ASHLAND, Neb. — Summer may look a bit different during the pandemic. COVID-19 has affected travel, vacations and the overall summer experience. But there are still ways to enjoy the summer safely. Experts are offering tips on how to have difficult conversations with your kids on canceled plans and what you can do this summer instead.
"It really is up to parents as much as possible to be honest with them... to be open to any of their questions and to be flexible that kids are not always going to get it and they're going to forget that they can't just run out and go do this and go do that," Boys Town Director of Parenting Bridget Barnes said.
The younger the child, the more difficult it may be for them to understand why they can't do their typical summer activities. However Barnes says the key is to be honest, transparent and relatable.
"Talk about your feelings, talk about your frustrations, talk about some of the things we can do. It doesn't have to be a total downer. It can actually be a moment for us to really reconnect with each other," she said.
Carol Joy Holling Center, just outside of Ashland, is looking to be that replacement. They recently launched their newest program for families dedicated to a safe camping experience.
"[It's] called the CJH Family Getaway," Executive Director Jason Gerdes said. "We just know families need an opportunity [to] get away from the home and all the devices they've been stuck on for so long and get a chance to reconnect with each other."
In May the campsite had to cancel all their residential programs but decided to create CJH Family Getaway for families to spaciously and safely enjoy 317 acres of outdoors while staying hotel-style facilities.
"This is filling a gap for families in the midst of other opportunities being canceled," Gerdes said.
The overnight reservations are quickly filling up but are still available. The program started two weeks ago and has already seen a lot of success and interest. So while many trips and events may be canceled, there are still alternative outdoor activities waiting for you and your family.