The Jewish Community Center announced that Camp JCC will be held this summer. The announcement followed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to allow New York state day camps to open after June 29. Because of the strict regulations that the camp will be abiding by, spaces are limited. There are presently a few spots open and anyone interested in signing their child up should call the JCC office at 724-2417.
“I have been working with Camp Director Nora Graven over the past three months and we have put together what we feel could be a very exciting, albeit socially distanced, camp program,” said Sheryl Brumer, executive director of the JCC.
“We have spent the past three months creating a Camp JCC Mitigation Procedures and Protocols manual with input from the American Camping Association and the CDC, including staggering drop off times and creating a health screening check-in station that the kids will have to go through each morning before entering the facility,” Brumer added.
JCC campers and staff will be broken up into tribes that will consist of approximately 10 campers in the same age range with one to two counselors. Each tribe will function as a separate unit throughout the day with assigned rooms that will be their home base.
“We will be planning as much outdoor time as possible using the entirety of our eight acres of land to ensure that we can keep the proper distance between groups,” Brumer continued. “Because we are fortunate enough to have access to so much space outdoors, we have been working on creative ways to continue some of our camp traditions like Ruach Circle and camp parties. The idea is to have our DJ and sound system located on the pool deck and assign each group to an area on the back hill that will be marked off with spray paint, enabling them to remain six feet apart. We will be able to use the gym and auditorium for several groups at once by using barriers as well.”
Brumer noted that “the tribes will have at least one special, ‘out of the ordinary,’ activity planned each week.” Camp JCC will be hiring professionals to bring activities to the JCC, as well as planning more STEM, arts and crafts, distanced sports and “wacky” activities, including camp themes that revolve around each group taking part in an all tribe challenge.
“Because our camp plays and talent show have become such an important part of the summer, we are working on an idea that would involve each group filming their part of the program, which we will put together into one video,” Brumer said. “As soon as it turns dark outside, our camp families would be invited back to come and sit in their cars in our parking lot to watch the presentations like you would at a drive-in movie theater, popcorn included!”
“Although this summer will definitely be different from previous years, with the new programs we are bringing to the JCC in lieu of traveling, we are confident that the kids will be as excited about camp as we are,” said Graven.
“To say that this is an unprecedented and confusing time in our lives is an understatement and we know how nervous parents are, but rest assured that we are doing everything humanly possible to make sure that the children have an amazing summer camp experience while keeping them and our community healthy and safe,” Graven concluded.