1st Session Comes to a Close – What a Success!
During the last year as we have been prepping (sometimes ad nauseam), we knew that having kids back at camp would make it all worth it, but we were not prepared for how we felt – pure joy. It has been absolutely amazing having kids back enjoying all of the camp activities that we have always had – sailing, skiing, riflery, archery, paintball and we even figured out how to do fencing!
One older camper, who has been coming to camp for more than 6 years, told me that he felt like camp was “so much better than before” and “I have the best cabin!”. So many proud faces as kids earn awards, accomplish new “Foley Firsts” and connect with their peers.
Of course it hasn’t all been perfect. We have continued to adapt our program due to COVID and to make sure the kids are getting an optimal experience. Meals are still being served outside, masks are worn when getting food or indoors in mixed cabin groups (something we don’t do very often anyway) and we have created new little pockets of kids called “Half Packs” to allow kids to mix more. We did a 5 day COVID test for all non-vaccinated campers and that came back clear allowing us to really run camp pretty much as normal. We have worked individually with kids that are adapting to being back in group situations again and our staff has worked very hard to ensure a positive experience for everyone.
We are looking forward to 2nd session joining us soon!
How you can partner with us to get ready for camp:
- If your child is 12 years of age and older, talk to your health care providers about the Pfizer vaccine and consider having your child vaccinated or partially vaccinated prior to camp. Every vaccinated member of our camp community is another layer of protection.
- Testing & Vaccination: Campers will need to EITHER present proof of full vaccination (2 weeks past their 2nd shot) OR a Negative PCR Test taken within 72 hours of arrival at camp. If your child is fully vaccinated, we will NOT be testing them in camp, unless you would like us to do so or if they have close contact with a camper that tests positive. All other campers will be tested 5 days in to camp (mandatory) and before the go home (optional).
- Review the “Camp Ready Checklist” and “COVID Guidelines” often to make sure you have all forms completed and preparations are made including transportation details and for FAQ’s about our current plan for COVID and Camp. The Health Form can now be completed as well!
- Check your emails – we will continue to provide email updates as we know more – if you would prefer us to use a different email address let us know! Mary will be sending lots of reminders for forms.
- Be patient with us – we are trying hard to think through every scenario that is being thrown at us and will continue to do so for the entirety of the summer.
- Get your camper excited for camp! We can’t wait to have a camp full of kids and get back to all the activities we love!
We are excited to continue the partnership we have with you and are hopeful for a great summer. Please let us know if you have questions and watch for more emails from us soon. Thank you for your trust. We will continue to work hard for your kids!
We are confident in our ability to meet our goals for summer 2021:
- Give empathy to all.
- Facilitate connection among campers, staff, parents and alumni.
- Continue our quest for health and safety at camp.
- Provide a path for good communication.
- Return to a camp routine that provides kids with a life changing experience.
The Camp Ready Checklist and Travel & Arrival pages are great places to visit for information on how to prepare for camp in 2021. We welcome the chance to talk to you directly. Email Alli or Marie or call the camp office (218-543-6161).
Second Session Camper FAQs (July 6-July 25)
As the pandemic continues to evolve, we are going to be looking at protocols and processes on an individual session basis. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions for 2nd session. If you are registered for 3rd session, you are welcome to read through these as some of it may remain the same, however we will continue to update these as the summer goes on. Check back often!
Pre Camp FAQs
What does Camp Ready mean?
Camp Ready means that the camper and their family have taken reasonable measures to ensure that the camper arrives at camp healthy by self monitoring their health, reducing risky activities like weddings, funerals, neighborhood BBQs and nonessential travel, completing a COVID-19 test, and being vaccinated if possible.
What happens if my camper tests positive for COVID-19 prior to camp or has not completed his/her quarantine after being exposed?
Sadly, anyone under quarantine from exposure, exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or having a positive COVID-19 test within days of arrival will not be allowed to participate in the session. Please contact camp for options to come in a later session if there is availability.
What pre-camp testing is needed?
Campers will need to EITHER present proof of full vaccination (2 weeks past their 2nd shot) OR a Negative PCR Test taken within 72 hours prior to the arrival at camp.
Does my camper have to be vaccinated for COVID-19?
If available in your community for the age of your camper, we are strongly encouraging campers to be vaccinated as another layer of protection. We are anticipating that the majority of our camp staff will be vaccinated.
If my camper has been vaccinated and has not completed the two weeks after their last shot or has had COVID-19 will they have to have a COVID-19 test?
At this time, yes. We will notify parents if this changes.
Has the packing list changed?
Yes to accommodate a longer camping term and some additional items like face masks, a Crazy Creek like camp chair, and 2 water bottles. If you would like to purchase a welcome package for your camper that includes a chair, water bottle, mask and a couple other fun items, you may do so here.
How can parents help prepare their camper for camp?
- Discussion on empathy as every camper and counselor has had a different COVID-19 experience and we all need to be understanding and empathetic to others and their experiences.
- If your camper is anxious about the length, talk about the camp experience, their session at camp and avoid the length of time like 3 weeks, longer than last year, 20 days, etc.
- Help your child understand that camp will be camp – friends, activities, and fun but there will be modifications to create a successful and magical experience. List a few examples like masks being worn inside when the entire camp is gathered, but not inside their cabin with your cabin group as this is their camp family. They will not be wearing masks at all of their outside activities, however, if they are all inside huddled around and handling the snakes, one will need to wear a mask.
- Be open to new experiences knowing that you are outside, active, seeing and interacting with so many others. It takes cooperation and collaboration to make it successful for everyone.
What type of masks should campers pack? Do you wash them?
Campers should plan to bring at least 7 masks. We will wash them as necessary to ensure they have clean ones to wear. They are also welcome to bring disposable masks. Please send at least 30. We will have some on hand as well in case they lose them or don’t have them when needed!
During Camp FAQs
What will be the process to ensure each child is healthy?
There will be daily monitoring of each camper by cabin counselors with a report being submitted to our camp nurse. Designated individuals including our camp nurse will do the traditional screening of campers, plus COVID-19 protocols upon arrival. Additional Wellness Checks on Day 10 or 11 of the camp session and prior to camper departing by our health care team will be conducted. More Wellness Checks will be performed as needed throughout the session.
Will handwashing and hand sanitizing be more frequent throughout the day?
Yes. Over a dozen outside handwashing stations are being built in addition to already inside existing ones. These will be located in areas where we see the most need. Hand washing or hand sanitizing will be frequently worked into the schedule.
Will campers be wearing masks?
There will be times at camp where campers will need to wear masks. For example, masks at this time are still required on the camp bus to or from camp or when in line to get their food. There also may be times when we are wanting to do an indoor activity with more kids that we may need to wear masks, including if we have bad weather.
Will campers be required to wear masks when in their cabins?
Campers will not have to wear their masks in their cabins.
Will campers be required to wear masks when outside?
Campers will not have to wear their mask the majority of the time when they are outside. Campers will be spread out more in their activities and programming.
Will campers be leaving camp for three-day camping trips, racing, or for local volunteer programs?
No we will not be leaving camp. However, we will be doing Treehouse overnights on site and other volunteer work we can do from camp.
Will you be moving more programming, eating and other parts of the camp day outside?
Each cabin will have a designated, shaded outside area for Rest Period and evening cabin time. More fun meals are being planned for outside as well with creative spaces including picnic tables and low tables to circle around with their Campchairs. We are also being more conscious of bringing some of the more traditional inside programs outside like Crafts, Shop, and Guitar.
What about the ventilation and spacing in the cabins?
All of our cabins have numerous windows and screens and exhaust fans (pulling air out of the cabins and drawing fresh air in). Opening windows has always been encouraged, however our policy for 2021 will be for windows to remain open (unless inclement weather) and fans to be left on continuously. Our campers will sleep head to toe to ensure more than 6 feet of space between heads while sleeping.