Yes, it's true! We had no positive cases of Covid last summer, even on our pre-camp screenings. We are incredibly grateful that families trusted us with their precious children! We take the responsibility of caring for every camper extremely seriously every year, and Summer 2021 was no exception!
Our overarching policies from last summer were as follows: campers could not enter camp if they tested positive for Covid, nor were they allowed into camp without a negative Covid test or proof of fully vaccinated status. In addition, any camper who has been directly exposed to Covid in their home pod, school/camp cohort, or another close contact was not able to enter camp until after the CDC mandated quarantine period. We encouraged families to be as cautious as possible to reduce the chance, even from low-risk activities, of campers not being able to enter camp on Opening Day.
Our basic plan for Summer 2021 had three steps:
- A safe summer camp starts at home. Each camper needed a recent negative PCR test prior to arrival or to present proof of full vaccination to Covid-19. We also asked each family to significantly reduce risk and exposure prior to arrival for the sake of the entire community.
- Bunk Podding. Upon arrival, unvaccinated campers were given a rapid test for Covid, and their pod for the first eight days were the people in their bunk. A camper's "pod" was the group with which they could be unmasked, and from whom they did NOT need to social distance. During this bunk pod time, additional test(s) occurred.
- Half Camp Podding. On around day eight of camp, after the most recent tests showed negative results, we broke up into what we called half camp - two distinct groups within camp that were each its own pod, or family, where campers and staff could move freely and do activities without masks.
- Ate meals mostly outdoors
- Ran most activities outdoors
- Prior to entering the health center, everyone was screened, and sometimes treated, outdoors. The health center also had dedicated Covid staff and spaces
- All staff at Eden Village were fully vaccinated for Covid, no exceptions
Camper-podded staff were prohibited from leaving the "camp bubble"
Combining the following protocols provided the safest experience for our camp community:
- Wearing a mask AND
- Social distancing AND
- Limiting time indoors AND
- Quarantining before going to camp AND
- Getting tested before going to camp AND
- Testing upon arrival AND
- Screening testing during camp AND
- Creating a bubble AND
- Podding AND
- Hand sanitizing AND
Our plan had balance: keeping groups separate enough to protect the community, and giving them plenty of freedom within their group to explore, play, grow and build relationships. Campers experienced the magic, connection and warmth that our camp is known for, and that each child deserved.