Camp Centerland at the JCC Opens Summer 2020

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Camp Centerland at the JCC Opens Summer 2020

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo and Camp Centerland at the Irving M. Shuman campgrounds, has announced that Camp will be open this summer, continuing a 90-year legacy of bringing meaningful summer experiences to children and their families.

For more than nine decades, young people in Western New York and beyond have attended JCC resident and day camps during the summer. When the summer of 2020 was threatened, the JCC and Camp Centerland leadership committed to pursuing all options. Plans and preparations for camp continued even as the COVID 19 pandemic added an element of uncertainty as to the legality, appropriateness and advisability of opening camp.

At the end of May, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that day camps, an integral part of childcare plans for most working families, would be permitted and encouraged to operate. Protocols in line with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, the New York State Department of Health, the Erie County Department of Health and best practice guidelines from the Foundation for Jewish Camping, American Camping Association and the JCC Association have been accepted and implemented.

There will be changes to typical camp operations. Pandemic-necessitated guidelines include masked counselors, the elimination of swimming, limited physical contact, smaller group sizes, daily health screenings and reduced enrollment. New activities, which function well with social distancing, such as 9-Square in the air, human foosball and slip & slide have been scheduled. With more than 20 natural acres in our grounds, Camp Centerland is confident that campers will enjoy another great summer with a substantially reduced level of exposure to the Corona Virus. Camp staff will receive enhanced training concerning safety and health protocols with refresher courses during the summer. Hiring for camp counselors has focused on experienced staff who have previously proven their skills and dedication.

The JCC has received an outpouring of gratitude from families whose children plan to attend camp this summer. "Most children have been confined to their homes for more than three months and need a healthy outlet where they can socialize, learn, play and develop," says Michael Garcia, Camp Centerland Director. "We're doing this the right way and I'm confident that despite the necessary restrictions our kids will have another great summer."

Limited spaces are available for some weeks. For more information visit or call the JCC at 688-4114.

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