The children roaring in the woods will return this summer – in a good way.
New York’s day and sleep camps will be able to reopen in June, Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week if they had proper Covid-19 testing protocols in place.
It is still unknown what these protocols will look like, although last summer they included smaller group sizes, medical examinations and increased equipment disinfection. In a announcement last week, Cuomo said the state health ministry would have further guidance on the situation for parents.
Day camps were allowed to operate last summer, but night camps were banned.
“Right now, we’re seeing a lot of studies on children’s mental health and the results of isolation they had last year,” said Susie Lupert, executive director of the American Camp Association, NY and NJ. “Camp is really the antidote.”
Some camps in New York have celebrated news on social media:
For our Echo community:
We are pleased to share that Governor Cuomo announced earlier today that summer camps may plan to reopen overnight (as planned). 
– Camp Echo (@thecampecho) February 17, 2021
New York may look to Connecticut, where the camps have the green light to operate as it implements its own Covid-19 security protocols. In the Nutmeg State, only 14 children can visit the camp, and the facility must have improved cleaning protocols in place. Employees must also wear face shields.
An announcement for the 2021 season has not yet been announced in New Jersey. Last year, day camps were allowed to run in New Jersey, while sleeping camps were not. The state also issued a set of guidelines in 2020, which included regular temperature checks, face masks worn by campers and staff, and restrictions on participants for indoor and outdoor day camps.
“We are in a completely different country than we were last summer in terms of what we know about the virus,” Lupert said. “We hope the day camps look and feel quite normal for the child.”