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With summer around the corner, what camps will be open during COVID?

Many museums and parks are allowing socially-distanced programs for children.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Roasting marshmallows on stick at bonfire. Having fun at camp fire. Camping in fall forest.

TAMPA, Fla. — The warmer weather is rolling through Florida which means summer is not too far behind. For many, summer equals beach days and some fun in the sun; but for parents, it means finding a way to keep their children entertained for a good three months.

There's no question that COVID has made things difficult for parents. And, with summer vacation approaching and the pandemic still raging, options for children may be slim. As of now, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, and the City of Tampa have not yet released their summer camp information.

However, here are a few COVID-safe options that are available:

Pasco County Summer Day Camp Program

Pasco County is offering a 7-week summer camp that's been heavily modified in order to follow social distancing protocols. From Jun. 14 to Jul. 30, children between the ages of 5 and 13 will be able to enjoy games, sports, arts and crafts, movies, and much more. 

The program is subject to being canceled if CDC guidances change, or if a camper tests positive for the virus. Campers' temperature will be taken each day, staff will be required to wear face masks, and group mingling will be limited.

Registration for the program opens at 10 a.m. on April 10. For more information, visit the county's website.

Glazer Children's Museum

Tampa's Glazer Children's Museum offers STEM-based activities, arts and crafts, and outdoor activities for children between the ages of 5 and 10. The 8-week program (Jun. 7 - Jul. 30) will teach children about everything from the great outdoors to the deep blue sea.

Social distancing will be enforced inside the museum, and children will be screened before being attending camp.

You can register and learn more about the program on the museum's website.

YMCA Tampa Bay

The Y will be offering summer camp across its Tampa Bay locations so children will be able to play sports with standardized safety protocols. These include checking the temperatures of all coaches and staff, sanitizing equipment, limiting how often supplies are shared, and requiring face masks for all indoor activities. 

For more information, check the YMCA website.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Children from kindergarten to 8th grade will be able to experience up-close animal encounters for eight weeks at ZooTampa's summer camp. From Jun. 7 through Aug. 6, kids will be able to tour animal chambers and observe training sessions.

The program has reduced attendance to limit face-to-face contact among staff and campers. The zoo says it also enhanced its sanitation efforts and will conduct temperate checks.

For more information, check Zoo Tampa's website.

Tampa Bay History Center

For just one week, children can escape the age of COVID and go back in time to learn about different parts of Florida's history with Tampa History Museum's summer camp. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 can choose from three different hands-on programs that begin on Jun. 14.

The number of children allowed to participate in the program will be limited to ensure social distancing. Masks will be required, and handwashing breaks will be scheduled regularly.

For more information, visit the museum's website.

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