COVID-SAFETY PROTOCOLS – Summer 2021

As part of our COVID-Safety Protocols and in keeping with the Y core values, Camp Abnaki encourages and expects camp families and our staff to show CARE for the health and safety of others, to be HONEST with their risk of exposure and the presence of possible symptoms, to RESPECT established guidelines and protocols, and to make RESPONSIBLE decisions regarding the well-being of their own family and the safety of our whole camp family.

This is our second email to families about our COVID-Safety Protocols (CSPs). Please review the initial communication found on our camp blog: CLICK HERE.

To view the email with the 2021 Camp Abnaki Day Camp CSPs: CLICK HERE.

At the end of April, the Vermont Department of Health issued their Mandatory COVID-19 Guidance for Overnight Summer Camps and their COVID-19 Health Guidance for Childcare and Out-of-School-Time Care.
Based off this guidance, the CDC’s Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps During COVID-19, and the American Camping Association’s Field Guide for Camp on Implementation of CDC Guidance, Camp Abnaki has created and will honor the following COVID-Safety Protocols for the summer of 2021.

 


 

Pre-Camp Expectations for Families and Staff

  • Leading up to camp, we expect our families and staff to continue to utilize the safety practices that have been shown to be effective: wearing masks when in public, physical distancing when gathered with others, gathering with others in outdoor spaces whenever possible, avoiding large groups of people, and maintaining proper handwashing/sanitizing practices.
  • While safety should always be a consideration, it is our expectation that the ten days before a camper’s session, families are more intentional with these proactive safety protocols. Please avoid birthday parties, team sports, other camps, and/or any larger gatherings.
  • Note – vaccinated families may still gather with other vaccinated people. There is not an expectation of quarantine, simply an expectation of following safety protocols. In our camp check-in screening, families will be asked if they have had risk of exposure and if they have followed these protocols. We are confident that our camp families will answer honestly for the safety of the whole camp community.

 

Travel To and Arrival At Camp

  • Please plan to travel to camp in as direct of a manner as possible. When needing to stop along the way, please be intentional with following safety protocols.
  • The state of Vermont requires evidence of each camper’s negative PCR test taken within five (5) days before arrival at camp (Wednesday before our Sunday check-in). Campers 12-years-old and older and staff will not need to provide this if they can demonstrate proof of being vaccinated (CLICK HERE) or doctor’s confirmation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. We will require this evidence at check-in please be prepared with a printed copy.
  • Sunday check-in has been extended and will be staggered every 30 minutes from 1pm-4pm. Families will be sent an email about signing up for a time slot ahead of their check-in day. Early arrivals will need to wait in the parking lot until their check-in time. Late arrivals will be allowed in when it is safe to do so. Each family is asked to spend no more than an hour moving in, exploring the camp grounds, and saying their goodbyes.

 

During Camp (Click on the link to be taken to the CSPs)

 

Pick-Up From Camp

  • End-of-session check-out has been extended and will be staggered every 30 minutes from 9am-11pm Saturday morning for one-week sessions and 3pm-6pm on Friday night for two-week sessions check-outs. Families will be sent an email about signing up for a time slot ahead of their camper(s)’ session. Early arrivals will need to wait in the parking lot until their check-out time. Late arrivals will be allowed in when it is safe to do so. Each family is asked to spend no more than an hour moving out, shopping at the camp store, and saying their goodbyes.

 


 

In order to be transparent, so you can make a participation decision that is appropriate for your family, the following is the exceptions to the guidelines we are taking and a brief reason why.

Some of the guidance suggests very strict cohorting, such as cabins remaining with only their cabin the entire session.
  • Camp Abnaki believes that camp must be experienced as a community. While our cabins will be together a lot and will be a safe home for each camper, campers will engage the whole community during classes, in free time, and at evening activities. We will follow COVID-Safety Protocols when engaging one another, but we will engage one another at camp this summer in order to create the special Abnaki community.
The Vermont guidelines “encourage” camps to restrict their staff to on-camp time off.
  • Camp Abnaki believes that the mental health and social well-being of our counselors require a break away from camp to relax and recharge. We are setting clear expectations for following safety protocols when on time-off, away from camp, and communicating clear consequences for failing to follow these protocols. Yet, we completely trust our staff and know they have camp’s well-being at heart. We are confident that they will remain safe when they are away and will return posing low-risk and ready to reengage camp.

 

We cannot guarantee that camp will be COVID-free this summer. We are confident that we are taking well-researched steps in order to mitigate the risk, but there still is a risk. Only your family can decide your comfort level with sending your camper(s) to Camp Abnaki.

 


 

Please read this email carefully. Please look over the links of the state and national COVID-19 guidelines shared below as additional resources. It is important that our camp community is familiar with and understands our COVID-Safety Protocols. Once you have reviewed the information, please feel free to reach out to camp by phone or email with any questions or concerns.

 

Links to additional resources:

 


 

As we send this communication out, know that we are already meeting to explore what we are calling our “What If” Protocols. What if someone has symptoms? What if there is a positive case in camp this summer? We believe that our proactive preventative protocols will lessen the likelihood of “What If” scenarios, but we must be ready. Please remain patient as we prepare our next COVID-Safety communication.

 

With all this talk about COVID-19, let us not lose sight of the joy and excitement of all the possibilities that this summer holds. We cannot wait for this summer and hope you share in our anticipation.

 

Celebrating 120 years of transforming lives through our summer camp experience!

 

Jon Kuypers and Adam Moreno

Camp Director and Associate Director

From:


GREATER BURLINGTON YMCA LOCATIONS

Pomerleau Family Y
298 College Street
Burlington, VT 05401
802 862 9622 (YMCA)

Camp Abnaki
1252 Abnaki Road
North Hero, VT 05474
802 372 9622 (YMCA)

Additional Program Sites
in Vermont

Addison, Franklin, Grand Isle, Washington and Chittenden Counties

 

"Help the other fellow."