Updated May 27, 2020
Q: Is camp happening this summer?
A: Yes, we certainly hope so and think so. Provided that it is safe for us to operate, we are planning to hold camp this summer. While the past two months have been challenging and presented plenty of unknowns, we remain eager and committed to preparing for a full 8 week summer camp program. Our camp permits are in process with the NYC Dept of Health, and we’re full steam ahead on planning for our most important summer yet. We expect camp to look different this year in a lot of ways, but we also expect a green light on running summer camp.
Q: What can you tell us about the health & safety adjustments you’re making for this summer in response to COVID-19?
A: The health and safety of our kids, families, staff, and broader Kids in the Game community are top of mind. Some of the many things we’re keeping an eye on will be:
- Staggered or longer check-in times & outdoor check-in
- Regular temperature and health screens of campers and staff
- Decreasing group sizes & camper/ staff ratios
- Increased frequency of hand-washing, especially around meal times and bathroom breaks (like we do with water breaks!)
- Creative programming aimed at reducing the amount of physical contact and shared items
- At this stage off-site field trips to a venue have been canceled, but we are looking into having on site vendors run special events as well as virtual field trips to fill this gap
- PPE for staff members
- Staggered and longer sign-out times
- Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of sinks and water fountains
- Limiting camp visitors
- Lunch time held in other spaces other than cafeteria
- Safe transition procedures within the camp space
Q: Should I consider switching to a later session in the summer?
A: At this moment, no need! We are still planning and preparing to run a full 8 weeks of summer camp. As of now, May 22nd is our target decision date regarding if camp will be running and/or dates will be adjusted, as we expect to hear from NYS, American Camp Association, and NYC Dept of Health by then with more information. We encourage you to keep following our updates for that decision, but until then, there is no need to adjust your camper weeks.
Q: Are you really going to be able to effectively promote social distancing in your facility? How can groups effectively manage during these unprecedented times?
A: It is unrealistic to say that we can keep kids 6 feet apart, 100% of the time; this just isn’t possible to control. However, we can control a number of factors, such as the spaces we use, the activities we run, and our group sizes. We do feel that with these adjustments from years prior, we can help to reduce the risk of transmission.
Q: What activities can we expect to see with all of these new guidelines?
A: There are dozens of non-contact games and sports we can play to keep us plenty busy this summer. Most of the Kids in the Game ‘Games Book’ can be modified for social distancing. We’ll be utilizing different ‘zones’ throughout the gyms, classrooms, and fields at our disposal, focusing on more individual skills and training, and using poly spots and other markers for kids to know where to stand. These are just a few of the ways we are looking to reduce physical contact.
The careful and creative use of equipment will also help us keep campers active and engaged. Our theme weeks are still in place, and we’re hard at work to make sure they are just as much fun as usual!
Q: With the smaller group numbers and ratios, is it still possible for kids to be with their friends and request to be in the same group?
A: Yes! As always, we do our best to make sure friend requests are met. Make a note in your UltraCamp account, or shoot us an email and we’ll start the planning.
Q: What is your plan for campers and staff – sanitation procedures?
A: We are working closely with each camp’s host-site building maintenance and cleaning crews to build a plan and routine to keep the space clean this summer. We will be sharing more details about which EPA approved disinfectants we will be using and at what frequency once our plans are confirmed.
Q: What is your plan for pick up and drop off?
A: While we’re still firming up the details with the host buildings and the NYC Department of Health guidelines, we are first looking to utilize more doors to reduce lines and gatherings. We are also looking to extend pick up and drop off times, and we will explore staggering times to reduce the number of families who need to gather at the front of the building.
Q: What are your plans for trip and transportation procedures?
A: Field trips this summer are off the table. We are still awaiting more information about swimming and the pools we typically use, and this varies depending on location. Making sure that we are using safe spaces and not traveling on the subway is going to be a priority. We do want to maximize safe time outside in the parks, and we’ll be working with the Parks Department on what that will look like in the coming weeks.
Q: Is the lunch procedure going to be different?
A: It sure is. To reduce the number of campers in the cafeteria, we’ll likely use classrooms and/or stretch the times of our lunch hour so that fewer campers are using one particular area. We’ll also ramp up cleaning procedures, hand washing protocols, and how and where we store camper lunches.
Q: We want to register for camp, but we’re obviously unsure what the coming months hold. What should we do?
A: We understand that every family has to make their own decision about camp this year – we’re living in a different environment. However, you can trust that if camp is a fit for you this summer, we will be ready to have an amazing summer for your children in a safe environment. We do expect to have lower caps on enrollment this year, so we encourage you to sign up as soon as you are comfortable. If you’re unsure about anything in particular, please give us a call or shoot us an email! We’re happy to talk through the details to make sure camp feels right for your family.
Health and Safety
Q: How will you determine if it is safe to open?
A: As an American Camp Association accredited camp, we are in close communication with the camp community and the NYC Department of Health as we continue to prepare for a safe summer camp season. Together, we’re actively discussing the latest updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and our local governing bodies. Ultimately, the NYC Department of Health will share local guidance that will govern permitted day camps in New York. We will continue to monitor this information and guidance closely as we get closer to our Summer Camp start date.
All of us are still discovering what the best practices will look like come June 29th, and we will continue to update our policies as we get closer to camp. The bottom line is that camp will have a different set of procedures this year to keep kids and staff safe, but the spirit of camp won’t change.
Q: I’m concerned about not being able to get my child’s Physician’s Exam Form turned in by the time forms are due. What can I do?
A: Our usual deadline to submit medical forms is only 2 weeks before camp begins. While this is still the case, we do ask that you submit these forms to us as soon as you are able to! We know that in-person physician appointments may be difficult at this time; so, as an alternative, we encourage you to schedule a telehealth visit with your child’s physician.
This year, we’ve made it easier than ever to submit your camper’s medical forms!
- Upload your print copy directly to your Summer Camp Account.
- Email a digital version to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “2020 Health Form”
- New This Year! Have your physician fax it directly to us! Our fax number is: 917-525-4372.
Q: Will you still have open swim and swim lessons?
A: Yes, we will! At Kids in the Game Summer Camp we use private swimming pools, which helps in controlling and maintaining a safe and sanitary environment. We are working closely with our swim partner Physique to stay up to date and informed in this area.
Q: What do pre-existing medical conditions mean for camp this year? (child specific)
A: As with any summer camp experience, first and foremost we want to ensure that all campers are healthy enough to participate in a physically active camp environment. This summer is no different! If your camper has a pre-existing condition that may put him/her at a higher risk, please consult your child’s physician or a medical professional first.
Once cleared for a physically active camp experience, our camp health directors will want to hear from you! The more we know about your campers health the better. Please share any details that may not be captured in the typical physical form and expand upon ways we can best stay in tune with your campers health to keep them safe.
Q: What is the cancellation policy if I decide to cancel?
A: We respect the different decisions our families must make. If you feel you will not be able to attend camp this summer, our refund policy as outlined during registration will be in effect – full refunds, minus $100/week in deposits, are available through June 15th.
Q: Will I get a refund if Kids in the Game cancels camp due to the coronavirus?
A: In the event the session in which your camper is enrolled must be cancelled, your family will have several options:
- Rolling registration to 2021 – Campers paid in full by June 15, 2020 will be considered paid in full for the same number of weeks in 2021. This represents a savings for any increases to camp tuition next summer. This has been a tough stretch for our organization, and we would be grateful if you would consider this option before requesting refunds.
- Full refund – If requesting this option, you will receive a full refund including deposit as soon as we’re in a financial position to issue these payments. This will be in 3 waves from October 2020 through January 2021. If your family is facing hardship, we will do everything we can to get that to you as soon as we’re able to.
- Donate some or all of 2020 camp fees – In this difficult time, please know that any help from our community is sincerely appreciated! These donations will go to keep our team working hard to deliver more programming for your families as soon as possible.
Q: My family is experiencing financial hardship, and we didn’t apply for financial assistance. Can I still apply?
A: Unfortunately, our applications for scholarships have closed. We understand COVID-19 has presented everyone with unique and challenging circumstances. Although we cannot make any promises around camp funding and scholarships, we are trying our best to accomodate all of our families for Summer Camp 2020. If additional funding becomes available, our team will reevaluate the application timeline.
Q: How can I support Kids in the Game right now?
A: We have experienced significant financial loss over the past two months with the immediate suspension of our school programs and spring sports seasons. With camp season also in flux, we expect lower enrollment and much higher costs – as a small business, we’re feeling it. We are deeply grateful for any support right now. If you are not planning to come to camp and are willing to donate your tuition let us know, or please click here to donate, and label your gift “Kids in the Game COVID-19 Support”. We want to keep up the fight and continue providing programs for years to come. A sincere thank you from everyone at Kids in the Game.
What other questions are on your mind? Please submit them here, and we will do our best to answer questions with whatever information we have in this quickly changing environment.