Planning for summer looks a lot different this year. Instead of comparing programs and pre-college summer opportunities, parents are trying to understand COVID protocols, what programs are even available, and navigate the uncharted territory of selecting summer programs during a pandemic. Luckily, at Summer Discovery, we learned a lot from our 2020 experiences. Here are some of our tips to parents and families planning for their summer 2021 experience – whether it be camp, pre-college, enrichment, travel, or more.
If you're planning to attend a summer program in 2021, start planning for summer now. Many residential summer programs and summer camps will likely be operating at reduced capacity to allow for ample physical distancing to meet CDC recommendations. Many summer pre-college programs – including Summer Discovery – will have limited spots for students in summer 2021. Having fewer students on campus will help to mitigate germ transmission; however, it will also limit the number of available spaces we have to house students in our on-campus programs. Make sure you have a spot by planning now. Do you research, make a list of your preferred programs, connect with your preferred providers, and apply early to ensure you’ll be at the top of the list if programs must limit capacity.
Check out our course options to find your perfect summer program and reserve your spot risk-free with our Program Protection Plan.Apply Now
For summer 2021, it’s important to look for summer programs that provide flexibility and assurances. No one can fully predict what summer 2021 will look like, that’s why summer experience providers should allow families to easily change or cancel plans.
The reality is that each family has their own decision matrix to decide whether they feel comfortable sending their children to a residential or commuter summer program. Families’ decisions may change daily based on COVID case numbers, vaccine availability, underlying health issues, and more. Families need to be able to change their minds without penalty.
Be sure to ask questions of your preferred summer experience provider such as:
Summer Discovery is offering risk-free enrollment until May 7, 2021. If you apply and enroll, and change your mind for any reason prior to May 7, 2021, you can receive a full refund minus the application fee and any optional travel insurance. Also, if Summer Discovery must cancel a program for any reason, families will be given the option to enroll in another program, roll their acceptance to summer 2022, or receive a full refund.
We believe flexibility is key to a successful summer!Risk-Free Enrollment
It’s important for families to review their summer program provider’s COVID-19 protocols. The reality is that these protocols will continue to evolve as we get closer to summer, but all companies should be able to share their current protocols and explain how they plan to update families about any changes.
Look for protocols that are rooted in scientific research, best practices, and guidance from medical professionals. Summer experience providers should be using the latest research and data to drive their COVID operations.
Also, ask how you’ll be communicated with about COVID expectations. At Summer Discovery, all students are assigned a Campus Specialist who will help them navigate COVID-19 protocols and expectations prior to arrival at their residential program. Proactive, timely, and personal communication will ensure a seamless summer experience.See Our COVID-19 Protcols
Programs for summer 2021 will look different than previous summers. Students will likely have to wear masks, be in single-occupancy housing, and network with a smaller group of peers.
Summer program providers will still provide amazing experiences, but in different ways from years past. For example, concerts and large gatherings are probably a no-go! Programs may have altered visitation policies for friends and family. The packing list for summer camp may be slightly different and include masks. Ask your summer program provider what will be different about their program this summer compared to previous summers. Remember, different doesn’t mean bad. It just means adjusting your expectations so your experience aligns with what summer experience providers can safely provide.
Communication is the key to a successful summer 2021. Program providers and camps must proactively communicate with families before, during, and after the experience to ensure a positive outcome. All families should make sure they understand how they will be communicated with (and when) regarding summer program planning and updates.
Some things to look for include:
Summer Discovery is doing all of these things – and more – to ensure our families are up-to-date with information and any changes to our program offerings. We encourage families to regularly visit our website and social media and to sign-up for email updates. Our COVID Task Force meets regularly and is in constant communication with our university partners to ensure we have the most up-to-date information about in-person safety protocols and policies. While we can’t control COVID, we can control our response and how we’re informing families of this response.