Naples cancels city-run summer camps

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jackie Winchester

Naples city leaders decided Wednesday that there will be no city-run summer camps this year.

It comes as a big blow for parents trying to get back on their feet after being out of work for weeks.

Some families question if it’s really a healthier option to keep kids cooped up all summer, but when it comes to group activities such as basketball, how can you keep a safe distance?

Managing the interactions between campers is a tough obstacle, one that city leaders took into consideration when they made their decision. They are instead discussing holding programs online.

That’s a substitute that dad Luke Claremont said will make times harder for struggling families who rely on camps during the summer.

“That adds a layer of difficulty for parents, especially if they’re trying to get back to work but the kids don’t have a place to go… it puts them in front of a screen,” he said.

He wonders if that decision is really the “healthier option.”

“I think for the well-being of the kids, the mental well-being of the kids, if the spacing is met, it may be odd, but at least everyone is interacting,” Claremont said.

The city is reviewing its programs and said some could meet social distancing requirements.

Other Naples organizations that plan to run summer camps are trying to get creative to meet CDC guidelines. Some are even considering having kids wear masks.

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