Wisconsin summer camps planning to reopen this season amid pandemic

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 18:57:14-05

MILWAUKEE — As parents slowly begin to head back to work, many are already wondering what camps they'll register their children for this summer.

"We are looking to have a very safe and fun summer," said Chris Przedpelski, senior director of extended learning at the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee.

"The enrollment is coming in that is for sure," said Sarah Rushford, Center Coordinator at Ebenezer Childcare.

Local places like Camp Minikani and the Ebenezer Child Care Center were still able to host their summer programs last year amid the pandemic, without having incidents. And they say that prior experience has given them a leg up as they prepare to reopen this year.

"We've learned a lot since last year, and so we're just going to move forward again this year with what we know and how to move forward best," said Rushford.

"There were many lessons learned and it's up to us to take that action and implement, which we are," said Przedpelski.

They say the same safety rules will apply this year for campers and staff, which include social distancing, face masks, temperature checks and more. Officials say camp Minikani is also bringing back its overnight camping program something they weren't able to do in 2020.

"We've opted to open and run it at an 80 percent capacity," said Przedpelski.

"A lot of that I would expect will depend upon what is happening in the local environment at the time, and with the local county public health departments are doing in response to what's going on," said Dr. Matt Anderson, senior medical director at UW Health.

And as COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out, many are hopeful that they will add another layer of protection ahead of the summer season.

"Today is actually the day that's opened up for our group, so a lot of our employees are making their appointments and getting their vaccines," said Rushford.

Program organizers say they'll also keep CDC and their local health department's recommendations in mind as they inch closer to opening day.

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