Stefanik Joins with State and Local Electeds Seeking State Guidance for Summer Camps

April 29, 2020
Press Release

Saratoga, NY – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter along with state and local elected officials, requesting guidance for counties and municipalities on operations of summer camps. The letter outlines the importance of summer camps to creating jobs and stimulating local economies, and how guidance should be issued to local and county elected officials in order to help them establish their own plans.

“The North Country is home to many summer camps that attract families from afar and serve as economic drivers for our communities,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I am working with our local elected officials to seek guidance from New York State and establish a plan for summer camps to ensure the protection of public health. We will continue to work to provide clarity to our North Country communities and county public health officials throughout this crisis.”

“In the North Country, summer camps are an important part of the visitor experience and the regional economy,” said Assemblyman Dan Stec. “Certainly, we must be cautious from a public health standpoint while also acknowledging the importance these camps have to our local businesses.  One thing that is desperately needed from the Governor's office is clear and consistent guidance on how we're going to move forward while balancing these two imperatives.”

“Public and private summer camps are such an iconic part of Adirondack summer life, with a tradition going back into the nineteenth century,” said Shaun Gillilland, Chairman of Essex County Board of Supervisors. “In this era of risk of viral spread, it is immensely important that we properly manage whether we can safely open and safely operate these camps. Children come from across the state, the country, and the globe to the Adirondacks for this experience and it is imperative that guidance be clearly and expertly promulgated; the ramifications of a covid-19 vector emanating from a youth camp situation would be devastating for the whole Adirondack summer camp reputation and tradition. We absolutely appreciate Congresswoman Stefanik's assistance in this and Governor Cuomo's leadership in this crisis.”

“It is critical that our overnight summer camps be provided with guidance as planning and preparation is near completion,” said Erica Mahoney, Hamilton County DOH Director. “Camp staff are expected to arrive in May for training, and campers soon after. These camps play a critical role in stimulating our economy, but also have the potential for a COVID-19 outbreak if things are not handled properly. The healthcare delivery system in Hamilton County is limited, and these camps rely on our primary care offices to assist in care delivery.”

“When this public health crisis became more prominent in the United States, particularly here in New York State, back in the early months of the year, spring and summertime felt far off in the distance,” said Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I-Ballston). “May is just around the corner and it is imperative that seasonal industries and activities, such as summer camps, receive proper guidance as to what they can and cannot do as the time to prepare the many complex logistics for their busy season quickly approaches. These camps offer so much to the campers, staff and surrounding economy and I believe Upstate New York will feel even deeper cuts than expected without them.”

“Moving forward, it’s important that New York State provide direction to local governments on the operations of summer camps in light of the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I-Halfmoon). “The reality is that municipalities and parents alike need to plan and make arrangements for where their children will be this summer. It’s important that the state provide this necessary direction as we have requested.”