With an extra year to put precautions in place Stronghold is working hard to offer a safe return to in-person summer camp.  While we know returning to camp may not be the perfect fit for every family, to help you make an informed decision in choosing whether to register for in-person summer camp, here is a summary of our operational safety precautions and procedures.  These changes may evolve throughout the year as guidance and requirements change.

2021 Summer Camp Health and Safety Protocol

Preparing for Camp

·         A negative COVID-19 PCR test will be required 72 hours of arriving at camp. This includes those who have had the vaccine.

·         Stronghold is not campers to quarantine before their arrival at camp.   However, in the 14 days prior to your camp it is requested that you follow CDC guidance for travelers to reduce exposure to COVID-19.  It is recommended to abide by physical distancing, mask-wearing when not at home, avoiding unnecessary travel, and refraining from indoor social gatherings with people outside of your household.

·         Prior to your camps start date, you will receive a details of our check-in process as well as an arrival window for your camp, and a daily screening log for symptoms and temperature.  Please bring the filled out log with you to check in.

Camp Check-In

·         Registration and pick up will be a drive thru procedure and campers will be given a staggered drop off time to limit the number of people checking in at one time.  We will accommodate dropping off campers from different camps at the same time.  Please use the earliest drop off time in this instance.

·         A health screening will be done and a waiver must be signed in the registration process.

·         Parents/guardians are required to stay in their car during the check-in process and to wear a face mask when interacting with Stronghold Staff.  All Stronghold staff will be wearing protective masks during check in.  Families are asked to remain on site until the camper is fully checked in.

·         Any medication will be processed by Stronghold staff during check-in.  Please have all medication separate and accessible to expedite this process.

Camp Check-Out

·         Check-out is also a drive-thru process. One week prior to camp you will be emailed with a time slot for arrival and check-out. We ask that you do not come before this time slot so that we are able to ease the flow of traffic in and out of camp.

Cabin groups

·         Capacity will be maximized at 12 (10 campers and 2 counselors) two cabins per lodge unit.

·         Cabins will do all activities together, remaining socially distant from other groups.

·         Temperature checks twice per day for all staff, counselors and campers, along with daily symptom checks.

·         The most important philosophy that we have adopted to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 at camp is to be two of three: Outside, Masked & Distanced.  Being outdoors is the most important if possible and we will try to be outdoors as much as possible.

Food Service

·         Meals will be taken to different locations and eaten outdoors or in a designated indoor area (weather dependant)  

·         Cabin groups each eat at different locations

Activities

·         Cabins will rotate together through all activities with their cabin counselors.

·         Program staff, counselors and campers will help decide, as a cabin, which activities they want to participate in.

·         Campfires, vespers, and other evening programs will take place outdoors whenever possible, with social distancing. If there is inclement weather campers groups will be separated.

·         Only 1 group at a time will be permitted at the pool and surfaces will be disinfected between groups.

·         Photos will be taken throughout each session and shared daily.

Safety Procedures

·         We will continue to follow American Camp Association, CDC, and IDPH guidelines for hygiene and cleanliness.

·         All counselors will carry hand sanitizer and a first aid kit with them at all times.

·         Campers and staff will be encouraged to practice frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Campers will be required to wash their hands often including before each meal.

·         Leadership staff will maintain social distance from groups and use face masks, medical staff will use appropriate PPE while interacting with campers, and counselors will stay with their cabins throughout the day.

Disinfecting

·         All bathrooms on campus will be disinfected regularly.

·         All facilities will be cleaned appropriately between each camp.

Response to Illness

·         Quarantine of campers and staff with common symptoms to be isolated, assessed, and sent home if appropriate.  Campers items will be removed and the cabin will be sanitized.  Per recommended procedures, Stronghold will retain a separate quarantine area for any campers and staff who experience COVID-19 sypmtoms.

·         If a camper tests positive, we will be in touch with the camper’s family immediately and implement the COVID-19 Emergency plan.

·         We will remain in contact with the camper’s family and in the case of a positive test result, we will notify the families of the camper’s group.  We will also coordinate with local and state health officials and follow their recommendations.

After Camp

·         Campers should limit interactions and monitor for any potential symptoms for 14 days after camp.  Please notify Stronghold immediately if a camper becomes ill, develops symptoms, or receives a positive COVID-19 test result.  If any of these things occur we will notify local health officials and begin the process of contact tracing.

·         Communication will be key.  We will communicate with all camper families and ask for all camper families to communicate with Stronghold.

·         Ask your child open-ended questions about their camp experience so they can share about all their adventures, friendships, and personal growth.

 

Even with all of these precautions, there is no way to guarantee COVID-19 will not enter camp.  If it does come into camp, we will take great care of our campers and be prepared to stop the spread given enhanced safety protocols.  

Camp is needed now more than ever and we will work hard to keep the magic of camp alive while adhering to state and federal guidelines to create a safe environment. We thank you for your patience as we continue to plan and provide additional resources in the coming months to help your family decide if summer camp is right for you. 

If you have any questions please call our office at (815) 732-6111 or email ryan@strongholdcenter.org.