Lost summer: Many NH day, residential camps closed

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 3:41 PM EDT
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As summer is about to begin, nearly half of the licensed day camps in New Hampshire have closed because of the coronavirus, and only six residential camps are still trying to open, the president of the state camp directors association said Wednesday.

State safety guidelines that came out recently for the camps to run are “extraordinarily challenging,” Ken Robbins told a group of legislators gathering input for the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery. For some camps, it would have meant changing the nature of their program; for others, it meant dealing with the costs of screening and testing campers, modifying buildings and increasing health care staff.

“The cost of opening for the summer, in some cases, actually exceeds the cost of staying closed, and for some, to the point of being unfeasible,” he said.

A quick survey shows that camps will see more than an 80% drop in gross revenue over 2019 numbers. Even closed, the camps still face a number of fixed costs, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance, Robbins said. He said 17% of the camps that responded to the survey said they are either likely or somewhat likely not to be able to reopen next summer.

“We know that getting to 2021 is going to be a serious challenge for all camps,” Robbins said, seeking help in the form of grants or other assistance to get ready for next summer.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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