COVID-19 Camp Update 06/16/21

06/16/21 Update

Based on the Vermont governors mandate changes, Camp Downer has reviewed the information to see what the latest guidance is for mask wearing at summer camps:

Per the summer camp guidance found here, it states to follow the mask guidance in the Vermont Forward plan.

https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/Overnight-Summer-Camp-Guidance.pdf

The Vermont Forward plan states:

https://www.vermont.gov/vermont-forward#gsc.tab=0

  • Masks are recommended for unvaccinated youth childcare/summer camp attendees and organizers during indoor activities this summer.

Therefore, Camp Downer is revising our mask wearing policy as follows:

All campers and staff may continue to wear their masks both indoors and outdoors if they so choose.

Masks will no longer be required in any outdoor setting.

Masks will still be required for all staff and campers, vaccinated or not, in any indoor setting when not eating, drinking or sleeping.  As much of the camp population does not have the opportunity to be vaccinated, and to treat everyone the same, Camp Downer feels this is the best policy for indoor mask usage.

As of now, no other changes to the summer camp guidance have been made, therefore all other Covid-19 protocols are still in place.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

 

COVID-19 Camp Update 05/20/21

Dear Parents and/or Guardians, 

Camp Downer is dedicated to the health and safety of our families, campers, staff, and community. It is with great care and consideration that we have developed a communicable disease plan (CDP) to help us maintain the highest standards for health and safety practices during our camp season. The creation of this document was guided by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The American Camp Association (ACA), and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development Guidelines. We will continually monitor recommendations made by health authorities and government officials and will update our protocols as needed. There are certain parts of our CDP that affect you and your campers.

You will need to take some steps before your camper(s) arrive to ensure they are able to attend camp during their registered session and not be turned away at the gate for failure to comply with our CPD protocol.

It is also very important that you and your children are aware that almost everything about camp this year will look and perhaps feel different. We are making these necessary changes in order to keep your children, your families, our staff, and our community as safe as possible. 

There are 6 sections to this letter: 

  1. Pre Arrival Protocols
  2. Arrival
  3. Check-In/Registration
  4. Camp During COVID-19 Precautions 
  5. Pick Up/Check-Out
  6. Common Questions

1. Pre Arrival Protocols:                                                                                                    

Payment: Payment in full, including for any camp merchandise items, will be required before you arrive at camp. Please log into your Camp Brain account and complete the payment process for your balance.

Interested in a $25 COVID-19 scholarship? Families need to log into their Household account at https://campdowner.campbrainregistration.com/ to apply for the scholarship, found under “Forms.”

Camp Merchandise: Order and pay for all camp merchandise before you arrive at camp. Your camper will receive it on Sunday when they arrive at their cabin. Orders must be placed online at Camp Downer Merch Store.

Low Risk Management: Please stay in compliance with low-risk, pre-camp behaviors for the 10 to 14 days prior to coming to camp. The following are proper low-risk, pre-arrival practices:

Use multiple non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) at all times unless with and within your single household. This family group is your cohort.

These NPIs are most important: maintaining as strict a cohort as possible outside of mandatory school and direct work requirements, wearing face masks when with anyone not in your household, and conducting any interactions with those outside your cohort outdoors.

Try not to attend gatherings with other households.

Try not to attend funerals, weddings, or family events (even visits to family members living outside your household).

Try not to have playdates or participate in team sports, attend recitals or other such gatherings.

Evidence of a negative PCR test taken within the three days before arrival (and as close to arrival as possible) will be required. A pre-arrival test is not needed if the camper or staff person has proof that they are fully vaccinated and 14 days has elapsed since final vaccination or has recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. For Camp Downer with Sunday check-in, the test will need to be taken the Thursday, Friday or Saturday before arrival.

You can find testing locations at this site

Complete the “PARENTS/GUARDIANS SIGNED CONSENT OF CAMP DOWNER’S COVID-19 POLICY” letter. Families need to log into their household account at https://campdowner.campbrainregistration.com/ to fill out the Consent Form, found under “Forms.”Your camper will receive a COVID-19 health screening upon entering camp. See Check-in/Registration, “Health screen at arrival” for more information.

2. Arrival:

Travel to camp should be as direct as possible.

Passengers should be limited to only one parent/guardian and the camper(s).

Arrival time: Arrive at your assigned check-in time. More information below.

3. Check-In/Registration:

Check-In Time: Check-in times will be staggered by camper’s last name. Please arrive at your assigned time. If you arrive too early, we will ask you to park across the pond or at the park and ride in Sharon until your assigned time. You will not be able to enter camp property early. Your assigned check in time will be sent to you two weeks in advance of your session, but will be between 2pm and 5pm.

Upon your arrival, you will be asked to present a printed copy of your camper’s COVID-19 negative test results that were taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival at Camp Downer. A pre-arrival test is not needed if the camper has proof that they are fully vaccinated and 14 days has elapsed since final vaccination, or has recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

Health Screening at Arrival: Campers cannot attend camp if they:

Have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Have symptoms, been tested for COVID-19, and are awaiting results.

Sick for any reason. Campers also may not attend if they are experiencing any of the following: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, and/or vomiting or diarrhea.

Have a fever (temperature higher than 100.4) unless they are able to cool down by normal means in an appropriate amount of time approximately 5-10 minutes.

Parents/guardians will be directed and given a map of the traffic flow and parking locations upon arrival. They will also be told what cabin their camper is in and how to get to the proper drop off point once they check in at the main gate.

Only campers can get out of vehicles. Parents/guardians will need to stay in their car the entire time while at camp. Counselors will help campers with luggage and get them settled into their cabins.

Bunks will be randomly assigned upon arrival in the cabin. If your camper has a requirement for a bottom bunk, please contact the registrar.

Campers with Medications: 

Campers who have medication (either prescribed or over the counter) will need to bring them to camp in ziplock bags, with their names clearly marked on the outside of the bag and when during the day the medication is taken. Please have this easily accessible, not packed in luggage. 

Upon arrival and clearance to enter camp, parents/guardians of campers with medication will go directly to the nurse’s station. The nurse will be outside, able to accept the medication and talk with parents/campers through their car window. This station will be arranged to allow for privacy.

Campers without medications or those that are finished checking in with the nurse will go directly to the campers’ cabin.  

Parents/guardians will need to leave after dropping off their campers to allow other families the space required to drop off their camper(s) safely.

We understand this is unusual and will be difficult. The intent behind it is to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.

4. Camp During COVID-19 Precautions:

Masks: We will follow the Vermont Forward mask wearing requirements. 

Masks are required, for campers and staff alike, with the exceptions of while sleeping, swimming, and while actively eating or drinking. Further exceptions include activities such as showering and brushing teeth.

What will look different at camp this summer? During the day, what to expect:

Cabins: A bunk has been removed from each cabin to allow for 3 feet of space between bunks. Additionally, campers will sleep in “head to toe” fashion to provide even more space between sleeping campers. 

Pods and Cohorts: As suggested by the CDC and ACA we will be using a cohort/pod style for all activities. Staff will remain with the same group each day. For Camp Downer, cabins will be pods and villages will be cohorts.  

Programs: We will offer six programs a day. Programs will be scheduled and divided by cohorts. Campers will have the opportunity to participate in all types of programs including arts, sports, nature, and aquatics programs.

Meals: Each village will eat together. Villages will be assigned to separate sections of camp to eat their meals. Hillside will eat on the “Main Office side” of the Dining Hall, Lakeside will eat on the “Kitchen Side” of the Dining Hall, and Woodside will eat in the Rec Hall. Monday and Wednesday night cookouts will take place in the villages. 

Health Screening/Surveillance of Campers & Staff:

Counselors will conduct daily screening of campers for symptoms of COVID-19 each morning before breakfast.

Staff will conduct daily self-screening for symptoms of COVID-19.

Individuals with a temperature greater than 100.4 F or any of the following COVID-19 symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, vomiting and/or  diarrhea, will be sent home. Parents/guardians will be called and the camper will need to be picked up within 3 hours.

Swim Test: If your camper passed the swim test at Camp Downer or showed proof of their swimming ability during the summer of 2019, we have a record of this and they will not have to retake the swim test. For all New campers and campers who did not take the camp swim test in 2019, here is a link to our Swimming Policy. New campers will have the opportunity to take the swim test on Monday.

Limited Off Campus Activity:

Staff and vendors who come on campus (and any staff who leave campus at any point during the summer) must follow Vermont Forward guidance.

Campers who leave camp for any reason during their session will not be able to return to camp until they have retaken a COVID-19 PCR test and can provide negative results, or are able to provide documentation of their immunization or that they have had and recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

5. Pick Up/Check-Out

Similarly to check-in, pick up times will be staggered by camper’s last name. Please arrive at your assigned time. If you arrive too early, we will ask you to park across the pond or at the Park and Ride in Sharon until your assigned time. You will not be able to enter camp property early. Your assigned pick up time will be sent to you two weeks in advance of your session, but will be between 2pm and 5pm.

You should expect to pick up your camper where you dropped them off during check-in. Parents/guardians will need to stay in their cars the entire time while at camp. Counselors will help campers with luggage.

If your camper has medications that they brought to camp, stop by the nursing station to pick them up.

Finally, there will be a check-out station as you leave camp, where you will sign out your camper.

6. Common Questions:

Q: What is if a camper shows signs of illness?
A: Campers will be evaluated by the nursing staff, and if they are showing any COVID-19 symptoms, parents/guardians will be called and they will need to go home within 3 hours.

Q: If my camper is sent home due to illness, will I get reimbursed?
A: Unfortunately, no, reimbursements cannot be made due to illness.

Q: What if a member of the pod or cohort of my camper tests positive?
A: We will work with the Vermont Department of Health to conduct contract tracing and we will call all the parents/guardians of campers who are close contacts to notify them of the situation and we will follow the guidance from the Vermont Department of Health. 

Q: If my camper does not pass the health screening during registration, will they be able to attend camp later in the week when they are feeling better?
A: Yes, as long as it’s been 24 hrs since their COVID-19 symptoms and they have a negative COVID-19 test result.

Q: If I haven’t received the negative test result for my camper before registration on Sunday, will my camper not be able to attend camp?
A: As soon as your camper has a negative test result, they will be allowed to attend camp, even if it is later in the week.

Q: If my camper is not feeling well days before camp, will I be reimbursed if I choose to keep my camper home for their and camp’s safety?
A: Unfortunately, no reimbursements can be made due to illness before or during camp. However, you can work with the camp registrar to have your camper be put on the waitlist for a different camp session. Additionally, if we know well enough in advance of your camper’s absence and we are able to fill your camper’s spot from our waitlist, then you may be eligible for a full refund, however there is no guarantee of this. 

Q: Can I send my camper mail/care packages?
A: Yes, You may send your camper letters or care packages per normal. However, this year, the only time you can drop off a package will be when you are dropping off your camper. Please indicate the date you want your camper to receive the package.

Q: Will daily store be offered this year? 
A: Yes, daily store will not change this year and is included in the registration payment. Campers will still be allowed to choose two items a day. Instead of campers picking up their store from the Dining Hall during Rest Hour, staff will distribute store items to each cabin each day.

Q: Can I show my camper’s negative test result (or proof that my camper is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days) on my phone instead of printed on paper?
A: Camp Downer has very poor cell service. We are asking that families print the negative test results (or proof that their camper is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days) in order to guarantee that you can provide that information when it is needed.

We look forward to having your campers with us this summer. Please feel free to email the director, Emily Myers at director@campdowner.com if you have questions and/or concerns. 

Sincerely, 
Emily Myers, Director
John Keshavan, Chair Board of Trustees/