Will day camps and sleep-away camps join the growing list of cancellations?

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Cooped-up kids and parents wanting to get out of the house this summer will still have to find ways to adhere to social distancing guidelines and sign up quickly if they want to attend a day camp this year.

Bart McFadden, president & CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley said there are many factors to consider when they host their day camps.

“We’re going to continue to face some challenges to serve all the kids that we traditionally do just because of reduced ratios and the requirements to keep kids socially distance,” McFadden said. “And then just keeping our facilities clean and the protocols required to keep kids safe in this environment.” 

Social and recreational gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited, including but not limited to festivals, fairs, parades, youth and adult sporting events, and overnight summer youth camps. And guidelines were given to day camps that could stay open for essential workers.  

“Staffing is a challenge,” Bekah Grace, vice president of marketing for YMCA of East Tennessee said. “Facility space is a challenge. Right now, ratios have been decreased to one provider for every nine children. So normally we serve about 500 kids or families. And now that probably will cut our numbers in half, which means that there are going to be families out there who are seeking care, that we will be unable to serve. And of course, we hate that.” 

As camp programs around the state pull the plug to stop the spread of COVID-19 — it’s the working parents who are in a pandemic panic over the loss of summer camps. If you need childcare this summer, you are encouraged to call places like the Boys & Girls Club as soon as possible. You can also go online and check out your local YMCA for services. 

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