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Summer camps look to MDH for updated guidance

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Camp Victory

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- It was a tough 12 months for summer camps.

"A lot of camps because of the financial crisis have closed," Camp Victory Executive Director David Nelson said.

This summer, overnight camp is back at Camp Victory near Zumbro Falls.

"We are going to be able to run all of our programs, so that's probably one of the most exciting things," Nelson said.

Staff members say this will be great for the kids.

"I think that we are all tired of looking at computer screens, and connecting with our loved ones through computer screens," Camp Victory intern Anna Mihaly said.

"After this year specifically, it has really opened our eyes to how much camp and ministries like camp really make a difference in kids' lives," staff member Kaitlin Swanson said.

"I think it will be an incredible experience for kids to get outside once again. It's fun. It's just packed full of activities," Mihaly said.

"We do drone camp, fishing camp, creative arts camp, sewing camp, the list goes on," Nelson said.

Social distancing will still be in place. New technology is making things safer.

"We will be able to [COVID-19] test our staff. Last year we weren't able to do that," Nelson said.

Last year, only day-camp was offered.

This year, Nelson says he has received many calls from parents wondering about masks.

"A lot of parents call and say 'will my child have to wear a mask or will they not have to wear a mask?' At this time the answer is 'yes and no,'" he said.

Camp Victory abides by the Minnesota Department of Health rules - and new guidance is expected soon. Nelson said he expects to learn more in the next two weeks.

"And really when you think about summer camp, the only place kids will be indoors will be the dining hall," he said.

Campers won't have to wear masks outside.

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Kamie Roesler

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