Family Focus: Jacksonville summer camps getting ready to welcome back children with safety precautions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Summer is just around the corner, and our summer camps are getting ready for kids to return.

The Jewish Community Alliance is already gearing up for its summer camps.

I spoke with Sunny Gettinger, a local mother of two boys who can’t wait to head back to summer camp.

“Both boys are going to be taking a computer coding camp. I think they have bunch of other things like pottery, and magic, and art, and fencing, and tennis and whole bunch of things,” Gettinger said.

Her son Court is 9 and his brother, Max, is 7.

They’ve been attending summer camps at the JCA since they were toddlers.

The JCA offers camps for children who are ages 1 and walking to 16 years old.

Last year when the pandemic hit, JCA didn’t cancel its summer camps.

Instead, groups were smaller and kids were socially distanced.

“Obviously, mask and lots and lots of disinfecting and hand-washing, so some of those things we’re going to continue to do,” said Amanda Collins, youth services director at the JCA.

Collins told me in addition to continued safety protocols, masks will still be required.

“The exception is when we’re outdoors we can take our mask off if we’re comfortable with that,” Collins said.

Even with the mask policy in place, summer camps are something this mother of two says she’s looking forward to.

“Very few of our kids are going to be vaccinated before summer camp, so I think we know, the kids have gotten used to masks on and that’s OK. It’s going to be OK and I know they’re going to take good care of my kids,” Gettinger said.

Enrollment for summer camps at the JCA is also up. Last year when the pandemic hit, the JCA said about 50% of its camps were full. This year, camps are around 80% to 90% booked up.

Summer camps with the JCA start on June 7.

Fun 4 First Coast Kids has also compiled a list of other summer camps in our area. You can check those out by clicking HERE.