DETROIT – With Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement that overnight camps could reopen on Monday, it was an unofficial start to summer and for some a return to a sense of normalcy.
However, camps are expected to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines with many unable to start for several weeks.
At the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, which runs some of the region’s largest overnight camps, preparations were already underway to reopen day camps by June 22 and overnight camps by the middle of July.
“The children will have fun but they're going to have fun in new ways,” YMCA Senior Vice President of Marketing Latitia McCree said.
Many of the new ways include the latest guidelines from the state, which are expected to be handed down this weekend. They will also mean more social distancing during activities and daily, sometimes hourly cleaning according to McCree.
Camps across the state were forced to lay-off staff during the pandemic. Many camp employees are seasonal, student workers.
“We laid off 1,318 people in March. So a lot of those people are coming back in different roles than they had before,” McCree said. “We’re not saying it’s not going to be challenging but we’re up for the challenge.”
For parents who have already put money down and are looking for a refund, that varies from camp to camp and they’re encouraged to reach out to find out any new policies.
Most of the larger overnight or travel camps are expected to have plans up in the coming weeks.