Summer 2021 Updates

Golden Slipper Camp 2021 COVID Updates

4/19/21 – GSC Family Presentation on changes in operations due to COVID

Good Evening Camp Families,

Thank you again for everyone who was present for Monday night’s presentation and for those few who had follow up questions. Below, and attached, is the information again. I wanted to share it out in writing and for those who could not make it. If there are any questions to clarify, we know this is a lot of information, please contact either myself or the office staff. As a camp community we must all be on the same page. Additional information will be shared out in the coming days regarding families confirming that we can share their information with Diligent Urgent care for testing.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we strive to operate camp in the safest way possible. With all of this information expressed, and the safety measures in place, my staff and I can finalize all the planning we are doing to make camp as fun as possible this summer.

Please click here to view the presentation slides.

A few Questions from Families from the chat during the meeting

  • Where is the urgent care located?
    You do not need to go to the urgent care. They will mail the PCR test to you.
  • How do we know bunk assignments?
    Bunk assignments will be shared prior to arrivals.
  • Will they have to stay 6ft apart during the entire time? What about during activities?
    Campers will not have to be 6ft apart all the time when in their bunk cohort and when wearing a mask are two examples.
  • So just to be clear, the kids will be only with their bunk buddies? Not everyone?
    The kids will be with their double bunk only throughout the day. We are planning for spaced out programs and after day 5 and the test we will open up cohorts to the whole village and mask wearing double village activities.
  • Is there a list of what is not allowed to send to camp?
    Please refer to the packing list for what to bring. No weapons, drugs or plastic drawers.
  • Can we go to urgent care of our own choosing to get the PCR test?
    We prefer using this service as it is mailed, telehealth and they order both the PCR and the rapid test. It requires a virtual visit so that is pretty convenient. 
  • Why would mask wearing be mandated after everyone is negative again on day 5 and no outside contact/risk or exposure?
    We will have “bubble poppers” and staff are being taken to stores to get supplies. Cohorts will continue to grow as the summer continues.
  • In between sessions what about staff and how are we testing before 2nd session?
    Staff are tested prior to kids arriving both sessions. That is another reason why we have more time in between sessions than typical.
  • Is our food Kosher?
    We serve food Kosher style.
  • How are kids supposed to get tested for second session if they are only coming back for 3 days?
    The in between session time frame is 6 days. Diligent will be able to schedule a telehealth visit with you at that time. 
  • The medical forms that are mailed out are the same as the universal forms.  I already have my children’s stamped and ready. Do I still need to fill out the forms that came in the mail?
    You are good. We changed it slightly to make sure any meds that are given at camp are approved by a doctor. You can simply sign the new form too.
  • Will the wait staff be working all meals or just their assigned villages?
    They will be in for all meals after the 5th day. We are still working out the details.
  • If kids get a vaccine appointment can they leave camp and return?
    Kids must arrive on time for our “bubble” to work. Once at camp, if a camper leaves they cannot return.
  • Will the sessions be less people?
    Yes we are at capacity for 1st session with 75% capacity as per PA guidance.
  • Can we still bring food at drop off?
    If it fits in luggage or a carry on, yes. 
  • Still no phones?
    Yes, still no phones.
  • Can we also send disposable masks instead?
    You can send disposable ones. I would still recommend a few reusable ones too.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AFTER MONDAY’S PRESENTATION

  • There are no additional charges for the tele health visits and testing. As long as you provide your insurance information. Camp has covered the costs of this so you will not be charged a copay either.
  • Campers coming 2nd session, even those simply returning will be tested again. Any double session camper will not have to bring everything home, just what they want, and maybe some of their laundry. We have more days between sessions for this reason. Campers second session will not necessarily be in the same bunk. We will start the second session just like the first.
  • We would prefer that you go through Diligent Urgent care, with their mail in PCR test. When you go through this service they schedule the telehealth visit knowing that you must have it prior to arrival. At that time, they order the PCR test and the rapid test they will give on day 5 at camp.
  • There will be gymnastics this year.
  • We plan on having dances after day 5 we will know more. Even with mask wearing we think double villages can socialize after we test again in some, safe ways.
  • To clarify, if you have children in different villages you will have to wait, or come back, to KI on arrival day, in order for us to check them in during that villages specific time slot. We will not have families checking in everyone, instead we will only be checking in the specific campers that are scheduled. Sorry for any inconvenience but their new “households” start as soon as they get on the bus.
  • A reminder that our policy is that we place campers primarily by their birthdate in order to make placements as fair and equitable as possible here at camp. It can have a domino effect misplacing campers all throughout the villages, which is one of the reasons why we stopped this practice. It also helps our entire atmosphere, so that when we have new campers join our family we, as a whole, are a bit more open to them and to a change in bunk atmosphere year after year. That is the community we are trying to build while we are at camp. The experience of GSC is more than having to be with one other person, it is about making new friends along with building upon your past ones. Villages will be their own cohort after the fifth day test, and campers will have plenty of opportunities to be together with the entire village.

Respectfully yours,

Justin Guida


3/8/21 – FAQ AFTER OUR SUMMER 2021 Update:

1. 14-day screener: More information on the questions included in the 14 day screener will come once we have a clearer picture of how it will be used. I have gone through some app presentations and we have yet to finalize our decision. The goal is to arrive at camp as healthy as possible. That will include families taking part in less risky activities the closer they are to arrive at camp. We make sure our community at camp is as protected as possible once everyone arrives.

2. Testing before camp: Pre-testing is mandatory. No child will be admitted to camp without a negative covid test. The best practice would be to get a PCR test prior to arrivals. We know the signing up and subsequent results can take longer which is why we are asking for a negative test result within 72 hours of arrival. That may mean that campers are tested five days before arrivals. That is ok. If your only access is of the rapid test that will work as well. Some issues are that rapid tests can have more false-positives. Our advice would be to plan for a PCR test prior to arrival. At camp we are working on getting rapid (antigen) tests for after camp arrives.

3. Leaving camp while in session: With all of the precautions put in place this summer we cannot have campers leaving and returning to camp mid-session. Please plan for any appointments or special events to occur after your child’s time here at camp.

4. Medicine at camp: We will be asking that you limit items we give out in our wellness center. Any item our wellness center is to give out will need to be written and approved by a doctor. Even over the counter items such as allergy relief and vitamins. A new form will be added to campsite for you to print. Along with the yearly physical this form will need to be filled out.

5. More details about our arrivals and programs at camp will be explained in the weeks to come.

We will postpone the March Townhall to April when we believe we will have more information to present. In the meantime, our camp director will talk with, or respond to your questions as you have them.

If you have any other questions please reach out to Justin at: jguida@goldenslipper.org


2/19/21 – I hope everyone is well and that you read the news that GSC will be open this summer! After careful review of industry standards, current science, data, and government policies we believe we can operate our Camp program during the pandemic. We cannot guarantee Covid-19 will not enter our Camp, but we are using all of the information at our disposal to plan for a summer that will continue our Camp traditions, and allow for a safer and healthier Camp program as well. Below are just some of our main policies and programs to help in this regard.

  1. Dates for this summer have changed due to the necessary steps needed to make sure our staff are trained and facilities are ready for a second session.

The updated arrivals and departures dates are as follows:

1st Session campers arrive June 22 (no change from previous date shared)

1st session campers depart July 13 (previous date of July 15)

2nd Session campers arrive July 20 (previous date of July 18)

2nd Session campers depart August 10 (no change from previous date shared)

  1. We will require all campers and staff to complete a 14-day health screening prior to their arrival. We will need everyone to pay attention to their health, report any symptoms, and stay away from potentially risky activities during this 14-day period. We want everyone arriving at Camp as healthy as possible.
  2. We will be requiring all campers and staff to arrive to Camp with a negative Covid test result within the previous 72 hours of their arrival. More information may be needed if someone has contracted the virus previously. Any new forms or information needed will be communicated to families at a later date. Any staff member or camper who does not have a negative Covid test result within the previous 72 hours will not be permitted to enter Camp.
  3. The plan is for us to test campers and staff for Covid within the first five days after camper arrivals (both sessions). During the days between arriving and the test results, we will be in strict cohort groups comprised of double bunks. Example: bunks A & B will be able to have activities together. Double bunks generally have shared activities together and our daily schedule will continue in much the same way. The “strict” part has to do with staff off time at night, mask wearing described below, a change in elective periods, free swim, meals, and evening activities needing to change for smaller groups.
  4. Masks will be added to the packing list for 2021. We will require 10 masks at minimum to be brought to Camp for this summer. Campers will not have to wear them all day; only when in a closed space and/or when 6ft of distance cannot be maintained from someone outside of their cohort.
    During some activity instruction, since we will have counselors instruct much the same as we have had in the past, both staff and campers will be required to wear masks when 6ft of distance cannot be maintained. This will be mandated until testing is done. We hope after negative tests results are in that we can then create a larger cohort group comprised of a village. Example: Bunks 1,2,3,4,5,6 will then be one cohort and can interact more with one another in daily Camp activities.
  1. We are implementing grab and go meals this summer where we will use new outdoor eating areas. New bunk arrangements inside have also been made for use when potential inclement weather occurs for meals and down-time. To allow for greater ventilation we will be moving beds within the bunk. Air filters will be added to minimize the health risks of our living spaces. Outside the bunk, we will have picnic tables for meals and games as well.
  2. Staff off time will have to change this year. Staff will be allowed to leave Camp property during supervised day-time off hours. This change will allow staff adequate time off, but will be supervised with Camp administrators driving them to and from the locations they will need to go to. While out of Camp staff will adhere to any safety mandates such as mask wearing and will follow strong hygiene procedures while out and when returning to Camp. There will be no time when staff leave Camp on their own until the session is complete. Happy counselors make for happy campers, and we will be focusing on our staff’s mental health this summer more than ever before.
  3. There will still be waiters and waitresses. More details to come, but we can’t have our oldest campers missing out on this experience.
  4. Our nurses will have an outdoor center, under a large tent covering, in order to maximize ventilation opportunities when administering health care services. This triage center will be located directly next to our Wellness Center. I am working with our returning wellness staff and looking to hire more health care professionals for this summer. Any changes with our Wellness center and procedures will be communicated in detail at a later date.

The fact is that the plan for this summer is ongoing. New information and changes occur for our nation daily. We want to keep campers safe and healthy while also keeping our program fun and engaging.

On a personal note I have been at Slipper for the past 20 summers. I missed Camp so much last summer and know all of our extended Camp family felt that loss as well. I am working tirelessly to plan for a much needed summer for us all. I have participated in many meetings and trainings within the Camp industry and will continue to do so. I continue to stay informed in general with the situation at hand. Just as important to me is getting input from all of you. Please talk with your children, with each other, and reach out anytime to me with any thoughts or additional information.

This is the first of many emails outlining our summer plans. Also, in mid-March we will have a town hall meeting where more information will be provided as we are continuing to develop our plans. We will send an invitation for the town hall meeting in the coming days.

I’m excited to be back this summer!

Thank you for trusting us with the health and safety of your children.

 

Respectfully yours,

Justin Guida
Golden Slipper Camp Director
jguida@goldenslipper.org