We thank you for your understanding and patience about summer camp decisions and details! We decided on a gradual approach for opening with extra precaution while we implemented extensive preventative measures and modifications based on COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
Our timeline was dependent on regional COVID-19 status to ensure the recommended level of community mitigation for camps and youth programming to begin operations. This began on June 15 with on site camp and continued on June 29 with a limited capacity field trip session. Sessions were canceled from July 6 to July 17 due to a recent spike in cases, and field trip camp has not scheduled to resume pending further evaluation.
Operations will adhere to all state orders and also include national recommendations from the American Camp Association for nature excursions and wilderness activities. We will continue to monitor available analysis and coordinate with local public health officials for updates.
Session cancellation notification
We will provide as much notice as possible if it becomes clear that we will need to cancel a camp session. Updated information and community mitigation status level could cause changes close to the start of camp. If a session does have to be canceled, we will communicate directly with registered campers. This will include options to reschedule, receive a credit, or request a refund. More about these policies can be found below.
We understand that the uncertainty of summer camp status is challenging for both excited campers and working parents. As much as we look forward to getting campers outside and enjoying nature, everyone's safety is paramount.
COVID-19 cancellation policy
We updated our cancellation policy for COVID-19 impacts, because we understand that attending camp this summer is a family decision that could be changing and evolving over time. For a camp closure, there will be no cancellation fees and 100% of costs will be returned regardless of date. Our first preference to help maintain our camp's viability is for future credit, which can be utilized for rescheduling later summer camps or reserving for school break camps, like Thanksgiving Break, Holiday Break, or Summer Camp 2021 - and that includes a one-week exclusive early enrollment period and 2020 rates! We also will be providing refunds, as needed, because we understand that others also may be facing similar financial hardship or need to make other arrangements.
If a family chooses to cancel an open session due to COVID-19 concerns, 100% of costs are available more than 14 days prior to the session start date, less the standard $50 cancellation fee. The exception to this time period is a documented camper illness or COVID-19 exposure.
For family COVID-19 decisions between 7-14 days prior to the session, 50% of costs will be available, less the standard $50 cancellation fee. Refunds are not available less than 7 days from the session date.
A camper with any of the symptoms listed in the pre-screening email is not eligible to attend until healthy at least 72 hours without fever and at least 10 days since symptom onset, unless cleared by a medical provider with a negative COVID-19 test. The family will receive 100% of costs with no cancellation fee to help ensure that camp remains safe.
Any camper who may have been exposed should not attend camp for at least two weeks unless cleared with a negative COVID-19 test. The family will receive 100% of costs with no cancellation fee to help ensure that camp remains safe.
PRECAUTIONS AT CAMP
Camper family, staff & community safety
Maintaining the physical and emotional safety of our campers is our top priority at all times. During this pandemic, we are actively following developments and updating our policies based on recommendations as they are released to help keep all campers, families, and staff healthy.
We attended educational webinars through the American Camp Association to implement best practices for preparedness and prevention from leading experts. Summer staff have been thoroughly trained in procedures and also in strategies to help campers acclimate to camp and adjust to changes, such as physical distancing and wearing of masks, with a positive approach.
We are committed to implementing these new procedures for reducing risk and providing campers wonderful experiences outdoors. The CDC provides several Coronovirus (COVID-19) Resources for families and businesses.
Illness prevention protocol
Masks are required for staff and will be worn unless physically distanced outdoors. Masks also are required for campers and will be prioritized indoors when physical distancing is more difficult and always on the bus. Outdoor time remains our primary focus, including for snacks and meals.
We intensified our cleaning and disinfection procedures at camp, on buses, and for equipment, according to national standards, and we increased handwashing stations, including mobile units for buses. We also are focused on air ventilation and air purification at camp and on buses, which have been equipped with medical HEPA air filtration rated the same as N95 masks (95% of particles down to .1 micron, 99.99% to .3 microns). Bus units include a 360 degree full air change every 7 minutes, and the HVAC unit at camp also had a UV germicidal light system installed.
Camp policy covers individual preventive measures as well as plans for identifying, separating, and keeping sick campers and staff at home. Pre-screening emails will go out about two weeks prior to a session start date, and daily temperature checks and health screenings will take place every morning for campers and staff. No one may attend if they, or anyone they had contact with, have had symptoms (including fever greater than 100.4, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, other respiratory symptoms, or at least two of the following symptoms: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell) for 10 days prior to the session start or return date unless cleared by a licensed medical provider with a negative COVID-19 test. Everyone must be fever-free for at least 72 hours before attending or before returning to camp. It is advised that anyone in a high-risk category for protection from COVID-19 should not attend.
Modified operational procedures
All session capacity has been decreased to a maximum size of 20 campers, which will be divided into two smaller groups within each session for activities. Selected games and activities adhere to physical distancing while maintaining social connection. Each camper will have assigned seating and designated storage for belongings at camp and on the bus and will receive individual supplies to use for the week, in order to reduce shared supplies as much as possible. Any shared materials or equipment will be cleaned between group use as part of enhanced protocols.
Our excursions will exclusively be for nature and adventure activities where contact with others can be avoided, and all outfitters must meet appropriate standards for cleaning and disinfecting. Our core outdoor adventure activities that we are able to continue include hiking, lake swimming, canoeing, kayaking, ziplining, and more. Caving is an activity that we found necessary to cancel this summer. Several destinations are being eliminated to support physical distancing, including zoos, museums, or other crowded attractions, and bus travel distances have been reduced overall. All changes to the itinerary will be communicated accordingly. There also will be changes to drop-off and pickup, including the implementation of curbside operations. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer the Parent Passport Program this summer.