Camp Poyntelle 2021 & COVID-19

The Covid-19 crisis is an ever evolving situation with new information coming to light all the time.

As we prepare for an awesome summer in 2021, we will continue to do the following to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • Continue to speak with our out of state friends in the industry who were able to operate successfully in 2020. Their experiences have been invaluable to our planning.
  • Maintain our strong partnership with The American Camp Association, UJA, Foundation for Jewish Camp and the Wayne County Camp Alliance to ensure best practices camp-wide for the Poyntelle community.
  • We will keep gathering information and make final decisions on protocol for camp based on the most up to date guidelines and safety measures set forth by the scientific and medical communities, such as the CDC and the PA Department of Health.

We are energized and very excited to be planning an amazing and safe summer. We can’t wait to see those smiling faces at Poyntelle!

March Update:

We hope this update finds you safe, happy and healthy. When we updated you last month, we wanted to share the important steps we had taken to date in order to make camp a safe place for our campers to thrive, have fun and be outdoors with friends and counselors. There’s more work and research to do, however with the vaccination rollout ramping up, we are very hopeful that this summer will be an important step in returning our children to a sense of normalcy. This month, we wanted to share a few more important updates on COVID protocol as well as camp programming and operational logistics.

HOW WILL MEALS WORK?

In order to safely serve meals each day, we will continue hosting multiple seatings in order to safely spread everyone out. Additionally, we have purchased a very large tent that will be permanently set up outside for additional seating. We are also planning meal deliveries to bunks for “breakfast in bed!” We are also adding outdoor lunches and dinners which we know the kids love. Inside the dining hall, we have switched all of our AC filters to the MERV 13 pleated AC filters recommended for COVID-19 prevention. We have also installed UV lighting to the AC return to eliminate possible traces of the virus.

ARE WE STILL REQUIRED TO BUY LOGO’D SHIRTS?

Since we are not having the kids leave the property, we are not requiring you purchase any specific logo’d items. We understand many kids will still want a few pieces of Poyntelle clothing and you can purchase these on our site at www.thecampspot.com. The packing list and luggage portfolio email is going out no later than Monday, March 8.

TESTING PROTOCOL REQUIREMENTS

While we are still finalizing our choice of companies, we know we will be requiring a PCR test 5 days prior to camp arrival. We will be issuing a Rapid test on day 1 of camp and another PCR test 5 days into the summer.

TELEMEDICINE PLATFORM & MOBILE X-RAY

In the time of COVID, it is increasingly more dificult to lock down MDs for camp. While we are planning to still have doctors for however long our current physicians are available, we are adding an extra layer of coverage by introducing telemedicine service through our partnership with ProHealth NY. They are a large medical company out of New Hyde Park, NY and our family’s personal doctor has been part of their organization since it’s inception. Utilizing their telemedicine platform will grant us access to doctors, including specialists every day of the week with a 5-10 minute turnaround time for appointments. This allows us to not break our bubble when a child needs a prescription such as antibiotics, prescription creams, etc. To learn more about ProHealth, please click HERE.

Additionally, we have signed on with TridentCare which provdes mobile x-rays. This is essential as it allows us to keep our campers/staff out of the emergency room for x-rays. Obviously, anything urgent will still go to the hospital but for the jammed fingers and light sprains, we can have an x-ray performed, read by a radiologist and then send the film on CD to your personal physician at home to review as well.

ENROLLMENT UPDATE

We are very happy to annouce that our enrollment is strong and actually better than where we were when COVID hit this time last year. Currently, the interest in Poyntelle is greater than we have previously seen and we are confident that we will be closing out multiple age groups by May.

LEWIS VILLAGE & TEENAGE LIFE

It’s always fun to talk about teenage life at camp! Their needs and wants are different, with some being more complex and others being super simple. With all of the hard work we are doing to create a safe environment this summer, we don’t want to forget that our LV kids still need to be teengers which means they need special, unique and creative programming to keep them engaged and excited about being older campers in our community. There are obviously challenges to this for the coming summer due to COVID-19. We have been critically thinking about how to add different elements to help meet their expectations. Here are some things we are currently planning, in addition to their regular activity day which will include all of the core, traditional camp activities and electives.

NEW AND DIFFERENT FOR TEENAGERS

  • 3 new beautiful bunks
  • Massive connected porch for bunks with lighting and seating areas
  • Virtual programming/leadership development for LITs with Mainstages, Inc.
  • LITs to work with Mainstages virtually on Clue, Color War Break and more!
  • LV produced Poyntelle Podcasts
  • Pizza oven for teens at night + canteen
  • LIT use of their cell phones 3 nights per week
  • Teen nighttime pool parties, campfires and indoor gym fun with special food deliveries from out of camp
  • Special LV Variety Show for all of camp
  • LV led electives of their choice (teens leading electives in a safe manner – this would require masks)
  • Teen Zoom Pal program for prospective campers
  • Teen led Social Media (video posts, photo uploads & blog – for them and all of camp)
  • LV only campouts
  • Virtual Fitness Classes
  • Outdoor Grill Cooking Classes led by our Head/Sous Chef
  • We are actively working on this list to include even more new things. A few ideas we are investigating our Escape Rooms, weekly Trivia Night tournaments and Virtual Pictionary against other camps in our area.

We plan to continue to update all of you monthly as the summer draws closer. As the world continues to change, we will as well. We look forward to keeping you all in the loop and excited for camp! If you have not yet enrolled, we strongly encourage you to do so quickly. Please visit us at ENROLL NOW to finalize your registration.

We are committed to giving our campers the safest and most exciting summer possible. It is what they need and deserve after such a tumultuous year. We are thrilled to be welcoming them back and can’t wait to see those smiling faces.

FEBRUARY UPDATE

What a crazy year it has been for us all. With COVID-19 vaccinations now available and hopefully the process becoming increasingly more efficient, we are feeling hopeful that a light is beginning to shine at the end of this tunnel. It is with that in mind, that we are updating you today on the Summer of 2021.

WILL WE BE OPEN?
YES! We have been continually planning and getting camp ready to welcome our kids again. Of course, we will continue to monitor the situation in regard to COVID-19 and all decisions will be based on the data at hand. As of now, we are fully expecting to be open. Similar to last year, if something unforeseen should happen and we must change course, your money is safe. We are not looking to take any of your payments without your child being at camp.

MEDICAL PARTNERSHIP
We have hired Dr. Laura Blaisdell to be our lead medical consultant on helping guide us in creating a safe camp environment this season. Dr. Blaisdell is a public-health trained pediatrician and has been a camp medical director for the past 20 years. She oversaw the safe opening of Camp Winnebago in Maine during the 2020 season. Laura regularly consults to the American Camp Association (ACA) and is widely regarded as one of the top experts on communicable-disease prevention at camps. Dr. Blaisdell has already begun working with us and will continue to do so as we make critical decisions regarding our health and safety protocols related to the coronavirus. To learn more about Dr. Blaisdell, please click HERE.

TESTING PROTOCOL
We know that testing for coronavirus will be required. The exact requirements are still a work in progress as the technology changes rapidly. Currently, we are planning on ALL campers and staff having to take a PCR test at home within 4 days of arriving at camp. Beyond that, we are exploring all the different options for in-camp testing and will update our families once we make a final decision. Staff will also be arriving 14 days prior to the children in order to quarantine effectively.

CREATING THE CAMP “BUBBLE”
As of now, we are planning to “BUBBLE” our environment which means a closed campus. To be clear, we don’t foresee this scenario changing between now and the start of camp. The “bubble” approach eliminates events such as, Visiting Day, Pioneer Adventure, unescorted Staff Days Off, Tournaments, Trips, etc. for this summer. This is a COVID-19 specific decision and we will resume our normal routines in 2022.

TRANSPORTATION TO CAMP
In order to ensure the safest possible start of camp, we are requiring all families to drive their children to camp at designated times on arrival day. Times will be assigned to each family so we can manage the number of people onsite. If this presents a challenge to any of our families, we will work with you as best we can to arrange a safe alternative. Families who normally fly to camp will be contacted with special instructions. After many discussions, we feel this is the safest way to start the summer and therefore, will not be providing our normal coach bus transportation.

*SPECIAL NOTE: We will still be arranging baggage pickup at least 1 week prior to camper arrival so we can unpack the children’s luggage. Those details will be sent along with the Camper Portfolio in the coming months.

BUNK LIFE
Much in the way that schools are operating successfully this year, campers will be part of family cohort organized by bunk. Bunks will stay together during the day, moving from activity to activity with their assigned staff members. We envision an initial quarantine period, the duration of which will be determined in consultation with Dr. Blaisdell and the PA Department of Health as we get closer to camp. Once we pass that period, we hope to expand the size of our cohort families. While with their “families” masks and social distancing will not be required. When there is a chance that a bunk family is coming into contact with another cohort, masks and social distancing will be required.

There will be plenty of more details to come, as we continue to research best practices and review the latest scientific information. We will begin emailing our 4-part Camper Portfolio out to families in February. Some information will be different as we continue working through our protocols. Therefore, please be sure to review all emails in their entirety. As I’m sure you understand, the state of the virus is a moving target and things change often.

If you have not yet enrolled, we strongly encourage you to do so quickly. Our younger groups are growing rapidly and we want to ensure space for all former campers as well. Please visit us at ENROLL NOW to finalize your registration.

We are committed to giving our campers the safest and most exciting summer possible. It is what they need and deserve after such a tumultuous year. We are thrilled to be welcoming them back and can’t wait to see those smiling faces.