New Hampshire

Summer Camps in NH Get Ready to Reopen

Summer day camps will be able to reopen on June 22 and overnight camps on June 28

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Summer camps in New Hampshire will soon begin welcoming kids back for the season, a week after the state's stay-at-home order expires.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday he plans to let the current stay-at-home order expire on June 15 and transition to a "safer at home advisory." The move means several sectors of the economy can reopen and the cap on scheduled gatherings of 10 or less will be removed.

Summer day camps will now be able to reopen on June 22 and overnight camps on June 28.

At the YMCA's off-site summer camp in East Kingston, the sanitizing dispensers are full, there's plenty of fresh air, space for social distancing and staff members are eager to welcome back kids who have been cooped up for months.

"They can't wait to go to camp," said Haverhill, Massachusetts, resident Amy Hanagan.

For Hanagan's eight-year-old twins who have been stuck at home, summer camp will be nothing short of a luxury vacation, and a much-needed break for mom.

"Knowing they have a safe place to go where they can be outside having fun is such a huge relief," Hanagan said.

In just over a week, Camp Tricklin' Falls will also be crawling with kids.

"It's going to be awesome and I can't wait for the kiddos to come back and have that sense of normalcy back," said Eric Michitson, who is the Recreation and Summer Camp Director at the Plaistow YMCA.

Michitson admits opening a summer camp amid a pandemic isn't easy.

"It's definitely going to be different," he said.

There will be smaller counselor to camper ratios, lots of sanitizing stations and classic games will take on a 2020 twist.

"So if we're playing a tag game, they might have a noodle where they have to tag them now," he explained.

Because of social distancing, the YMCA can only accommodate half the kids, but that's still 120 happy campers and even happier parents.

"Awesome," Hanagan said laughing.

All next week camp counselors will be on hand to learn new COVID-19 safety protocols.

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