Towns, groups prepare for summer camps with fewer restrictions
Summer camps in Summit County are back and ready to run with some semblance of normalcy after the pandemic altered much of last year’s local programming.
Keystone Science School is once again hosting overnight camp programs after only having day camps last year.
Dave Miller, the school’s director of marketing and strategic partnerships, said the camp is following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local public health department in regard to COVID-19 protocols.
Miller said the typical capacity for an overnight camp is 88, but this year it is being reduced to 48. He said campers will be separated into smaller cohorts so that the whole camp won’t be shut down in the event of a positive COVID-19 test. Campers will also be required to wear masks in all indoor settings, though they are not required outside.
“We are putting lots of risk management protocols in place so that we do not have to shut down programming,” Miller said.
Miller continued to say campers would be required to provide a negative test within five days prior to the start of their camp, and the school is expecting to allow proof of vaccination as a replacement for the test when applicable.
Registration at Keystone Science School is almost full for the summer, with a few spots open based on campers’ age and gender — boys and girls have different lodging for some overnight camps. Miller said some overnight sessions filled up within 15 minutes of going on sale in February.
“This year has been challenging for lots and lots of our students and campers just with remote work and everything like that,” Miller said. “So we’re really excited just to be able to provide kids the opportunity to have positive social interaction with each other in a very controlled environment.”
Frisco’s summer sports camps and Fun Club are fully booked, and Recreation Programs manager Linsey Joyce said the waitlists are longer than she’s used to. She said this year’s enrollment filled up within minutes of registration being open.
“We’re very proud of the program that we run, and we’re happy that parents want to send their kids to Frisco for the summer,” Joyce said.
The town was still able to host all of its programming last year with stricter COVID-19 protocols than what is planned for this summer.
Joyce said the biggest change from last summer is that the Fun Club will be moved to Frisco Elementary School from its traditional spot at the Frisco Nordic Center. She said this move is something the town has looked into before to provide a larger space for kids to do activities in the school gym.
The other change from last year is that, like with Keystone Science School, campers aren’t required to wear masks outside. Social distancing guidelines were also loosened by the CDC, meaning the town won’t require this either.
“We are just excited that we’re able to have kids in our care once again this summer, and we’re excited to really spend as much time outside with the kids taking advantage of all of the outdoor amenities that we have here in Frisco,” Joyce said. “That’s kind of what we pride ourselves on with our camp is the fact that we are outside as much as we can be.”
Breckenridge also hosts a plethora of summer sports camps in addition to the Breckenridge Mountain Camp. Youth Programs coordinator Terrin Abell said registration is close to full for most of this year’s programs, which are operating at about 75% capacity.
Last year, Abell said Breckenridge was able to start an emergency child care camp for health care workers. The town then held limited summer programs with COVID-19 restrictions in place.
“We’ve all lived through kind of the hardest year of child care, and we’re ready for a little bit of normalcy again,” Abell said.
Breckenridge campers will also be required to wear masks inside, and Abell said they are keeping campers in smaller cohorts too.
The town will offer morning and afternoon sessions for different sports camps, including climbing, basketball and lacrosse, on top of the daylong activities and excursions for the Breckenridge Mountain Camp.
Abell said she is most looking forward to camp staff getting started in a new and improved environment.
“Camp can happen with kids, but it’s the people (who run the camp) that make it,” Abell said. “We have a lot of new staff that are hungry and excited and in Breck for the first time, so I think their energy is rubbing off on everyone.”
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