While COVID-19 has not affected kids’ physical health as much as older adults, it has greatly impacted their developmental growth as well as their mental health. Summer camps help promote social, emotional, and developmental well-being in young children. They can provide them with opportunities to make friends, be independent, think creatively, get exercise, and try new things.
“The benefit of in-person programming for supporting youth learning and mental health, particularly in vulnerable populations, outweighs the risk of viral spread,” says Dr. Permar. “This is true not only in a school setting, but in a camp setting where children are engaging in physical activities like playing outside and swimming at the pool and doing creative activities like arts and crafts.”
At the end of the day, choosing whether to send your child to summer camp amid COVID-19 is a personal decision. “As a parent and former camp counselor, I support summer camp experiences for children’s development, especially after we all work to ensure it is the safest and most enjoyable experience it can be,” says Dr. Permar.