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COVID Considerations 2021

As Sanborn Western Camps’ leadership and staff prepare to welcome enrolled summer 2021 campers, we would ask that you and your camper read through the following information in detail. To provide an environment that allows camp to operate during the pandemic, we have made a number of updates to our normal programs and requirements based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Camp Association and State of Colorado guidelines for residential camps.

These enhanced health and safety measures are designed to create a space where campers and staff can “live together in the outdoors, building a sense of self, sense of community, a sense of the earth and a sense of wonder through fun and adventure.” We are confident that the Sanborn Summer 2021 experience will provide campers and staff with a fun, enriching and supportive camp environment that will positively impact individuals’ social, emotional and physical health. We look forward to seeing our campers this summer.

We are fortunate to have the support of communities committed to the camp experience. By utilizing the knowledge and expertise of both the extended Sanborn community and the larger national camp industry, we feel optimistic about our operations in 2021. That said, we do anticipate more updates and changes as we move closer to summer, and we will notify our enrolled families of form additions or significant policy changes via email and update the content of this page as necessary.

No Matter What

Our commitment to excellence, education, and valuing the individuals in our community means we care deeply about the health and wellbeing of our campers and staff.

Sanborn Western Camps has a long history of youth and human development through outdoor educational experiences. The community living and trip experiences which help shape this development have always contained inherent risks. These risks are essential to achieving our educational objectives. Contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, is a new risk for everyone and (like other risks) cannot be eliminated.

Daily Health & Wellness at Camp

Camp is a great place to practice a healthy lifestyle. With opportunities to be outside, to be active, to drink lots of water, to eat quality food, get good rest and to spend time with friends, camp provides campers and staff with the building blocks of healthy living.

And, with practice at home, these habits are formed more quickly and campers begin camp feeling more hydrated, happier, healthier, more well-rested and better able to adapt and adjust to a community living environment. A few things to do before camp:

  • Take a walk or hike every day; make it fun and incorporate nature activities into your neighborhood explorations
  • Drink between 2-4 liters of water a day; staying hydrated helps your body perform at its peak
  • Eat healthy foods and practice eating new foods; camp food is delicious, and some dishes might be a little different, so trying new foods is a great place to begin your summer adventure!
  • Get between 9-11 hours (age 6-13) or 8-10 hours (age 14-17) of sleep per night
  • Buy a new address book and write down the addresses of your friends and family you will write to while you are at camp; print photos of friends, family and pets to hang up around your bunk
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Before Camp Precautions

Sanborn Western Camps asks campers and camp families to exercise certain precautions prior to arriving at camp, including the following steps:

  • Limit your and your camper’s exposure to coronavirus for the 10 days prior to camp
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wear masks when not with your family group
  • Avoid large gatherings of people (graduations, parties, weddings, reunions, etc.)
  • Avoid indoor restaurants, attending indoor concerts, or large sporting events
  • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • Limit social interactions to immediate family and/or with individuals in existing cohorts
  • Practice frequent hand washing
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms using our Symptom Screening Tool
  • Arrange to for your camper/s to take a molecular PCR COVID-19 test 3-5 days before his/her session start date and arrive with a NEGATIVE test result

On the way to camp

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Keep six feet of distance from others, except those in your family group.
  • Wear a mask when in public
  • Carry and use sanitizing wipes to clean surfaces you come in contact with
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid dine-in restaurants or other high risk situations

Arrival At Camp

Hooray! We are so excited to welcome our campers to camp! Opening Day will look a little bit different, with drop-offs, health screenings and testing occuring away from the main camp areas. We will test campers upon arrival using a rapid antigen test and receive results within 10-15 minutes. Testing will be done both at camp and at the airports by trained staff members.

While awaiting the test results, campers will be screened by our health staff, connect with staff and directors, and play some socially distanced games. At camp, parents will remain in vehicles until their camper/s are medically approved, then can give departure hugs while camp staff load luggage and transport campers to their living units. At the airport, campers will maintain social distance, wear masks, and be transported to camp in well-ventilated buses with appropriate capacities.

Once moved into their living spaces, campers will establish themselves in their primary living cohorts during those first few days of camp and participate in an initial unit/cabinside overnight as we typically do during the summer.

Camp Programming, Trips and Activities in 2021

As this is an ever-changing situation, our programming plans and practices may change as we gain new information or as recommendations change. Sanborn Western Camps will decide when and under what conditions any programming or activity changes will be made using medical advice and our best judgment, while continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of our campers and staff.

Learn more about some of the changes, and everything we still get to do, by watching this video:

The ABCs of NPIs

Another part of creating a healthy camp environment this summer will be the community-wide use of a multi-layered NPI strategy. Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions is the fancy way of naming all of the strategies we have all been doing for the past year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19: mask wearing, maintaining physical distance, being outside, cohorting with smaller groups of people, daily health screenings, screening (no symptoms) and diagnostic (symptoms) testing, hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and generally being more intentional about what we do, where we do those activities, who we are doing activities with, and how close we have to be to other people while we are doing those activities.

At camp, we will be employing a layered NPI strategy throughout the summer and we encourage you to review our Camp Health & Wellness Forecast (it’s our version of a community COVID status dial). Each day, each activity, each trip and each new experience will require us to be agile and flexible while continuing to build a sense of self, a sense of community, a sense of the earth and a sense of wonder through fun and adventure.

Testing At Camp

Beyond the pre-camp PCR test and the Opening Day antigen test, campers will participate in additional COVID testing as one part of our multi-layered NPI (Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions) COVID-19 mitigation strategy. On approximately Day 6 and Day 12, all campers and staff will receive molecular PCR nasal swab tests. After those results are obtained, additional surveillance testing will be administered per medical protocols and will include a percentage of each camp population.

Any staff or campers who present with COVID-like symptoms at any point during the summer will be separated from the living unit cohort, and will be subject to additional testing per our Communicable Disease Plan while we seek additional medical advice from our Medical Director.

COVID-19 at Camp

When a camper or staff member tests positive for COVID at camp or on a trip, that individual will be separated from the group and/or evacuated from their trip, and placed in supported isolation on-site but out of the immediate camp community. Staff will seek medical advice and follow our COVID-19 illness guidelines in our Communicable Disease Plan. Parents will be notified.

If a camper or staff member tests positive, we will engage in contract tracing and additional ongoing testing within his/her living community cohort community per medical guidelines. During this 10-14 day quarantine, the living community cohort will function more independently within the larger camp community and all cohort members will increase their use of multi-layered NPIs to mitigate any additional spread within the immediate living community. Parents will be notified if their camper is in a quarantined living unit cohort.

For a complete overview, please review our state required COVID Plan for Parents, which includes CDPHE travel guidelines.

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COVID Commitment

We recognize that components of the upcoming summer plan are less than ideal and still contain many uncertainties. We also know that our camp community: our campers, camp families, staff, and leadership team are supportive problem solvers committed to the camp experience.

Our goal of operating camp this summer will only be achieved and maintained if everyone in the community–campers, camp parents, staff, and the leadership team–commits to taking responsibility for each of their own actions and behaviors before and during camp. This requires all of us to take ownership of our choices, make personal and family sacrifices, carefully consider the risk/reward of our decisions and–most importantly–trust each other. All campers and camp parents will sign a Covid Commitment which speaks to each individuals’ commitment to do everything they can to come to camp mentally and physically healthy and ready for the summer.

We look forward to having you with us for this transformational summer. We are grateful for your confidence, friendship and commitment.

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