ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many New Mexican summer camps reopened. Kids and counselors were excited to be back.
Kids are back to being kids again. Splashing around in the pool or even participating in a pick-up game of dodgeball. “Everybody today has been overly excited, especially at drop-off this morning when we got to have everybody pull up and see the smiles that we missed last year,” said JCC Albuquerque Camp Director, Matthew Westerlund.
Last year, the pandemic canceled all summer camps. “It was disappointing for everybody and understandably. So, last year when we weren’t able to have our programs like a lot of other groups in the city,” said Westerlund. But this year, camps are back on – with some safety modifications, of course.
“We’ve had to lower our enrollment,” said Westerlund. “We’ve had to really increase the presence of activities outside. We’ve had to minimize the interaction of campers with different groups or cohorts.”
The JCC Albuquerque said they will clean each space after it’s used and they’ve even built new shade structures to give kids more space for activities outside. But that’s not all. “The increased hiring of staff to be ever-vigilant to make sure that kind of environment is as safe as possible for everybody,” said Westerlund.
And of course, making sure the kids are wearing masks at all times. The JCC said they want to make sure their campers are having fun while also being safe. “That’s the real challenge,” said Westerlund. “It’s trying to retain the identity of the past but of course be adaptive to the current climate.”
A full list of safety guidelines that summer camps are following is available online.