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YMCA working on plan for summer camps amid pandemic

Posted at 6:06 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 09:06:30-04

PHOENIX — Many parents are hoping that summer camps will still be an option once stay-at-home orders lift to give them and the kids a much-needed break, but some camps may look different even when they do open.

Valley of the Sun YMCA typically offers Valley-wide free swim lessons, but Risk Management Director Jackie Gizzi says that's not likely to happen this year.

The main reason is money because fundraisers that usually support the program couldn't happen during the pandemic. However, she says the organization will still work to make scholarships available. They also hope to resume swim classes in some capacity.

"Hopefully when the governor lifts the order, we'll be figuring out what our reopening plans will be and when our pools will come back online as well because it is an important part for families and children to be able to get in the water and beat the heat so we are in full works of that new normal and what that's going to look like for us organizationally," said Gizzi.

Gizzi says the plan is to continue overnight summer camp at the YMCA facility in Prescott. Groups are already kept smaller and they can limit capacity in sleeping areas.

As for day camps, Valley of the Sun YMCA is coming up with a plan. Usually day camps have about 15 kids per counselor so that may change to help with social distancing.

Other resources offered at "The Y" like the gyms and community pools will stay closed until the governor gives further direction.

The CDC has issued some guidance for reopening camps. It suggests limiting sharing of art supplies, trying to let in as much outside air as possible, staggering parent pickups and masks for counselors.