ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After a stressful year – kids need a safe space to be themselves, and have fun, Janet Depetrillo with Girl Scouts of Western New York says about hosting camp this summer.
Since the FDA announced the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in adolescents 12 to 15 years old, it has brought even better news for summer camps. The Girl Scouts will host both day and sleepaway camp – following CDC guidelines.
“We reduced attendance by 50%, girls that do come to camp will be traveling in small groups or pods,” Depetrillo said.
Masks will be worn at all times with the exception of eating, and activities like swimming.
The guidelines are similar for Camp Stella Maris on Conesus Lake. Camp Director Jenn Meyers says they’re also following the CDC.
But the catch – no guidance from the state.
“As soon as the CDC guidance came out and the news picked it up we had phone calls within seconds, ‘what does this mean?’, we presume the same thing to happen once New York State guidance comes out,” said Meyers.
It’s the same frustration for Boy Scouts — The Seneca Waterways Council says for every day Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t release guidance – it affects planning.
“That delay means we’re not able to share with families what is the expectation when you get here, wearing a mask, vaccination if you’re going to be a visitor,” said Stephen Hoitt, executive director Seneca waterways council.
Laura Baker is a mother in Henrietta, who feels safe sending her child to camp with the vaccine available.
“As long as they were vaccinated,” Baker said. “Maybe testing right before camp just to make sure everyone is COVID negative and then put in a cohort.”
The CDC does not recommend a vaccine mandate, and only some camps will be requiring a COVID test before activities.
Camps will be working with the county and state department of health is someone were to exhibit symptoms or test positive. This would include immediate isolation, disinfecting and contact tracing.