Outdoor summer camps booking up quickly during pandemic

'It's a lot different than in past years'
Posted at 9:46 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 09:46:33-04

JUPITER, Fla. — Summer may feel far off, but it's just around the corner, and believe it or not, camps are starting to fill up fast, especially if they are outdoors.

For many South Florida families, the silver lining of the past year has been more time enjoying our slice of paradise.

"My kids love it," said Jessica Goodman, mother of three. "This year has made us be outside so much more, and they are loving more beach time."

Goodman said surf camp is on the agenda for her three kids this summer.

"A great way to be socially distanced, outdoor activity, learn a new skill, and they've really taken to liking surfing," she said.

Paul Vargas is the camp director for Aloha Surf Camp.

"It's a lot different than in past years," Vargas said. "There is a demand for outdoor camps right now. I think people are booking earlier this year due to the amount of influx. We are seeing a lot of new residents move in."

He said pre-registration is six to eight weeks out earlier now.

"We are seeing a lot of parents going ahead and scheduling, committing, because they are afraid to lose their reserve spot for summer," Vargas said.

Another outdoor camp that is getting booked up quickly is Dive In Adventures. It's about getting back to the basics, like exploring and building forts.

Terry Kimball, the camp director, said there is plenty of space to spread out in the sunshine.

"Fishing, snorkeling, crab trapping, we have been up here 20 years," he said. "It's a real fun camp."

Kimball is also taking additional measures to keep campers safe.

"I'll tell them about the masks, in the morning when they check in, we do temperature checks," he said. "We have all types of hand sanitizer around, make sure the kids are socially distanced when they are eating. Outdoors, we are mainly walking around in the water, you know, if they are swimming, casting or something, they are in different groups."

His advice to parents is to enroll as quickly as possible.

"If I could take everybody, I would, but that wouldn't be safe," he said.