Our #1 goal has always been the safety and well-being of our campers and staff, and again this summer, we feel that more strongly than ever.
The risk of viral spread at camp will be significantly reduced by layering the following mitigation strategies on top of each other, at all times throughout the summer:
Screening and Protecting our Most Vulnerable
- If your child has a medical condition that puts them at high risk for severe illness from Covid-19 (e.g. moderate to severe asthma, diabetes, immune deficiency, obesity, etc.), it is critical that you provide a letter of clearance to attend camp from your child’s primary care physician. In addition, if someone in your child’s household is high-risk, it is recommended that you consult with your physician to determine if Camp activities are appropriate for your child and family.
- Participants will be asked to begin screening for fever and other symptoms 14 days prior to the start of their session, and to complete a digital daily symptom screening prior to arriving at camp each day.
- Campers and counselors will be organized into cohorts that will remain together all day, every day. Groups will not exceed 18 campers and 2 counselors per cohort.
- Any staff members that come into contact with multiple cohorts will provide instruction from six feet away to the greatest extent possible. If closer interaction is needed this would be extremely brief (to help bait a hook at Fishing, for example), and unvaccinated activity staff would be in masks at all times.
- Groups will be kept six feet apart from other cohorts/groups at all times (with the exception of some emergency situations), and three feet away from individuals in their own group when indoors (in masks) and while eating.
- Arrival and dismissal will be staggered to allow for greater distancing between participants.
Campers and counselors will be required to wear a CDC-approved mask in the following instances:
- Any time they are indoors.
- On buses.
- During arrival and dismissal (when cohorts may be crossing).
- While transitioning from activity to activity (when cohorts may be crossing).
- In high traffic, designated “mask zone” areas where cohorts may be crossing (for example, the tent area where belongings are kept).
- While using any of our high ropes elements and rock wall.
Campers will be given “mask breaks” whenever needed, and as much as possible.
Masks must be washed/replaced daily. Campers and staff are required to bring a second mask as a backup each day. Extra masks will always be available to campers and staff.
Handwashing and Promoting Good Hygiene
- Campers and staff will be instructed in proper hand washing techniques and will be required to wash their hands regularly throughout the day.
- Good hygiene practices will be taught and enforced through counselor training and signage throughout camp.
- We will also be encouraging and teaching other healthy habits including covering coughs and sneezes, not touching face coverings, and proper use of hand sanitizer.
- Hand washing and/or hand sanitizing stations will be set up all around camp, and participants will be required to visit them before and after each period. More specifically, hand washing/sanitizing will occur:
- Before and after each activity
- Before and after eating
- After sneezing, coughing, or nose-blowing
- After using the restroom
- Before handling any food
- Before and after using any shared equipment
- After contact with face covering
- After touching or cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated
- After assisting children with handwashing
- Before and after administration of medication
- Before entering transportation vehicles
- Before and after changes of gloves
- Gloves will be used by staff whenever handling camper belongings or food, and when sanitizing shared equipment.
Holding Activities Outdoors
- We are lucky that many of our regular activities are already held outdoors. Our few traditionally indoor activities – Cooking, Arts and Crafts, and Music Studio – will be held outside as much as possible.
Cleaning and Disinfection of Equipment and Facilities
- The Infirmary will be disinfected between patients, bathrooms and office surfaces between periods, and all buildings at the end of each day.
- Activity counselors will disinfect high touch and personal activity equipment between each group that visits their activity OR equipment will be quarantined for 24 hours between each group use.
- Buses will be disinfected daily, and will not be used by any other groups between the morning and afternoon routes.
Cancelling and Modifying Higher-Risk Activities
- Activities that require cross-group exposure:
Swim Lessons (Free Swim will still run)
Horseback Riding lessons will not be offered this summer.
- Activities that require leaving camp property:
Field Trips will not take place this summer with the exception of the Senior Camp Mt. Wachusett hiking trip.
Remaining Vigilant and Responding Immediately to Threats
- Participants who are symptomatic will be asked to remain home until they receive a negative PCR COVID-19 test or alternate diagnosis from their physician.
- Likewise, participants who present with symptoms at camp will be sent home and must remain home until they receive a negative PCR COVID-19 test or alternate diagnosis from their physician.
- Confirmed cases will not be able to return to camp for ten days after symptom onset and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Any unvaccinated close contacts (closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) will need to quarantine for 10 days without testing OR 7 days after receiving a negative test result (on day 5 or later).
We’ve culled some of our favorite camper-appropriate resources on how to talk to your kids about current events. If you have any you’d like to share, please send them our way, and we can share with the community via Facebook and Instagram.
Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
NASP: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
PBS Kids: How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
In all of this, friends, things are changing every day. But what we do know is that your children will need “Summer as it should be” now more than ever, and we are doing everything in our power to make it so. Planning and preparations are full steam ahead, and we can’t wait to greet our amazing campers on June 28th, for the start of our 62nd camp season.