Westmont summer activities recommence as Newsom plans to reopen California


Courtesy of Conference and Event Services

While many summer events could not take place in 2020, Westmont’s Trailhead program was able to commence with masks and social distancing.

Chloe White, Staff Writer

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on April 6 that he intends to completely reopen the California economy by June 15. As a result, Westmont will be able to schedule summer events that were not possible last summer.

The official website of the governor’s office described the extent of the reopening. “All sectors listed in the current Blueprint for a Safer Economy grid may return to usual operations in compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements and with common-sense public health policies in place, such as required masking, testing and with vaccinations encouraged.”

This news means that Westmont will be able to resume some notable summer activities. According to Dr. Melinda Harriman, director of conference and event services, Westmont anticipates “a rather robust summer schedule, although it will start a few weeks later than a normal pre-[COVID-19] summer.” Harriman indicated that the groups signed up for the upcoming summer, which include Trailhead groups, sports camps, and music groups, among others, are eager to host their events.

While Newsom’s announcement may constitute the beginning of normalcy, Westmont’s summer plans must remain in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines. Harriman commented, “Until there is a full green light and herd immunity, we’ll be taking a cautious approach … Guest groups must confirm that all individual guests are either fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID test. Masks and social distancing will still be required regardless.” 

Youth sports summer camps are another important part of Westmont’s upcoming summer. The Westmont summer camps coordinator, Jeff Azain, expects to run a full schedule of summer sports camps this year. Because sports camps are outside, they should enjoy greater flexibility than some other events. However, Azain commented that restrictions must still be in place.

“Just like last summer, when we ran an abbreviated summer camps schedule, we will take all the necessary precautions to run safe and healthy camps for our campers and staff.” This means that “staff will be required to wear masks, campers will be kept in small groups no more than eight to a group, equipment will be sanitized and wiped down after each use. We will do a temperature check of each camper every morning and have hand sanitizers and hand washing sinks available in various field locations.”

Some events will be held at Westmont that wouldn’t normally happen in the summer. Harriman said of this topic, “We have a number of groups who will be with us who needed a solution to their normal programs who cannot run at UCLA or UCSB, for example, because those campuses have chosen to work with only internal groups. We have another three-week group that usually runs their program in France.” The unique circumstances of this summer will allow Westmont to return to hosting regular groups, as well as new groups that have been displaced from other locations due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

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