Status of summer camps: Will they open? When? Will families feel comfortable?

WILLIAMSTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- It's a question many parents and caregivers are asking: with in-school instruction canceled for the rest of the academic year, what is the status summer camp?

Can they open? Will they? When? And how do comfortable do families feel?

Children have been home for weeks, and summer camp is the next big thing they would have to look forward to.

I checked in with local camps, and families, to see how this summer is shaping up - so far.

"If I have to go back to work, I don't know what I'll do with the kids all day," says Ariel Bronstein, a mother from South Philadelphia

Bronstein's two children are scheduled for a summer of fun at Tall Pines Day Camp in Williamstown, Gloucester County.

"I'm just also really sad for the kids, they look forward to camp every summer," she says.

Tall Pines Day Camp says it's feeling optimistic that at some point this summer, in some way, they can welcome campers.

"Information keeps changing on a 24-hour basis," says Andrew Yankowitz, the owner, director of Tall Pines Day Camp. "We are trying to adapt."

The start of the summer could also look different from the end, in different regions.

"When will we be able to open up? When are we going to get guidance? We are planning for Plan A, B, C," Yankowitz says.

Safety is the main concern, and that guidance is coming from the American Camp Association. They are working with medical experts to set the standards for 20 million campers across the country.

"Camp will change," says Tom Rosenberg, the president and CEO of the American Camp Association. "They'll see things like frequent screening and monitoring. They'll see staggered arrivals and departures. They'll see constant cleaning and disinfection of facilities and equipment. They'll see PPE in use."

Some camps are going virtual, like Music Theatre Philly in Center City, which already moved its June camps online.

"You will still get to sing and dance to your favorite songs and get all of that full camp experience," says Julianna Babb from Music Theatre Philly. "We're crossing our fingers that by July, we'll be back in the building."

As for the outdoor camps like Tall Pines, attendance is also going to depend on a family's comfort level.

"If they're in, I'm in," Bronstein says.

For parents or children who aren't comfortable, the camps we spoke with say they'll offer refunds.

On the other hand, Tall Pines tells Action News some parents are jokingly offering to pay double to get their kids something to do this summer.

And remember, anything can change because camps are still awaiting CDC guidelines.
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