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More summer camps decide not to open after State releases COVID-19 summer camp guidance

As part of Phase 2 of the State's reopening plan, summer camps and recreation programs can open June 1—but many are making the decision not to open at all.

MAINE, USA — More summer camps in Maine have decided not to open this year after Governor Janet Mill's released the COVID-19 guidelines for summer camps.

As part of Phase 2 of the state's re-opening plan, summer camps and recreation programs can open June 1, but dozens of camps in Maine have decided not to open; many others are still deciding what to do.

"It's been a very difficult Spring for camps. Right now about half of our camps have decided not to open or suspend their regular camps this summer," Ron Hall, the executive director of Maine Summer Camps said. Maine Summer Camps represents 147 overnight and day camps in Maine.

Hall says camps have been waiting for the State's COVID-19 guidelines which finally came last week.

Those lengthy guidelines include limiting camp sizes, requiring face masks, keeping groups of campers from mixing and social distancing both inside and outside.

RELATED: COVID-19 prevention guidelines for summer camps

"Logistically it's hard," Hall said.

Which makes the decision whether or not to open not only difficult but different for every camp.

"It has to do with capacity. It has to do with how large of a health care center they have how large is the campus so they can spread out."

Hall says some camps are trying to be flexible so they can salvage some the season.

"A number [of camps] are looking at modifying their program specifically to try to help serve Maine children."

RELATED: Maine summer camps face uncertainty during coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

But whether camps decide to open or not this year it will come at a price. Hall says camps will take a huge financial hit.

"It will take years for camps to recover and come back and I fear some camps won't."

Deb Smith, the executive director of Maine Recreation & Parks Association said about 90 town and city rec camps will open for the summer. She said about 11 communities decided to cancel and there are at or about six to eight that are still unsure what to do. Smith said there is a lot of angst around making this decision.

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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