The Canadian wildfires that have shrouded much of the nation in smoky haze are making it much harder for American kids to enjoy one of the staples of summer camp: fresh country air, according to an Associated Press Report.
As a result, many camps in the Midwest and the East have been moving activities indoors, seeking advice from medical professionals and hoping the air quality improves soon so campers can get back to hiking, playing tetherball and waging games of capture the flag.
“There’s certainly a concern, considering that we take children from the cities,” Mark Zides, chairman of the Pennsylvania Camp Association, said Thursday. “Coming up to the mountains for the summer is what summer camp is all about.”
YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer in western Pennsylvania closed its outdoor pool Wednesday and sent home a few campers with health problems, said Karla Schell, associate executive director of the camp about 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh. The camp is hosting 244 children in its traditional program and 19 adults in a program for people with special needs.
“We were definitely smelling it yesterday in the morning and then, as the air quality index continued to rise, we adjusted our activities just as we do with any weather change that we have,” Schell said Thursday. “There are some activities that we normally would have done outside. We were pulling those activities inside.”