Kids can attend camps this summer under new guidance, CDC says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Summer camps have been deemed a safe place for kids this summer, according to newly released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, as long as proper protocols are followed.

"We are prepping for a whole lot more capacity this summer," said Stephen Ives, president & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. "We believe there is pent up demand, and there is a huge need for young people to have as much of a normal summer as they can."

YMCA summer programs are now open for registration, and Ives said they will closely follow all COVID-19 health and safety guidance from the CDC.

Face masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing are the biggest recommendations from the CDC, which acknowledged how important summer camps are right now for the socialization and emotional well-being of children, who have largely spent the last year isolated from peers.

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Last year, the YMCA operated summer camps at a limited capacity with temperature checks and lots of hand sanitizer. Overnight camps were cancelled last year, but are now scheduled to happen this summer.

"We learned how to have kids in pods and organize in a way that we can minimize the spread, if anyone gets sick," Ives said.

There will also be an emphasis on providing more education experiences this year to help supplement learning, which has been mostly virtual over the last year.

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