What will your children be doing this summer?  After a Spring of remote learning, no organized sports, no extra-curriculars and no playdates,  they are facing a summer of cancelled activities and continued social distancing. Many parents who made camp plans for their children last year or early 2020  are now trying to figure out a new plan. A new plan is critical, not only to give kids activities, but to enable working parents to focus on their work.  Let’s look at some options:

Summer Camp:  It ‘s not clear yet how many sleep away camps and day camps will be operating this summer.   New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo is not encouraging them to open, noting  “As a parent, until I know how widespread this is, I would not send my children to day camp.”  While some sleep away and day camps have already announced plans to cancel the season, others are trying to figure out how to make it work with much smaller groups of campers.  The American Camp Association and the YMCA have jointly issued very detailed guidelines with extensive cleaning protocols and safety measures to help camps design a safe way to open if they can.  If you’ve signed your child up for camp, and haven’t heard  from them,  be sure to contact them for an update.

Some camps that won’t be able to have campers on site are offering virtual camp, focusing on arts and crafts, exercise and social activities.  But after all the remote learning in the Spring, some parents are balking at the thought of parking their children in front of more screens for the summer. For some kids who are regulars at their summer camp, however, this might be a good way to stay connected with their camp friends this summer.

Virtual Learning Camps Varsity Tutors, a national online tutoring and test prep company, is running a series of free virtual week long summer camps: one hour a day for 5 days.  There are lots of different fun sounding sessions (e.g., Make Your Own Lego Movie, Drawing Anime and Manga, Public Speaking, Creative Writer’s Cafe) for grades K-12.  Common Sense Media offers a list of  “15 Online ‘Camps'”, many of which are free, that provide summer learning adventures.  Outschool, an online learning platform which features live online classes in small group settings, has developed multi day and one day live online summer camps  with lots of interesting classes to choose from.

There’s much more to explore in the world of summer 2020 planning: more activities younger kids can do over the summer, summer plans for high school and college kids, and how parents are going to cope with kids at home all day for the entire summer.  Topics for the next webinar series, Stay tuned, more to come!