*UPDATED JANUARY 22, 2021*
DID YOU KNOW? About 30 overnight camps ran in New Hampshire & Maine in summer 2020 without COVID outbreaks, and we continue to learn directly from them. We are busy working to implement plans regarding safety measures for camp in 2021.
We expect that this winter will continue to be very difficult regarding transmission of COVID-19. Please stay safe and wear those masks. We remain optimistic that things should look different by summer.
WE ARE LEARNING THROUGH:
- Personally hearing from 15+ overnight camps that ran in 2020 COVID-outbreak-free
- Several camp director groups and classes on this topic
- American Camp Association Field Guide in coordination with the CDC
- Personal consultation with health experts who also have camp knowledge
REGARDING NEW HAMPSHIRE REGULATIONS:
- The New Hampshire Camp Directors’ Association has a committee dedicated to informing the state government about camp operations and working with them on creating regulations for camps in 2021. The state will likely not take up these matters until the early spring. We will keep you posted. We are hopeful that the state will allow us to welcome campers traveling from everywhere (in a safe manner), but we cannot guarantee that until we hear from them.
SOME REQUIREMENTS TO KNOW ABOUT:
- Pre-camp Covid testing and quarantine: campers must take a PCR-based Covid test just before camp and quarantine at home between the time they take the test until they arrive at camp. This may be about 5 days (or less), depending on testing turnaround times. All camper family members are asked to engage in the lowest-risk behaviors possible during the week leading up to camp if quarantine is not possible for the whole household. (For our family camps, all family members attending would have to quarantine during testing time.)
- Every camper must have an emergency contact who can come to camp within 48 hours in the event that a camper tests positive for Covid. For enrolled campers, please see our emails and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or questions on this requirement.
WHAT MIGHT BE DIFFERENT AT OUR CAMPS IN 2021?*
- Being together for dining and many activities with other campers in smaller “pods” (2 bunks of up to 8 campers each)
- Social distancing/masking around other pods
- More handwashing and hand sanitizing
- Getting tested for COVID-19 before and during camp (not the deep nasal testing)
- Dining outside under tents
- Other procedures may change and will take a little getting used to
*We stay “might” because we aren’t 100% sure yet, but it is good to expect these changes as of this update.
WHAT WILL BE THE SAME IN 2021?
- Friendship, community, and confidence-building
- Activities on land and in the lake: arts & crafts, field/court sports, archery, rock climbing, swimming, paddle boarding, canoeing/kayaking, tubing, drama, music, low elements
- Evening activities, including campfires
- Delicious food
- Awesome counselors as role-models
- Device-free, face-to-face interactions, bonds, and games
- Being in a place where others understand you, like nowhere else!
MAIN AREAS OF COVID READINESS & PREPARATION**:
Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs):
- Pre-screening (testing, which should be easier & more advanced)
- Outdoors/well-ventilated spaces
- Hand hygiene
- Masks when not in cohorts
- Physical distancing
- Camp healthcare team (increase in size)
- Communicable Disease Plan: updating for COVID with help of experts, including isolation, quarantine, and communication plans
**subject to change as more information becomes available
HOW MIGHT THE NEW STRAINS OF COVID AFFECT CAMP?
- The new strains of COVID are certainly concerning. However, at this time, the new strains do not change our detailed plans and safety measures. We will be keeping up to date.
- These new strains underscore the need for our families, campers, and staff to commit to staying safe and vigilant prior to camp.
CAN WE GUARANTEE A COMPLETELY COVID-FREE CAMP?
- We cannot; as you are aware, no one can. COVID may even be more prevalent in younger populations than it was last year due to new strains and the inability to vaccinate kids yet. We want families and staff to make informed decisions based on as much information as we can provide, as well as their own comfort level.
NOTE: We are keeping up to date with the public vaccine news and rollout plan. There is no information yet about the timeline of a children’s vaccine, but we are hopeful that some or all of our staff will be able to get vaccinated by camp time, as well as the adults attending family camp.
For more information on travel policies and details pertaining to our COVID-readiness plans, email Director Nick Teich at email@example.com.
NEW CAMPERS: APPLY TODAY
RETURNING CAMPERS: REGISTER TODAY