A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
Mixed Summer Camp News
As we well know, children want to go to camp, summer camps want to welcome children, parents love to give camp experiences to their children and we all want safe practices.

A smidgeon of good "camp" news popped up Friday, May 1. Clarification was made available Saturday, May 2.

As of "May 1, 11:59am, a program serving children --childcare, preschools, enrichment classes and camps-- can open so long as they meet certain safety precautions set by the Santa Cruz County Health Officer. A major rule requires a group cap of 12 children (always the same 12) and same teacher(s) dedicated to the 12 only, as well as specific safety precautions. A program can have more than one group of 12 so long as they do not interact with each other."

Clarification - The current regulations apply only to children of essential workers.

"Re-opening" seems to be a fluid situation, subject to changes. I suggest calling the county health department any time you need clarification, (831) 454-2100.

If you have identified a program you like, which can meet all the requirements and you are not an essential worker, but would like it to serve all children, consider writing Dr. Gail Newel, Santa Cruz County Health Officer , County of Santa Cruz, 701 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, California 95060. Ask nicely , offer your thoughts whatever they are!

Here's our downloadable CAMP 2020 list of 225 summer programs in Santa Cruz County. Please download it for yourself and send the link to ALL your friends. Contact the programs which interest you, online or by phone to see their specific health safety plans.

Hopefully by the time camp season begins in mid-June, camps can get back to camping with interactions between more than 12 children, a necessary feature of some of the larger programs and of course safe practices.

Check out the new TEEN PAGE at the library! For u pdates and school information go to the Santa Cruz County of Education site.
Happy Mother's Day to All Moms and a salute to Dads and Children! "Thank you for loving us, sharing the work, and making it fun! Just take over and give us the day off!"

Families, I hope you are doing well, despite the challenges of SIP! Enjoy your weekend! Parmalee
Positive Parenting During a Pandemic

by NICOLE M. YOUNG, MSW

Just when I got used to my son being away at college, BAM! He’s finishing his spring semester from home and we’re a family of four again with very different schedules, understandings of social distancing, and pre-existing, handwashing habits. We’ve resolved most of the big differences that caused tension early on, but social distancing, school closures, and Stay at Home orders due to COVID-19 have turned many families’ lives upside down. Daily routines are disrupted, and everyday tasks like grocery shopping are increasingly difficult and stressful. Many parents I’ve talked to (virtually or from a safe distance, of course!) are coping with the pandemic in different ways.

Some parents see this as an opportunity to do family activities , take online classes, rediscover a hobby, binge watch movies, reconnect with friends and family, stay in pajamas all day, or just live life at a slower pace.

If this sounds like you, keep doing whatever works! Write in a journal, take photos, or record videos so that you remember the things that brought you joy while sheltering in place. Then think about which changes you want to maintain once social distancing ends. This is a chance to reset expectations, relationships, routines, and habits that were sources of stress before the pandemic.

Other parents are riding a roller coaster of emotions …and not always enjoying the ride. Many are fearful about working in settings that put them at risk for contracting COVID-19. Others are stressed about losing jobs and not having enough money for basic necessities – now and in the future. Some parents are on edge because it’s impossible to create a “work-life balance” with multiple kids and adults in the same space all day. Others are frustrated or worried about expectations for distance learning (and students that have disengaged or will fall farther behind). And others are struggling with being physically distant from their social circles.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! It’s natural to go through emotional highs, lows, twists, and turns during this pandemic. Many times, we create more stress by telling ourselves what we should or shouldn’t feel or do: I shouldn’t cry. I shouldn’t get frustrated or angry. I should be grateful for this time with my children. I should act happy so my kids don’t worry. But the emotional energy it takes to fight the feelings can leave parents feeling exhausted and defeated.

Instead, give yourself “permission” to ride the roller coaster of emotions. Try using coping statements to talk yourself through the difficult times: It’s ok to cry, even if I don’t know why I’m crying. This is hard right now, and I’ll get through it. I can love my kids and be frustrated with their behaviors. I lost my temper today, but tomorrow is a fresh start.

Many parents are worried about their children’s emotional well-being. Social distancing has been hard for children and teens who thrive on face-to-face interactions, as well as those who do best with daily, predictable routines. Children and teens may sense adults’ anxiety about COVID-19, but might not be ready or know how to verbally express their own feelings. Oftentimes, emotions are expressed through behaviors that appear disruptive, defiant, or out-of-character – e.g. tantrums, refusing to get out of bed or do schoolwork, teasing or fighting with siblings more than usual.

If this sounds like your family, you’re not alone! Try to follow (or create new) routines when possible, while being flexible about rules and expectations. Talk as a family about what will stay the same (e.g. mealtimes) and what can be flexible while sheltering in place (e.g. screentime limits). Spend brief and frequent quality time with your children throughout the day to reassure them you’re available when they need you. Develop a family plan for handling the changes that are happening – e.g. Wash our hands frequently. Take turns using the computer. Take deep breaths if we’re scared or stressed. This helps create a sense of control, which can help reduce anxiety about the unknown.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The range of reactions to these uncertain times is completely “normal.” If you or someone you know wants additional support, contact First 5 Santa Cruz County (465-2217 or triplep@first5scc.org) for virtual Triple P parenting support or dial 211 (or text your zip code to 898-211) to find resources for food, housing, healthcare, and more.
This monthly article provides tips for families raising children, based on the world-renowned Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Santa Cruz County. If you have a question or idea for a future column, please email triplep@first5scc.org.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 16 and 20, who also manages Santa Cruz County’s Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, the world’s leading positive parenting program. Scientifically proven, Triple P is made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (Mental Health Services Act) and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department. To find a Triple P parenting class or practitioner, visit triplep.first5scc.org , www.facebook.com/triplepscc or contact First 5 Santa Cruz County at 465-2217.
Welcome to our Directory!
with your strong willed child

​I give hope to parents so they KNOW they can transform
intense conflict & upset into connection.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to sail or row? Come join us during our summer session of sailing and rowing classes!
Sailing classes typically meet 4 days a week for 2 weeks.
We encourage and inspire kids and teens to become the next generation of developers, animators, filmmakers, photographers, designers and engineers!

Tara Redwood School uses a global curriculum that follows an original framework known as the 7 Steps to Knowledge, Strength and Compassion developed over 30 years.
2 Virtual Parenting Workshops

We've scheduled 2 virtual parenting workshops led by experts from Parents Place, designed to help families cope during the Coronavirus crisis.

The virtual workshops are free, but registration is required in advance for each session.

Managing Your Own Expectations: Letting Go and Staying Calm and Centered during Uncertain Times. For parents of preschool and elementary school aged kids. Experience a workshop immersion in compassion cultivation based on the latest research on mindfulness and altruism. Explore strategies for strengthening self-compassion, connecting with others, and finding peace in difficult circumstances. This session will include meditation, self-reflection, and discussion about the relevance of these practical tools for self-care and parenting. Sunday, May 17, 7-8pm. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/103191965948

Managing Frustration: Supporting Teens in a Shelter-in-Place World. For parents of Middle and High School kids. Children may be experiencing higher levels of stress and frustration that stem from a disruption in daily routines. Challenging behaviors are increasing and parents may feel overwhelmed and anxious. Learn effective, nurturing strategies to build resiliency and coping skills in your children. Sunday, May 17, 8-9pm. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/103295293002
Santa Cruz County Health Order
Following is the section from the May 1 health order pertinent to your interests. See the entire ORDER here :

"h. With respect to section 12.f.xxvii (childcare facilities) the language contained in the former order is modified as follows: Childcare establishments, summer camps, and other educational or recreational institutions or programs providing care or supervision for children of all ages that enable owners, employees, volunteers, and contractors for Essential Businesses, Essential Governmental Functions, or Minimum Basic Operations to work as allowed under this Order. To the extent possible, these operations must comply with the following conditions:
 
1. They must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children ("stable" means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
 
11. Children shall not change from one group to another.

iii. If more than one group of children is at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
 
 iv. Providers or educators shall remain solely with one group of children. The Health Officer will carefully monitor the changing public health situation as well as any changes to the State Shelter Order. In the event that the State relaxes restrictions on childcare and related institutions and programs, the Health Officer will consider whether to similarly relax the restrictions imposed by this Order.
 
1. Fabric stores and craft stores that supply fabric and related materials are considered "Essential Businesses" and may transact business for the purposes of supplying materials necessary to create face coverings, gowns and other personal protective equipment.
 
 7. In order to remain open, all Essential Businesses and facilities providing Essential Governmental Functions must prepare and post by no later than 11 :59 p.m. on May 8, 2020 a "Social Distancing Protocol" for each of their facilities in the County frequented by the public or employees. Any active construction site must also post a Social Distancing Protocol. The Social Distancing Protocol must be substantially in the form attached to this Order as Appendix A
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