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Day Camp Update June 30

DID YOU COMPLETE YOUR CAMPERS HEALTH FORM? CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE.

Swimming – I received many of questions from families about swimming.  The outdoor pool at Camp Carr is opening and groups will have a daily free swim period (aftercare camps will swim again on their scheduled days).  We have yet to receive approval from the Governor to open the indoor pool.  We highly anticipate that approval coming soon and our pool is ready for use immediately.  Sports Campers will have lots of fun outside with sprinklers and water activities.

Based on CDC and State guidance we are working through scenarios which would allow us to also host swim lessons at camp again.

Mask Wearing – The simplest way to explain masks is……  when campers are in their designated/ assigned group (the majority of the day) they will not need to wear their mask.  The group is considered their “family” and will act as such with new rules about touching (or Non-touching).  Although guidelines allow for social distancing to be relaxed in campers groups / “family” we will still be focused on practicing social distancing within reason to function (in their “family”).  All other times campers will be required to wear a mask.  Traveling through camp, trip to the first aid station, bathroom runs, etc).  Generally when social distancing may be a challenge.

Managing COVID-19 Exposure at Camp –  We have been given directives from the State of NJ which we are implementing this summer as required.

  • Staff and Campers will be pre-screened prior to entering camp.  Questions asked include
    • Temperature upon arrival (Exclude if 100.4°F or Higher)
    • Fever Reducing Medication Administered?
    • Symptoms (Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath)?
    • (at Least 2) Headache, Fever, Muscle Pain, Chills, Repeated Shaking with Chills, new Loss of Taste or Smell
    • Household Members with Symptoms of Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath?
    • Close Contact with Anyone Diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Past 14 Days?
    • Within the past 14 days, have you traveled from a high-risk area outside the U.S. as defined by the CDC OR one of the high risk states in the U.S. (infection rate of 10% or more) as defined by the CDC &/or State of NJ?

If the response is yes to any of the above questions the following protocols will be followed.

If the individual will NOT have a test to determine if they are still contagious, they can return to the Y after these three things have happened:
1. They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
2. Other symptoms have improved (for example, when their cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
3. At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared
If the individual WILL be tested to determine if they are still contagious, they can return to the HCY after these three things have happened:
1.  They no longer have a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
2.  Other symptoms have improved (for example, when their cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
3.  They received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Their doctor will follow local health authority or CDC guidelines.

If a “suspected” case or a Confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified the following protocols will occur. 

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 AND • have tested positive (by PCR, rapid molecular or antigen testing) OR • have not been tested (i.e. monitoring  or symptoms at home) should stay home and away from others until:
At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared
AND
They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (three full days without the use of
medicine that reduces fever)
AND 
Other symptoms have improved (for example, symptoms of cough or shortness of breath have improved)

 

Individuals who have NO symptoms and have tested positive should stay home and away from others until:
10 days have passed from the collection date of their positive COVID-19 diagnostic test

AND

they have not developed symptoms.

Individuals who have symptoms and have tested negative should stay home and away from others until:
72 hours after their fever has ended without the use of fever reducing medications and other symptoms improve.

Individuals who are identified as having close contact (Campers/ Staff within a Group) with a “suspected” or Confirmed case of COVID-19 at camp will need to Self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the last date of exposure with the person, even if contact tested negative.

MITIGATING EXPOSURE OF COVID-19 AT CAMP

Among many mitigating strategies this summer we will also be making an adjustment to camp group organization.  The reasoning behind this adjustment is to control exposure.  At camp we have many siblings and they are normally dispersed into their selected groups.  In that scenario if one sibling was identified as a “suspected” case or a positive case of COVID-19 multiple groups would be sent home to quarantine for 14 days because his/ her sibling is a point of contact within other groups.  This summer we are arranging groups to keep siblings together.  All groups this summer will act as “Mini Camps”.  Each group or “family” will have children ages 6-12 with 13-14 year olds supporting in their CIT capacity. Mini Camps or “Families” will function separately from all other groups.  These Mini Camps will have a maximum of 20 campers, supporting CIT’s and staff (which exceed recommended supervision ratios).  This is coming on the heels of needed change for safety purposes but, we are excited to launch this new initiative. This is not entirely new. Each year when we host special event challenge days groups combine to work as a team.  We have consistently had success with this model and are confident that this summer will be a success as well.

We love for our camper to make new friends, but if your camper has a friend they would like to be in a group with just send me an email and we will do our best to put them in the same group/ “family”.  kheimall@hcymca.org

 

Summer Camp Update June 26

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO……SUMMER CAMP 2020

Camp is right around the corner and we are super excited to connect with your family this summer.  As we prepare to reopen, please be assured that your child’s safety is our number one priority. We have spent the last several weeks diving into the state and CDC guidelines to prepare, plan and launch the best summer ever. We are working closely with our local health department to ensure we are meeting or exceeding the standards and recommendations that have been provided to us.

It has been a busy few weeks since we received notification from the Governor that we would be permitted to open. New COVID-19 mitigation guidelines came out shortly after the notification, but as you can imagine they required more clarity.  Since then we have received additional documents, attended state led webinars, connected with the national and state level YMCA leaders and local colleagues as well as engaging the local health department to develop our operational plan for the summer.

I will be hosting a “2020 Camper and Parents Virtual Gathering” on Wednesday, July 1st from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.  To join me you will need to complete a short survey (link below).  You will receive the ZOOM link.

2020 Camper and Parents Virtual Gathering Survey

 THIS IS A PARTNERSHIP…….BETWEEN PARENTS AND CAMP

This is not new news.  The pandemic is not over.  It takes all of us to ensure we do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. (AND WE CAN DO IT!!!)

The YMCA is here to once again provide the best summer ever to all our campers.  To do that we need to work together.  Each day before your camper leaves the car one of our health screeners will do a daily health screening of your camper.  This includes parents (and campers) answering a few health questions regarding having COVID-19 symptoms, taking fever reducing medication, household members having COVID-19 symptoms, close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days and a temperature check that must read under 100.4. If any of the questions are answered with a “yes” or the temperature reading in over 100.4 your camper will not be permitted to enter camp.

Please know that our goal is to protect all our campers, staff and families.  If we “suspect” or become aware of a case of COVID-19  we are required to then send all campers and staff that have come in contact with the camper home.  Then they must quarantine at home for 14 days.  Additionally, we will need to report the incident to local and state officials.

Our mitigating measures include the significant reduction of camp enrollments.  We have capped our camps capacity by 50%.  Additionally, individual group capacities have been reduced as well.  Camp groups will interact only within their cohort.  They will not intermingle with other groups.  This will mitigate spread if we were to have a case surface.

This is where the parental partnership comes into play.  You know your child better than anyone.  If you suspect your child is not feeling well don’t bring them to camp.  You need to help us to protect everyone.  I don’t want to put you or the camp in a position where quarantining for 14 days is necessary.  That is not the summer anyone is hoping for.   We can do this if we work together.  I promise, if you call me and tell me your camper is not feeling 100% and you believe it is in the best interest of all, to protect campers, staff and families, I will provide a REFUND.  This summer is about safety for all and having a positive and happy camp experience.

DID YOU COMPLETE YOUR CAMPERS HEALTH FORM? CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE.

A BIT MORE……

WHEN TO WEAR A MASK

As I mentioned above camp groups have been reduced in size and will act as a “family”.  This means when they are with their “family” they will not need to wear a mask.  The schedule which campers will follow keeps them with their “family” all throughout the day.  If they are traveling through camp (bathroom run, walking to another location at camp, etc) they will need to wear their mask.  We will always be practicing social distancing when traveling through camp, but we also will protect ourselves by wearing our mask for that moment.  Other times that a mask must be worn will include, but are not limited to will be arrival and dismissal.  Please send your camper with their mask on.

 

HYGIENE AND DISINFECTION

Our first line of defense is proper hand washing, good hygiene and disinfection.  We have installed 4 new outdoor sinks in convenient locations (in addition to our restroom facilities and sinks).  These will allow for campers to wash their hands regularly between activities.  Each group will also have a supply of sanitizing gel and disinfection supplies to implement a routine disinfection schedule throughout the day.  In addition to the routine disinfecting a mid-day DEEP CLEAN will occur as well.

DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP

As much as we love to connect with our parents and families, this year we need to step back.  Parents will need to remain in their cars at drop-off and pick-up.  As I mentioned above we will be doing a pre-health screening prior to your camper being permitted to exit the vehicle.  Once their screening is done and all is well they will be led by their group staff or a socially distanced staff member to their group.

On the pick-up side we will greet you at your car, check your ID (Pick-up cards being handed out the first day of camp) and radio to your campers group to bring them to you.

All the areas at camp have been spaced out according to guidelines to ensure safe distancing.

If you would like to speak to the Director or Health Administrator (Our Assistant Director) please either email or call the camp.  We will coordinate a time and location at camp (safely distanced) to connect.

Your individual camp will provide all contact information.

IMPORTANT CAMP UPDATE  – MAY 29TH
CAMP WILL OPEN JULY 6TH (SESSION 3) 

With this great news we also must share some adjustments to camp that we need to make to ensure that we create a safe, healthy and controlled environment.

Nationally, the CDC has enlisted the assistance of the YMCA of the USA, American Camping Association, Environmental Health & Engineering and other renown infectious disease professionals to develop enhanced, evidence-based health and safety guidelines for all camps.  These comprehensive safety protocols and policies will be implemented this summer to keep our campers safe and healthy.

Our focus will be on layers of protection.  Our strategic process will include:

Promoting behaviors that reduce risk

  • Educating staff and families on when they should stay home (not feeling well or COVID contact)
  • Increased hand washing (increased availability of washing stations and disinfecting gel)
  • Educational signs and Communications on hygiene and hand washing
  • Cloth face-mask covering for staff and recommended for youth

Maintaining healthy environments

  • Strategically created plan for cleaning and disinfection of facilities and equipment
  • Reduction of shared objects/ equipment
  • Modified layouts in throughout camp that allow for social distancing

Maintaining Health operations

  • Reduction of camp enrollment
  • Smaller group sizes (limited mixing of groups when possible)
  • No visitors.  No camper tours.  Outside guests not permitted
  • In vehicle pre-camp day screenings

Preparing for a case of illness

  • Isolation plan/ proper location
  • Parental and local official communication plan
  • Facility disinfection plan

This is a high-level look at our planned operation this summer.  As we get more clarity from the state of New Jersey we will have a more detailed explanation of how processes will look for campers and for parents.

With these requirements in place we need to make a few adjustments to camp that will allow us to adhere to the safety protocols.  These changes may require you to make adjustments to your camp schedule.

1.  We need to put a pause on transportation this summer.  We do not own the buses.  We utilize a bus company for our transportation service.  Although they are vetted and a well-respected company, we cannot control the cleaning procedures they would need to implement.  Additionally, the new safety protocols recommend camper spacing that present further challenges.  Please click the link below to indicate the changes you would like us to make to your campers schedule as it relates to busing

2.  We need to put a pause on all of our specialty camp programs.  Many of our programs invite specialty staff in from other companies (i.e. Mad Science, Bricks for Kids, USSI Sports) to implement these camps.  We look forward to working with them in the future, but for this summer we will be limiting outside visitors to protect our campers and staff.  (Specialty camps at Camp Carr that will not run – Include:  Mad Science,  Bricks for Kids, Nature Camps, Travel Camp, and Horseback Riding)  (Specialties camps at Sports Camp that will not run – Ballet, Princess Ballerina, Ninja, Archery Tag, Artful Discovery, Baseball, Basketball Clinic, Construction Camp, Flag Football, Golf, Hip Hop and Jazz, Lacrosse, Nerf, Ninja Warrior, Soccer, Super Hero, and Wizarding Academy)  These camps are generally a bit more costly.  Any access fees will be credited towards any camp balances or will be refunded if no balance exists.  Please click the link below to indicate the changes you would like us to make to your camper’s schedule as it relates to their specialty camp enrollment.

3.  Lastly, although we are super excited to launch camp on July 6th, the Governor’s directive is that camps cannot begin till then. Thus, we need to cancel session 1 and 2 of camp. Please click the link below to indicate how you would like your session 1 and or 2 payments processed. 

SPECIALTY CAMP CHANGE OPTIONS LINK

TRANSPORTATION CHANGE OPTIONS LINK

SESSION 1 AND 2 CANCELLATION OPTIONS LINK

Because we are limiting our enrollment in camp this summer it is imperative you let us know if you would like your child moved into their age appropriate group by June 10th.  (by clicking the change link).  If this is done by June 10th, we will ensure there is a spot for your camper.  After June 10th we cannot guarantee spots will be open.  Our intention is to offer these programs again in the future, but for this summer we must put them on hold for everyone’s safety.

We are also excited to share that we will be launching summer learning within our camps.  We recognize that these past few months have been a challenge for children and parents in regards to education.  We will be implementing a literacy development program in addition to the Sanford Harmony social emotional learning program.  Sanford Harmony is designed to foster positive communication, understanding, and connections between children developing them into caring compassionate youth.  Both programs are being built into the daily/weekly curriculum, and there will be no additional cost for these offerings.

Again, I am beyond excited that summer camp is now officially on the horizon.  Camp will have many changes, but our traditions will continue and campers will again be able to connect with old friends and make new friends.  I assure you the heart of Camp and the Y will be evident every day. Happy days are here again!!!!

Kindest Regards,

Kristin Heimall

kheimall@hcymca.org

HCY COVID–19 Summer Camp Update: May 5, 2020

Hello Camp Friends,

I know everyone is anxiously awaiting news on summer camp.  We are hopeful that camps will be permitted to open this summer.  Many local, state and federal entities are providing inspection plans and insights for summer camp operations.  We are expecting to receive summer camp operating guidelines from the CDC by the end of the week.  In my opinion these are all positive signs of a summer camp opening.  I remain very hopeful!

With all that said, our team has been outlining our own plans for summer camp operations at Camp Carr and Sports Camp.  We of course will follow all CDC, YMCA, local and state guidelines, but we need to look at our specific operations and determine the best practices to provide a safe, healthy and fun summer for all.  There is no doubt, camp will look different, but different doesn’t mean “bad”.  It means we will, transforms and evolve.  We will find new ways to offer the most fun and best programming in the safest environment possible. We are also offering “Risk Free Registration”.

We have altered our refund policy:

  1. If we are directed to not open camps full refunds will be offered.
  2. If we need to make changes to our own camp programs for the safety of campers, staff and families that do not work for you we will offer a full refund for that camp program.
  3. If, after you read our safety guidelines (To be published after official guidance is provided) and you are not satisfied we will offer a full refund. This will need to be requested at least one week prior to the start of the session your camper is attending.

Camps are going to be more important than ever for our children.  We look forward to truly being the best summer camp experience ever!

Please note, several camps will not be offered this summer:

  • South Camp: Due to the Governor’s announcement of school closures through the end of the year and the deep cleaning process the schools will need to take on through the summer we will not be hosting our South Camp program at South Hunterdon High school this summer. We hope you will join us at our Sports Camp in Flemington or Camp Carr in Clinton Township.
  • Travel Camp, Horseback Riding Camp and Nature Camps: While we are able to control our own on-site activities and facilities, we will not be able to control offsite locations and their protocols. For that reason we will be putting a pause on our offsite programming this summer.  We are disappointed to not offer these programs this summer, but we will look forward to them again in the future.

As always you can reach out to me anytime for help. The best way to reach me right now is by email.  If you would like to talk please put the best number to call you on in your email and I will call you back.

I look forward to seeing you all soon. Be well, stay safe and remain hopeful.

Kindest Regards,

Kristin Heimall
Senior Program Director
kheimall@hcymca.org

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