By Jenny Jurica
Whew…we’ve made it to summer 2021! Now that school is winding down, parents are beginning that time-honored tradition of scouring the area for camps and other activities to keep the kids busy over the summer months. Last year, with most activities and camps canceled due to COVID, it felt like the longest, hottest summer.
The good news is that things are looking a little brighter this year. Many people in our community have been vaccinated, our case numbers are down, and parents are beginning to ponder what a “normal” summer might look like again. Dr. Anthony Fauci even said in an interview with CBS News that he anticipates us having “a good degree of flexibility during the summer, even with the children, with things like camps.”
So, with that bit of good news, what are the options for camps and other organized summer activities around San Antonio this summer? A quick search of some of the most popular activities provided a glimpse into a rather “normal,” looking camp and activity set up. For instance, the DoSeum’s summer camps are going on as planned, but with fewer camps offered and decreased capacity. The perennially-popular New Braunfels camp, T Bar M, has attacked the COVID crisis head-on and now has a myriad of health and safety measures in place for both its campers and staff for the upcoming summer season.
While many families caught the “outdoor adventure bug” last summer, many plan to continue enjoying outdoor family adventures this summer, too.
Taylor, a local mother of two said, “I think we’ll plan to do a lot of what we did last summer: Texas State Parks, river or lake day trips, weekend beach trips, and every now and then, we’ll mask up and do something inside.”
She added, “I got us passes to Sea World’s Aquatica for the summer because it’s outside, and I know there are places we can stay distanced from people. We aren’t at the point of being comfortable with the kids interacting indoors with a bunch of other kids yet.”
As for sleep-away camp, it appears as though most are operating in a (somewhat) normal manner and, after a full year of virtual school, parents and kids alike are ready for some extended time apart.
Hazel, a local mother of one, gives us the lowdown on her daughter’s four-week-long sleep-away camp:
“All camp staff are confined to camp beginning two weeks prior to the season and are given rapid tests weekly. My daughter, as well as everyone in our car, will need a negative rapid test at drop-off before exiting our car. Parents must stay in their cars, and there are no visitors or packages,” she said.
“Protocols give us comfort, and my daughter has been lobbying hard to go since missing last summer,” Hazel added.
So far, things seem to be looking up for the summer of 2021. Many parents are looking forward to shipping the kids off to their freshly-vaccinated grandparent’s houses after not seeing one another for over a year. Others are looking forward to a summer peppered with rescheduled family vacations and organized summer activities. After a long, lonely summer last year–ripe with so many uncertainties–a summer that is as close to normal as possible feels like just what the doctor ordered.