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What summer camps in Texas might look like due to the coronavirus impact

HOUSTON – As Texas reopens, many parents are still waiting to find out if summer camps will be allowed to open. And, if so, how will hundreds of kids practice social distancing?

KPRC 2 asked the president and founder of Kidventure. The program has 30 campsites around Houston that host several thousand children from 3 to 18 years old every summer.

“I believe that camps are going to operate in smaller groups,” President Mike McDonell explained. “Now those kids are gonna be closer to each other than 6 feet. That’s impossible with kids.”

New safety guidelines

McDonell said while he doesn’t yet know if camps will be allowed to open, he is using interim guidelines from the CDC to make plans as if they will. Here are some of the safety measures Kidventure will employ:

  • Separating kids into small groups of no one more than 8 to 10 children
  • Daily temperature checks for staffers and campers before the start of camp each day
  • More cleaning & disinfecting camp areas and equipment

What about refunds?

Like at a lot of other camps, some parents have already paid in full. They want to know if they will receive full refunds if they decide against sending their kids or if the camp can't go on as planned. McDonell says Kidventure will refund everything in full except the deposit and registration fee. If camp does not happen, those will be applied to next year or the next session parents want their children to attend.

“Those deposits are crucial,” said McDonell. “Those deposits provide us a way to hire our staff, to buy the supplies to get ready for camp... to prepare for all the things that we need to do in order to provide a Kidventure program for our families and our kids.”

What you can do

If a camp you have already paid for is not refunding your money, try writing a letter to the administration explaining your family’s financial situation and why a credit will simply not work. You can also “CC” the Texas Attorney General’s office on the letter.

Every camp is different, but most camps are still in limbo waiting to find out if the state will let them open this summer. McDonell said he thinks Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will make that decision by May 18.