CORONAVIRUS

Camp Wapsie cancels June sessions over coronavirus concerns

Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA suspends some camps, hopes to open July 5

#x201c;It is with great struggle that we came to this decision,#x201d; says Camp Executive Director Paul Denowski as he
“It is with great struggle that we came to this decision,” says Camp Executive Director Paul Denowski as he looks across the trout pond and the Wapsipinicon River at YMCA Camp Wapsie in Coggon on May 15. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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The first four weeks of summer sessions at Camp Wapsie have been suspended, according to a Tuesday news release from the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA Association.

Staff were scheduled to arrive at the camp in Coggon on Wednesday.

“It is with great struggle that we came to this decision,” Camp Wapsie Executive Director Paul Denowski said in the release.

“We believe in the value of camp, bringing people together to develop friendships and connecting to the outdoors. We hope to be able to do that again soon and feel this decision keeps that a possibility for the near future.”

Two weeks ago, Denowski told The Gazette he’d hoped to host the first batch of Wapsie campers starting June 7. In a typical summer, more than 1,700 children and teenagers go to the camp.

Several summer programs, including Camp Tanager and Grant Wood Area Education Agency’s College for Kids camp, have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wapsie staff planned to adjust activities and increase cleaning for this summer’s sessions. But they said in the release “it was getting exceedingly difficult to be able to offer the highest quality summer camp experience in the beginning weeks of the summer” while adhering to recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Camp Association, national YMCA leaders and local public health officials.

Local YMCA leadership will continue to evaluate recommendations and plan to open the camp on July 5 for later summer sessions.

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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