Recreation officials are not yet sure whether they will deliver summertime sunshine or summertime blues to day campers and their parents this month.
“We are probably another two or three weeks away from hearing from the state whether we can offer a day program this year,” Recreation Director Guy Boucher said this week.
“The governor is being careful about summer camps,” he added.
Ideally, the recreation department would like to receive word by next Friday, which will mark the official start of the summer programming.
Mr. Boucher and his staff have been carefully monitoring other COVID-19-restricted state and national camp and recreation programs to design a safe-as-possible program for Sandwich kids.
For weeks, recreation staff has participated in daily remote conferences with town health and safety officials talking about the latest requirements and possibilities, Mr. Boucher said.
They have brainstormed about a very limited program for 50 kids and counselors that would be broken into smaller “pods” of staff and children.
The groups would be separated and would enter and exit the Oak Crest Cove campus from different points and at different times.
“We’re still working it out. There are a lot of variables,” Mr. Boucher said. “Also, we’ve had a lot of families drop out already and if we lose more, it may not be financially viable.”
But all the planning will be moot if the state decides that all summer programming must be cancelled because safety protocols would be too difficult.
“Day programming is tough because when the kids and counselors go home, you don’t know what they’re doing or who they might interact with,” the recreation director said.
Also unknown is how the safety protocols at the beach will be regulated.
At the moment, Sandwich’s beaches are open, but masks must be worn when nearing other people, beach towels must be 12 feet apart, and when possible, beachgoers must stay 6 feet away from other people.
The recreation department hopes to have lifeguards and gate attendants at the beaches by the end of June, Mr. Boucher said.
Gate attendants will not be handling cash. Visitors must either have beach stickers or pay by credit card.
The recreation department is working on a plan for bathroom facilities this summer that could include porta-potties and portable bath houses. All facilities would be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
“We are still ironing everything out,” Mr. Boucher said. “We would like to offer kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking and weekly classes at the end of July and August, but we are still waiting to hear whether we can do it.”