Summer 2020: Not What We Imagined

How Corona Is Changing Summer Camps


Rebecca Barnholtz, Staff Reporter

Summer 2020 was supposed to be one for the books, but with the recent emergence of COVID-19, things are not going as planned for a lot of people.

Teens across the globe attend summer camps, and day by day more are getting cancelled for the entire summer due to the virus.

Freshman Sarah Malter is one of the many already affected by this change. She was planning on spending her eighth and final summer at Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) this year. On Tuesday, April 28, GUCI closed its gates for the entire summer.

 “I am hoping to get together with my camp friends by the end of the summer. I also believe that next year we will come back to camp stronger and truly cherish everything,” Malter said.

With seeing one camp closed down for the summer and Herzl announce its closing on May 6, campers and staff for other sleep-away camps are beginning to worry.

Senior Lexie Lander has attended Camp Birchwood for the past eight years and was planning on working at Camp Sabra for her third. 

“I’m supposed to go back as a counselor at Sabra, but I’m waiting to fill out an application until I know for sure that I’ll be able to go. I’m assuming they will unfortunately not be going on this summer which makes me so sad not only for myself, but for the directors who work tirelessly during the year to ensure campers a great summer,” Lander said.

Lander’s alternate plans for this summer consist of working at JuJu B’s, doing DoorDash, swimming at Forest Lake, and overall getting ready to leave for college.

Sophie Sokolik, a junior who was also planning on working at Sabra this summer, also believes that Sabra will be giving out bad news on May 15. 

“A lot of my friends’ camps have been cancelled and even though I would do anything to get to my spend my summer at Sabra there is just too much uncertainty right now to send kids to camp safely,” Sokolik said. 

Sokolik believes that next year camps will be much more cautious when it comes to getting physicals and ensuring kids’ health during camp itself.

On May 12, the fate of sophomore Mikaela Snitzer’s summer is going to be announced. After attending Camp Interlaken for the past seven years, she is in hope that the sessions will simply be pushed back from the June 24 start date instead of being cancelled entirely.

In the case that Interlaken closes this summer, Snitzer is unsure what she will be doing as an alternative, or even what 2021 will look like. With a three week Israel trip already cancelled, she has much more time on her hands than planned already.

“In 2021 I’m supposed to be a CIT this summer so either I’ll get to do the program a year late or skip it and go straight to staff, which would kinda suck because the CIT year is supposed to be the most memorable,” Snitzer said.

Overall, this summer is unclear for a lot of teens and as more camps cancel, things look a lot worse for the fall. With nicer weather coming, we must remember that COVID-19 is still out there and to be safe.