No State Guidance Yet on Children’s Camps

Freedom—May 31, 2020—The governor on Friday said children’s day camps can start opening on June 22, and guidelines were published the same day. Overnight camps can start opening on June 28, but as yet there is no guidance from the state on what operating during a pandemic requires.

For the two Ossipee Lake overnight children’s camps still considering opening this summer—Robin Hood and Cody—the delay in guidance compounds the logistical challenges they face in planning for a 2020 season.

Campers don’t check in until the end of June, but counselors and other staff typically arrive a week or two earlier. That date is fast approaching.

State Representative William Marsh, who represents Ossipee and is a member of the task force advising the governor on reopening businesses, told Ossipee Lake Alliance that the group has made recommendations to the N.H. Division of Public Health Services and the governor’s office, both of which need to weigh-in before a final set of guidelines is issued.

“To date, no action has been forthcoming,” Marsh said this weekend.

The initial target date for releasing guidelines was May 18.

Camps Cody and Robin Hood both confirmed that they have been making plans in the hope of opening, but will not be able to make a decision until they can review the state’s recommendations.

“We are still hoping to find an avenue to work within the guidelines and allow kids to get outside in a safe bubble,” Camp Robin Hood’s owner/director Richard Woodstein said in an email this weekend.

When published, the state’s guidance will be based on already-published recommendations by the CDC and American Camping Association that will be tweaked to be in sync with the state’s general guidance for public activities.

The state continues to be under a stay-at-home order that expires on June 15. The governor indicated on Friday that he hopes he will not have to extend the order beyond that date.

Three other camps on the lake will be closed this summer. Camps Huckins, Marist and Calumet informed campers, counselors and staff on May 17 that the uncertainty surrounding the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus and the lack of state guidelines about operating safely were key factors in their decision.

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