NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Although COVID-19 has forced North Salem to cancel its normal day camp at Mountain Lakes Park, the town is hoping summer won’t be a complete bummer.
According to camp director Lauren Rosasco, local recreation folks have been putting their heads together with state and county health officials to figure out a way to safely offer outdoor sports-oriented and craft-making programs, and maybe even yoga, to children and teens.
Each one-week program would take place Monday through Thursday, three hours a day, and would be run by a vendor.
Rosasco emphasized that the proposed programs, to start around July 20 and run through the end of August, do not constitute “a camp,” and were not included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s June 29 reopening date. These summer programs are included in Phase 4.
The Mid-Hudson Region entered Phase 3—which allows restaurants to reopen and gatherings of up to 25 people—last month.
Phase 4 covers arts (museums), entertainment, recreation, and education (schools).
It covers Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
It was “on track” to enter Phase 4 on Tuesday, July 7—if it met all its markers.
All federal, state and county health guidelines, such as social distancing, hand washing, wearing face masks and the sterilization of common surfaces, will be followed. Participants and staff will be required to have their temperatures checked, Rosasco said.
Because of the ever-changing nature of pandemic regulations, some things are obviously still in flux, but vendors have been lined up and last-minute contract details are being worked out.
“The guidelines have been changing week to week, so we’ve had to roll with the punches,” she said.
The town is teaming up with local athletic leagues so kids can hone their individual skills in sports such as basketball, tennis, lacrosse, baseball and floor hockey.
Folks will be able to register on the town’s website, northsalemny.org, via CommunityPass, a new registration service that was meant to be unveiled this past spring. It was delayed because COVID-19 forced the cancellation of all the town’s programs.
Because space is going to be so limited (the maximum per program per week is likely to be 10 to 15 people)—and the town wants all kids to get the chance to participate, families are being asked to pick no more than two or three programs to start. If they want to participate in more, they can re-register for Round 2, Rosasco said.
The programs are likely to take place at Joe Bohrdrum Town Park on Sunset Drive. And since they are all outdoors, it won’t be a “rain or shine situation,” she added. (A “rain date” will be included on the registration form.)
Once the children’s programs are squared away, the town hopes to whip up a little something for the antsy adults, too.
The goal is to do “anything we can so people can get out and do things,” Rosasco promised.