June is coming. And with it, the whole conciliation puzzle. There is little left for the cabbages to close and fathers and mothers have been thinking for many weeks how to organize their job and their holidays with those of his sons and daughters. In that infernal tetris, the summer camps they are a priority option. This year yes. Behind the hecatomb of 2020, summer leisure activities for children take flight in all Spain.
The protocol covid is already incorporated in their DNA: small groups, taking temperature, outdoor activities, face mask in the interior spaces, permanent ventilation, hand hygiene and constant disinfection. It’s the same pandemic paraphernalia from last year. However, on that occasion suspicion and, basically, fear dominated. Schools had been physically closed since March and many families only felt safe within the walls of their own home.
In 2002, the sector turnover fell by approximately 80% (from € 43 million in 2019 to € 9 million in 2020) and jobs were reduced by 70%. The economic suffocation led to the closure of three out of ten companies, according to devastating data from the National Association of Activities and Camp Companies (ANEACAMP).
After an entirely face-to-face course where it has been shown that schools are a safe space against coronavirus, this year mothers and fathers have gained confidence and are once again betting on the summer camps to be able to reconcile work and family life and long school vacations. Depending on age, there are two basic options. For children between 8 and 17 years old, the most demanded are the camping with overnight. With regard to the youngest children (between 4 and 6 years old), the urban and day camps, many of which are organized at the school itself. Last year, the educational centers could hardly celebrate them due to the distrust of the families and the consequent lack of capacity.
Another possibility that is gaining strength, especially among fathers and mothers who telework, is that of hire a company who sets up a camp in the own urbanization where the family resides. The minimum capacity is six children from the age of 3 and the activities are carried out on the premises of the community of neighbors, swimming pool and gardens included. They tend to be yincanas, sack races, treasure hunts … The price is lower (does not include food) and the schedule is also (about four hours). Companies often give the option for the monitor to speak in English to children.
“75% of the places in the first half of July are already occupied”
In the case of overnight camps, 75% of the places in the first half of July are already occupied, Explain Covadonga Berjón, ANEACAMP spokesperson. The most popular are those that include nature activities, either in the mountains or on the beach. “It is clear that mothers and fathers have had enough of lockdown domiciliary that we live in March ”, emphasizes the spokeswoman, who emphasizes that the families bet on hiring the camp in the same autonomous community in which they reside. “They still do not dare to let their children travel a few kilometers to go to another territory,” he concludes after emphasizing that this year there is an evident demand for the camping trips to also be held in August. The bill, of course, has risen slightly for families given the implementation of sanitary measures, reinforcement of personnel and reductions in capacity.
The covid protocol includes limits on capacity. Depending on each autonomy, this can be between 50% and 75% of the usual. As happens in schools, when a minor presents symptoms compatible with the disease, they will be isolated from their peers and transferred to the health center, where the doctors will decide the protocol. This summer’s rules include signing a responsible statement in which fathers and mothers will confirm that they have complied with all security measures and that, among other things, they have avoided excessive social life in the days prior to camping.
Despite the obvious economic comeback, ANEACAMP has a workhorse right now: fighting in the Ministry of Health what for camp monitors are vaccinated, as has been done with teachers during the school year. “They do essential work, the same as teachers and professors. The ministry tells us that it is studying it. But, at the moment, we have no news ”, concludes the spokeswoman.
Whether vaccinated or not, families have confidence in the camps, unlike what happened in the summer past. The fact that the schools have passed this school year with flying colors (the number of confined classrooms has never exceeded 2%) invites enthusiasm. Parents know that if they do not send their children to camps, whether urban or in the wild, there is a good chance that they will spend the middle of the summer glued to a screen.