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Safe @ Camp

A Successful 2020!

The decision to open camp in 2020 was a long and, often, uncertain journey. We spent countless hours thinking about if and how we would open, and a great deal of time considering why we should open. We felt confident that our multi-layered approach would allow us to deliver a fun, exciting, and engaging experience responsibly. We took comfort in knowing that as a new camp, we would be a small population on a large campus designed for us to be a camp nearly twice our size. And we believed that children needed to be outside, making friends, being active, and disconnecting from the disrupted state they have experienced these past many months and those ahead.

To arrive at our decision to open, several key factors had to be in place and accounted for, including the following:

  • A better understanding of the health landscape and the virus’ impact on our camp population.
  • Guidance and approval to open from the Maine Governor’s office and the Department of Health.
  • A supportive and experienced leadership team.
  • An outstanding medical staff.
  • A flexible, creative, and enthusiastic counselor staff.
  • Support systems for health management, including a comprehensive screening and testing process.
  • A comfortable quarantine facility.
  • Internal procedures and protocols to manage all possible scenarios (outlined in our Safe @ Camp Handbook).

The Camp Bubble

Protecting our community of 250 campers and staff meant that strict protocols needed to be adhered to both before and at camp, including, but not limited to:

  • Seven-day pre-camp quarantine and symptom check.
  • Mandatory negative PCR test result before arrival.
  • In camp PCR test four days after both staff and camper arrival.
  • Daily symptom screening and temperature checks.
  • Treating cabins as “families” and staying together as such for the first two weeks.
  • Addition of large tented areas and expaned outdoors spaces for arts, dining, and evening programs.
  • Rigorous cleaning protocols of cabins, public bathrooms, facility spaces, and equipment.
  • No In/No Out: Eliminating trips, staff days off out of camp, visitors, tours, family Visiting Day, interaction with other camps, etc.

“I think about the fear I felt, and the courage it took for me personally to send my kids. I can only imagine the magnitude of fear Kate and Josh felt being responsible for hundreds of kids during a pandemic - and the immense amount of courage it took to move forward. There are so many life lessons in this decision (never make a decision based on fear; just because something is going to be really, really hard doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done; when things can’t be done they way they always have been, get creative).

In this crazy, uncertain, and often terrifying time that we are living in, you gave my girls the opportunity to just be kids again. No electronics, no breaking news, no political banter, no covid case count ticker tape. Just kids. That is a gift for which I will never be able to repay you, but I will feel forever grateful.”

-Courtney, Somerset Parent

On to ’21!

While we are hoping and planning for a “normal” summer in 2021, we also recognize that so much can change between now and then. Given our experience in navigating this crisis in 2020, and knowing what worked well and what needs tweaking, we feel confident and prepared to tackle any new challenges that may lie ahead. Ensuring our campers’ and staff’s health and safety while also working to deliver the high-quality camp experience that our families deserve remains our top priority. To learn more about our plans for 2021 or to request a copy of our Safe @ Camp Handbook, please complete our inquiry form.