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JUST IN: County Cancels Summer Camps

County-run summer camps have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation made the cancellation announcement around noon on Wednesday, saying it “was not confident all campers and staff would be able to safely enjoy an even modified camp experience.”

Credits will be provided to all who previously signed up, DPR said, and refunds of payments can be requested.

The camp cancellation follows the April 30 announcement that the parks department’s summer programs had been cancelled. Arlington’s parks, athletic fields, playgrounds and communities centers remain closed, though trails are open.

More from a press release:

In accordance with the health and safety guidelines of state, national  and camp officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arlington County is cancelling summer camps for 2020.

This difficult decision was reached after County staff considered many options to determine if camps could be held with proper social distancing, appropriate cleaning protocols and other safety measures. The health and safety of campers and staff is the County’s number one priority, and ultimately, the County was not confident all campers and staff would be able to safely enjoy an even modified camp experience.

“We recognize how important camps are to our residents, and we are truly saddened to have to cancel for the summer,” said Parks & Recreation Director Jane Rudolph. “Ultimately, it is the best decision for the safety and health of our community. We will continue to explore opportunities to provide programs and services as national, state and local guidelines allow. We appreciate your patience as we work through this difficult time.”

Cancelling summer camps was primarily based on guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Camp Association (ACA), as well as Virginia’s guidelines for summer camps. Given the number of unknown variables still present, the risks of bringing our community together, in-person, for a traditional camp season are far too great.

If you registered for an Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation camp, you will receive a full refund. If you signed up for a camp with one of the County’s contractors, contact the contractor directly regarding their refund policy. The 2020 Guide to Summer Camps in Arlington County lists all County camps, along with information for contractor camps.

County refunds will be issued in the form of a household credit. After the refund has been applied to an account, contact the Department of Parks & Recreation to request the refund be processed back to the original form of payment. Questions regarding cancellation should be directed to [email protected]

Visit the Summer Camp FAQs for more information and details.

Image via Flickr/Kevin Smith

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