ELLSWORTH — COVID-19 has caused many summer camps to close for the season.
Those still open are dealing with unprecedented challenges.
“Approximately 80 percent of camps in Maine are not operating this summer,” said Ron Hall, executive director of Maine Summer Camps.
Camps still open for the season limited enrollment to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Because of that and the additional staff needed, most camps have taken a financial hit.
“Unless there is significant financial relief from COVID-19, grants, that we will see some camps closing,” Hall said.
Camp Jordan in Ellsworth is open for the summer.
They’ve added extra hand washing stations and staggered check-in times.
Campers are also wearing masks when around anyone not in their cabin.
“We’ve been managing risk at summer camp for 112 years now,” Steve Heiny, director of camping at the Bangor YMCA, said. “We wear life jackets on boats. We wear helmets when we climb. We wear seatbelts in cars and we wear masks when we have to and keeping the kids safe.”
Despite the guidelines, campers can still have a good time.
“Without the virus going around, kids are isolated. The last three or four months have really highlighted that,” Heiny said. “They’re making friends, it’s good to make friends. It’s good to be outside. It’s good to explore. It’s good to take safe risks.”
There is still time to sign up for one of their remaining weeks of camp.
You can learn more on Camp Jordan’s website.