With heat wave, summer camps switch to contingencies

CANTON, Mass. — It’s a dilemma for many recreation departments: how to keep summer campers cool during a heatwave, while also keeping them entertained.

The answer, according to Tyler Radicioni, Canton’s director of Parks and Recreation, comes down to three things.

“Shade play, pool play, water play,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is have the kids get heat exhaustion or overheat.”

At the town’s community pool, the youngest campers alternated between time in the pool and time under a shaded canopy. And there were plenty of water bottles everywhere.

“We’re monitoring the weather a lot this week with the high temps,” Radicioni said. “It’s just a lot of scheduling around different parts of the day to make sure that they’re staying safe.”

Part of the job of keeping them safe falls on the lifeguards.

In Canton, one of those lifeguards is Mia Galvin.

“(On hot days) we definitely anticipate the worst and hope for the best,” said Galvin. “The full pool...usually, the deck is pretty full. So working with people, being respectful towards others is really helpful during hot days.”

By about 2 p.m., temperatures in many Boston suburbs had crossed the 90-degree mark – the official reading needed for inclusion in a heat wave.

In Norwood, construction worker Carlos Graham prepared for the heat by bringing plenty of ice water to the job site. Graham, who is from the Virgin Islands, is used to the heat, but “this heat right here, with the asphalt and all that...this is crazy,” he said.

His mental strategy for knowing he’ll be sweating it out for the next few days? Focus on the finished product.

“Honestly, get it done,” Graham said. “The faster I get this done, the faster I get out of this heat. Soon as it comes close to packing up time, I’m going to start my car, turn that A-C on so that when everything IS packed up...in my car and I’m gone.”

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