COVID-19 Updates

Roadmap to Summer 2021 – Updated 3/24/21

Camp High Rocks has the unique opportunity to allow kids to both grow and have fun this coming summer as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused many changes in our lives, but the need for us to be in a community at camp has not diminished; it has only increased. Camp brings laughter, face-to-face relationships, freedom from screens and homework, improved mental health, the perspective of living in a community, continued love for the outdoors, and so much more. We are committed to running a residential summer camp program in 2021.

Camp will look and feel different this year. But the value of being in an outdoor setting, among friends old and new, and participating in fun camp activities is needed more than ever during this challenging year.

Below are our current plans for operating this coming summer. All considerations are subject to change, modification or removal based on current and relevant research, CDC, state, and local guidelines.

Summer 2021 Roadmap

Using the Experts
In order to develop plans and protocols so that we can operate safely in-person this summer, we are working with our state and local health officials along with the CDC and American Camping Association. Here are some of the resources that we are using to create the safest camp experience possible: CDCACA and ACN. Our Summer Medical Team is meeting with our COVID-19 Task Force on a regular basis. As we move forward, we also continue to meet with camps that operated successfully this past summer.   As we layout our considerations and plans, we consider the following:
  • As an outdoor program, we are well-positioned to operate with appropriate COVID modifications and protocols.
  • Our natural advantage of 1000 acres to utilize for activities, adventure, and plenty of space!
  • Like previous summers, we will continue to have trained medical staff onsite at all times.
  • The previous year of mitigation practice that all campers and counselors will have experienced.
  • The continued positive news regarding vaccines.
Pre-Camp Preparation

A healthy camp begins at home! We are asking our camp families to be partners with us in helping start each session with a healthy group of campers. What you do before camp will contribute to our success this summer.

  • We ask you to symptom monitor 10 days prior to camp through our “Pre-Camp Health Monitoring Form” which we will send later this spring.
  • We ask that campers engage only in low risk behaviors to limit their exposure 10 days prior to camp.  Campers will need to limit exposure to others and avoid large gatherings where mask wearing and social distancing are not enforced (ie graduations and graduation parties, weddings, year-end parties, sleepovers, sports tournaments etc.)
  • Demonstrate a negative COVID PCR test conducted 3 -5 days prior to arrival or proof of COVID-19 diagnosis >13 days prior to camp.  COVID tests can be done in your hometown or you can choose a mail in option.  We have partnered with Vault Health to offer a mail in option that you can purchase online.  
Travel to Camp

It is preferred that campers will travel to camp by personal vehicle. If a camper is planning to fly to camp they must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing at all times during travel.

Covid-19 Testing

Before arriving at Camp

Campers will be asked to provide a printed copy of negative COVID (molecular) PCR test conducted 3 -5 days prior to arrival or proof of COVID-19 diagnosis within the last three months.  Campers that have had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis within three months prior to the beginning of their session will need to get in touch with the camp office for further guidance.  COVID-19 tests can be done in your hometown or you can choose a mail in option.  We have partnered with Vault Health to offer a saliva test mail in option that you can purchase online.

While at camp

Campers will receive another COVID-19 while at camp 4-5 days after their arrival.  Results will be available in 24-48 hours.  Before the session begins Parents will be provided a link to enter insurance information and sign a release.  The cost of the test will be covered by health insurance or the CARES Act.  If campers at anytime during the session have COVID-19 indicating symptoms they will be tested using a rapid test onsite and/or a PCR test.

Who should not come to camp this summer?

We understand this might not be the right summer for your son to attend camp. If a camper or staff member is at higher risk for COVID-19 complications, we highly recommend they consult their medical provider to assess the risk of attending camp. Families who are unable to pick up their child quickly, preferably within 24 hours. For families coming from farther away, we understand 24 hours might not be enough time. We will work with you to arrange a suitable time for pickup in the event it is needed.. Families who are not comfortable with the increased risk of contracting Covid-19 should not attend camp this summer.

A Closed Community- The Imperfect Bubble

Our safety plans this summer rely on many NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions) such as
handwashing, social distancing, and importantly our camp “bubble”. Each of these NPIs adds
another layer of protection. We also understand that none of these layers can be done perfectly,
which is why having multiple layers is important. A relatively closed community will be an
important layer. Visitors outside the camp community will be limited. We will continue to take
trips to forests and rivers where public interaction is minimal.

Vaccine

We are strongly encouraging our staff to become vaccinated before the summer.  We are encouraged by the number of staff that have already been able to get their first dose.  Given our primarily healthy and pediatric camper population we do not anticipate at this point that they will have broad access to a vaccine prior to the summer.

Opening Day

Opening Day will look different as we strive to maintain a safe in-camp community. Opening day is always an exciting time at camp, and we plan to make it just as fun in a new way! 

Assigned arrival times that are staggered based on cabin assignments in 45 minute blocks. Brothers will be assigned the same arrival time. All campers will arrive before lunch.  You will receive your arrival time a month in advance of your session.

Parents will drive through stations for all of the typical opening day to-do’s including talking with camp nurses, meeting camp directors, meeting your child’s counselor and dropping off luggage. Parents will stay in the car.  Our staff are great at making campers feel welcome! We suggest preparing your camper for this and giving a long hug before you arrive at camp.

Closing Day

Closing day will be altered to mitigate COVID-19 and allow for safety to be at the forefront.  Pick-up times will be assigned between 9 and 11:00 am on your camper’s closing day. You will receive your assigned pick-up time after your camper’s session has started. Parents will drive through camp and pick up their camper and belongings while remaining in the car.   Campers will have a chance to say goodbye to their camp family prior to pickup.  We will not be able to offer the closing day lunch and program we have in past summers.

Program

Community at camp will continue to be at the core of everything we do. For safety, group interactions among our camp community will look a little different. We are planning modified schedules that still allow for some choice but reduce cross household interactions.

•  Households will consist of campers and staff from both sides of a cabin building (ex: Lakeside 1 and 2). When solely with their households (ex: in their cabin or in the gym), campers and staff do not need to wear face masks.  Households will participate in activities together for the first week of camp.

Neighborhoods will consist of two to three households. While in Neighborhood groups for things such as assembly, dining, or campfire, we will observe at least two of our guiding principles (see below). As of now, we are planning that neighborhoods will attend activities together after the first week. This is distinct from our regular activity schedule. Rather than each camper having a custom schedule, they will choose between several options available to their neighborhood each period. Over the course of a session, campers will have access to all of our activity offerings.

Trips out of camp will be done within Neighborhoods.  Masks will be worn while in vans.

Interactions between Households

Three Guiding Principles
At least two out of the three guiding principles must be observed when members of different households interact.

1) Outside or Open Air Setting (i.e. open air gym)
2) Wearing Face Coverings
3) Distancing Protocols: Six feet of separation minimum

Mealtimes

During meals we will be reducing the group size in the Dining Hall and utilizing outdoor dining spaces. Campers will eat more meals outside such as on our picnic tables, around the campfire, under a tent or under one of covered outdoor areas. We will still be using our inside dining but at a lower capacity.

  • Campers and Staff will be required to wash their hands upon entrance and exit from the dining hall. Hand sanitizer will also be stationed on each table.
  • At this time, we are working on restructuring our dining hall procedures and flow to maintain physical distancing among our campers and staff.
  • There will be no self-serve areas like salad bars or condiment stations.
  • Staff members will be serving all food.
  • Tables will only be shared among members of a household.
Face Coverings & Distancing Protocols

Distancing Protocols
Social distancing is an important layer of our NPIs. Maintaining distance is an important strategy
to slow the spread of COVID-19. We are creating markers, cones, and 6 feet signs to help our
community socially distance from one another.

Face Coverings
Campers and Staff will be required to have a face covering with them at all times.

• We will wear face coverings when indoors with and/or interacting within six feet of
anyone outside our household.
• Within a household, campers and counselors are not required to wear face coverings.
• Campers and counselors will wear face coverings while in the Health Center unless
instructed otherwise by the medical staff.
• Whenever singing or cheering.
• While walking into or out of group settings like the dining hall.

The CDC has recommended guidance on the best masking choices. Please follow the guide below when selecting masks to bring to camp. We will also have masks available at the camp store for pre-order. All masks must have TWO or more layers of fabric. We DO NOT RECOMMEND gaiters that have to be folded into two layers, please use gaiters with two layers built in.

Daily Health Checks

We will conduct daily health screenings for both campers and staff. These will be similar to those you will conduct at home before campers arrive. This will include temperature checks and questions; any campers noting the following will be taken to the Health Center: cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature equal to or greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

We will have enhanced cleaning and sanitizing around the camp facility throughout the summer.
We are making significant updates and improvements to the sanitation and overall hygiene of
camp. All cleaning products are EPA / CDC approved to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Enhanced bathroom cleaning measures will be in place.
  • High touch surfaces in activity areas will be disinfected between activity periods.
  • Common areas and high touch surfaces around camp will be disinfected at regular intervals.
Hand Washing and Sanitizing Stations

Campers and Staff will be instructed in proper hand washing techniques and will be required to wash their hands regularly throughout the day. Alcohol-based sanitizer will be used during times hand washing is not available or easily accessible. Hand washing/sanitizing will happen: before and after each activity, before and after eating, after sneezing, coughing, or nose blowing, after using the restroom and after using shared equipment.

Staff

As we are hiring for 2021, staff interviews will all have questions regarding COVID-19 to ensure we are hiring staff who are committed to keeping camp safe. Camp staff will be well-trained, and 
your child’s health and safety will be paramount.

  • Staff that are not fully vaccinated will have a Covid-19 PCR test prior to arrival and then another Covid- 19 PCR test 5-7 days after their arrival to camp. 
  • New staff training sessions are being created focused on COVID-19 mitigation.
  • Staff will wear face masks in areas in which they are unable to remain socially distant from others outside of their households. See Face Covering and Distancing Protocols for more information about Camp’s policies.
Response Management of a Case or Probable Case

In the event someone does fall ill at camp in 2021, we are working with our medical team to create a multi-staged quarantine and isolation procedure that will allow us the time to determine the best response, including whether or not the ill camper will be able to rejoin the camp population. If a camper tests positive or is suspected to have COVID-19, we will call their parents and ask that they be picked up within 24 hours. For families coming from farther away, we understand 24 hours might not be enough time. We will work with you to arrange a suitable time for pickup in the event it is needed. A prorated refund for the remaining days of the session will be given.

Parent Communication

As always, Camp High Rocks strives to communicate with parents in a transparent, thoughtful, and thorough manner. Knowing the importance of communication this summer, we are committed to open dialogue and communication with families every step of the way.

  • Parents will be kept well informed throughout each session about COVID testing, isolation and quarantine measures if required, as well as the “normal stuff” too like photos and blogs.
  • If a camper or staff tests positive for COVID while in our care, we will notify all parents with campers on site via email and identify the specific measures we are taking to address the situation.
Refund/Cancelation Policy

It is our goal to partner and work together with parents to determine if our program is suitable for your child prior to their enrollment. When you enroll your child in our program, you are reserving space, time, meals, supplies, and staffing whether or not your camper attends the program.  Your registration helps us continue to make plans and prepare for next summer. We are grateful for your trust.

For families who rolled their registration from 2020, if cancellation is necessary, the full amount of money you rolled over including the deposit and typical $200 administration fee is refundable if written notice is received prior to February 1. There is no refund made for cancellations after February 1. 

For new families and current camp families who did not roll money/registration over from 2020, if a cancellation is necessary, the deposit, less $200, is refundable if written notice is received prior to February 1. There is no refund made for cancellations after February 1. 

We will remain nimble and responsive to ever-evolving state and local standards and protocols and plan to be able to adapt our summer program accordingly.  If, however, camp is unable to open due to government regulations you will receive a full refund including the deposit, without penalty or the option to roll your tuition to 2022. If you register for camp and decide to cancel after our February 1st deadline and the changes outlined above do not apply, our normal cancellation policies apply. 

If Camp High Rocks makes the decision to dismiss a camper early due to COVID-19 related concerns, we will communicate with the family and make appropriate prorated refunds. No refund will be made for other late entrance or early withdrawal. The director reserves the right to dismiss any camper who violates the camp rules or is judged detrimental to the general welfare of the camp. No refund will be made in the case of dismissal. 

There are a number of companies that offer “camp insurance” in the event you need to cancel for an unexpected reason. Most of the time this is referred to as “trip insurance.” In order to be protected, you typically need to sign up before paying for camp in full and at least 60-90 camp begins. This could change due to COVID-19. Please look carefully if it would cover COVID-19 related cancelations. You can find a number of different companies online or ask your insurance agent.

Work In Progress

All of these considerations are subject to change. This is a snapshot of our thinking if we were to open camp next month, based on what we know now from science and best practices today. Modifications will be based on current and relevant scientific research, CDC, state, and local guidelines. Our community’s safety will be at the forefront of all decisions.

Additional Questions

If you have any questions about this summer, please reach out. We are here to talk through any questions or concerns you have. Give us a call at (828)885-2153 or email us at office@highrocks.com.

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