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Changes to North Texas summer camps during coronavirus pandemic: Here's what you need to know

Parents will have to balance keeping kids busy with keeping them safe as they consider sending them to summer camps during a global pandemic.

ARLINGTON, Texas — In any normal year, families would have vacations planned out and summer activities lined up by now, but COVID-19 has thrown all of that into question.

“Summer 2020 is going to be unlike any summer that we’ve parented through,” said Emily Youree of Fort Worth Moms. “There’s honestly no way to predict what’s going to happen.”

As the school year draws to a close, children will have even less to keep them busy. Some parents are turning to the tried and true: summer camps. 

While some places like PSA Plano and Infinite Bounds Gymnastics are ready to start June 1, others like the Dallas Zoo canceled summer camps for the entirety of the 2020 summer season. 

A spokesperson for the YMCA in the Dallas area says the organizations have different leaders in Fort Worth,  Arlington/Mansfield and Dallas regions. They are all working together to see when venues will open, and if/or when summer activities will start.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is aiming to reopen in early July, but is still looking for creative solutions to be more hands-off to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While plans to open exhibits to families are developing, summer events and activities are still to be decided.

If you do find a camp that’s open, Youree said parents need to balance the need to keep kids safe and keep them entertained.

She suggests asking the following questions before enrolling a child in a summer camp: 

  1. Is the camp limiting the number of people enrolled?
  2. Are organizers following, the CDC guidelines?
  3. Is there a screening process for when the children come on site?
  4. When and how often will children and workers wash hands?
  5. Will kids have access to water and soap, or hand sanitizer?  Will they need to bring their own
  6. Will classrooms and surfaces be cleaned between groups?

Of all the questions parents are facing, Youree said one in particular matters the most.

“What is best for my child?” Youree said. “A lot of parents are in the position now of trying to answer that question in an unprecedented summer.”

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