May 26, 2021

COVID-19 Updates for Summer 2021

While we are so excited to return to camp in 2021 and know our participants will need unplugged time spent in community with their peers this year more than ever, we also know and expect COVID-19 will still be a present concern.

The health and safety of our campers and staff is, as always, a top priority.  We have been and will continue to closely follow updated information and guidance from the American Camp Association and CDC, along with the requirements and recommendations for camp operations during COVID-19 from the Minnesota Department of Health, and have planned adjustments to our programs, practices, and policies in summer 2021 accordingly.

While we cannot 100% eliminate the risk of COVID-19 at camp, given what we have learned in the past year both about the virus and from camps that safely and successfully opened in 2020, along with our unique setting with abundant space to spread out outdoors and years of experience focusing on the health and safety of all our participants, we feel confident we can greatly reduce the risk and provide a safe (and fun!) experience for our campers.

Given the current expert guidance (as of the update date in the top right corner) we are planning for the following to be in effect this summer:

  • While at camp, each cabin group of 2 staff, and up to 8 campers, will function as a household pod. Each cabin pod will be in a cohort with one other cabin. Campers will stay in the same pod and cohort for the whole session, and staff for the whole summer.
  • Any interactions between cohorts will be limited, and when they do occur, required to be masked and have 6+ feet of distancing, as well as be outdoors except in essential situations where being outdoors is not possible, such as sheltering from severe weather. This will include eliminating large group activities and mixed individual electives, and replacing them with electives within the cohort group, activity rotations by cabin, and outdoor, masked, large group activities with cabins spaced a significant distance apart, as well as scheduling things such as meals and showers at different times or locations by cohort. This will mean camp looks a little different, but we’re excited about the opportunity to do things in fun, creative new ways!
  • Reducing our participant capacity to provide for keeping cohorts from mixing in all situations, including at mealtimes and during severe weather.  
  • Face masks must be worn over the nose and mouth by everyone at camp, regardless of vaccination status, indoors and outdoors, at all times, except in the below circumstances. This is aligned with the current CDC guidance for overnight camp settings. Exceptions:
    • While sleeping, showering, swimming, eating, drinking, or brushing teeth. Only cohort members will be present at these times, and 6 feet of distance from anyone in your cohort, but not in your cabin, is required. (3 feet minimum of distance from anyone in your cohort, but not your cabin is required at other times)
    • Certain situations when only people who are staying in the same cabin or room are present, or may be present, primarily while inside the cabin
    • Children under 2
  • Adding to our existing health center intake process to specifically evaluate for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure before and at arrival. All staff and campers are required to complete a symptom tracking log for the 14 days prior to arriving at camp and turn it in at arrival to camp (or to the bus stop/airport meetup).
  • Adding to our existing extensive focus on health and safety during camp to include required daily COVID-19-specific symptom screening for all campers and staff while at camp.
  • Asking that all participants take the most direct transportation method/route to camp
  • Strongly encouraging all staff and campers who are age 12 and up and medically able to be vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Adding the following pre-arrival requirements for campers and staff, in addition to the 14-day symptom tracking sheet:
    • For fully vaccinated staff and campers (2 weeks past final shot):
      • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to camp, proof of negative COVID-19 test taken 3 days/72 hours or less before arriving to camp is required.
      • Follow the provided safety guidance for travel to camp (for campers, in the travel guide linked in your confirmation email)
    • For all others:
      • 14 day pre-arrival quarantine that includes:
        • Avoiding any unnecessary travel, including local travel
        • Avoiding any unnecessary gatherings with anyone outside of your household, including other campers/camp staff
        • Always wearing a mask and maintaining 6+ feet of distance from others if you need to go out, and choosing outdoor instead of indoor interactions when possible.
        • No indoor social gatherings with anyone outside your household
      • Providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 3 days/72 hours or less before arriving to camp
        • People who have had a positive viral test in the 3 months prior to starting camp and have met the criteria to end isolation should instead have a letter from their healthcare provider documenting the positive test date and stating the individual is cleared to end isolation.
        • If you are not able to access COVID-19 testing, you must contact us more than 14 days before camp to discuss an alternative option.
  • Follow the provided safety guidance for travel to camp (for campers, in the travel guide linked in your confirmation email)

Given the fluid nature of the situation, registered participants can expect there may continue to be updates to some of this information, the information you have been sent about preparing for camp and traveling to camp and potentially to the forms and information we need from you as well. (As of the 5/20 or 5/21 updates to this document, and the Preparing for Camp Guide and Travel Guide sent to registered participants in your confirmation email, we expect to have updates only if clarification is needed, other entities such as airlines change policies or procedures, or state or federal health authorities make significant changes to their requirements and recommendations for safe operations of camps during COVID-19). We will keep all registered participants & families updated and have provided our Preparing for Camp Guide and Travel Guide for registered participants as links that will be updated as needed, instead of a published final document, and we thank you in advance for your adaptability as well as your very important role in helping us provide a safe and successful summer at camp to each and every person who needs it.

For information on plans specifically for Camp True Colors Family Camp, visit here.