Summer camps and social distancing: how kids are being kept safe

News
May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The coronavirus pandemic continues to change much of how we do things, including summer camps.

Staff at the San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust created what’s called “eagle arms,” where kids spread their arms far apart as a fun way to show kids how to social distance.  They want things to be fun, but most of all safe.

“Of course, we’re incorporating social distancing in all of our activities,” said Sharon Weaver, the Executive Director of the San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust. “Now that can be challenging with young children and so what we’re doing with our kids is we teach them games.”

As many children have been at home over the course of the pandemic, social distancing can be a whole new concept.  At summer camp it’s a necessity.

“They haven’t been practicing social distancing like those of us that are adults and out shopping for groceries and things like that. They’ve been mostly at home, they’ve been out of school.  And, so, we’re constantly finding the need to reinforce what social distancing looks like.”

The camp groups have been cut down to less than 50% normal capacity.  Additionally, the River Parkway sits on 20 acres of land.  We reached out to over a dozen different camps and most are trying to figure out how to socially distance campers.  It’s not a one size fits all solution.

“So you know, there’s always some sort of risk involved.  This is a totally outdoor program so we felt like it was a safer way for kids to get outside and we think it’s so important for kids and adults.”

One thing campers won’t be happy about is that access to the San Joaquin River is off limits for now.

“I just believe that the San Joaquin River–it’s our most important community asset and it’s such an important piece of our quality of life here in the San Joaquin Valley.  The river is the reason that our community is developed here in the San Joaquin Valley.”

The River Camp at Owl Hollow program started this week.

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