Summer camps are back, signifying a return to normalcy

Monday marked the start of some summer camps for thousands of kids across the Bay Area.

The summer camp experience is not back to normal, but it's getting a lot closer. And many parents and administrators are thrilled the summer programs are happening at all.    

"To hear kids' screams and laughter and footsteps coming up and down the hallway- it feels like the good old days again," said Adam Hernandez who works for Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley.

The agency Monday kicked off its summer camps at 15 locations, including one off Cunningham Avenue in San Jose.

Hernandez says it's sad some kids new to the program don't know what it was like before masks.

And because of the rules right now, the masks will continue indoors even after June 15.

"We have a lot of kids showing up today and tomorrow who have not been in-person for 15 months plus doing anything. So this is a crisis moment that we're trying to meet," said Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley CEO Steve Wymer.

The Boy Scouts of America is also resuming summer camps after a one-year break because of COVID.

"We're all excited to get back out, get our youth back into nature," said camping director Bruce Lee.

The Santa Clara resident runs the Boy Scouts' Camp Hi-Sierra near Yosemite.

Starting June 27, about 200 scouts will head to the mountains every week for activities including hiking, sailing and rock climbing.

But with stricter pandemic-era limits on how many people can attend, the entire summer is completely sold out.

"We're seeing a lot of kids wanting to come to camp and we're seeing a lot of adults that want to come to camp. I think like everywhere else, that everybody just wants to get out of the house," said Lee.

Lee added he has never seen so much interest from adults to come join as leaders or parents of scouts.

Kids will be able to go mask-free outdoors, while masks will be required when they're in close proximity.

Lee also says vaccines are required for anyone over the age of 18.

And for that camp director, his biggest concern this summer isn't COVID, but rather wildfires, saying they have precautions in place for both.