Day Camp & COVID – What Worked & What’s Ahead

posted: November 25, 2020By:


Last week we published a blog by Randi which talked about making difficult decisions and gave great advice on how to go about weighing your options when these moments arise. For all of us, the last eight months have been filled with many difficult decisions and there will be more to come as we navigate through the winter.

Our team has worked (and continues to work) with colleagues across the industry, medical professionals and other experts in the field of children’s health. Camps that operated in 2020 were successful largely thanks to the collaborative nature of our industry and its leadership.

Last Summer:

For Summer 2020 we ran Shibley Lite, a modified version of our typical day camp. The parents and children had a wonderful experience with positive feedback flowing in from the moment we started.

The heroes (as they are every summer, but especially this past summer) were our staff. They were reliable, responsible, vigilant and honest when it came to communicating about health and safety.

We made it very clear that their health and safety were equally as important as that of our campers. We were clear during orientation that this summer would be different and difficult in many ways.

Safety Protocol & Modifications -Shibley Lite 2020 -CLICK TO VIEW

One of the most important decisions we made was to have a specific person as our COVID point of contact at camp. She set up testing options for staff and parents. She communicated directly and often with staff and parents of campers who showed symptoms or missed camp based on our daily health screenings. She worked closely with our nurses and oversaw the expanded health center and specific protocol for seeing campers. She was available throughout the day to assist staff, parents and campers who had questions about health and safety.

Having one person dedicated to all of this was operationally efficient and successful. It gave the parents and staff a sense of comfort because they received consistent and clear communication leading up to and throughout the summer. (Thank you Ashleigh!)

Looking forward to Summer 2021:

Our fingers are crossed and we are optimistic that Summer 2021 will look more like Summer 2019 than Summer 2020. However, at this time we are planning for a variety of scenarios based on the state of the virus in our area. It is possible that we will have capacity limitations and restrictions on group sizes as we did last summer. However we do expect:

  • Our usual and exceptional summer camp program with a full slate of athletics, arts & adventure.
  • Daily American Red Cross Swim Instruction for all campers.
  • Full day (9am to 4pm) for all campers. Mini day option (9am to 2pm) for Nursery, Pre-k and Kindergarten campers.

***We also expect to have bus service, hot lunch, snacks and towels for all staff and campers. Specific details on these items will be communicated in the early spring. We are very optimistic.

What’s going to determine what camp looks like next summer?

YOU! No pressure:) Okay, ALL OF US, not YOU. We implore our Shibley community (AND EVERYONE!!!) to wear masks, socially distance and continue to vigilantly wash hands throughout the day. If we are asked to stay inside for a month or so during the winter…let’s do it! If we work together we can get through this difficult winter and have a summer and camp season to remember in 2021.

We are here and available to discuss camp at any time!