Local summer camps re-open with safety guidelines

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — While school is out for the summer, summer camps are starting to open back up to welcome campers.

Due to the pandemic, a day at camp will come with some new rules. Some camp favorites aren’t able to happen this year.

“Last summer, at this point we had over 400,” explained Missy Thompson, the camp director at Rockford Christian Schools. “Right now we’re running at half capacity so we’re at 230.”

Outdoor activities still play an important role, but now accounting for social distancing, others have been set aside.

“Field trips is the big one! We aren’t allowed field trips at this point which is a huge disappointment to the kids and staff,” Thompson explained.

Carlson Boys and Girls Club in Machesney Park is taking extra precautions for everyone walking through the doors. Each child has their temperature taken upon entering.

Students no longer share school supplies like crayons and scissors. The communal drinking fountain is also off-limits.

“We do 40 minutes of an educational activity. They wash their hands, use the bathroom, then they do 40 minutes of enrichment–whether it’s arts and crafts or going outside playing games where they can maintain social distancing,” explained Shelia Becker, the unit director for Carlson Boys and Girls Club.

Although the camps have stepped up to the challenges, both are eager to move onto Phase 4.

“Getting ready to make larger groups and to have more staff so that we can add groups so it’s just being prepared for that,” Becker added.

“Its been challenging but it works, you know we have a really good staff that’s working hard to follow the rules and we’re making it work,”said Thompson.

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