One camp director in Los Angeles, who preferred to remain anonymous because his camp is almost full and he wants to make sure everyone gets a fair chance at grabbing the few remaining enrollment slots, told us last week, "Families are signing up fast and furious. We haven't seen a consistent registration activity day-after-day like this in years."
Post-Pandemic, Camp Enrollment is Insanely Competitive
While it's relatively unusual for many camps to fill up this early (it's still only February, after all), three side effects" of the the coronavirus have created a race among families to sign up for camp sooner rather than later for summer 2021.
Camp registration is as competitive as its ever been because:
1. There are fewer camps than before. Unfortunately, many popular camps have not recovered from the aftereffects of the pandemic. The wreckage was just too great, sadly causing many programs to close their doors for good. But even though there are fewer camps, just as many kids as before, if not more, still want to attend camp this summer.
2. Demand for camp is at an all-time high. Since kids have been cooped up inside for so long they are ITCHING to get outside and enjoy a camp experience where they can run, play and have fun with their friends.
3. Camps are required to reduce capacity by 25% to 50% of normal enrollment summer. Fewer campers means less likelihood of spreading COVID-19 at camp, so camps are admitting only has as many kids.
Is it too Late to Sign Up for Camp?
Remember, the early bird gets the worm. Don't let your child miss out on a wonderful camp experience this year because you waited too long to sign up. Now is the time to find the best Los Angeles summer camp for your child and lock in your space today.
Many summer camps in Los Angeles are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Others are still operating. California Governor Gavin Newsom gave permission for day camps to open with modifications, but left the ultimate decision to each individual county as to whether day camps could open.
Many of the camps that remained closed based their decisions on various factors. Some felt they could not safely or feasibly comply with the various modifications required for them to operate. Others have decided to remain closed given L.A. County's soaring coronavirus case numbers. Those camps that have decided to operate have done so based on their commitment to complying with new modifications.
As a parent, it's ultimately up to you to decide whether to send your child to camp this summer. Some families feel completely fine sending their kids to camp amid the coronavirus outbreak. Others feel it's not worth the risk. For instance, COVID-19 cases are increasing among camp counselor age kids, so families might be hesitant about having their kids hang out with their 19-year old counselor who may be potentially be infected with the coronavirus disease.
Again, it's a personal choice. But whatever you decide, it's important for you to remember that camp itself is the direct opposite of social distancing. Summer camp is based on kids and their counselors interacting in a close community. It's important for you to take this into account before deciding to send your kids to camp this summer. It's also important for you to make sure, if you do decide to send your kids to camp, the camp you're choosing is fully complying with the new guidelines. Such guidelines include, but are not limited to, campers and staff wearing masks at camp, social distancing guidelines and more.
Before sending your kids to camp, the American Camp Association advises parents to ask the Camp Director a series of questions regarding it's COVID-19 policy health and safety procedures. Here's how the YMCA camps in Northridge are doing it, just as a reference point. If you decided to send your kids to camp this summer, just make sure the camp is taking all the right precautions, and that you feel completely comfortable and confident with your decision.
Blog posts by Cora Carter of L.A. Summer Camps.com