East Rockaway day camp sees zero COVID-19 cases throughout the summer
Day camps are winding down for the summer, and as the unusual season comes to an end, an East Rockaway camp is celebrating keeping everyone healthy while maintaining some fun traditions.
Ryan Sather has been coming to Rolling River Day Camp for the past six years. This summer it has been a different experience as everyone from officials to the campers dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, campers and counselors said their goodbyes on the last day of the six-week program and shared some good news.
"We are happy to report we had zero COVID cases the entire summer ... it's such an amazing feeling to know that we were able to do it!" says camp Director Marissa Goodman.
The camp has to operate at 50% capacity, downsizing to 300 campers and 150 staff. Goodman said dealing with the pandemic was a challenge, but one they gladly took on to provide a safe, enjoyable experience.
"We had to reinforce mask use for all our staff and our campers. When they were inside we added additional hand washing stations and sanitizing stations around the camp so it was easy for the campers and the counselors to be able to maintain a high sense of safety," says Goodman.
Other changes included no more bus service - instead parents transported campers to and from. Parents were on board with the changes and were happy their kids were able to have fun.
"It was a little bit of normalcy in a very difficult year. and they had the best time so we appreciated all the precautions that Rolling River took," says Jennifer Hennessy.
Staff say because they did not have one coronavirus case, they felt it was a good sign that schools could reopen safely.
At the end of the day, parents carried on their traditional sendoff by honking their horns as they exited the parking lot.