Dallas

Parents Eager For Camps To Open; Operators Weigh Risks

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Even after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement on Monday that camps are allowed to open, many are considering staying closed, worried about the risk of lawsuits for not doing enough to keep campers safe.

Maran Wiebe has been working from home for a while and also taking care of her family.

She said there have been tears over assignments, meltdowns for missing friends and criticism of their new teachers.

"My little one is like, 'You're not as fun as Mr. Magee' her first-grade teacher, and I'm like 'I'm not, I'm not!' I didn't go to school to be a teacher and I do not know what I'm doing," said Wiebe.

There were tears when school got canceled for the year, and Wiebe is ready for another round when she breaks news to the girls about summer plans.

"Everyone is just like everything's closed. All the parks and recreation stuff is closed," said Wiebe.     

Becky Burton runs the Girls Scouts of Texas and Oklahoma Plains. At their Stevens Ranch camp, there are hundreds of acres of lands, scouts come during the summer to camp, largely paid for by all those cookies we love to buy.

This year Burton canceled all the camps, concerned coronavirus could spread.

"As the leader of this organization, I could not do that. Health and safety is the number one issue," she said.

Day camps, sports camps, groups all across North Texas facing the tough call, risk opening and try to keep everyone safe, or pull the plug knowing parents and kids are dying to get out of the house. 

"No matter what, this summer isn't going to look like any summer we've had before," said Keisha Randle, Manager of Dallas Parks and Rec.

Randle said she is still waiting to decide what will happen at camps this year.

"When, and if we do have our programming, we want to make sure we can offer it in the safest way possible," Randle said.

That means the obvious cleanings of course, but Randle said it also means they'll have to admit fewer students meaning not everyone will get to participate.


*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.


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