95 Percent of N.H.’s Overnight Camps Won’t Open This Year | New Hampshire Public Radio

95 Percent of N.H.’s Overnight Camps Won’t Open This Year

Jun 25, 2020

Credit Courtesy of Camp Hale / United South End Settlements & Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Ninety-five percent of New Hampshire sleepaway camps will remain closed this summer.

The governor’s guidelines for reopening allow overnight camps to reopen this Monday, June 29.

But Ken Robbins, president of the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association, says late notice and strict guidelines have forced most camps to stay closed.

Related story: What's Open (And What's Not Open) in New Hampshire

“The state guidelines that came down just a few weeks ago, they are extraordinarily difficult to meet,” he says. “They’re certainly appropriate given the real threat that we’re facing, but… it’s all but incompatible with how camps operate.”

Robbins says only six overnight camps in New Hampshire have plans to open. And, with just half of day camps open, Robbins says an estimated 20,000 children statewide have no camp option this summer.

“They’re losing the social and emotional development that camps teach,” he says. “They’re missing the lessons in environmental education and stewardship, citizenship, self-reliance, independence, and character that camps provide.”

New Hampshire licensed camps are expecting an estimated $146 million total loss in revenue this year.