LuHi summer camp in Brookville, Long Island was closed last summer for the first time in nearly 60 years due to the pandemic. The camp’s director Jason Wass is hoping to come back strong this year. Right now his team is in an all-out planning mode.
"I think just understanding the group sizes is probably the biggest difference and the mask policies, understanding all the ins and out," said Wass.
Governor Andrew Cuomo just released the new state safety guidelines that are effective immodestly for childcare, day camps and overnight camps. The updated measures require that programs collect vaccination status and documentation for all staff and children, as well as mandatory daily health screenings, including temperature checks. For LuHi, it’s a lot to digest and prepare for, but the staff is grateful to have the guidance now. Last year it came out too late for them to keep camp open.
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"This is actually a little earlier than last year, so happy that we are finally getting the final word so we can start preparing. I think that’s the main thing. Last year it wasn’t until early to mid June we started getting the guidance," said Wass.
Glen Cove mom Kara Martone has two children who have been going to camp at LuHi for several years. She was a LuHi camper herself back in the day. She’ll take any summer that’s not a repeat of last year.
"They went to our local YMCA just for a week to try out camp, but they were mostly home while we were working from home. Very difficult. Our family is vaccinated so that adds a level of comfort, but I am just ready for my kids to get back to normal," said Martone.
LuHi opens for the summer on June 28th. Right now about 1,500 campers are enrolled, which is only about two thirds of what the camp would see in a typical summer pre-COVID. With these new safety guidelines out, LuHi is hoping more families will enroll in the weeks to come.