SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As they wait for final guidance from the state on summer camp operations, the Syracuse Jewish Community Center voted Tuesday night and told NewsChannel 9 that they are going ahead with planning.
With summer getting closer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state health officials are concerned with an emerging illness showing up in kids that is related to COVID-19. This inflammatory disease has been found in well over 100 kids downstate, but, so far, no cases have been confirmed in Onondaga County.
Like many other summer camps, those with the JCC are waiting for answers about their fate, but are hoping to start camp on July 6.
“We’ve been planning and preparing all along to hopefully run some type of recreational program during the summer weeks for the children,” said Pamela Ranieri, the director of Children’s Programming at JCC.
Normally come June, the playgrounds would be full of hundreds of kids during their eight-week program. Now, they are planning to knock it down to seven weeks and having the kids stay on site rather than take field trips.
The kids will gather in groups of 10 or less and stay outside as much as possible. And they won’t be allowed in without a temperature check.
“We feel that going forward, we’re comfortable with what we’ve set forth and we’re able to keep campers as safe as possible,” said Amy Bisnett, the associate director of Children’s Programming at JCC.
When asked why it was so important to have something like this for children, even during a pandemic, Bisnett said the following:
“Social, emotional skills is something that we preach about and talk about starting at a young age. They really need that and since they’re not getting any social interaction at school, it’s really important to be able to have it at camp.”
That is if they get their permit approved by the Onondaga County Health Department.
The JCC Board voted almost unanimously on Tuesday night to start summer camp on July 6. They also voted to open up their early Childhood Development Program next month.