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How Summer Camps are Responding to COVID-19: June Update

When our Crisis Management Team began calling each one of our client camps in April to see how they were responding to COVID-19, our goal was two-fold. First, we wanted to connect with as many camp directors as possible, to let them know that regardless of their plans for the summer, CampMinder is here for them every step of the way to help them navigate the path forward. Second, we wanted to gather data that we could share with the entire camp industry to help give summer camps a strong data point on how their peers and the industry as a whole is proceeding.

One of the key takeaways from our initial round of phone calls in late April was that camps were, at the time, unsure of whether they’d operate or not – and wouldn’t know until early June.

Since that update we have continued to call our client camps to gather this information. To supplement these one-on-one conversations we sent a short online survey to our clients asking about their plans for this summer. We also researched any public-facing announcements that camps had shared on their websites or social media profiles. All told, as of June 9 we have been able to connect with 885 camps and have clarity on where all but 2% of these camps stand. The statistics below represent how camps are responding to COVID-19 based on our findings from these three outreach strategies.

pie chart about camp data

The Majority of Camps are Not Running In-Person Programs due to COVID-19

Of the 885 camps we have spoken with, that completed our survey, or that have made their decisions public, 62% will not be running in-person programs this summer.

27% of closed camps reported that they are choosing to run some form of virtual activities this summer.

Of the camps that are closed for the summer, 27% reported that they are choosing to run some form of virtual activities this summer. There is no single approach for virtual programs – some camps reported that they will be hosting a small number of activities, while others have created more robust options.

Some Camp are Running with Adjusted Programming

We’ve heard from 27% of camps that they are planning to open this summer and run in-person programs with adjustments to their original programming. An additional 8% of camps are still unsure about their decision.

Of open and unsure camps, 60% are still waiting on official guidance.

Among these two groups of camps (those that are opening and those that are unsure), 60% reported that they are still waiting for official guidance from state and/or local officials and that this deeper understanding of guidelines they will need to follow will impact their ultimate decision.

Camps are Responding to COVID-19 Pivoting to Family Camps and Rentals

One trend that is emerging as we gather these data are camps shifting their approach for the summer and offering family camps or rentals on their property. This strategy can help camps recover lost income and generate revenue in a summer without normal programming.

Of the camps that are closed this summer, 15% reported that they are implementing some version of family camps, group events, or rentals this summer.

15% of closed camps are pivoting to group, family, or rentals

CampMinder is exploring a solution for camps looking for a group event or rental tool. If you’re interested in learning more, complete this form.

Responding to COVID-19 and Facing Challenges Together

Our industry never expected such an all-encompassing challenge, but we are not surprised by the kindness, creativity, and support for each other that you all have exhibited during the last few months. In his most recent letter to the camp community, our CEO Dan Konigsberg acknowledged that these statistics are sobering, but he also wrote that even as camps have had to make heartbreaking choices, we’ve been inspired by the empathy on display as these decisions have been made. 

We will continue to uphold our promise to be here if you need us and to provide meaningful and useful content and advice.