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.
As you may know, Governor Gavin Newsom recently gave the official green light for day camps to open in California this summer amid the coronvirus pandemic, subject to various restrictions and modifications.
Upon Newsom's announcement, the hones was then left to individual counties to decide whether to allow summer day camps to open within them, and to impose additional reopening guidelines as they saw fit.
Several Los Angeles area summer day camps have decided to reopen even while coronavirus cases spike in L.A., while others have decided to remain closed. Most of the camps agree the new modifications are difficult to contend with and summer camp 2020 will be like no other.
Status of Various Los Angeles Summer Day Camps Open and Closed Amid COVID-19
In early June we provided a brief list of camps that would be closed in Los Angeles this summer. Some camps have pivoted to reopening, while others may not have made the cut on the initial list. So we wanted to give you the latest information as we know and understand it, regarding the following 12 prominent camps in the Los Angeles area and their current operating plans for summer camp 2020.
EDIT: The following list was originally posted June 27, 2020. It was modified again July 1, and is believed to be accurate as of this date. Given the recent surge in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles, however, we advise double checking with the individual camps or programs for the most updated information regarding each camp's respective status for this summer.
If you are aware of any summer camp opening and/or closings we haven't listed here, please leave a comment so we can add it to this list. Thanks!
Some parents and families are concerned whether camps will be operating this summer due to the coronavirus public health outbreak. An equally big concern is whether families will even have enough money to send their kids to camp. Allow us for a moment to ease your mind.
For one thing, local camps and programs have every intention of operating this summer while providing a safe, healthy and fun camp experience for your kids this year. For many programs, the first day of camp is still three months away. We're optimistic the coronavirus issue will be behind us by then, and your kids will be able to by outside in a fun, social environment at camp with their friends.
Next, we realize the financial impact of the coronavirus situation has not been easy. That's why many Los Angeles area camps have come together to offer various coupons, discounts and promotions to help you save money at camp this summer. Please take a moment to see the various discounts available. Summer 2020 is a great time to get a discount at camp!
No doubt about it, there's lots of fearful people out there. And because most camps take place in a close community, parents have questions about whether camps will be operating this summer.
We've spoken to many camp directors here in L.A. the past few days to gauge their plans for this summer. Every one of them says it will be "business as usual" this summer with every intention to operate.
That's good news for parents, who often view sending their kids to summer camp as a rite of passage or at least a traditional experience each summer they don't want their kids to miss.
Moreover, many families depend on day camps as a child care mechanism so their kids have someplace to go during the day while their parents work.
The hope is this: By the time the weather warms up and cold and flu season passes, the cornoavirus health threat will be gone (if not greatly reduced) and there will be no impact to camps regarding this subject whatsover.
At the same time, it's always best to plan ahead. If you've already signed up for camp, or just considering a program or two, make sure you have a clear understanding of each camp's refund policy and keep checking their websites or calling them for updates regarding their latest plans.
Regarding the type of program you're considering, there may be benefits to attending a day camp this summer (versus a sleepaway camp) since day camps generally take place in large open-space outdoor environments, not in a closed contained cabin settings like sleepaway camps do. On the other hand, most sleepaway camps we know of have sophisticated health and wellness programs in place and are ready to share an amazing camp experience with your kids.
Whatever kind of camp you choose this summer, make sure you ask the camp director about their staff safety certifications, pre-camp and arrival day screening procedures, and on-site medical staff including nurses, Health Supervisors and more. You must be completely satisfied with the camp's emergency response and communicable disease plans and strategies, otherwise you should find another camp.
Blog posts by Cora Carter of L.A. Summer Camps.com