One Girl Scouts camp in Illinois is requiring all campers and staffers to wear a face covering while on the grounds despite their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Camp Greene Wood, located in suburban Naperville, announced that all those on site will be required to wear masks, citing safety of campers not eligible for vaccines.
"More than 50% of our campers are not eligible for a vaccine so we want to make sure those campers are safe," said Peggy Brothers, Assistant Vice President of Outdoor Programs for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
Girl Scouts officials are also enforcing COVID safety precautions such as social distancing and sanitizing while at the camp.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
‘When she came home she never mentioned the mask once," said Colleen Korzen, mother of 6-year-old Caitlyn attending the camp ineligible to receive the vaccine.
"There’s a lot of parents that feel strongly one way or another so I think that the precautions the Girl Scouts are taking make as many people as comfortable as possible," she continued. "Some people might want less precautions, but I feel like the kids don't mind anything.”
The camp was cut down in size this summer to account for COVID concerns, but organizers say that's better than canceling entirely like last summer.
"Having to call families last year and say we’re canceling camp was one of the most difficult things that we’ve done," Brothers said. "And it hurt there was a mourning period of that and we don’t want to have to call families and say we didn’t take enough precautions.”
The announcement comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention another that a summer camp in central Illinois had an outbreak of 85 COVID cases. Four weeks into the Naperville camp, the Girl Scouts have recorded zero cases of the coronavirus.
“I hope our families felt that maybe the mask that they thought was a little extreme was maybe for the best," Brothers said. "We did stay on the extra side of caution cause we really didn’t want to cancel camp bc of an outbreak.”