We are finally seeing a reprieve from the pandemic and this means summer camps are back on the family agenda! COVID-19 social distancing rules that kept people at home and out of school are being relaxed as vaccination programs reduce the risks of infection and many states are removing physical distancing and cohorting requirements for summer day camps. For most kids, this is the first time in a long while that they'll be able to hang out and have fun outside with other kids.
It means a huge sigh of relief from working parents who have had to cope with the stress of a changing work environment and managing kids full-time at home. Yet sending kids to camp may not be met with enthusiasm. Parents and children are both suffering from anxiety about being back around large groups of people, or even just having to re-engage on a social level. Over the past months, kids have spent most of their time in the family home and may understandably feel nervous about being away all day.
The most reassuring thing when kids are away from home is knowing they are just a call away. Forgotten lunch, coat or sunscreen, or even a working parent running late for pickup, isn’t a big problem - provided camp staff can easily reach Mom, Dad or other relatives.
So let's at least get the communications between camp and family sorted. Camp counselors call the number you give them when you register for camp. It's usually Mom's cell phone, but what if Mom is working and unable to take the call or out and about in a cell dead zone? Because of this some camps ask for a second contact number. But there's still no guarantee they will get through and if they don't, it can be a while before someone responsible for a child is reached. Asking for more than two numbers is a logistical nightmare for the camp staff who find it time consuming to keep track of who to call.
We spoke with Chris Giorni of San Francisco’s popular Tree Frog Treks summer camp, and he told us that “often parents don’t bother filling out a second phone number, or just add Mom’s twice. Then some parents give us 3-4 phone numbers, which is a pain for us to call them all at the end of camp if nobody has shown up to collect their child. Whatever it is: crossed wires, traffic or a late meeting we just want to be able to connect quickly with their guardian.”
Why is this so hard? A generation ago families would give camp their home (landline) phone number, but nowadays there's often nobody home and everyone has a cell phone. The unexpected drawback of all this modern communication capability is that it can actually be harder for camp to reliably reach you.
Ringaly - keeping families connected
Ringaly ensures you never miss a call about your loved ones. It's like a family switchboard and is super simple to use. You choose a new local phone number on the Ringaly website, add family cell phones to it as contacts and share it with camps (or nurseries or daycare). If camp calls your Ringaly number it simultaneously rings all your family contacts and the first to pick up answers the call! Even better, your other family contacts receive a text message notifying them who called ... and who answered. Or if camp sends a text to your Ringaly number it's forwarded to all your family contacts. Simple. It's like having a home phone number that rings wherever you are.
Because it’s just a regular phone number, you don’t need to install an app and it takes only five minutes to configure. To make sure your kids are just a call away head over to ringaly.com to get your Ringaly number.