Latest Summer Updates
Updated: July 18, 2022
At this time we don’t believe any State mandated COVID guidelines will impact our camp programming; this is good news.
However, as we approach summer, we have noticed the number of Covid cases have risen in some of the areas where the majority of our campers reside. If you look at the National Trends, we have 10x as many cases than a year ago. Fortunately, it appears this latest variant does not have the same long-term health impacts as previous iterations, but the reality is that it seems to be easy to catch even for those who are vaccinated or had previous episodes.
We want camp to be a time of fun, free from any form of colds and sicknesses. Therefore, we are adding a few additional steps to reduce the risk of people being exposed to Covid at camp.
First: Please conduct an at-home Covid-19 test for your child within 24 hours before their arrival. It is permissible to use an Antigen test and we ask that you take a photo of the negative test result. Please ensure that your child’s FULL NAME and the date are written on the test result. The photo can then be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. This step is required for those who are unvaccinated as well as for those who have been vaccinated.
Second: We will also be conducting a rapid Covid-19 test upon your camper’s arrival to camp. It is important that you have a negative test result before you begin the registration process or allowing your camper to greet their camp friends.
Our goal is to reduce the potential of introducing Covid-19 to our camp population. Camp is a different environment than a school situation. Camp is 24/7 and it is like a small town, or cruise ship, where we need to provide all needed services including food and health care. Each camp has “Standing Orders” with the local Doctors and Health Centers, so we are under their jurisdiction and guidance. We pray that this will help us stay safe and healthy!
We look forward to seeing you at camp soon!
Bottom Line: We do encourage everyone to come to camp healthy.
- Why two tests so close together? First of all we would rather catch any COVID at home before you take the time for a trip to camp. We have families who drive several hours to camp. Secondly, we do know from personal experience on our own staff that antigens are needed to produce a “positive test” and the second test is an additional screening.
- What happens if my child has COVID and we can’t come to camp? We will do our best to see if we have any opening in other sessions, or we will refund your tuition and deposit for that camper as we would for any medical situation. They could also attend camp in 10 days, or after a “negative” COVID test following 24 hours symptom free; the shortest of these two options.
- What happens if someone gets COVID at camp? If a camper develops COVID at camp they will be sent home. They can return to camp in 10 days, or after a “negative” COVID test following 24 hours symptom free; the shortest of these two options. If a camper or staff member gets COVID, the people in their cabin [sleeping area] will be considered “exposed” and they will be required to eat separately from the rest of the camp, and wear masks when indoors for the next 5 days.
- Will you notify me if my camper is in an exposed cabin? The impact to a person at camp who “might have” been exposed is so small, we have decided not to automatically call all the potential families about a “maybe situation”. Aside from the items mentioned in #3, the impact to their camp program is minimal and the camp experience is intact. We arrived at this conclusion after talking to multiple parents who encouraged us simply to provide the best camper experience possible and not to “worry” about a “possibility” of transmission for a virus that while contagious, does not appear to life threatening at this age level.
- Will we be asked to pick up our child at camp if they test positive at some point? Yes….we will be able to isolate for a reasonable amount of time, but we are still asking the campers to be picked up as soon a possible.
- My child is attending later in the summer, do you think this testing might not be required? Perhaps, but that will depend on factors outside the camp that we can’t control. We didn’t think we would need to do testing THIS summer, but the cases of COVID increased in the Spring. We will keep this webpage updated as best we can, and continue to monitor the health experts for guidance through the American Camp Association and other sources.
- You asked the parents to do an “at-home test”, can we utilize a lab? Yes…if you are more comfortable using a drive through or lab tests, please go ahead, provided we have the information prior to camp, timing will be a challenge for this option as it will take longer to get the results from the lab.
- Last summer you had campers do “the spit test” when we arrived at camp. The first incoming day it was 90 degrees and very hard for my camper to “make the spit”, so will you utilize another method? Yes….we will use the nasal swab method involving a collector in the first 1/2″ or so of the nose. [Not to be confused with the “deep nasal” testing that was so unpopular when COVID initially hit over two years ago.]
- Will Staff be tested as well? Yes….same procedure for Staff.
- One of my campers had COVID recently, so we still need to do the testing? Short answer: No. We understand that people might continue to test “positive” for several months after COVID. The CDC talks about a potential of 90 days. The goal is to send everyone to camp well, so if your camper had COVID within 90 days, provide us that information and there is no need to test. Of course please use your own judgement and if your camper was recently exposed, don’t send to camp.
- It seems like this testing requirement is excessive. Can you provide some additional information on how you arrived at this testing decision? This has been a very interesting couple of years dealing with COVID, and you can imagine the complexities of running a camp, much like a town, where people don’t go home at night and all services are provided such as food, housing and medical care. Many camps are requiring all campers and staff to be fully vaxed before arrival, but we have observed that even fully vaxed people are still catching this latest version of COVID. While we are ALL ready to be done with this pandemic, we felt that some “filter” of testing would be better than none; hence the rapid test before camp and upon arrival. Campers are arriving this summer from 9 different countries and 37 States, and we don’t know the situation in each area, and putting 12 campers and 2 staff in each cabin increased the possibility of transmission if we have a case. We understand that no system will be perfect, and we are viewing this minimal level of testing much like our traditional check of head lice upon arrival at camp. Some folks have suggested that the latest version of COVID is no worse than a cold, and from what we can observe, that seems to be the reality for the majority of people in the camper age population. What we don’t know is the impact on other family members and even some of our older staff members.
- What is the test that will be administered at camp? We will use the nasal swab method involving a collector in the first 1/2″ or so of the nose. [Not to be confused with the “deep nasal” testing that was so unpopular when COVID initially hit over two years ago.] The sterile test swab is them mixed with a small vile of reactants which is poured into the test chamber; results are available in under 20 minutes.
- Is there a cost for the test at camp? No…we have been able to secure the testing kits at no expense to the camp or to the families.
We will continue to update this page going forward.