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.
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.
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.
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.