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Summer camps return in Mid-Michigan with some COVID-19 measures

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT
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FENTON, Mich. (WJRT) - Summer is officially here and that means summer camps are starting back up and running in Mid-Michigan for the first time in two years.

As the state gets ready to go completely back to normal Tuesday, camps will look a little different. Camp Copneconic near Fenton welcomed more than 300 kids between Sunday and Monday with some COVID-19 measures in place.

“When we welcomed all these kids back this morning, it really just re-energized camp,” said associate executive director Thomas Bawden. “It’s nice having kids singing and dancing and doing archery and having fun.”

Some kids are still wearing masks, which makes complete sense because anyone under the age of 12 is not able to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We’re able to have kids take their masks off for part of the day, but then there are parts of their day when they will be wearing their masks,” Bawden said. “And some activities have been modified to encourage social distancing, we do have our dining hall more spread out.”

Kids are divided into lots of small groups. Normally, the camp does larger group activities, but until COVID-19 is a distant memory, cohorts are the lay of the land at camp.

“That cohort will stay together for everything, so for their activities, for check in, for lunch, they’re together throughout their whole day,” Bawden said.

Camp Copneconic is not requiring kids who are of age or camp counselors and staff to be vaccinated. But Bawden said most of his staff is.

There are some health and safety checks in place, but it’s certainly not taking any fun away from the whole summer camp experience. The camp will adjust COVID-19 measures if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changes guidance for summer camps.

“Our staff and our team here at Copneconic are beside ourselves to have kids back here, because that’s what we do it for,” Bawden said.

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