Not a day goes by when we don't try to figure out how we can safely and feasibly run camp amid the coronavirus pandemic. We know parents are desperate for their kids to enjoy a camp experience because they say so all the time. In fact we hear from families every day asking to put put on our mailing list so we can notify them if and when camp opens.
My wife Teri and I (along with our kids Josh, Noah and Sarah) will continue to brainstorm ways it might be possible to run camp, but as of now it just isn't the safe or responsible thing to do.
Not only would opening camp cause us to present a program that wouldn't come close to resembling the program your kids have come to know and love over the years (let alone meet your high standards or ours), coronavirus cases are rising in L.A. to such a significant extent our Mayor is warning of the possibility of the city being locked-down again.
We refuse to put your child's or our staff's health or safety in jeopardy. A summer camp in Missouri just got shut down after 82 cases of coronavirus circulated throughout camp.
A local beach camp here in L.A. tried to operate its program while conforming to all the new modifications camps are required to make in order to operate with the pandemic going on. They learned the hard way it wasn't doable, and shut down after just one day of trying.
We'll continue brainstorming how we might be able to run camp this summer, just as we always do. But the fact is, opening camp right now just isn't possible due to the coronavirus pandemic. It simply be unsafe and the wrong thing to do.
"If it's not safe, we're not going to do it. And if it's not fun, we're not going to do it for very long."
After months of waiting, we finally received guidance from L.A. County with requirements for reopening camp amid the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, after reviewing the new guidelines, we have not been able to find a way to safely operate at a level that meets both your standards and ours. Accordingly, Aloha Beach Camp will remain closed this summer.
We Were Willing to Make Every Reasonable Modification
We knew from the very beginning we’d have to make modifications in order to reopen camp. We were prepared to make every reasonable adjustment to make camp happen. But as we've said from the start, we would only operate camp this summer if doing so would be safe and feasible. And we would never be willing to make modifications so drastic that they could potentially:
Cloth Face Mask Requirement
As we reviewed the guidelines for opening camp, all of the required modifications presented unique challenges, although many seem relatively workable. One, however, in particular stood out: the requirement for campers to wear cloth face masks at camp.
When you send your child to Aloha Beach Camp, you are entrusting us to protect your child’s welfare. We don’t take that responsibility lightly. Under the new reopening guidelines, kids are required to wear cloth face masks during the entire camp day, except when swimming or eating. This requirement is something we (and other parents and health professionals we’ve spoken to) deem potentially unsafe.
Campers would be incredibly uncomfortable, taking their masks on and off all day, playing with them, burying them in the sand, all of that. This is completely understandable, because it's what kids do. But since masks are a legal requirement to operate, we’d be spending most of the day managing masks, reminding kids to keep them on, etc. This is not something we think campers should be concerned with in the first place.
We have a saying at camp that goes like this: “If it’s not safe, we aren’t going to do it, and if it’s not fun, we aren’t going to do it for very long.” In our view, wearing cloth masks at the beach is unsafe, and would seriously diminish the fun of camp.
RELATED: Rising coronavirus cases in Los Angeles another reason to keep camp closed.
Other Potential Issues
We’ve heard some camps intend to combat the face mask issue by keeping campers in the water for longer than normal periods of time. In our view this creates a new potentially dangerous health and safety issue, such as hypothermia (overexposure to the cold ocean water), among others. But let’s say for a minute we could actually find a workaround for the face mask issue.
Even then, we'd still have to contend with the fact the additional modifications would cause us to deliver a program that looks, feels, and operates differently from anything you’ve come to know and love about Aloha Beach Camp over the years. We'd be facing all kinds of additional issues, such as:
As the only accredited beach camp by the American Camp Association, licensed by the L.A. County Dept. of Beaches and Harbors, permitted as an Organized Camp by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and with an immediate family member in a high-level position at the CDC in Atlanta, we're sad about this decision but know it's the right one.
If anything changes and campers are not required to wear cloth face masks later this summer, and additional requirements and modifications loosen allowing us to provide the camp experience you expect and deserve, perhaps we’ll operate for a few weeks down the line. Please join our interest list and we’ll keep you posted about that going forward.
We also have some exciting new programs coming up, such as our new Camp Counselor Academy where kids who want to become counselors (at Aloha or elsewhere) can learn everything they need to know about the job interview process, how to lead camp activities, child development and more.
We're also offering surfboards and boogie boards for rent if you need any equipment for your own day at the beach.
We look forward to staying connected with you. Rest assured Aloha Beach Camp will be back next year better than ever. We can’t wait to see you then. Meanwhile, we hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe. Thank you for supporting Aloha Beach Camp.
All the best,
Eric Naftulin and Family
Teri, Sarah, Josh and Noah
Aloha Beach Camp
After months of uncertainty as to whether or not we will be able to have camp this summer, we have finally been given the preliminary green light by L.A. County to open camp this summer, subject to our ability to conform to various modifications and safety protocols.
Here's where things stand now.
We have submitted to the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors (the government agency who licenses and permits us) a written proposal detailing how we plan to conform to the new guidelines. Once they've reviewed our proposal, we hope to receive official approval from them we can reopen camp. At that point - which we hope will happen this week - we hope to open registration to campers!
Regarding operating dates, our hope is to open camp sometime between mid-July to early August while operating for at least 4 to 6 weeks this summer. At the same time, please remember protecting the health and safety of our campers is our top priority, so we will only open camp if: 1) we get final approval from the County (hopefully this week or next), and 2) we feel we can operate camp safely and feasibly in light of COVID-19.
We will keep you updated as further details become available. If you would like to be notified if and/or when we are permitted to open, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you want to join our interest list. At that point, we expect a large enrollment rush, so please be prepared to act quickly. Thank you!
We are heartbroken to announce Aloha Beach Camp is suspending its 2020 summer camp program due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We hoped to open camp July 6, but L.A. County just informed us the beach will likely stay closed to youth camps for months.
We are sad we can’t provide a beach camp experience for your kids this summer. We know they look forward to camp all year. We also know you depend on us for childcare. We are deeply regretful not to provide this important resource for your family this summer.
Even though we’re all disappointed, we don’t want to completely close the door on camp operating this year. If we get the green light, perhaps we’ll be able operate in some capacity later this summer. Conditions would need to be just right for this to happen, namely we'd need to make sure opening and operating camp would be safe and feasible among other factors. We will notify you immediately of any new developments going forward.
Before we say goodbye, we want you to know we recognize the incredible leap of faith it takes to send your kids to the beach without you. We hope we’ve lived up to your rightfully high standards and expectations of safety and supervision.
From our family to yours, we wish you all the best in every way, and hope your family stays healthy and safe in these unprecedented times. We will be thinking of you, and look forward to seeing you again in summer 2021.
The Naftulin Family
Eric, Teri, Sarah, Josh and Noah
Aloha Beach Camp
Dear Friends, just a quick update, even though the beaches are open for "active use," youth camps such as ours are still currently prohibited from operating our programs on the beach due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Accordingly, we are not accepting new registrations at this time.
We hope to open camp July 6. We are waiting for the official green light from LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors and the LA County Department of Public Health, the two government agencies who license and permit us. If you would like to join our interest list, please email us at email@example.com to let us know. If and when camp is permitted to open this year, we will let you know immediately. At that point, we expect a large enrollment rush so please be prepared to act quickly.
THIS POST WAS LAST UPDATED TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2020.
We hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe in these uncertain times. We recognize you may have questions as to whether Aloha Beach Camp will be able to operate this summer amid the coronavirus public health outbreak and, if so, in what capacity. You will be glad to know we hope to operate as planned. At the same time, even though the beach has finally opened for "active use," unfortunately it remains closed to youth camps like ours. So, we still awaiting the official "green light" from government and public health authorities. Protecting the health and safety of our campers, staff, and customer families will always be our top priority, so we will only open camp this year if it's safe and feasible to do so. Please continue reading so you have the most updated information.
We Intend to Operate as Planned (Albeit with a Later Start Date)
You will be glad to know we hope to provide children with a much-needed, fun-filled summer camp experience year, even it means an abbreviated season.
Important Changes or Updates will be Posted Here
Even though we are moving forward with high hopes to open camp on July 6, uncertainty caused by the coronavirus makes advance planning difficult. In the end, we may be forced to change our plans, depending on recommendations, guidelines and official permission from government and public health authorities. We expect to make a firm and final decision no later than June 1 as to whether camp will open this year.
When all is said and done, we will not do anything to risk anyone's health or safety nor make any adjustments so our program so drastic they'd cause it to look or operate differently from the same high standards our customers have come to expect the past 21 years.
At the same time, we know this summer will look different from all the others. Should any material modifications such as dates of operation (currently July 6-Aug 21), group sizes, participation capacity, transportation systems, or other elements of camp be required, your family will be the first to know.
Enrollment is Closed for the Time Being
As mentioned, youth camps such as ours are currently prohibited from operating our programs on the beach due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Accordingly, we are not accepting new registrations at this time. We are waiting for the official green light from LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors and the LA County Department of Public Health, the two government agencies who license and permit us. If you would like to join our interest list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. If and when camp is permitted to open this summer, we will let you know immediately. At that point, we expect a large enrollment rush, so please be prepared to act quickly. Thank you!
Can We Get a Refund if We Sign Up and Camp Doesn't Happen?
If you have already registered for camp and it later turns out we can't operate, you can get a full refund or apply your payment to summer 2021 for a full credit with a guaranteed spot. If you decide to cancel your enrollment but camp operates this summer, you can transfer your deposit to summer 2021 for a full credit. We will save a spot for you.
How Can We Contact You?
Please feel free to call us at (818) 932-4600 or email us at email@example.com. It may take us a few days to get back to. Thank you again and stay safe!
It's Easier Than Ever to Sign up for Camp Despite all the Uncertainty Surrounding the Coronvirus. We've Made the Registration Process Easy, Stress-Free and Risk-Free So You Can Sign up for Camp with Confidence this Year!
Despite the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, all of us here at Aloha Beach Camp want you to know we have every intention of operating camp this summer.
But we also realize advance planning is difficult in the current environment, not to mention the financial strain coronavirus has caused for families. We understand paying for camp this summer might be more challenging than ever for many parents.
If you're considering a beach camp experience for your kids this summer but apprehensive about committing, rest assured we've taken every step possible to make sure your camp registration experience is as easy and stress-free as possible. Now you can sign up for Aloha Beach Camp with confidence because we've removed all the risk for you.
All of us are in the same boat. We're doing the best we can with the information we have. Fortunately we have an immediate family member in a high-level position at the CDC in Atlanta giving us up-to-the-minute information before it's available to the general public, enabling us to make informed decisions to the best of our ability.
In these stressful and uncertain times, children need camp more than ever. After all, when all of this finally blows over, your kids will be desperate to get outside! And there's nothing like a safe and fun day camp experience at the beach where your kids can run, play, swim and socialize with their friends in a healthy outdoor setting to make up for all the lost time they've been cooped up inside for so many months on end. (And as much as you love your kids, you'll probably be ready for a break from them , too!)
Can't wait to see you at beach camp soon!
This blog is written and maintained by Eric D. Naftulin, Aloha Beach Camp's owner and Executive Director the the past 20 years.