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As Arizona reopens, many camps and daycares are still making safety plans

In an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible, there may be a gray period where parents must choose a paycheck or looking after their kids.

PHOENIX — Gov. Ducey’s stay-at-home order is about to expire on Friday, and the results may have plenty of parents facing a tough choice.

Do they head back in to work or stay home to take care of their kids?

Many summer camps and daycares have announced plans to postpone opening up over the summer as they implement new protocols to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"It's unlike anything we have seen before," said Caroline Rowe, a corps officer at the Salvation Army said. 

The Salvation Army Kroc Camp has been postponed like many other camps to help prepare for kids to come back safely. 

“We are starting to ramp this up as soon as we can,” Rowe said. 

However, the Salvation Army will need to switch gears. The basketball gym used for athletics during camp is now home to a center preparing and providing relief to those impacted by the virus. 

Rowe said it can't stay like this, as soon providing child care will be a top priority. 

"Child care is the biggest piece of the puzzle," Rowe said. 

The camp will not open until mid or late June. Right now, the Salvation Army is coming up with plans and gathering supplies to allow camp to resume, but it has yet to be finalized. 

Child care will become increasingly important as more parents must return to the office. 

However, despite the best efforts of camps like the Kroc Camp to get ready as soon as possible, it looks like there may be a zone where parents have to choose between missing work to watch their children or get a paycheck while leaving their kids to fend for themselves. 

“I think trying to find the balance is impossible,” Brook Griffin said. 

She is one of the lucky ones. Her kids are older, so they can watch themselves. However, working in a bakery she has already had to face the dilemma of kids or money.

“Sometimes work wins more, sometimes kids win more, and I don’t know any other way,” Griffin said. 

The challenge may only get more pronounced as families who have lost income try to build back their finances. Arizona has seen unemployment numbers skyrocket in recent months. 

“We are all trying to emotionally survive this and monetarily, it’s both things,” Griffin said. 

Some camps are trying to provide alternatives. The Boy Scouts have canceled its outings until June, but they plans to offer more dates on the back end of the summer and into fall. 

The Salvation Army plans to offer scholarships to help provide child care. 

Salvation army said there hard and fast date for the reopening of Camp Kroc will come "soon" and will be posted on its website krocphoenix.org.

If you would like scholarship information you are encouraged to call 602.425.5000.

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