Dreams Park Requires Vaccinating 12-Year-Olds, Upsetting Some Parents


Dreams Park Requires

Vaccinating 12-Year-Olds,

Upsetting Some Parents

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Dreams Park’s announcement that it will require players 12 and over at the youth baseball park this summer to have COVID-19 vaccinations is already causing consternation among parents.

So far, some states will not provide vaccines to students under 16 until further testing is done, according to Jodi Plimpton-Werstein of Lee County, Fla., which puts parents in a bind.

“Should a vaccine become available (for 12-15 year olds) in the near future,” said Plimpton-Werstein in a letter to the editor, “they are now putting parents in a position to decide between breaking their child’s heart by denying them a lifelong dream of playing at Cooperstown, or give them a vaccine that is still in its infancy, with no real data regarding long term effects or efficacy.”

Here is the text of Dreams Park’s statement, released today:

“In the best interest of our state, local community, and most importantly our employees, campers and their families, whose health and safety we are obligated to protect, Cooperstown Dreams Park has determined that it is essential to have immunization requirements and a reduced capacity to operate for the 2021 season.

“Our plan is the only responsible course of action at this time to prevent the possibility of a camp shutdown and displacement of families due to COVID-19. This will ensure the necessary key elements of family participation, camper interaction and safe visits to the Cooperstown area.

“All participants, coaches and campers 12 years and older must be immunized. Immunization requirements: COVID-19 (campers under 12 years of age are exempt, but must provide a negative test upon arrival), diphtheria, haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis b, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, tetanus and varicella a/k/a chickenpox. Cooperstown Dreams Park is hopeful that the vaccines will be available a minimum of twenty-one days prior to any registration date. Cooperstown Dreams Park will, if necessary modify registration date by registration date until a vaccine is available for 12 year olds and older.

“Registered visiting family members 12 years and older are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to gain entry. Visitors 11 years and younger must provide proof of a negative test result upon arrival. Unregistered visitors will not be permitted entry into Cooperstown Dreams Park. This season, we anticipate hundreds of communities will have the opportunity to experience Cooperstown Dreams Park, the Cooperstown area and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“This is the first step toward a full reopening in 2022. Our plan will require that all camp participants and visiting registered family members comply with the New York State Department of Health and CDC regulations and guidelines.

“We appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate these ever changing times. Our staff is resilient and steadfast in its commitment to the 2021 season. Cooperstown Dreams Park will continue to plan and prepare the facility for the summer season.

“We look forward to your arrival and welcoming you to Cooperstown this summer.”

52 thoughts on “Dreams Park Requires Vaccinating 12-Year-Olds, Upsetting Some Parents

  1. Brenda Tuell

    We were not aware of these requirements when we paid our money. Any parent that does not feel safe to immunize their child or theirself should get a full refund. I understand every venue has the right to set their own safety guidelines but they must be prepared to give full refunds to anyone who does not feel safe to comply. This is not about being rebellious this is all unknown and to each persons own discretion

  2. Jeff

    Would love to get confirmation that this requirement is driven by NY State or by Dreams Park. To say I’m stunned would be an understatement.

  3. VC

    For crying out loud…the Emergency Use of the COVID Vaccine below the age of 16 has NOT been authorized through the FDA! Somehow we have to circumvent the FDA and get our kids vaccinated? Unbelievable. Tell us when/where anyone can even do that.

  4. Dean White

    Looks like Dreams park has lost touch with reality. I can’t think of anywhere in the country vaccinating 12 year old children
    If they are that concerned then cancel until next summer.

  5. Brian

    This is awful.. let’s do the facts which everyone seems to ignore.. kids do not get, the vaccine has not been tested or approved for kids and the survival rate is over 99.97 if you are young and have no co-morbidities .. it is not right to tell people what to with their bodies. No none should be scared of this virus if you look at the science .. awful that you have gone down this road !

  6. michele

    This is disgusting. Do the research. Children are not even at risk for Covid. And overall it’s a 99.97 recovery rate. The vaccine is not even a vaccine and technically still in “trials.” Making this requirement is short sided and heartbreaking. who even knows the long term effects of this vaccine. You should educate yourself with facts, not fear. Shame on you

  7. Chad Savage, M.D.

    From a pediatrician:
    “ This truly makes NO sense. There is currently NO Covid vaccine approved to give under 16 years of age. Logistically, even if Pfizer’s vaccine was approved tomorrow to give to ages 12 and up, you would never be able to vaccinate all those kids in time. Remember, you need to be 2 weeks past your 2nd dose before you are considered “fully immunized.” It’s already April 9th. There first dates of camp are in early June. There is NO way kids could get vaccinated in time, even if they wanted to. I guess they are going to have a bunch of empty camps. So disappointing…..”

  8. Deb B.

    Why not require the staff get vaccinated instead and protect them that way? You took everyone’s money, then tell them at the last minute they must get vaccinated, EVRN WHEN THERE ISNT ANY AVAILABLE TO THIS AGE GROUP YET and forcing them to withdraw and lose their money? What kind of racket are you playing?! Seriously, you are breaking the hearts of all these kids for the 2nd year in a row and YOU DON’T CARE!! SHAME ON YOU!!

  9. Todd Gordon

    This is completely ridiculous the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of these vaccines have not been tested enough to be forcing people to take them I think you you should reconsider This is not gonna do anything but break the hearts of kids who want to come and participate in this wonderful program it’s really too bad very very disappointed

  10. Lynn

    No way will we put a vaccine that does not show long rearm effects and is NOT fully approved by the FDA in my arm let alone a child’s that is hideous to think that!
    That is a shame that you’d risk children’s lives for a shot… that means No Cooperstown for us oh well there’s more to life than baseball

  11. cc

    This is completely unfair and every team is going to bail out. Who would agree now to have their child take a vaccine that isn’t even released to the age group yet? And if you change your mind, they get to keep your money. This is an unprecedented action and they should be ashamed of themselves.

  12. Renee Lucca

    This is an experimental vaccine approved only for emergency use authorization. It is not FDA approved. According to the studies published by Pfizer it is effective at reducing symptoms of SARS Cov-2 but there is no date to support that it prevents transmission or infection. It is only effective at reducing symptoms and therefore hospitalization of recipient. Therefore, forcing children to partake of this does not make anyone safer. You can still be infected and can still transmit. Additionally, there is statistically zero risk of complication and death from Covid for children in this age group. What is wrong with the people who run Cooperstown to expect parents to light their kids in fire in order to keep others warm?! Thank God my sons team decided on a tournament in Myrtle Beach. I will never set foot in Cooperstown! Feel free to publish my name for all the world to see.

  13. C. Lee

    Crushing Dreams Park- seems like a poorly planned decision. Why couldn’t they have warned us this was the plan? Even called in February to see if they were reducing numbers so we could plan for pin trading. They said no! Why not opt to close the barracks & require negative Covid test instead? So much work and planning to get to this point only to have them require the impossible. Please reconsider!

  14. Carrie Lee

    Crushing Dreams Park- seems like a poorly planned decision. Why couldn’t they have warned us this was the plan? Even called in February to see if they were reducing numbers so we could plan for pin trading. They said no! Why not opt to close the barracks & require negative Covid test instead? So much work and planning to get to this point only to have them require the impossible. Please reconsider!

  15. Dave Garcia

    RIDICULOUS – Trip canceled. C⚾️⚾️P suffered through 2020 with $100M++ in lost revenue, now teeing up another disastrous summer. I spoke with 10 different teams this week, all making other plans. Enjoy the litigation, Coronabros👍🏼

  16. Anonymous

    How much of a kick back are you getting from the goverment to force people to get a vaccine? I thought this was still the USA. TAKING PEOPLE CHOICE IS NOT FREEDOM, NOT AMERICAN!!!!

  17. Anonymous

    Absolutely not!
    They have crossed the line between compliance and downright wrong!
    Parents will not subject their childrens future to unproven untested and unnecesary vaccines with unknown long term health concerns

  18. Melissa B

    I understand that parents are going to be torn on the decision on whether to vaccine their children or not, but it’s either allow vaccinated children to play or there will be no little league world series at all this year.

  19. TC

    This is blatant age discrimination. To require a 12 year old to be vaccinated, but not an 11 year old, where is the science in that mandate?

  20. Elizabeth valdovinos

    All of these requirements are obsurd!! New York , dreams park and the surrounding cities are going to lose money over this decision making . I feel bad for the town who has suffered so much loss in this past year due to the pandemic . Now New York health dept and dreams park are asking for too many requirements to kill a Kids dream of a lifetime to play at dreams park in Cooperstown. A once in a lifetime experience once again killed. I understand safety of all..covid testing should be enough of a requirement and proof of childhood vaccines. Covid vaccine is not even approved for children under 16. So I do not know how you can make that vaccine as a requirement. Ease up ! Make masks a requirement, hand washing and social distancing a requirement. Have kids stay in individual housing with parents off the dreams park grounds instead of on the grounds . Reconsider some of the requirements. Parents pay a lot of money and rearrange their lives especially for an experience as Cooperstown. Kids work hard just to get the opportunity to play at dreams park . These kids work hard raising money to pay the expensive fees for this once in a lifetime experience.

  21. Eileen

    Families, dreams and sacrifices are crushed and no one in CDP seems to care. How come the ALL STAR VILLAGE in the same state is not making the COVID 19 vaccine a requirement? None of it makes sense. Parents have paid thousands of dollars!!!! Someone needs to do something about it.

  22. Laura Lewis

    While I agree that they are trying to keep everything open and “safe” my son and his teammates were sobbing when we had to tell them they can’t go to Cooperstown. It is completely wrong to change up the rules this late in the game.

  23. Wes

    How do we get our money back we paid and would’ve never paid if this was the situation at the time of sign up

  24. Eileen

    This is an extreme violation of freedom of choice and medical privacy to mandate vaccines for Covid 19. The science supports the fact that students are not super spreaders and given the combination of those who choose vaccination and herd immunity the recovery rate is better than flu. Moreover , there are therapeutics scientifically proven to prevent or aid in recovery hence minimizing serious illness and hospitalization . Similar to the vaccine rationale without the risk of long term side effects the therapeutics must be part of the individual choice and confidence that recovery does not require vaccination as sole prevention of serious illness or hospitalization.
    The lethality of Covid 19 according to real data is in decline because of proper treatment and yes herd immunity similar to flu. If you want evidence of the absence of Covid then require tests not vaccination for entry. Although , given the fact that the lethality risk is low now unless you are in an extreme risk category even the testing prior to entry is over the top. The vaccine for flu and Covid doesn’t guarantee you won’t get or bring flu and Covid into the stadium !!! Please don’t steal the freedom from baseball lovers supportive parents and grandparents when the science indicates there are reasonable alternatives to vaccination to keep everyone safe and science proves treatments can be as effective as an unproven ( in terms of long term effect) vaccination .
    Science has always welcomed debate , additional theories to be proven and additional perspectives. Science is not one view, one position . Respect the definition of science .

  25. Keith Golden

    We were coming from Georgia decided to go to South Carolina for Cal Ripken which has fewer restrictions.

  26. Kay

    It has not been proven safe yet for children, yet they are requiring it. I wonder if they require the vaccine for all of their employees too? If they do, they have broken federal law in regards to mandating an experimental drug for their employees. I feel bad for the businesses in town as they will suffer the most. My child will get over not being able to go. But I will not risk possible long term effects for just a week of baseball. Yes, we don’t know if there are even long term effects from these vaccines, but I will NOT be putting that in my child and taking that risk over a week of baseball. This is just a way for Cooperstown to not “cancel” on the teams and have to refund their whole payment. Cooperstown is keeping $4,000 from each team, which they say the teams can make back next year when they sell their certificate to another team. How much you want to bet that teams won’t be allowed to “sell” their certificate next year? They are a money grabbing place that is working very shaddy. They have changed contracts several times now. I wouldn’t trust going to this place again.

  27. Kellie Kelm

    I had the pleasure of attending Cooperstown Dreams Park (CDP) with my older son 3 years ago and we had plans to come early July with my younger son. There is the obvious uncertainty of this plan of obtaining a vaccine in time (given it’s not authorized for 12 yr olds yet) and families not comfortable with doing it yet, even if it’s authorized this spring. CDP says they will cancel a camp week 21 days in advance if the vaccine is not authorized by that date; that means that the team will lose their CDP registration money and will also lose their rental money, since most rentals, if they have a refund policy, will not refund after final monies are paid. Their letter doesn’t include the fact that CDP has decided to reduce capacity by 50%, so they have wedged in 3 more camp weeks by compressing the weeks and moving everyone’s dates. My rental is no longer going to work for my family, if we were to go. This new plan, just 2 months from the start of CDP, is poorly planned and asks teams and families to take on too much uncertainty. Our team now has planned to head to a tournament in another state the same week. I was looking forward to visiting my favorite restaurants again and I’m very sorry for the landlords of rental properties that will lose another year of renters.

  28. Pete Mondello

    We will not visit New York ever again. Enjoy your Cooperstown! We are now changing our forward direction for our youth. Texas Youth Sports

  29. Vinny B.

    Hey Louie Persutti II,
    How much money are you getting from your paisaino Andy Cuomo for ORDERING families to vaccinate their kids? Lost 110M last year so you need some cash flow this year! See if Cuomo will bail you out this year too! Dream Park is the Titanic of New York State. Maybe a new owner will have more heart and brains!

  30. Kelly Hart

    This is all so heartbreaking and beyond comprehension. I really hope that some attorney is paying close attention and would like to take this on! I have a rental property and have lost over half of our season! These young boys that have worked so hard to get there just to have the rug pulled out from under them is disgusting! All points made in the comments so true and valid. Who is behind this???!!!!

  31. Cindy Young

    Do not subject your children to this experimental pathogen and potentially a lifetime of health issues for the short lived thrill of the game. Play somewhere else. Demanding parents turn their children into lab rats is criminal insanity. Let the lawsuits fly.

  32. Brian Jones

    Wow! I had no idea parents in the USA felt so strongly about protecting their kids from the vaccine industry. Here in Europe, governments are pushing very hard to vaccinate everybody, including kids, despite the evidence showing kids’ immune systems easily manage the virus. They tell us vaccination is the only way to “end the nightmare” of lockdowns. And once enough people vaccinate, then they’ll bring in the digital “vaccine passports” that will exclude the non-vaccinated from things like air travel, restaurants etc, creating even more pressure to vaccinate. A huge scam. Protect your kids!!

  33. Chris

    It fits in with every other thing New York has done since the start of COVID.
    It seems criminal to keep any money, which is what they are trying to do. Our team is playing elsewhere. I feel bad for all of the small businesses that will lose revenues again this year because of this ridiculous decision. We cancelled our hotel room and got a full refund.

  34. Anonymous

    Hey Alex Kleban,
    I have just two questions regarding YOUR question about the “evidence of the consternation of parents”. Are you just plain stupid or blind or both? Did you happen to read the string of messages that you added to? All of these comments are from parents that are upset about the ruling that “shattered dreams park” initiated about mandatory vaccination of 12 year olds to be allowed to register for the 2021 season.
    Louie the owner is obviously siding with his buddy the dishonorable Andrew Cuomo by doing what he’s doing. Cuomo bailed him out last year when he lost over 110 million dollars in revenue. Maybe Louie is in line for another massive bailout from Cuomo?

  35. johnny

    As a Florida resident who owns property less than 1/2 from Dreams Park it sickens me to hear the decision made by Dreams Park management. It’s a proven fact that Covid effects seniors, not children! The politics of the state of NY in Albany are a joke. The schools in Florida have been open to “in-person” learning since August, 2020 for ages 5 thru 18 years old without any issues due to Covid. I have been watching from a distance as NY businesses close their doors. A good example is the former family run Fly Creek Cider Mill. Big brother has taken over New York and shortly will become a ghost town! All the welfare money the world will not save the local people effected. Children are not the problem! Fear and control of your elected officials are the problem! Dreams Park.. Do the right thing and refund the peoples hard earned money! If you don’t you will be setting yourself up for a class action law suit!!

  36. Candy J Finley

    Has anybody asked CDP where these vaccines are available ? Because from everything I can find THERE IS NO VACCINE FOR ANYBODY UNDER AGE 16. It can’t be legal to require something you can’t get even if you wanted to. So they are basically gonna pocket every teams money…..unless you show up with a Team of 11 year olds who’s Birthdays fall right….!! Has anyone checked the legality of these latest changes

  37. Anonymous

    CPDP should be ashamed the fact that they intend to keep any of the deposit $ from cancellations they still stand to make millions. I was fortunate enough to take my son in 2019 before covid and the fact that hundreds of kids will not be able to experience this because of an outrageous mandate is inexcusable.

  38. David Kinderyeti

    Just a reflection of the bigger issues New Yorkers are facing with government and others over reaching (by far) the authorities vested in them. This folly is going to KILL our local economy. CCP virus (and Cuomo) already closed more businesses in NY than we can recover from in a decade. Silly mandates and restrictions that have NO BASIS in actual science but rather political agenda has been the undoing of far too many livelihoods, hopes and dreams. Good luck CDP!! You just singlehandedly buried our economy (like mini Cuomo’s) while you stroll to the banks laughing. The families and children who’s dreams are dashed, the local economy that has catered to, and helped your indulgent profit-making will never forgive you. Prayers for all the locals that will suffer, YET AGAIN…

  39. Tami Duggan

    The only way to stop such bullying tactics is to NOT send our children to these camps. Continue using to line their pockets will only encourage them more. I would NEVER give my child an experimental “vaccine” in order to send them to a sports camp. This is insanity!!!!!!

  40. Lisa Ganse RN BSN

    I’m glad to comment. Go ahead. Make this mandatory. Vaccine manufacturers have liability exemption. You do not. If you require it, you assume all responsibility. ALL. The Nuremberg code states that subjects in an experiment must be given full informed consent. This means they have the mental faculty to make the decision, they understand all risks and benefits and without force, coercion or duress. Otherwise one can be charged as a war criminal.Requiring it is force. Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

  41. Lisa Ganse

    Oh, and by the way contract law works like this: you extend and offer and someone accepts.

    If you change the terms, that is called renegotiating. A person then by law, may accept or decline.

    Since you’ve changed the contract requirements, if people choose to decline, you cannot legally keep their money. Otherwise they are making a decision under duress which means you are extorting them. Extort means to obtain by coercion. You are extorting people by forcing them to get an experimental vaccine for their child(ren)that is neither approved for use or even been tested on them yet or forcing them to lose money.

    Sheesh! Do same basic google definition research before making illegal policies. Or go ahead. And expect redress. And to lose your business through claims of harm. And yourself an additional favor and research the actual data on kids that informs not only how ridiculous this policy is, but how completely ignorant of facts your policy makers are. That is embarrassing.

  42. Shane

    It would have been much more ethical to just cancel the season, which you effectively did anyway, just with a measure of insanity that is incomprehensible to rational people. Teams have not only cancelled, but have moved to other tournaments and will never come back.

  43. Nicole Molinaro

    I say even if Cooperstown takes this back parents need to take a stand and pull their teams out. Make a stand this is such crap that they want your 12 year old vaccinated!! True insanity. Money talks and people need to full on stop this craziness the only way it will be done is if we as ADULTS stand up for our children. Don’t go to a place that even thought this was a good idea! Sickening

  44. ellen white weir

    maybe it’s time we the people of Cooperstown and surrounding area take this time to think about what kind of village we want. We have had a year of pandemic to see our town in a different light. Maybe instead of the intense focus on baseball, we could create a balance with the history and beauty of this amazing place. The museums, the history, the opera, and many creative destinations have been here for a long time, and make it unique. I understand the children of the Dreams Park will be disappointed, but maybe consider how the locals feel about the Covid threat that will linger, and the potential health impacts on store owner, restaurant owners, and local shoppers. I know many people depend on the baseball camps, but maybe we could turn it around to attract a more diverse group of visitors.

  45. me

    Let’s get real. DP is all about a money grab. Implement something that is unattainable and keep some deposits. Worry about lawsuits later and hide behind the lack of State guidance/approvals in time to open. CASV is getting there by being shady and not releasing to the public their alleged reopening plan that was submitted on March 6 to the local health dept (announced on their own website). DP has the stones to tell everyone to get vaccinated and basically crushed the tourism money that the village counts on every summer. CASV may be right behind them for Oneonta. The County might have a small deficit on their hands after this summer.

  46. JF

    A lot of people seem upset by the requirement that everyone be properly vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine has been FDA approved (emergency approval) for ages 16+ and will almost certainly receive approval for 12+ during the month of May. 147 million Americans have already received a shot. The vaccine works. That’s why they’re requiring it. They acknowledge they’ll change their policy if your 12 year old can’t legally get the shot 3 weeks in advance. The so-called risks of getting vaccinated are far outweighed by the known risks from getting Covid-19. Same with measles, etc. You should really get your kids vaccinated for their own safety, and yours, and your parents’.

  47. Urgent Care Worker

    It’s astounding how there are parents who can’t get out of their own way to keep their child and other children safe. If a vaccine becomes available for that age group, it will obviously undergo testing to ensure its safety and efficacy. As a Denver urgent care worker, I can’t wait for the day that kids are more safe and not coming in with symptoms, especially when their parents are COVID-19 skeptics.

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