With COVID guidelines continuing to ease up, summer camps are preparing for a busier season after many were forced to remain closed last year.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As the warmer weather moves in people are starting to think about summer.

With COVID guidelines continuing to ease up, summer camps are preparing for a busier season after many were forced to remain closed last year.

Western Mass News got details on how one camp is getting ready to reopen.

“Summer camps were very different last year,” Springfield YMCA Executive Director of Operations Uriah Rodriguez said.

The Springfield YMCA is getting ready to welcome back campers this summer after the pandemic left too many obstacles for them to safely operate Camp Weber.

Rodriguez said this was extremely disappointing.

“It serves all inner-city children for the most part, and it was sadly missed last year. It is an adventure if there ever was one. The park has a ropes course, the pool, archery, field games, nature, and arts and crafts. There’s all kinds of trails and streams and BMX biking and mountain biking,” Rodriguez explained.

Camp Weber serves about 350 kids a day at full capacity and about 1,100 throughout the entire summer.

The YMCA is making renovations to the camp to be able to reach maximum capacity while following state guidelines.

“This year, we are expecting a bit more of a return to normal. We are anticipating it so, we are prepping our camps, making repairs, and getting them ready so we can have what we anticipate being a generally normal summer as we can make it with whatever guidelines are stuck through those months,” Rodriguez said.

The camp is even getting an earlier start than normal.

“Because Springfield Public Schools hasn’t had any snow days and any of those days, the date has moved way up into May so, it’s almost two weeks earlier this year,” Rodriguez explained.

And one camper said how excited he is for summer camp to be back outside.

“Honestly, play sports with them and have fun trips because we like walking a lot. It’s pretty fun,” Camp Weber camper Zayvik Rivera said.

Rodriguez said he is also looking forward to seeing the camp up and running again.

“I want to see kids laugh genuinely. I want to see them out running around. I know we’ll still probably have to wear masks at camp, but I think it’ll just be great to play and just run around and play,” Rodriguez said.

Those interested in signing up for any of the Springfield YMCA summer camps can register on their website beginning in April.

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