City officials announced on Friday, May 8 that refunds are being issued to anyone who put down a deposit or fully paid for Summer Play & Learn Camp in Norwalk through the Recreation and Parks Department. Refunds will begin May 12, 2020, and families will not have to request a refund, as it will automatically be applied to the original payment method. Local officials decided to refund all fees as the future of summer camp remains unknown.
“When families signed-up for these programs our community was in a much different place. We must be realistic about what camps may or may not look like this summer due to COVID-19. Refunding all fees now makes sense and is the right decision to make,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. “I know parents are eager to hear what programs may be available. We continue to wait for information and guidance from the State of Connecticut regarding camps and summer school. I ask that everyone remain patient, and we will share more details as soon as we have them.”
Last month, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) provided guidance in a memo about what should be considered when hosting summer camps. Those include conducting health screenings, adhering to physical distancing, significantly reducing camp capacity, and the use of face coverings. Earlier this week, OEC Commissioner Beth Bye said summer camps in Connecticut could open on June 29. However, more guidelines from the State are expected to be released on Friday, May 15. Until that time, it is unclear of what types of programs can be offered.
“We will review the updated guidelines and do the best we can to develop an enriching summer experience, but obviously summer camps this year will not be what we had originally planned,” said Norwalk Director of Recreation and Parks Nick Roberts. “We know we definitely will not be able to hold field trips and many interactive group activities since those cannot be conducted while physically distancing. We also know there will be limited capacity at our sites, and unfortunately, we may not be able to meet the demand in Norwalk.”
When revised camp programs are released, a new registration page will be posted online. Registrations will be conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis, as there will be limited capacity at each of the locations. More information will be shared on norwalkct.org as soon as it becomes available.