How Kids are Adapting to Summer Camp This Year

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A Different Summer Camp

The Fry Family YMCA and KLA Schools welcomed back their summer campers. Though the programs are a go, they look different this year.

“It’s affected summer camp a lot because we can’t go near our friends and we can’t talk to them because they’re in a different group and we can’t go near other groups,” said YMCA summer camper, Marcus.

This is Marcus’ third year at the YMCA summer camp. He and his brother also miss going on field trips this summer.

Keeping Masks On

The biggest challenge for kids at both camps has been keeping their masks on all day.

“Our staff has done a great job of making it fun,” said Erika Wood, executive director of the YMCA’s Safe ‘n Sound program, which runs summer camp. “So we’ve decorated masks, we’ve had mask songs and there’s the gentle reminders like ‘hey, we need to keep our masks on.’”

To help the youngsters at KLA, they’re allowed to step away from the other campers to take their masks off for a few minutes.

KLA school principal Heather Fugate said it was scary for the younger ones to see their teachers covered up.

“In order to help ease some of that anxiety with some of the younger children, we made badges to wear around our neck with our picture so they could remember ‘oh yeah this is Miss Heather or that’s Miss Melissa,’” said Fugate.

Adapting Well

Though it’s an adjustment for some, others are finding it a mission they need to accomplish.

“He was one of the ones that loves to go wash his hands. He’s like ‘oh goodie, hand washing!’ said Fugate. “And he does such a good job, he’s so serious about it.”

Most campers and their parents are happy to have some normalcy back for the warmer months.

“Poor guys were stuck in the house since March and I work from home and now I seem to be a lot more productive at home as well,” said Kali Heifetz, Marcus’ mother. “And they’re having fun so it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.