Springfield-Greene Co. Health Department provides recommendations for summer camp

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ASH GROVE, Missouri (KY3) –

A popular summer camp in the Ozarks is hoping to have a repeat last summer. Camp YMCA Wakonda opened for campers on Monday.

The camp is following guidelines similar to those it put in place last summer to try to prevent Covid-19. No cases were reported in the camp last year. Camp director Dean Maczka said social distancing will be enforced throughout the summer. For example, at mealtime, campers will be divided into two groups.

Maczka said campers are not required to hide, but counselors are when social distancing is not an option or if they are with campers outside of their cohorts. He says temperature checks will be carried out daily and a plan is in place if a camper or worker shows symptoms of COVID-19.

“It’s very easy to no longer think it’s a serious thing because of the lifting of the mask mandate,” Maczka said. “We just want to make sure our kids stay safe. We want to keep that mask mandate because COVID-19 is still a real thing. We do not know who they are returning home with, who they will be with after leaving the camp.

He said campers are not required to be vaccinated. Theresa McCoy’s grandson, who is a third-year camper, took off last year due to the virus. This year he is back and is almost fully vaccinated.

“I think it’s critical that we all get vaccinated,” McCoy said. “So getting him vaccinated for camp was a priority and getting away from electronics and just immersing yourself with your friends is so important to all of us, let alone the teenagers. I just think this is a great opportunity and I trust the YMCA to take good care of the children.

For the full list of Springfield-Greene County Health Department recommendations on camp safety, you can find it by clicking on this link.

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