Summer camps are a long standing tradition in most places but especially in the Capital Region. Parents often use camps as a way of keeping their kids constructively occupied during the summer months. Sports camps are especially popular locally. Unfortunately, it looks like some of the most popular camps will not operate for a second consecutive year.

Why? According to some of the camps, the pandemic has made it impossible to plan for. How many campers will return? Food has to be ordered. Will there be social distancing? What will be the spacing at overnight camps? Who has to wear masks and when? There are too many variables that have made it impossible for some camps to operate.

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In speaking with men’s basketball coach at Siena College, Carm Maciariello, today on the Drive with Charlie and Dan, we talked about his disappointment in not having his players interact with the campers this summer. Maciariello feels those interactions have two way benefits for the players and the kids at the camp.

Plenty of local educational professionals, college athletes and coaches depend on working camps as part of their yearly income. For many, this will be the second year in a row without that revenue stream, not to mention the food service workers, the facility workers and the rental fees.

However, the biggest sufferers in this predicament are the kids that don’t get to participate in those camps. They miss another year of skill development, socialization, team building and a thousand other positive aspects that come out of summer camps. It doesn’t matter if it’s basketball, football, soccer, band, art, chess or whatever, children participating in organized activities in the downtime of summer can be extremely important on so many levels to their overall development.

There are a few local camps operating this summer. UAlbany’s new men’s basketball coach, Dwayne Killings will hold two week-long day camps this summer for kids K-6 grades. All Stars Academy is running several weeks of a baseball camp in Bethlehem and multiple weeks of an all sports camp at their Latham facility. Afrim’s Soccer Camp is running numerous week-long camps throughout the summer.

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