Pandemic forcing kids to adjust to revamped summer camps

(WSVN) - School is finally over for thousands of South Florida students. The next step for many is summer camp, but the coronavirus pandemic is forcing camp directors to make big changes to keep kids healthy. 7’s Brian Entin has more about summer safety.

Kids at Fight Sports Summer Camp in Coral Springs spend a few hours every day learning about jujitsu.

Instead of sparring with each other, they practice their moves on dummies and keep their distance from their friends.

Felipe Amarante, Fight Sports owner: “I had to find a way for them to practice jujitsu, especially for the parents that are not ready for contact at all.”

South Florida camp directors were afraid they would not be able to open this summer, but were finally given the green light last week.

Amarante said things are a lot different this year.

“Maybe more cleaning, right? More hand washing.”

Camps had to make major changes in order to open, and kids will see it the minute they walk through the door.

Felipe Amarante: “As the kids come in, we check their temperature, we have multiple hand sanitizers. We do have the social distancing, we clean everything. Everything is nice and organized.”

You won’t see as many kids at area camps, either.

Last summer, the program at Fight Sports had 40 campers enrolled.

But because of social distancing rules, they could only accept 18.

Mike Nieves, APT trainer: “OK, what’s the steps that we need to take to make sure our athletes and their families are safe?”

APT soccer camp in Coconut Creek is also operating below normal numbers.

Because soccer is a high contact sport, Nieves said his staff had to figure out how to run their camp without anyone actually playing soccer.

Mike Nieves: “We have to be able to put together games that are social distanced, keeping these kids six feet or more apart.”

The kids spend their time brushing up on technique and form, guided by their instructors who all wear masks.

If parents still aren’t comfortable bringing their kids to camp, APT has come up with virtual training sessions.

Djems Lima, APT owner: “We basically do the exercise, show them and we have our screen turned so we can see them.”

Camps have hand washing and CDC reminders posted throughout their facilities.

They are also bringing in extra help to make sure everything is clean.

Mike Nieves: “One of our main things is making sure we keep the contact with surfaces in our facility as minimal as possible for our players.”

Even with all the new measures to keep things safe, they say it’s OK if parents don’t jump at the chance to send their kids to camp.

Djems Lima: “It’s completely understandable, because we don’t know what the long-term effects of this is.”

There is no doubt that camp will definitely be different this year, but the goal is for kids to still have a good time.

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