Summit County Summer Camp Directors Offer Advice For Families

Summer camps in Summit County are prepared to adjust to tighter restrictions if needed, but say there's still hope if you haven't signed up yet.

Video Transcript

- Summit County is really under the microscope, especially as we get closer to summer camps. Registration is already filling up, even though COVID restrictions may get tighter. Mountain Newsroom reporter Jamie Leary is live in Summit County tonight with more. Jamie?

JAMIE LEARY: Summit County has to stay at this level for COVID cases or get lower in order to avoid level orange for the next five days. And we know parents and kids are eager to sign up for summer programs across the high country. The good news is camps-- they're prepared to adjust to all of these numbers. And they want parents to know that just because they're full right now doesn't mean the capacity restrictions can lift. So they said, it's not too late. Don't panic yet.

PAUL ABLING: We've always typically put our summer camps on sale kind of late February, early March. That's the window we find when parents start to think about what they're doing for summer.

JAMIE LEARY: This year, parents have been thinking about summer camp since programs shut down last year. At the Walking Mountains Science Center in Eagle County, they started calling for slots in January.

PAUL ABLING: We had some of it in line by then, but we started getting calls like right in the new year about people wanting to get into camp as quickly as possible.

JAMIE LEARY: When registration opened here, the 322 slots were full within minutes. It was the same for day camps over at the popular Keystone Science School.

DAVID MILLER: It's been a big challenge for us, because the last thing we want to do is turn parents and kids away. They're really chomping at the bit for any summer camp programming.

JAMIE LEARY: This year, camps say, go for the waitlist.

DAVID MILLER: If we can create safe places and we can hire and train qualified staff, then we can increase capacity.

JAMIE LEARY: The Walking Mountains Science Center has a waitlist around 300 parents long, but there's still hope.

PAUL ABLING: We are optimistic that we're going to be able to increase capacity, and we'll fill that capacity with the waitlist first.

JAMIE LEARY: Even if some communities do see spikes in COVID, the camps are still prepared.

DAVID MILLER: Just to buy more large canvas tents so we have more indoor space so we can keep physical distancing and just have a safe place in case it rains.

JAMIE LEARY: And if you can't get into one program--

PAUL ABLING: There is a lot of conversation between all of us, in terms of we have a camp full, but maybe this entity has camps that are open.

JAMIE LEARY: Another thing they're keeping an eye on is vaccinations. Camp counselors are well on the way. Governor Polis said that ages 16 and older could be eligible by April, 12 and older as early as this fall. So that could definitely open up some more slots over the summer. We're live in Summit County. Jamie Leary, CBS4 Mountain Newsroom.