Summer 2021 – Safe and Fun
Planning for the summer of 2021 is in full swing! We cannot wait to have Hilltop filled with our amazing staff and campers once again! We will continue to give you updates as we progress toward opening day on June 27th!
We are confident that with the guidance provided by the ACA (American Camp Association), CDC and state health agencies combined with the field tested practices of not only resident camps that successfully navigated last summer but also reopened childcare centers and schools, that Hilltop will be able to create a safe, healthy, fun and nurturing community. Taking into account what we’ve learned and continue to learn we are carefully planning to operate camp in 2021, knowing that if we all work together it can be done safely and be just as rewarding of an experience, if not more so.
In the coming weeks we will release a detailed COVID Safety Manual for our Hilltop community. This is a living document that will be updated as we move towards summer. For now, we want to share a few key points of our safety planning and preparations for this summer. You can also keep an eye on this Covid 19 info page as we will keep this page updated with our latest plans.
The Camp Hilltop’s Safety Plan has three primary components:
1. Creating a Bubble
We will keep COVID out to the extent possible through appropriate screening and testing this summer, with the ultimate goal of creating a bubble in the camp community. This means restricting access to camp for non-participants, which would include vendors, visitors and parents. There will be no out of camp trips, outside entertainment and our staff will stay onsite during their scheduled time off.
In addition, campers and staff will be required to limit interactions with others outside their school and family for a set number of days prior to arrival and provide camp with a negative molecular/PCR test. We will schedule individual family drop off times for incoming days and have a designated drop off location on camp. We will do all of the normal camp check-in items right at the car, including a health screening. We applied for the necessary waiver to do testing at our location and once that is approved we will finalize onsite covid test procedures. It is important to know there will be additional testing while at camp. Testing is developing so rapidly and we want to utilize the best practices available come the summer so the exact protocols will be released closer to camp.
2. Limiting the Spread of Germs
To limit the spread of germs within camp, we will regularly clean and sanitize the facility, require frequent hand-washing, make sure windows are open and increase ventilation as much as possible, we will also have hand sanitizing stations by every door.
There will be camp “families” and the use of cohorts within the larger camp community. Guidelines will be given for mask use and social distancing. We will eat either outdoors or during staggered meal times, with sanitizing between seatings. Kitchen staff in PPE will be serving campers and staff at each meal. We will not have drink dispensers available to minimize common touch points. Our programming day may look a little different but our campers will still have the same amazing Hilltop activities. We will limit indoor use where appropriate and move those indoor spaces to larger covered open buildings or bring in tents.
3. Reacting Appropriately
If a camper or staff member has symptoms associated with COVID, we will have set protocols to care for them while isolating them from the community. We will also have protocols in place for appropriate contact tracing, quarantine and testing of anyone with close contact to positive individuals, in the event it occurs.
As we work on Hilltop’s written COVID Safety Plan, please know we are committed to following all relevant guidelines, regulations, and best practices. We have the following key materials to guide our planning: CDC guidelines for overnight camps; the American Camp Association Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance; OSHA guidance; and New York State Department of Health regulations.
Ultimately, our goal is to create the safest possible environment and experience in 2021 for our campers and our staff. Based on everything we know now, we are moving full-speed ahead with planning for a safe, memorable, and amazing summer of 2021! We can’t wait for your family to be a part of it with us.