Brookfield.
In Brookfield, Kiwanis Camp and Teen Rec Camp are being held but without field trips, visits to the pool or onsite entertainers.
Despite the challenges, recreation department staff are doing everything they can to meet local children’s needs.
“The biggest issue is not being able to serve all of the families we can,” Ferrari said. “We are limited by space, capacities, activity limitations and disinfecting schedules.”
Ferrari said she’s glad that camp is able to be held this summer. Although it’s been anything but normal, this is a sign that normalcy is slowly but certainly returning.
“Our campers’ smiles and giggles keep us motivated to provide more,” Ferrari said.
In North Riverside, four different camps are being held this summer. Usually, summer camp consists of 70 to 80 children. This summer, however, only 40 are at camp to allow for adherence to safety protocols.
“Seventy percent of time at camp is spent outside,” said Teresa Mrozik, director of parks and recreation in North Riverside.
Mrozik said even with the changes this summer, camp is running seamlessly and participants are adapting well.
“I can’t lie, everyone is so happy,” Mrozik said. “Kids have been sedentary this summer due to everything being closed, so now that they have the chance to go to camp, they’re just really happy.”
To make sure everyone is safe, North Riverside has ensured that everyone wears a mask when social distancing isn’t possible, and they’re reducing movement throughout the day inside their facilities.
“This year, the children are assigned to one room for that specific day,” Mrozik said. “We also added drive-thru pickup and drop-off for parents.”
She said children are still able to expend some energy even during the middle of a pandemic.
“Some parents say their kids are in bed right after dinner because they’re so tired from being at camp all day,” Mrozik said.
Summer camp is being held in Riverside as well.
New safety precautions were set in place, allowing the village to not cancel any camps.
“More protocols and procedures are in place, but overall, it’s for the better,” said Ron Malchiodi, director of parks and recreation.
He said that the counselors played a big part in making Camp ReVamp a success this summer.
“I credit our counselors for their creativity this summer,” Malchiodi said. “I believe these procedures made our camp safer overall.”