As we approach summer, people begin to plan summer camps, programs, and vacations. But, with the recent pandemic, how would this work? Thanks to the new vaccines, summer programs aren’t all shut down, but they all have taken measures to make sure everyone’s summer is safe and COVID free.
There are many summer programs which require travel to attend. For example, AMHSI, Alexander Muss High School in Israel, was cancelled last summer because of COVID. Currently the program is set to resume this year with many COVID precautions. At first, these included quarantining upon arrival, but now participants need to get vaccinated and facemasks are to be worn regularly. On their website, they explain, “We will also be regularly updating our guidelines and protocols based on recommendations from the government and ensure that all staff and students are trained and aware of all protocols and guidelines.” This means that nothing is yet guaranteed, but as of now, people will be able to attend this program. Other programs based in Israel include the School of Madrichim and Diller Teen Fellows program. Sadly, Diller Teen Fellows will not be going to Israel because of COVID, but they had their year-round activities on Zoom. Similarly, the School of Madrichim, also known as SOM, had meetings throughout the year, with masks, and are currently planning on going to Israel over the summer.
There are other programs like teen tours that are still continuing, but taking COVID precautions. WestCoast Connection – a teen tour company – is requiring a physician’s medical form, as well as constant temperature checks and masks. They are not requiring kids to be vaccinated – only the staff. Another popular teen tour company is called Rein. Rein did not shut down, but is implementing COVID-19 protocols. They state, “Although the world may seem a bit different in 2021, Rein Teen Tours remains committed to providing the safest possible summer experience for our teen travelers and summer staff members.” These protocols include a pre-health survey, a negative COVID test, and the staff to be vaccinated. These programs are taking similar approaches on how to continue summer fun in times like these.
Another summer program is Explo, where “students pursue their strengths, discover new interests, and make friends who expand their horizons and embrace what makes them individuals.” This takes place in different college campuses around the US, where students can learn about topics that interest them. Their COVID protocols include limiting capacity of students on campus, residential programs only, student housing, and following other CDC guidelines.
All in all, after the dull summer of 2020, this year will be anything but that. Summer programs are doing everything they possibly can to ensure an exciting and safe summer. Each program is taking similar precautions and changing their guidelines as time goes by. Hopefully all these summer programs will not get cancelled by the time summer comes by.