Summer 2021 COVID-19 Camp Policy & Procedures

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COVID-19 Protocols In Place For Summer 2021

We are looking forward to having you all here at Camp Don Lee for Summer Camp 2021!

The pandemic has caused many changes in our lives, but the need for us to be in community and to experience God’s generosity through creation has not diminished; it has only increased. At Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center, we believe we have developed policies and procedures that, when followed cooperatively with our guests, can provide a fun and spirit-renewing experience at our beautiful location on the Neuse River Estuary.

We want you to know our biggest goal for Summer 2021 is to still keep camp, camp. While COVID-19 has entered into every part of our lives, we still want the focus of your summer to be fellowship, friends and fun!

Read below for additional information on summer protocols and review this with your camper. These protocols are based on the most recent guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The American Camp Association (ACA), The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and The Pamlico Health Department. These changes are to help everyone stay safe and healthy so camp can run all summer long.

As the summer progresses most communication will be sent via email. Please go on to your UltraCamp account and verify that all contact information is correct and up to date. It is also important that all forms are completed, including the new COVID-19 Release Form.

We will be asking all campers to complete a Pre-Camp Health Screening Form, CLICK HERE to download, in addition to daily healthy screening while at camp.

Vaccinated Campers
If your camper is fully vaccinated, please upload their vaccination card into their UltraCamp account. Also, bring it with you to check in just in case it doesn’t upload into the system. No 14-day pre-screen or negative Covid-19 test is required for fully vaccinated campers.

Requirements for Campers Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated

14-Day Pre-Screen:
All camper families whose campers are not fully vaccinated will be required to complete the 14-day pre-camp health screening document and bring it with them when they check in to camp. If there has been any potentially contagious illness or COVID-19 in the household prior to camp, contact camp for instructions. During these 14 days, your camper should also, when possible, engage in physical distancing, mask wearing when not at home, avoiding unnecessary travel and refraining from indoor social gatherings with people outside of their household. Once at camp, campers will be required to stay with their groups and not interact with other groups at camp to reduce the chance of spread. Temperatures will be taken daily and recorded for all campers and staff. A nurse and physician will remain on site throughout the camp week.

Negative COVID-19 Test:
All campers who are not fully vaccinated are required to present the results of a negative Covid-19 test taken 2 but no more than 5 days prior to check in date along with the 14-day pre-screen.

Most places now use the nasal swab test which is not uncomfortable like the tests used early in the pandemic. If you need assistance in finding a testing location, please let us know. If you have health insurance or do not have health insurance, there should be no charge for the test.

The CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test if the person does not have symptoms of COVID-19. Campers who have had a positive viral test in the 3 months prior to starting camp and have met the criteria to end isolation should have a letter from their healthcare provider documenting the positive test date and stating the individual is cleared to end isolation. This letter should be presented to camp.

Camper or Staff Presents Fever or Other COVID-19 Symptoms:
If a camper or summer staffer has a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, or is displaying other COVID-19 symptoms, they will be isolated immediately in our health center and parents will be contacted. Upon approval of the parent, we will have the camper tested for COVID-19. If the test returns positive, parents will be contacted to pick up the camper and take them home as soon as possible but no later than 8 hours following the initial phone call. The local health department will also be contacted. Camp will provide an N95 mask for the camper to wear home and one for the parent, should they not have access to an N95 mask.

Should a camper in the group test positive, we will contact our local health department for direction. We will notify all parents and staff who are a part of the group and communicate the recommendation from the health department. Parents may be instructed to come to camp within 8 hours to pick up their campers. Parents who may plan to be out of town during their camper’s stay need to arrange for this possibility with a designated relative or friend in advance of camp. Unvaccinated staff associated with the group will be isolated and tested. This policy is designed to keep camp safe and healthy and not spread the virus. It also emphasizes the importance of pre-camp vaccination, pre-camp COVID-19 testing, 14-day pre-screening and good hygiene practices prior to camp and during the camp session.

The same testing process is in place for staff. If a staff member associated with a group presents symptoms, the health department will be contacted for further instruction and they will be isolated and depart camp as soon as possible. If the test results are positive, we will inform the parents of campers within the group and may ask them to come and pick them up from camp within 8 hours of the phone call.

Check-In:
Please be prepared with face coverings for all family members in the vehicle, as well as campers. Staff will be wearing face coverings, too.

  • Each camper family will be assigned a check-in time for Sunday. You will receive this time the week prior to your camper's session
  • It is very important that you arrive at camp at this time. The gate will be closed to all guests unless it is your time to check-in
  • When you arrive, staff will guide your vehicle to the designated drop-off area
  • We ask that only campers exit the vehicle, please say good-bye to your camper before they get out of the car.
  • Please pack your camper's under-the-bed tubs in the trunk of the car, as staff will assist your camper in the removal and precautionary sanitizing of these items
  • Counselors will be at this designated drop off area to meet your camper
Cabins:
For Summer 2021, most cabins will be at reduced capacity. For some cabin layouts, this will mean only 2 campers per room (where there had been 4). For other cabins it may mean 4 campers per room (where there had been 8). For open air cabins, there may be more campers in a room due to the increased ventilation. This will allow for 6-feet between campers while sleeping and with 2 staff members per cabin. It will be very important that each camper's gear can be stored in under-the-bed containers. Additionally, because all campers will be here for more than 1 week, a weekly assigned laundry time will be given to each cabin group to wash bedding and other personal items. Sheets will be changed weekly. Please make sure you send a non-mesh laundry bag with your camper. We will provide laundry detergent but if your camper has any sensitivity please consider packing your own.

Cleaning & Meals:
Campers will be asked to do daily sweeping, trash-removal and cleaning of their living areas. Each building, cabin and bathhouse will be cleaned and disinfected by trained staff.

Meals will also look slightly different this summer. Instead of eating family style in the dining hall, there will be designated outside and inside areas for each camper group to eat. These will be exclusive to each group to help prevent cross-contamination. Meals will be served modified family style for each group and staff will serve the campers following safety protocols or meals may be served buffet, depending on the number of campers each week. If a camper has dietary needs, those will be packaged separately and delivered with the group's meal. It will be marked with the camper's name on the outside of the container. Campers and staff will eat every meal with their designated groups.

Daily Activities and Groups:
As in summers past at Don Lee, campers will eat and participate in activities within their small (16 campers) groups. Under the guidelines put forth by both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Camp Association (ACA) this practice is highly recommended (YAY!). Summer camp activities will proceed as usual, with activities such as Encounters and Crafts happening outdoors, when possible. Equipment will be sanitized between groups. Additionally, each camper will be assigned a life jacket (or they are welcome to bring their own) which will travel with them to each water activity and will be hung in their room. The few all camp activities, including worship and the dance, will proceed normally but with social distancing between groups and face-coverings will be worn during times of singing.

Store:
The Camp Store will again operate a little differently in 2021. We do ask that you still put money on your campers account, no cash or card will be accepted. A sign of available drinks and snacks will hang outside a screen door to the store for campers to purchase during their designated store time. If family members are interested in buying shirts or other memorabilia for the summer, CLICK HERE to access the Don Lee Online Store. If you wish for your camper to have one of these items while at camp you can purchase them online, choose "Local Delivery" in Shipping and staff will deliver it to your camper during their store time.

Packages:
For Summer 2021, Don Lee will NOT be accepting any camper packages due to COVID-19. Daily mail of small letters and cards will still be accepted. If your camper has forgotten an important item please email info@donleecenter.org and/or call the office at 252.249.1106. We will work with you to get this item to your camper. Bunk Notes, Bunk Replies and Bunk 1 photos will still be offered. For the best experience, please CLICK HERE for more information and to download the Bunk 1 app.

Rainy Day Procedure:
If there is inclement weather and campers do need to be inside they will go to either their cabin porch or a building assigned exclusively to the group for the duration of the camp session. Camp will be able to provide some face coverings but your camper is encouraged to pack several of their own. We do recommend one "buff" type face covering. This will provide sun protection while on the water as well as being a health safety precaution and can work in unexpected situations when an ear loop mask is unavailable. .

Pick-Up:
Pick-up will be scheduled for between 9:30am and 10:30am on Friday mornings. To allow for optimal cleaning and airing out time of cabins between camper groups, camp sessions will end on Fridays. Campers will have their luggage with them at the front gate for pick-up. We will ask that parents and family members stay in their vehicles during this time. Staff will help with the loading of the under-the-bed boxes.

After Camp For All Campers:
For not fully vaccinated campers, following camp, it is highly recommended campers self-isolate for a two week period to ensure they have not contracted COVID-19 and to remain distant from anyone in the household who may have increased risk factors.

The above processes are drawn from guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Camp Association's Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance, authored by Environmental Health & Engineering Inc., the State of North Carolina, our local health department and our team of camp medical experts.

Thank you all for your patience and flexibility in this, we understand how difficult these months continue to be. If there is something we missed or you have additional questions, please email us at info@donleecenter.org. Camp Don Lee is ready to see the youth of our ministry in action continue celebrating God's creation!