Go Ask Mom

Kanata, Sea Gull and Seafarer cancel summer overnight camps

Three overnight camps that draw hundreds of children from across the Triangle announced that they will not operate this summer.

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YMCA Camp Kanata
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
, Go Ask Mom editor

Three overnight camps that draw hundreds of children from across the Triangle announced that they will not operate this summer.

Camp Kanata, Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer, all operated by the YMCA of the Triangle, announced that they would be canceling their overnight summer camps.

This includes the traditional overnight camps at Kanata and the Starter Camp, Mariners, Four-Week Sessions, Day Camp and Family Camp Week at Sea Gull and Seafarer. Kanata, which is in Wake Forest, does plan to offer its day camp.

"This was one of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make. But it is the right one for us," wrote Ryan Eves, Kanata's camp director, in a message to parents on Friday.

Parents of children planning to head to Seafarer and Sea Gull, which are located in Arapahoe, N.C., received a similar message.

"Since March, our staff has been diligently working through multiple scenarios in an effort to make traditional summer Camp programs happen, knowing that we all needed Camp more than ever this summer," Eves wrote. "However, in light of guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, the state of North Carolina, and recommendations from our Medical Committee, we are unable to provide the safe and exceptional experience that is a traditional Camp Kanata overnight program. The things that make camp so unique: playing in the Gaga Pit with friends and eating in the Dining Hall and gathering with your friends at Campfire; all of this cannot be done under the guidelines set in place."

All three camps said that they plan to offer a different type of camp for children and families at some point. They also sought donations from families, while recognizing that many may also be experiencing financial hardships of their own.

"Not running our traditional summer programs is one of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make," Kanata's website says. "We know this decision causes a significant gap financially for Camp Kanata, but believe that together we can get through this tough time and ensure a successful summer in 2021. A year without summer revenue will be difficult. We are reviewing our budget to reduce this year’s losses while focusing on 2021 and beyond."

Overnight camps can operate in North Carolina during North Carolina's phased approach, but the state recommends a series of modifications that could make operating one a challenge.

They include:

  • Limiting participation to campers from North Carolina and surrounding states.
  • Quarantining counselors and staff for 14 days before campers arrive.
  • Encouraging all employees and campers to wear a cloth face mask when they may be closer to six feet from others.

Camps also would be required to conduct daily symptom screenings of campers and staff and immediately isolate anybody who is sick.

Camp Kanata and Sea Gull and Seafarer have more information on their websites. All three camps are offering families full refunds.


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