JCC Brooklyn is excited to announce that Summer Camp 2020 for ages 4-15 will be open! In light of COVID-19, there will, of course, be heavy modifications to ensure the safety of children, families, and staff. As we plan to begin ramping up operations and return to normalcy, Dr. Emily Byne, JCC Brooklyn parent and Child Development Specialist, can answer many of the questions that you may have.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-407-6377 for any questions
Now that Governor Cuomo has given his official approval for summer camps to operate this season, JCC Brooklyn is in the process of developing a camp plan in strict accordance with NYC Health Department and federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to maximize safety for all campers, families, and staff in light of COVID-19.
To aid you in your decision-making process and help answer your questions about the modifications we’re making, we’ve compiled this handy Q&A.
Are you really going to be able to effectively promote social distancing within your facility? How can groups effectively be managed?
JCC Brooklyn Summer Day Camp’s location and facilities lend themselves to social distancing. The Fort Hamilton Army Base in Bay Ridge gives us 177 acres of usable space, which includes sports fields, two outdoor swimming pools, indoor gyms, theater, bowling alley, and bike trails. This amount of space — a rare commodity in Brooklyn — allows us to place campers in groups of no more than 10, rotating between indoor and outdoor activities every hour. Separating groups into different zones will help to ensure limited contact with other campers and will help to effectively contain any potential spread of the virus.
Did you say 10 campers per group? Does this mean my child will only be within the range of the same 10 campers throughout the day?
Yes, 10 campers MAXIMUM per group is the CDC’s suggested guideline. Camps have been advised to keep these same groups together with minimal outside mixing of children from other groups (i.e. pool, sharing a large shared space by individual sectors) to help contain any potential spread of the virus.
Can you please go into details about your plans for personal protection for campers & staff, sanitization procedures, and medical protocols?
Our top priority remains the safety of our campers and staff. Guidelines are constantly being updated and we will keep families up to date with changes. As of today, this is how we see procedures running:
- We are looking to see if medical forms will need to be updated.
- Temperature screens will be required DAILY before entering the facility. Select Staff member’s who will undergo individual training to conduct screenings in the proper manner will be assigned this post on a daily basis.
- All staff will be required to wear protective face coverings while on shift.
- Campers will be permitted only from local jurisdiction areas (NYC).
- Sanitizing and hand-washing stations will be located in all classrooms, field spaces, and active usable camp space. Bathrooms will be deep cleaned frequently with personal attendants on duty to provide cleanliness checks.
How will trips and transportation work?
We do not yet have a concrete answer as guidelines are changing daily, but these are the current recommendations from state/local experts:
- Day and overnight trips will not be permitted. Please note this may change as we get closer to the start of camp with certain restrictions being lifted.
- Bus transportation will involve a new format, limiting seating to one child per seat for protective distancing purposes.
- If possible, families should consider doing a direct pick-up and drop-off to and from the Fort Hamilton Base as door-to-door bus stop transportation will be severely limited.
What kind of activities should we expect to see in camp this year with all of these new guidelines being promoted?
Having the Bay Ridge Campus as our location allows us to continue our fantastic activities as we bring specialists directly to us! We are putting a keen focus on providing campers with awesome special activities led by professionals in their fields. These include:
Arts & Crafts
Improv & Acting
Science & STEM
And many more!
These activities will be done in 40 minute to one-hour intervals with each individual group to ensure a personalized and fun experience.
We want to make mention that swimming this year will be a bit different from an operational procedure standpoint, as groups will be heavily limited while utilizing pool space. Locker-Rooms will be utilized in sections with additional spaces constructed to provide a social-distance friendly changing location.
In years prior it was not uncommon to use our large pool spaces (Bay Ridge Campus) to accommodate upwards of 10 groups of 15 children at once. This year we have made the decision to limit the Pool to 4 groups at a time (40 children) maximums, with our main site location following the same structure at a percentage based occupancy.
While group activities will be fully separated across the base, how will lunch and food distribution be handled?
Campers will eat lunch in the same groups of 10 with individual eating spaces in a picnic-style group that adheres to all social distancing guidelines. Meals will be served by select group staff and pre-plated to ensure a contact-safe-distribution method.
My child has a pre-existing medical condition. Does this mean that he/she cannot attend camp?
This is a question that is very difficult to answer. The CDC has noted that children with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart conditions, and breathing issues face a much greater risk of complications from COVID-19. While the decision of whether to send your child to camp is, of course, a personal one, we must note the severity and the risk associated with a summer camp for children with underlying medical conditions.
Will communication procedures to families be updated this year?
Communication has become the key talking point for all items related to our potential re-opening. Families will be sent up to date correspondences whenever a relevant piece of information, both camp and procedural (COVID-19) becomes available. Our office staff will be on call daily from 7:00AM – 7:00PM with emergency numbers and contact emails provided for outside of standard business hours.
I want to register for camp, but I do not know what the state of the world will be like then. What do I do?
This is perhaps the billion-dollar question, and truth be told we are in the same predicament as you in our knowledge. It is for this very reason that we have established a refund policy that states the following:
If we cannot operate the camp, we will be offering full refunds to our families. You will additionally have the option to roll over your child’s tuition to any future program or donate it back to camp.
In the event that camp begins as scheduled the refund policy will adhere to the same standard as previous years, with refunds only provided to those families with approved reasons.