Summer camps set to look different this year

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 7:45am

YMCA Camp staff for Central Lincoln County YMCA and Boothbay Region YMCA have been hard at work navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on how summer camp with operate this year. Camp Knickerbocker will be operating this summer, beginning on schedule starting June 15.

Although it has been the Y’s hope and intent to operate summer programs as it always has, the Y realizes that it must make adjustments to its programs and schedules to keep campers, staff, and community safe. With guidelines being released last week from the CDC, Redwoods Institute, American Camp Association, and State of Maine Health officials, the Y now has protocols in place that will ensure the safety of campers and staff.

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, one of the most important things the Y can do right now is to remain adaptive and flexible. The Y has taken into consideration and adapted to increased and advance health screening, sanitation throughout the day, frequent and scheduled hand-washing, recommended social distancing practices, personal protective equipment, cohorts of 50 or less, consistently followed foot traffic to maintain group separation, extensive staff training, new transportation protocols to ensure social distancing and use of PPE, and protocols if a camper must leave camp sick.

Due to the large size and area of both Y facilities and the acreage available at Camp Knickerbocker there are many places for campers to participate in activities and maintain consistent separation between camper groups.

Due to these changes to ensure that the Y’s Summer Camps maintain an appropriate level of safety some camps have been removed. To off-set the activities that cannot be offered this summer, the Y will be introducing new programs for your campers to participate in. Including:

Nature Exploration: This program will teach your camper all things nature — from the water cycle to different types of clouds, types of rocks to tree identifications and more.

Outdoor Living Skills: Depending on your camper’s age, this program will focus on knife safety, fire building, outdoor cooking for 1 person, knot tying and more.

STEM: The Y’s assistant camp director has been working hard to find STEM activities for your camper to participate in. All equipment will be single-use or will be used by only your camper and then sanitized before the next use.

Nutrition: This summer Camp K has a grad student joining us who is majoring in nutrition. This individual has a ton of activities planned around nutrition.

Outdoor gardening: The Y has purchased raised beds for your campers to tend to throughout the summer. The Y will be planting edible plants and then campers will learn about their growing process, how they can be used in cooking, and more.

Fitness classes: The Y has some talented group exercise instructors who are willing to come to Camp a few times a week to offer yoga, Zumba, and more. Each class will be held either on the centennial stage or in a field, and each person will be placed six feet apart.

Camp Knickerbocker & CLC Specialty Camps might be operating a little different than before, but it is the Y’s goal to provide a safe and fun camp environment for campers, staff and community. The Y’s staff teams met this week at Camp Knickerbocker and is very excited to provide a fun-filled summer for campers.

There are still spaces open to register for CLC Specialty Camps or Camp Knickerbocker. If you have not yet registered and would like to do so, or would like to request more information around how camp will operate this year, please contact Sarah Brewer, Camp Registrar at