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Demand for Summer Camp Strong, Even as COVID-19 Worries Linger

Liz Lerner

School’s almost out for the summer, and many parents are getting ready to send their children back to camp or summer child care.

But with children under 12 still unable to get vaccinated for COVID-19, some families worry about whether camps are taking enough precautions and if any seats will be left once they get the details sorted out.

Erin Li, of East Dennis, said she’s still looking for a camp for her 7-year-old daughter that’s both safe and reasonably priced.

“I don't want to put her at risk of anything,” she said. “So for me, it's important to find a place where the groups are small and she can wear a mask. And at the same time, it seems like the prices are really high.”

Li said the process has caused her a lot of stress. But she said people should go easy on themselves — and one another — as they decide how to get back to social interaction.

Michael Albaugh, executive director of the Cape Symphony, which runs several music and arts camps, said slots are filling up. Back in April, the Symphony was asked to provide a music program for a summer camp that already had 170 children enrolled.

“So we knew, at that point in time, that it was going to be potentially a busy summer with a lot of families looking for opportunities for their young people. … And we've been kind of preparing for this opportunity, which has been good,” he said.

He said the Cape Symphony preschool served as a daycare for children of first responders throughout the pandemic.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.