New Look for Summer Camps


Summer camps may look different this year but Crescenta Valley parents, kids and camp providers are determined to figure out the safest, funnest possible Summer 2020.

Surveying summer camp opportunities across the larger metropolitan area, LA moms note that “as of the end of May, some camps do plan to open for an in-person experience, but much of it is up in the air as local health officials make determinations.” The moms publish a comprehensive sponsored directory and are hosting a virtual summer camp fair on Friday

Locally, summer plans remain pending. Amy Taylor, Tongva district director of the Verdugo Hills Council of the Boy Scouts, reported that the council will be making decisions and plans later this week regarding its summer camp and Emerald Isle program on Catalina Island.

A press release sent out by the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles has “reimagined” its summer camp.

  “At a time when traditional Girl Scout Camp isn’t possible, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA) decided there was an innovative way to keep the spirit of camp alive,” according to the statement. “Registration for Camp: The Remix opened at 10 a.m. on May 18, and within hours all 1,500 spots were spoken for –selling out faster than any traditional summer camp program ever offered by GSGLA.”

The statement outlined the program. It offers six week-long sessions, each with a unique theme, delivered to doorsteps and digital devices. Each week’s participants will receive a box of surprises and fun-filled activities focused on STEM, art, game-play, adventure or nature. The program is a combination of digital engagement and hands-on activities – to ensure girls and their families take time to “unplug.” The program is designed for girls in grades two to eight and was open to all girls, even those who are not Girl Scouts.

“Summer Camp is a beloved Girl Scout tradition, so we are thrilled to offer this blended camp experience and see such a positive response,” said GSGLA CEO Theresa Edy-Kiene. “It shows that families are hungry for this type of programming – experiences that are safe in the time of COVID-19, but ones that don’t encourage girls to be glued to a computer screen for hours.”

The City of Glendale postponed registration for its summer camp programs “until further notice.”

“The City is following the situation with the novel coronavirus [COVID-19] daily, and will continue to make decisions regarding day camps acting out of the best interest of our customers and employees and in accordance with the recommendations by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control], the California Dept. of Public Health, and LA County Dept. of Public Health,” reads the City website.

City spokesperson Eliza Papazian added, “Our Community Services & Parks Dept. is working with the County of LA on developing protocols for all recreation programming, including summer camps. We are planning to have summer camps and a proposal will be submitted to the health officer for approval. Once granted and finalized, up-to-date information will be posted on our website. As you know, this has been a fluid situation, so things may change.”

Meanwhile the folks at the YMCA of the Foothills are ready. They plan a full summer program having taken numerous safety precautions. Campers will be assigned to pods of nine based on their age and will stay with their pod for the entire camping week. The Y has developed safe, socially distancing protocols for drop-off and pick-ups and are registering families for sessions now. Approximately 25 families are expected next week.

According to its website, “We will be taking preventive measures to follow all social distancing guidelines, lots of hand washing and extra hand washing stations, extra cleaning efforts in our home bases and rotation areas, keeping campers in a small group for the whole week, and much more.”

YMCA of the Foothills interim director Jeanne Hobson emphasized that “health is our number one priority. Everyone coming in gets a temp check, every day, including me. The pods we envision for campers are consistent with the CDC guidelines. We are going to do everything we can do to keep our campers and counselors safe. We want them all to come back next year!”

The Y is also offering free swim lessons to all of their campers this year and is considering preparing its Camp Fox on Catalina Island for a possible family camp later in the summer.