Coronavirus pandemic keeps families’ summer camp plans in limbo

DAVIE, Fla. – The coronavirus pandemic is also disrupting South Florida families’ summer camp plans.

Cheri Eisen has yet to make plans for her two children. She said they would be furious with her if they found out the sleepaway camp they go to every year in Pennsylvania was open and she didn’t allow them to go.

“You normally have 15 kids in a bunk, in bunk beds, on top of each other, so are we going to be six feet apart? How are you going to play sports? You’ve got swimming,” Eisen said. “How many kids are going to be in the pool.”

Eisen is not alone in her dilemma. About 14 million children and adults nationwide attend camps annually, according to the American Camp Association.

Camp Blue Ridge, a coed sleepaway camp in Clayton, Georgia for children and teenagers ages 6 to 16, is waiting for guidelines to reopen. The camp’s office in Plantation signs up about 300 kids from South Florida.

“It begins with educating our staff,” said Lori Waldman, the co-owner of Camp Blue Ridge. “Every cabin is going to be equipped with a sanitizer, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, Lysol spray ... We are eliminating every other bunk.”


David Posnack Jewish Community Center’s Camp Kadima in Davie usually welcomes 800 children daily. Scott Ehrlich, the executive director of David Posnack JCC, said he has already had 20 people request a refund because they were nervous.

“We are just waiting ... the guidelines from the CDC haven’t really come out yet,” Erlich said

On Thursday, the Associated Press published the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework," and reported the Trump administration decided to “shelve it.”

The CDC last updated the “Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open” on April 21.


About the Authors:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.