John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

Your Decision: Send Your Child to Summer Camp or Not?

Up until May 27, 2020, Newtown Township was planning to open summer camps in 2020 and said it would follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Shown below is the CDC "decision tree" for re-opening summer camps.

CDC's "Decision Tree." Compare this to the Guidelines previously rejected by the White House (here).

How comfortable would you be sending your child/children to summer camp?

In order to guage the opinion of local area parents, I hosted an online survey from May 10, 2020 through May 27, 2020, that asked respondents to answer the question above under two different conditions:

  1. if there were no guidelines at all, and
  2. if CDC guidelines like those above were followed.

The following chart shows the results:

I estimated that these results could translate to a drop of 40% or more in actual registrations for Newtown summer camp. Actually, at the May 27, 2020, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, the Township Manager reported that registration was down 70%. For this and other reasons, he decided to cancel summer camps and issued this report to the Supervisors:

Unfortunately, surrounding amenities continue to prohibit, close, and/or restrict access from outside camps, which leaves us with little options for activities for the kids. We have also not heard back from Council Rock as to whether we would be permitted to utilize the school facilities for camp. Unfortunately, it appears that we will need to cancel summer camps for the 2020 season. This will adversely affect the Township’s revenue, however, our general enrollment was down, so even if we had held camp, we would have likely offset any revenue gain with operational expenses. We are also thinking about and working on setting up virtual camps that can be done from home and “mini” camps outdoors where activities could be held for both kids and adults once we are permitted to do so under the Governor’s Order.

Comments From Survey Respondents

Some of the comments submitted by respondents:

“Its too hard to give kids this summer experience it isn't what they will enjoy and too hard to keep reminding kids about distancing wearing mask not playing with kids etc. They may as well lay and run at home in their backyard with siblings without restrictions.”

– A Newtown Borough resident who would feel “Very uncomfortable” sending his/her child to summer camp with CDC guidelines in place.

“Camp is a FUN thing for my kids to go to. But, how are these kids just gonna clean their hands and not wear masks. And if they do wear mask, it’s very hot during the summer. It’s not safe! It needs to put rescheduled for next summer.” 

– A Newtown Township resident who would feel “Not comfortable at all” sending his/her child to summer camp with CDC guidelines in place.span.

“Guidelines must be in place and clear. Ours is playground camp so I'd want it to be mostly outdoors. Bathroom situation makes me nervous.”

– a Lower Southampton Township resident who would feel “Somewhat comfortable” sending his/her child to summer camp with CDC guidelines in place.

“I can't believe anything.”

– a Newtown Township resident who would feel “Not comfortable at all” sending his/her child to summer camp with CDC guidelines in place.

“All it takes is one case to spread throughout the community! I trust the staff and adults involved but it is irresponsible to put others lives at risk.”

– a Newtown Township resident who would feel “Not comfortable at all” sending his/her child to summer camp with CDC guidelines in place.

“Controlled numbers in attendance and a genuine effort to keep children active but somewhat separated are concerns.”

– a Lower Makefield resident who would feel “Very comfortable” sending his/her child to summer camp with CDC guidelines in place.”

“I had my child signed up before Covid. Now I’m really not sure if I will send my child or not. My concerns are it’s hard for children to socially distance and as of now we haven’t gotten info on how the camp will change so I’m taking a wait and see approach since it’s still early May.”

– a Newtown Township resident who would feel “Very uncomfortable” sending his/her child to summer camp with CDC guidelines in place.

This site is paid for and approved by John Mack: john@johnmacknewtown.info
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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