Philly-area Girl Scout, Boy Scout camps to resume summer sleepover programs

Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.
Photo of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Summer resident camp for Girl Scouts will look a lot different this year with Covid-19 restrictions in effect. Photo credit Courtesy of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Girl Scout and Boy Scout camps across the Philadelphia area are preparing to reopen sleepover camps this summer. The camps were forced to suspend operations last year because of COVID-19.

Jennifer Allebach, chief mission delivery officer for Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, said things will look different this year for girls coming to camp.

First, fewer will be allowed to attend.

“We are ready to start looking at 50% capacity, 75% capacity for our four resident camps,” she said. “And we have three day camps around our footprint in the nine counties.”

Second, strict health and safety guidelines will be in place, with pretesting required.

“We’ll do temperature scans as well as making sure throughout the week they have the necessary tools to keep the girls safe. And, of course, everyone’s going to be wearing a mask the entire time,” Allebach added.

She said social distancing will even apply to sleeping arrangements, with tents and extensive spacing between bunks in cabins.

“We have a variety of tents and cabins, larger lodges,” she said. “So, each camp will have a different configuration if you will because they’re all different sizes.”

Allebach said she’s planning online sessions with parents in the coming weeks to talk about what summer camp will look like this year, and will likely continue the dialogue with parents.

Dan Templar, Scout executive and CEO of the Cradle of Liberty Council, said the Scouts BSA camps they run will reopen but with restrictions.

“We’re only going to allow two-thirds capacity at our camp properties just to make sure we have ample room for social distancing and all of our program centers and things and the cleaning protocols and certainly the PPE protocols as well,” he said.

Templar said there will be a waiting list for all their weeks.

He said each Scout attending camp will be assigned one tent for their sleeping quarters to ensure social distancing and will have to wear masks or face coverings.

The Cradle of Liberty Council serves Scouts in Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery counties.​