Make it safe, make it fun!
In short, we’re ready! We’ve got this! Your camper is in good hands.
Keep camp as safe as possible while retaining and regaining as much normalcy as possible over time. Rigorous testing will complement layered NPIs (Non Pharmaceutical Interventions), specifically focusing on: Outdoor Activities, Masking, Distancing, Hand-Washing/Sanitizing, and Cohorting. These measures have a proven record of success in a camp environment.
Developed under the guidance of the American Camp Association, the Center for Disease Control, PM Pediatrics, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
We are not planning an in-person Visiting Day this summer. Although there is emerging evidence that vaccines can prevent asymptomatic spread of Covid-19, this evidence is still limited and early. Some states in the Northeast have already prohibited any visits to summer camps by outsiders. Instead, camp will provide families the opportunity to connect with their camper virtually, both one-on-one and also with their bunk. More information will be forthcoming from camp leadership staff. We are committed to making meaningful time for parents and their children to share camp and connect. And we’ll make it fun! You’ll receive your official Visiting Day Package box at drop-off to send your camper some midsummer love from home, and we’re already ordering special meals and special Visiting Day-style treats for the celebration. We’re on it!
- Restricted Activity: The start of a safe camp season starts at home, and we are relying upon all families to exercise extreme caution in the 14 days leading up to camp, limiting social gatherings as much as possible, only participating in necessary, restricted activities. Campers can still attend school, assuming that there is required masking and social distancing protocols in place, but families should avoid other activities with risk of exposure outside the household including indoor dining. The most recent CDC guidance for overnight camps states: campers and their families should follow guidance for travelers in the 14 days before camp arrival to reduce exposure to COVID-19. Unvaccinated campers should engage in a 2-week pre arrival quarantine that includes physical distancing, mask-wearing when not at home, avoiding unnecessary travel, and refraining from indoor social gatherings with people outside of their households.
- Daily Reporting: 10 days before camp, parents will fill out a daily health screening on the app Aura, an easy-to-use way of recording daily compliance, which will be provided by our testing partner GENETWORx prior to camp. You will receive a separate email with more information.
3-5 Days Before Camp, Test #1:
Every camper must receive a PCR test before arriving at camp. More information will be forthcoming on testing options.
PM Pediatrics: On June 1, you will be sent a link to register with PM Pediatrics, the largest pediatric urgent care provider in the country, with urgent care centers from Florida to NY. During the two-week period before camp, campers will participate in a telehealth visit with a PM Pediatrics pediatrician. Then, on June 22 or 23, you will have your camper drive-thru Covid tested at your nearest PM Pediatrics Urgent Care.
Quest: We are working on at-home testing alternative for campers for whom PM Pediatrics is unrealistic. Information will be forthcoming as soon as available.
After taking their pre-camp test, campers must please stay at home until their arrival at camp.
Only campers with reported negative results may arrive at camp. PM Pediatrics and Quest will report to camp directly. Results from other providers must be both submitted via our online portal and brought to camp in person on arrival day. Emails to follow on all testing options.
- If negative PCR prior to camp: Cleared to proceed with camp arrival. Must provide evidence though PM Pediatrics, Quest or bring printed and uploaded evidence of negative PCR result to enter camp. If you choose to have your child tested elsewhere, it is your responsibility to upload their negative PCR results into your parent portal before opening day.
- If positive PCR prior to camp: Must complete 10-day isolation requirement and meet all CDC criteria to discontinue isolation prior to camp arrival. Camper must be cleared from isolation by a physician and evaluated for return to activity by physician.
- If camper has a CDC-defined close contact within 10 days of camp arrival: Must quarantine for 10 days and have a negative COVID PCR test at least 5 days after the last known contact. Once 10 days of quarantine have been completed, and COVID PCR is negative, they can be cleared to arrive at camp.
- If results of PCR are pending: Camper must continue to quarantine at home until test results return, then can arrive at camp and proceed with arrival testing.
- Testing of individuals who were previously positive for COVID-19: According to the CDC Overnight Camp Guidance, Campers who have had a positive viral test in the 3 months prior to starting camp and have met the criteria to end isolation (but still have a positive test) should have a letter from their healthcare provider documenting the positive test date and stating the individual is cleared to end isolation.
- Testing of Vaccinated individuals: People who have received the COVID vaccine can be accurately tested using rapid antigen or PCR testing as the vaccine does not affect results.
Note: Staff will arrive at camp 10-14 days before campers and participate in the same restricted behavior and testing protocols as campers, before and during that time. Counselors will remain part of our controlled camp bubble for the summer, not leaving camp unless in our care. We are strongly encouraging and helping facilitate vaccinations for all.
Getting to Camp by Car: Any camper within driving distance of camp (NY, NJ, PA, MD, CT) must be driven by their parents/guardians without carpooling in order to avoid the mixing of cohorts prior to arrival on camp grounds. Buses will be provided on the way home. Camper arrival times will be staggered on arrival day morning so as to allow for adequate time to screen and test all arrivals in an organized fashion. This will happen by region.
9AM – 10AM: Northern NJ/New York Area
10AM – Noon: Central Jersey/Philadelphia Area
Noon – 1PM: Maryland/DC Area
Getting to Camp by Plane: Campers flying have and will continue receiving separate instructions on PM Pediatrics safety protocols for airports and flights.
- Baggage must be shipped to and from camp in advance this year. On arrival day, baggage will already be sorted at camp in appropriate cabins in order to ensure a smooth, quick, safe drop-off; younger campers will walk into an already unpacked, ready-to-go bunk, their summer home! Campers should bring only a carry-on into camp, only what they can carry!
- Camper arrival times will be staggered on arrival day morning so as to allow for adequate time to screen and test all arrivals in an organized fashion. We ask that you do your best to arrive in the following time periods. Your partnership will go a long way in opening camp seamlessly!
9AM – 10AM: Northern NJ/New York Area
10AM – Noon: Central Jersey/Philadelphia Area
Noon – 1PM: Maryland/DC Area
- All campers will receive a warm camp welcome, take a quick temperature/symptom check, meet a nice camp counselor, and say goodbye to their parent(s) who will remain in the car. Drop-off will be short and sweet, just like at a camp bus stop.
- Once with their counselor, and after saying goodbye to parents, campers will head into camp with their counselor and carry-on for a lice screening and shallow nasal COVID PCR test #2 (administered by Genetworx; #1 is the at home/prior-to-camp test), then it’s time to head to the bunk! Let’s get this party started!
- A 3rd Covid PCR test will be administered 5-7 days into camp
- Surveillance Testing/Testing for Symptomatic Cases, as determined by our medical team. We may test our population, as needed, beyond the testing outlined above. We do also have rapid antigen tests available on site which we will use for symptomatic individuals. Though we also have PCR tests on site, we may use local PCR testing with faster turnaround times locally.
- When Someone Tests Positive: If a child tests positive at camp, they will be isolated and picked up from camp as soon as possible, within 24 hours. He or she can return to camp after 10 days and a doctor’s clearance. If a child is in a bunk/cohort with someone who has tested positive, that bunk will remain isolated (together) for an additional 7 days and those parents will be notified. During this time, campers will be allowed to participate in camp activities exclusively with their bunk, and they will be PCR tested.
- Every bunk is a cohort, a “family!” When outside of each cohort/bunk, campers will remain masked, outside, and distanced until restrictions ease, once testing is returned.
- Masks do not need to be worn inside bunks or when cohorts are appropriately distanced from others. Campers will mask when social distancing is not possible. Once we have the results of our initial tests, we will ease mask and social distancing restrictions, though mitigation measures will be used throughout the summer.
- Campers will sleep head-toe, 6 feet apart. Bunk beds will be utilized and provide an added layer of protection by staggering between upper and lower beds.
- Ventilation of each cabin has been professionally inspected and fans and vents have upgraded as recommended by Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc
- Meals will be in shifts to decrease crowds; cohorts will dine together
- Dining tables spaced apart to appropriately distance between cohorts, both indoors and outdoors
- Outdoor dining has been expanded with outdoor dining tents
- Handwashing/sanitizing enforced before and after eating
- Cafeteria-style service with food dispensed by kitchen staff instead of buffet dining
- Disposable, biodegradable cups/plates/utensils
- Ventilation of dining hall has been inspected and upgraded by professionals
- PM Pediatrics was used to consult and prepare strict Covid Health Center protocols
- Triage tents for non-COVID screening and treatment outside of Health Center
- Separate isolation facility and air purifiers
- Daily symptom screening and reporting of all campers
- For the health and safety of our community, it’s important for all medication to go through CampMeds.
- We have consulted with engineers and ventilation professionals to improve airflow in every cabin
- Every bunk has 2 hand sanitizing stations
- Hand sanitizing stations and washing stations throughout camp
- Increased water bottle filling stations around camp
- Multiple industrial electrostatic cleaners to sanitize bunks and activity areas
- Scheduled and prompted handwashing and sanitizing throughout the day
Campers will go on out-of-camp trips that do not involve mixing with the general public. We’re planning exciting outdoor adventure trips: white water rafting, tubing, backpacking, camping, and beach trips. Whether these are day trips or overnight will depend on age groups, destination, and summer infection rates. We’re staying flexible, but we’ve partnered with Rustic Pathways to ensure great, worthwhile tripping, right in our own backyard!
The Explorer Program and in-person tours as usual are unrealistic this summer. However, PM Pediatrics has approved the possibility of welcoming a limited number of families to tour only in the final weeks of camp. If approved, tours will need to show evidence of vaccination and negative PCR test upon arrival, and remain masked, outdoors, on the golf-cart (distanced from campers) at all times. We will remain in touch with interested families and make that decision as we get closer to August.
On Sunday, June 6th, we’re hosting an Open House BBQ for prospective camp families! This is the best way to tour all of camp and to stay and play! Click here for more information about the PFC open house, here for CTT, and here for LOC! Pass along to friends and families thinking Camp 2022! In addition, there will be an open house after the season.
Our goal is to keep camp as safe as possible while retaining as much normalcy as possible! Though we will continue testing as needed and use NPIs as part of a mitigation strategy, we believe a first week to 10 days of conservative behavior will pave the way for a happy, normal-feeling summer at camp! Hey, we’re used to spending the summer having fun outdoors. It’s what we do best! And it’s the safest place to be!