By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Lots of children in Miami-Dade missed out on summer camp last year.

Cooped up by COVID and the parks were closed down for part of summer as a pandemic precaution.

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Now, parks in Miami-Dade are set to open, but like most everything these days, they have had to pivot to make it happen.

With summer just around the corner, thousands of Miami-Dade kids will be heading back to a summer camp after a year of COVID restrictions.

“It has been weird and tough on the kids being able to have a little bit of normalcy in the outdoors is gonna be good,” said Patricia Abril, communications manager for ‎Miami-Dade County Parks.

There are 278 county parks in Miami-Dade, making it the third-largest in the nation.

Summer camps for kids 6-14 keep the parks busy between June 14th to August 13th.

“Last year, we attempted to have summer camp and ended up having to close as COVID-19 started to spread,” adds Abril.

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With CDC guidelines for summer camp reopenings, this year will be different.

“We are going to continue with facial covering, there will be a constant state of cleaning with cleaning supplies at the ready,” said Abril.

The Parks and Recreation Department’s protocols were in place and went into full effect during after-school park programs.

“Of course, physical distancing, you know is not always completely possible when you are dealing with a group of kids. They do observe social distancing as much as possible,” adds Abril.

For example, the number of kids in nature camp groups is limited to nine and kids will be health screened daily.

If you want to send your child to summer camp this year, the advice is to hurry because some camps have already sold out.

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Click here for more information on Miami-Dade summer camps.