DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For thousands of children summer wouldn’t be complete without camp.
But like everything else these days, COVID-19 is forcing some camps to make tough decisions.
“If we didn’t think that we could keep kids safe this summer, we would not be running camp,” said Linda Paulk, President and CEO of Sky Ranch, which operates camps in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.
Paulk says her team has spent months going over every detail to meet the new guidelines.
“Lead pediatricians, lead epidemiologists, local, state, federal health officials – I mean we have been in collaboration with all.”
Sky Ranch campers will get daily temperature checks, eat in shifts, and stay in the same small groups for most activities.
Camp Thurman, located in Pantego, will require temperature checks the first day, then randomly check campers during drop-offs on other days.
Camp Olympia, near Huntsville, is required campers to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving, and in Marble Falls, Camp Champions is asking families to quarantine for 14 days before and after camp.
“I have zero desire to be dealing with COVID cases this summer,” said Steve Baskin.
He owns Camp Champions and says like Paulk, he and his team have spent countless hours making sure every inch of the property is as safe as it can be.
And he says he’s making sure everyone follows the rules of good hygiene. “Hand washing will be supervised by counselors, because if you think 9-year-old boys are going to wash their hands on their own.. you haven’t been in the camp business.”
So yes, there will be changes, but organizers say they’ve worked hard to increase safety without sacrificing any of the fun.
“It is going to look a little bit different, but I can assure you the fun will still be the same and it will be the best week of their life,” said Paulk.