Local summer camps back after being reduced or canceled due to pandemic

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Summer camps are back.

“We are extremely excited. Obviously, this last year with COVID has been really challenging,” said Caroline Wee, the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley’s Association Child Care Services Director.

After being canceled or reduced in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, day camps in the Chippewa Valley are returning.

Camps will still follow some COVID-19 safety protocols.

“Staff who have been fully vaccinated won’t have to wear their masks because they’re not vaccinated yet. We’re still keeping up with the same amount of cleaning, as always, trying to keep them socially distanced,” Wee said.

She said unlike last year when campers were placed in a group that was confined to a single room all day, kids will be able to play outside more and go on field trips.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who aren’t fully vaccinated wear masks inside at all times. They should also mask up outside in large crowds. People who are fully vaccinated, meaning they completed their vaccine series at least two weeks ago, don’t need to wear a mask.

The CDC also recommends camps keep kids in assigned groups and don’t mix them.

At the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley, MarLee Johnson, the Lee and Mary Markquart Center Director said all campers and staff will be required to wear a face covering, regardless of vaccination status.

“We’re starting to be able to move around the building safely, still following cleaning protocols, masking protocols, all that kind of good stuff, but we’re able to loosen up restrictions and still keep kids safe,” she said.

Johnson said the camp will be able to operate more normally but kids will have to stay within their groups.

Regardless of the inconveniences that come with COVID-19 safety protocols, Johnson’s excited to get back to camp.

“I’ve talked to a couple kids via Zoom, via family orientations and things like that and they are all really excited to get back,” she said.

Both the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA camps in the Chippewa Valley start June 14.

Both Johnson and Wee say their camps still have spots available. People can sign up for the Boys & Girls Clubs camp here. They can sign up for the YMCA camp here.

Wee also said the YMCA camp is partnering with the Eau Claire Area School district to provide Eau Claire campers with educational activities each day.

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