North Suburban YMCA summer camps reopen with strict safety protocols
Camp looks a little bit different this year at the North Suburban YMCA as guidelines for keeping children safe from COVID-19 are in place, ensuring that camp remains as safe as possible. The Y welcomed kids back to summer camp at the Northbrook-based community center beginning June 29.
Emphasis has been placed on forming smaller group sizes, keeping kids socially distanced, wearing masks when indoors, and frequent handwashing. Activities like arts and crafts classes have been limited as well; there is no sharing of supplies and campers must keep their personal belongings separated from others.
"We've seen that the social, emotional and physical benefits that camp provides are more beneficial in 2020 than ever before," said Kathy Fielding, CEO of the North Suburban YMCA. "We're happy to be able to help children get active and make connections with friends both old and new."
Many parents are just happy to have their children back to a new 'normal'. "I'm thrilled to have my son at Y camp this year," commented Liz Erlich, mother of 10-year old Ethan, adding, "The Y is giving him the tools he needs to go back to school, like wearing a mask, social distancing, and sanitizing his hands frequently. Introducing the kids to this concept before school begins is helping to build everyone's resilience".
The NSYMCA is taking many precautions for campers and staff members including:
• Having all camp families submit a pre-camp health status questionnaire;
• Upon arrival, every camper has their temperature checked then directed to outdoor hand washing stations to wash their hands;
• Installing six portable outdoor sinks on the Y's campus;
• Dividing camps into individual small groups with a maximum of 20 campers;
• Equipping counselors with PPE crates to ensure frequent disinfecting;
• Staggering mealtimes to reduce crowds;
• Rotating pool usage;
• Separation of campers' personal belongings;
"Safety has always been our top priority at the YMCA," Fielding commented. "And while the pandemic is unlike any other challenge we've faced, we're confident that by following guidelines by YMCA of the USA, American Camp Association, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we're able to provide kids with a safe, beneficial, and memorable experience like no other."
The NSYMCA summer camps run through Aug. 14. Parents can register for a variety of half-day or full-day camps by visiting nsymca.org.
For any questions, comments, or concerns please contact the NSYMCA camp director Ricky Gonzalez at email@example.com.
About the North Suburban YMCA
The North Suburban YMCA services Northbrook and 14 surrounding communities with programs and tools that help its residents become healthier, more connected, and confident, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. The NSYMCA focuses on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility and is a charitable organization, inclusive and welcoming to all in our community. Learn more at NSYMCA.org.