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Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield

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8

May, 2020

Summer Camp 2020 Update

Dear Summer Camp Families,

You may have heard the good news that the state of Connecticut has given camps the option to open this summer as early as June 29th. Unfortunately, the Governor’s statement did not clarify that any camps choosing to open will need to operate under incredibly strict guidelines and rules that severely limit the numbers of campers that can attend a camp.

The state guidelines currently allow for no more than 30 children at any camp. We are fortunate that we have been granted special approval to serve 100 kids a day (we averaged 340 kids a day last summer to give you an idea, not including our teens and aquatics).  Unfortunately, this means that in order to comply with even these enhanced guidelines, we will not be able to accommodate all of you who have already registered for camp.  We did freeze new registrations several weeks ago when we sensed we would only be able to open in a limited capacity.  In the next week or so, we will know if we can accommodate your current registration.

As we look to confirm camper spots, we will give priority focus to those campers enrolled for “full summer” spots.    This is the recommended safety policy and we already have more full summer camp registrants than we can accommodate.  Our Board of Directors and I are finalizing exactly what this fair process will be, and will alert everyone ASAP.  The general feeling is we will not be able to accommodate any one that has signed up for specific weeks or days.  We will refund families we cannot accommodate this summer.  In addition, we will refund anyone who has had their summer plans changed and will no longer require camp this summer. 

This reduction in campers will of course result in a reduction of camp staff hired.  Therefore, we will have a long list of highly qualified youth workers who will be looking for other opportunities to work with our Club kids.  We are working on a way to identify and connect these individuals with families who may wish to contract with them outside of camp on a one-to-one basis.   More will come on this potential service next week.

I would like to give some detail on what these regulations look like – as you read them, please remember these regulations are being set from the Office of Early Childhood, and we are mandated to enforce them: 

  1. Children will be in groups of 10.They will not be able to cross paths or interact with anyone outside of that group while at camp.  Each group of ten will have their own classroom/room/ pod and will spend a majority of time in that area throughout the day.  Siblings must be grouped together while at camp; because of this groups will be mixed-ages. Outside of siblings being together, there will be no accommodations made to set groups (request to be with friends, etc.)
  2. Full summer campers (attending all 8 weeks) only for safety purposes.
  3. There will be no themed weeks.
  4. There will be no field trips.
  5. There will be no extended day.
  6. Camp hours will run 8:30am- 5pm for safety and cleaning purposes.
  7. There will be no lunch or snack options, campers will be required to bring their own lunch and snack daily.  At this point, there will be no in-town lunch.
  8. It is unclear if the pool will be able to open at this time.
  9. Temperature checks will occur upon check-in for all campers (and staff) every morning.
  10. We will have a Covid-19 parent waiver requirement that must be signed giving consent for your child to attend camp. 
  11. There will be no Leaders-in-Training Program (hopefully a new plan for our teens off-site at our Barn Teen Center, more to come).
  12. There will be no Swim Team or Swim Lessons.
  13. All staff members will be wearing face coverings at all times.
  14. Parents will NOT be allowed into the building. As of now, parents (or anyone picking up your camper) will not be permitted out of the car.

This is what we know right now.  I want to be sure all of our families get a clearer picture on what this will look like.  Much more of an essential service than our youth summer camp.  The Office of Early Childhood is set to release final guidelines next Friday, May 15th – we do not expect much change to what we already know, but we will notify you once we know more.

Relaying this news is devastating.  We understand how much our camp means to the kids in our community (and our staff) and not being able to deliver our high quality programming, we are all used to is very sad.  We also understand that this is temporary and what a summer camp in the midst of a global pandemic looks like.  

While we know this summer’s camp experience will not be what most of our Club kids are expecting, we do feel that we are doing all we can to provide the best summer experience we can within the stipulated safety guidelines.  The health and welfare of our staff and kids will always be our #1 priority.   Of course, for those at camp this summer, our staff members will do everything in our power (within the state regulations) to make sure they are having fun, in a positive, safe environment.

If any of these new guidelines have changed your desire to send your kids to camp this summer, please contact Gerry Hawaux for a refund at [email protected] (email only as we are still working remotely).

Thank you for your understanding as we work through these incredibly uncertain and challenging times.  I am available to answer any questions or to provide any further information.  

Please know we are always here.

I hope you all are staying safe and positive through these tough times,

Mike

Mike Flynn
Executive Director
Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield
[email protected]
203- 994- 1702

Contact

Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield

41 Governor Street 
Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 203-438-8821

Contact Us

Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield

41 Governor Street 
Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 203-438-8821

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