A Letter to Parents with Young Children

*The below are excerpts from a letter recently written by Bill Consiglio, Founder & CEO, to parents who had previously registered young children (entering grades 4 & below in Fall 2020*) for 21CS’ upcoming summer camps, prior to the NY-Pause initiative in March 2020.

  *UPDATE 6/22/20:  Children entering Grade 4 (Fall 2020) may now attend camp!  Click here for more info.

Dear Baseball Family,

This is one of the harder emails I’ve had to write in quite some time as, personally, I believe much of life’s satisfaction has to do with the communication of expectations. That’s why we work so hard to communicate openly, regularly & in advance when it comes to information about our programs. Having been fortunate enough to oversee summer baseball camp programs in Yorktown since 2006, I speak assuredly knowing we’ve been able to meet this expectation for the members we serve in our local communities.
Due to the current situation involving Covid-19, we will need to incorporate a number of tedious, but important, procedures into our daily practice in order to maintain safety as a top priority throughout our camp programs this summer. As a result, we are currently in the process of developing a comprehensive safety plan in concert with the Town of Yorktown Parks & Recreation Department. Without a doubt, baseball camp this summer will look and feel, at the very least, somewhat different, with more restrictions than ever before.
Please know that as soon as the conclusion below was reached, I wanted to make sure this information was sent to you.  
After getting the input from a number of our key staff, over a series of phone calls, we’ve made the incredibly difficult decision to establish a minimum grade requirement in order to attend camp. Collaboratively and unanimously, we believe it is in the best interests of both campers and staff, that any child attending camp this summer must be entering 5th grade or higher (up to grade 9) in Fall 2020, so that we may consistently adhere to the planned procedures and protocols required by the aforementioned comprehensive safety plan, in order to prioritize safety for all involved.
Why?  We felt that in our professional opinions (many of us are teachers during the school day), from a child development perspective, the demands of the safety plan can be extremely challenging for younger children to consistently adhere to. This may only be exacerbated when considering that children haven’t been in a highly structured environment such as camp or school in what will have been approx. 4 months at the time of camp.
“Johnny, keep your hands away from your face…again.”
“Bobby, move away from Stevie…again.”
“Tommy, pick up that ball, not this one…again.
Unfortunately, on it would likely go. Next thing you know, it turns into a Covid-etiquette camp and not a baseball camp! (Trying to find some humor in all of this).
Collectively, we didn’t believe it would be fair to place younger children, and in turn staff, in the position of being unlikely to consistently follow these new, stringent and frequently occurring protocols, thus leading to an unenjoyable and stressful camp experience.
Please know, as someone who wakes up everyday thinking about ways to help his own kids fall in love with the game that I did as a young child, This Breaks My Baseball Heart. Being a father of two boys (one of which is too young to attend camp), I also understand the truly valid need to “get the kids out of the house!” In the end, we need to be able to execute the safety plan that will be in place, thus maintain each individuals’ health at the forefront of everything we do.
My sincere apologies once again if the above leaves you looking for a place for your child to attend. As with many things related to the pandemic, the information we had our disposal to make an intelligent, informed decision kept moving in different directions, it took some time for things to settle and felt we were able to make a well-reasoned determination. I wanted to make sure you were notified as soon as this decision was finalized. That’s why I am emailing you here, personally.
Most importantly, I hope you and your loved ones have been able to remain both safe and healthy during this turbulent time.
Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me here.
Regards from the Diamond,
Bill Consiglio, Founder & CEO