COVID-19 Information for Summer 2021

 

When families choose Camp Wingate*Kirkland, they are counting on us to provide an experience that takes responsibility for everyone’s emotional and physical safety. We are confident in our plans to open for Summer 2021 and to provide our campers with the strong sense of community and safety that is so needed right now.

We will continue to monitor and follow guidelines laid out by the CDC, State of Massachusetts, Town of Yarmouth and American Camp Association.

Guidance

We are fortunate to have strong ties throughout the camp and local community providing information and support.

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  • Camp Wingate*Kirkland is a member of the American Camp Association (ACA). Since March of 2020, the ACA has continually developed and provided COVID resources specifically for camps.
  • In the spring of 2020, ACA partnered with the health consultancy firm Environmental Health and Engineering (EH&E) to develop the “Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance”. The Field Guide contains extensive and detailed recommendations on all aspects of camp and they continue to release updates as information and regulations evolve.
  • Camp Wingate*Kirkland has an outstanding relationship with Town of Yarmouth and Mass. Department of Public Health and have been working closely with them since last March. We will continue to collaborate, share information and review plans with town and state officials so that we follow all local guidelines and keep the W*K community safe.

Experience

Camp Wingate*Kirkland has successfully run Pod Squad here on a daily basis since September 2020.

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  • Pod Squad is a supervised learning group of children hosted at Camp, which supports all types of virtual learning.
  • Camp W*K Pod Squad leaders keep kids safe, support school work so that they learn effectively and provide a fun and safe environment.
  • We received approval and continued guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and Town of Yarmouth Health Department.

Preparation

We have been reviewing and updating our policies and procedures to ensure a healthy Summer 2021. We will continue to monitor and revise our plans as we receive new guidance.

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Some of the plans we’re making include:

  • Onsite testing We expect to have testing available at Camp for Summer 2021 and are working to secure the fastest and most reliable results.
  • Vaccinations – As of now, we intend for our staff to be vaccinated.
  • Screening Staff will be screened by W*K’s health care team upon arrival. Staff training will function as a quarantine period, during which staff health will be monitored; we intend for campers to be screened and tested before they arrive on site. We will share updates as guidance dictates. 
  • Masks and distance – Face coverings and physical distancing procedures will be in place.
  • Outdoors Campers and counselors will engage in outdoor activities almost every period of every day. This includes programs that have traditionally been “indoor” activities (e.g., theater, dance).  
  • Program modifications – All activities will be continually assessed and amended as necessary.
  • Trip modifications – Out of camp trips will be assessed and amended as necessary.    
  • Visitors – Visitors, including parents and guardians, will not be permitted. That means we will not hold a Visiting Day in 2021.
  • Transportation We will not be providing coach bus service in 2021.
  • Cleaning – We already have a stockpile of supplies and protocols are in place to ensure common high-touch areas/surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Hygiene – Campers and staff will be instructed in proper hand-washing techniques and required to wash their hands regularly. Liquid hand sanitizer dispensers are also available across Camp. 
  • Food service The Dining Hall setup will mitigate contact between groups and minimize overall numbers. We will space tables out, utilize outdoor seating, open windows and doors and operate ceiling fans for air flow. Additionally, we are excited to add new outdoor seating!
  • Staff training  Summer 2021 will contain new staff training sessions about COVID-19, in terms of policy and procedures designed to keep everyone safe, and the additional impact the pandemic has had on children and staff emotional wellbeing.

Cooperation

At Camp Wingate*Kirkland we value every relationship with parents as a partnership – working together with the common goal of helping your child be the best version of themselves – teaching life skills, sharing new experiences and creating friendships. As we look forward to summer 2021, there is a higher level of expectation as we continue to keep one another healthy. As partners, we agree:

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  • To continue to exercise caution outside of the Camp W*K site, avoiding unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 and potential harm to the group.
  • We expect open and honest communication from you, the parents/guardians, if your child is ill or if anyone in your family should come in to contact with someone who has contracted the virus. You can expect the same from us.
  • We will work tirelessly every day to keep W*K clean and sanitized, while also teaching your children routines and good hygiene habits while they are at Camp.

March 2021 Update

2021 is going to be unique. Our goal remains the same: to create a safe and memorable experience, while staying true to W*K’s values. Here are some of the steps we are taking towards a successful and healthy summer 2021 at Camp Wingate*Kirkland:

Gathering The Best Information

Since the start of COVID, we have been in communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and American Camp Association to learn the best ways to operate camp in a healthy way. As much as our families want fast answers, we are prioritizing getting the right answers. We will continue to gather the best information and adjust to this constantly evolving situation.

Listening To Experts

We are committed to running Camp only if we can do so responsibly and safely. We are camp experts but not medical professionals. To determine the best approach, we are listening to our team of health care professionals and relevant authorities. We are diligently planning for many different scenarios and will adjust according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines to operate camp in a healthy manner.

Top-Notch Medical Staff

Every summer, we assemble an experienced, first-class medical team. We hire 12-14 medical staff to work on-site for the summer. Our team is lead by two long-tenured camp doctors who make scheduled visits and are also on-call. This summer, our medical staff will be thoroughly trained on COVID-19 medical procedures, contact tracing and will be equipped with the appropriate PPE.

Dedication To Sanitation

We have raised our sanitation standards to match and exceed State and local recommendations. Our housekeeping team works hard to keep Camp W*K clean and will increase the frequency in which they conduct deep cleanings of shared surfaces and indoor facilities.

Personal Hygiene

While personal hygiene has always been an important part of camp, it will become a point of special emphasis this summer. We plan to utilize a comprehensive daily health check with relevant monitoring and will add hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout Camp.

Physical Distancing and Masking Measures

As we evaluate every aspect of our program, we expect to make modifications to achieve reasonable distancing standards this summer. For example:

  • We plan to operate the Dining Hall in shifts and add additional outdoor seating.
  • We will hold parallel camp activities with small groups to limit interaction between cohorts.
  • Campers and staff will be expected to wear masks.

While there will be compromises and changes from past summers, our staff is determined to be innovative and flexible to make 2021 feel like just another terrific summer.

Safe Community

We must all work together to ensure the health and safety of our community. We expect families and staff to make conscious and safe choices prior to arriving at Camp to eliminate unnecessary exposures.

 

Overnight Camp Families

For 7 days prior to arrival at Camp on June 30th families must:

  • Submit a camper daily health attestation
  • Limit exposure to non-family members
  • Wear a mask around non-family members
  • Avoid large crowds/gatherings
  • Limit unnecessary travel

Day Camp Families

During the entirety of your child’s time at Camp, we expect that your family will:

  • Limit exposure to non-family members
  • Wear a mask around non-family members
  • Avoid large crowds/gatherings
  • Limit unnecessary travel
  • Submit a health attestation before your child’s arrival to Camp each morning

Testing

All campers and staff will be required to submit a pre-camp PCR test 72 hours prior to their first day of camp.

Additionally for overnight campers, our Health Center Staff will perform onsite testing before campers are allowed to move into a bunk on Opening Day, June 30, 2021. Regular testing will continue throughout the summer for all overnight campers and staff.

Quick Response Protocol

We are prepared to react swiftly, and have established quarantine and isolation procedures. All families should have a plan in place to pick up their camper within 24 hours if necessary.

Clear Communication

As always, Camp W*K is committed to open and honest communication. We recognize the importance of sharing the best information available as quickly as possible.

We will keep you informed as we obtain more specific guidance and regulations from the Massachusetts Department of Health.

 

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