A new look to summer camps because of coronavirus

Village of Hamburg's KIDSPLAY program begins Monday with limited number of kids

Mike Baggerman
July 06, 2020 - 12:16 pm
Kids sanitize their hands and undergo a temperature check before beginning summer youth camp in the Village of Hamburg. July 6, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Kids sanitize their hands and undergo a temperature check before beginning summer youth camp in the Village of Hamburg. July 6, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WBEN) – The Village of Hamburg’s summer KIDSPLAY program began on Monday, though coronavirus has forced organizers to modify the camp.

Normally, the program features more than 200 kids at one site in the village. This year, organizers cut the program occupancy in half and split the remaining kids throughout four sites in the village to help mitigate the spread.

“If we were to have a case of COVID-19 at a specific site, the first thing we would do is shut down the site immediately,” Village of Hamburg Recreation Supervisor Josh Haeick said. “We are prepared for that reality, but in the interest of the safety and well-being of all the kids and our staff in the program, we would have to shut down that specific site until further notice.”

Those kids would not be eligible to return to any of the four other sites.

Popular activities at these camps, such as tag, flag football, and any other game that involves one person touching another person, are also canceled. However, Haeick said there are plenty of other physical activities that kids will participate in plus other projects such as arts and crafts.

“We’re going to do our best at every moment to social distance whenever and at all times possible,” he said. “Parents know, as we all know, there’s a level of risk getting 25 kids together but we’re going to limit that risk. Our staff has spent hours of training making sure that we understand and they understand how to limit that risk as much as possible.”

Assemblyman Sean Ryan allocated a dozen one-gallon containers of the state-made sanitizers and individual sprays for each child that participates in the program.

“We’re also going to help provide funding for no-touch thermometers, masks, disposable gloves, all to ensure that kids coming to the camp can do so safely,” Ryan said. “It’s been a difficult few months, but seeing camps like this reopen give you optimism and hope. It’s another example of us reaping the rewards from taking the difficult that we did take in March, April, and May. Because we were able to flatten the curve, we were able to bring programs like this back.”

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