Summer Camp: Climate Change Edition

In the U.S. over the past 60 years, heat-wave season has increased by 49 days, the frequency of heat waves has increased from two to six a year, and the heat waves themselves have gotten hotter and last longer.

But we think we can all agree that its better for kids and their parents to have kids outside. so we will be looking as parents to keep them outdoors so long as possible But with the rise in temperatures, outdoor summer camps will need to make adjustments to their campgrounds and to their planning to accommodate rising temperatures and rainy summer weather. Here are some ways they can adapt:

  1. Increase Shaded Areas: Creating and enhancing shaded areas throughout the campgrounds becomes essential to provide relief from the intense heat. This can include adding shade structures, such as tents, awnings, or canopies, in common areas and activity spaces- companies that focus on green spaces are solving this exact need for cities, and other grounds such as camps.
  2. Water Stations: Increasing the number of accessible water stations ensures campers can stay hydrated easily. Water stations should be strategically placed throughout the campgrounds, allowing campers to refill their water bottles conveniently and often, and for the little kids theyll need to be reminded frequently to drink. 
  3. Cooling Zones: Setting up designated cooling zones with misting systems or fans can help campers cool down during extremely hot weather. These zones can provide a respite from the heat and allow for comfortable rest or activity breaks.
  4. Weatherproof Infrastructure: Campgrounds should have weatherproof infrastructure to handle rainy summer weather. This includes ensuring that roofs and common buildings are waterproof and can withstand heavy rain, providing campers with dry and safe spaces.
  5. Proper Drainage Systems: Installing or improving drainage systems across the campgrounds is crucial to prevent flooding or water accumulation during rainy periods. This helps maintain the integrity of the grounds, prevent muddy areas, and ensure the safety and comfort of campers.
  6. Indoor Activity Spaces: Having indoor activity spaces available can be useful during extreme weather conditions, such as severe storms or excessive heatwaves. These spaces can provide shelter and alternative activity options to keep campers engaged and safe.
  7. Flexible Programming and planning ahead: Camps may need to adjust their schedules and activities based on weather conditions. Having alternative activity options in case of extreme heat or rain allows for seamless adjustments, ensuring campers' safety and continued engagement.
  8. Educating Staff: Training camp staff on heat safety protocols, recognizing signs of heat-related illnesses, and implementing emergency procedures is essential. Staff should also be prepared to adapt activities or relocate campers to appropriate areas in response to changing weather conditions.

By implementing these adjustments, outdoor summer camps can better adapt to rising temperatures and rainy summer weather, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for campers while ensuring their well-being in various weather conditions.