After months of networking and information-gathering with camp and healthcare professionals across Illinois, the American Camp Association, Illinois is excited to announce that Illinois Day and Overnight Camps have guidance! We are incredibly grateful to Governor Pritzker, Dr. Ezike, and all the hardworking people at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for recognizing that camp is essential for the families, children, and communities who benefit from positive camp experiences in Illinois.
This summer, more than 500 camps will serve just under a million campers in the state of Illinois. For families who are considering camp this summer, the American Camp Association has ample evidence that accredited camps can and will happen safely this summer, largely because they are already familiar with implementing guidance through the American Camp Association Accreditation Program.
The American Camp Association, Illinois believes that camp has the power to transform lives, and provides fundamental services for children and families by disrupting the effects of poverty. Children across Illinois will now have the opportunity to access supportive camp communities that are focused on their social-emotional development, and we know that camps are just as eager as we are to welcome back campers in a safe and fun environment! For those of you familiar with the Summer Camp and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comprehensive Report of Multiple Studies by ACA, you’ll remember it demonstrates that camps who have implemented the guidance found in ACA’s Field Guide who ALSO applied strict, layered mitigation strategies, have been successful in safely operating camp in-person while significantly reducing the spread of COVID-19. Those layered mitigation strategies included:
The recently announced guidance for youth day and overnight camps by IDPH and DCEO is a clear sign that Illinois is prioritizing safety, our children, and the social-emotional skills they will gain at camp this summer. For more information and support in safety facilitating camp this summer, check out the following resources:
Camp Guidance from the DCEO Website
Field Guide for Camps
ACA Illinois Member Website - COVID -19 Resources for Camps
Summer Camp and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comprehensive Report of Multiple Studies
Questions about implementing guidance at camp this summer? Contact Colette Marquardt, Executive Director at:
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