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Camp Christian Policies and Procedures Summer 2021 (4/21/21 Update)

By - Wednesday April 21, 2021

Camp Christian Policies and Procedures 2021

CLICK HERE FOR PDF VERSION

*This is a general overview as of 4/21/21 and is subject to change as we get closer to the camping season.  Any changes will be disclosed to via email and social media updates from the Region when the changes are made*

Introduction

After ongoing conversations with the Union County Health Department, attending webinars provided by the American Camping Association and working diligently with our own Christian Church in Ohio staff, we believe it is possible to safely hold overnight programming at Camp Christian this summer. If we are advised that it is unsafe to hold programs, we will not open Camp.

We want to be as transparent as possible regarding how we reached this decision and how we move forward in this process.  To that end, here is a video link to the most recent American Camping Association webinar, which showed statistical evidence of safe camping practices being able to be implemented with social distancing, mask wearing, testing/monitoring, and altered programming.  The most encouraging statistics shared from the webinar included the fact that very few camps had outbreaks (defined as more than three people being infected) last summer and most held alternative camping programs without any cases at all.  https://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/coronavirus/online-learning-events-covid-19

https://vimeo.com/505425568

This document will hopefully help outline what responsibilities the CCIO staff will be working through to make summer 2021 safe and healthy in compliance with the recommendations of the Union County Health Department and the Center for Disease Control.  Many of our policies come from ongoing conversations with the Health Department in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines of safe summer camps found here –

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/summer-camps.html.

Many people may be vaccinated, many may have negative Covid tests, even, but the Health Department and the evidence from the ACA has reminded us that we don’t know enough about the virus or the vaccine to be able to make plans around them.  If someone is vaccinated, there may still be a chance that person could carry the disease and transmit it to another person who has not yet received the vaccine.  Because of this, all our protocols will be required to be observed and adhered to by every person who will be at Camp Christian this summer.  This includes staff, campers and volunteers.  Anyone who refuses to adhere to these guidelines will be asked to leave immediately as we are needing to do everything we can to protect the health and safety of the wider community.

***Note*** It may be possible that as we approach the time when camp will be happening that there will be enough vaccines, the Covid numbers may go down drastically, or the Center for Disease Control may change their recommendations for how to have safe practices for summer camp.  We are open to changing our programming to resemble a more “normal” year, but we will only do so under the guidance of the Health Department. This is a working document and it will be continually updated as we get more information from the Health Department, and as we develop more of our policies and procedures for Camp Christian 2021.

If you have questions that you believe are unanswered by this document, please reach out to our Program Director Rev. Alan Dicken at adicken@ccinoh.org to make sure that your questions and concerns can be addressed***

 

Schedule

Under direction from the Health Department, it has been encouraged that we postpone our camps to later in the summer so as to allow for more time for vaccinations, particularly for our staff and volunteers.  We do not know when the vaccinations will be administered, but according to recent research, and best guesses by local health departments, there is a hope that many of our adult volunteers and staff would be able to be vaccinated by July.  This is according to articles such as these found here –

Update: All adult volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated prior to serving for the week of camp or conference that they are planning to attend.

Taking the advisements of the Health Department under consideration, we will be following a condensed and delayed schedule similar to the one we implemented for the summer of 2020.  The first camp will begin July 4th and the final camp will end August 1st.  Staff will be asked to arrive July 1st and leave August 4th.

Covid Protocols

1.      Overview

While we are hopeful that by July, a good portion of the population will be vaccinated and the threat of Covid will be greatly reduced, we have been advised by the Health Department not to count on everyone being vaccinated and to still adhere to safe practices as much as possible when going through our camping program.  That will include:

  1. Masks – You are encouraged to bring masks from home.  Some masks will be available at Camp.  Masks are not required during outdoor and distanced activities, but will be required at times throughout the week when indoor activities and/or close quarters are required. 
  2. Social Distancing – It will be encouraged for people to be at least 6 feet apart at all times.  This means that classes, bunks, closing circle/chi rho will be spread out, and other traditions will need to be altered as well.
  3. Handwashing – Several handwashing breaks will be built into the schedule to be observed throughout the day.
  4. Coronavirus Health Agreement – We are asking all parents/campers to sign the Coronavirus Health Agreement and adhere to the agreement prior to coming to camp.  Failure to do so may result in dismissal from camp at registration.
  5. Monitoring and Testing – We will have daily temperature checks around meal times as a part of ongoing monitoring of the health and safety of the campers, counselors, directors, ADs, staff, and volunteers.  We will also have a small number of tests available to us from the Health Department to help determine if symptoms are detected.

 2.      Scenarios

  1. Positive test for close contact at home – If someone the camper/volunteer/staffer has been living with (i.e. a parent, a spouse, a child) tests positive during the week of camp, there is still a risk of exposure (i.e. if John Doe comes to camp on Sunday and on Tuesday, John’s parents test positive, even though they are home and John is at camp, there is still a chance that John could have been infected).  We ask that if this is the case that the camp be notified so that the individual may go through isolation protocol and anyone in their cabin can receive notice as well and begin their isolation protocol.
  2. Symptoms during daily monitoring – Any individuals that show symptoms (fever, illness, loss of taste/smell, etc.) they will be asked to immediately go into isolation protocol.  If they test negative and if their symptoms do not progress after a period of time to be determined by the Health Department, they may be allowed to return to the camp program.  Any individual showing symptoms will also have their cabin enter seclusion until they can be assessed.
  3. Positive test after returning home – Any individuals that return home and test positive within 5 days of returning home (i.e. if John Doe goes home on Saturday but tests positive for Covid on Tuesday, we ask that our Covid Point Person Rev. Alan Dicken be contacted immediately so that we can contact trace and inform the cabin mates and other campers from the previous week of their possible risk of exposure)
  4. Positive test of counselor – While it is our hope that by the time camps happen in July that most of our counselors would be able to be vaccinated, we cannot guarantee that this will happen.  To that end, we will be requiring every open cabin to have two counselors.  This will increase our ability to continue the camping week with only one counselor in the even that one of the counselors does test positive and need to enter isolation protocol.  Should one counselor test positive, they will enter isolation protocol and the cabin in question will be secluded in their cabin until they can properly be assessed.

 3.      Isolation Protocols

  1. If an individual meets the requirements for isolation (positive test mid-week, symptoms of Covid during monitoring, etc.) they will be accompanied immediately by a Director to the isolation area.  We will designate Ezerins’ House (the house towards the entrance to Camp) and its side yard as the isolation area.  If the individual has tested positive, the Health Department will be notified, their parents will be asked to pick them up, and the rest of the cabin will enter into seclusion within their cabin until they can be tested as well.  If the person is exhibiting symptoms, their guardian will be contacted so that approval can be given to take the person to the local hospital for additional testing and treatment.  If the person has no symptoms, we will work with Health Department to try and do additional testing to see if there was perhaps a false positive.  Until the test comes back, the person will be asked to stay in isolation.

                     i.            Additionally, the camp will be notified of the positive test, and anyone who chooses can (as always) contact their parents/guardians to pick them up if they feel unsafe.

                   ii.            If this is the case, our staff will be monitored and tested regularly to ensure that they are not infected.  All of the camp will be cleaned thoroughly several times and we will do our best to prepare for coming weeks.

                 iii.            We will also contact the parents/guardians of those who are planning to attend in the coming weeks.  Of course, if they do not feel comfortable sending their child to camp, we will offer a full refund for their registration.

  1. If the person is not exhibiting symptoms, the parents/guardians will still be notified, as will the Health Department but we will administer additional tests and monitoring while the individual is in isolation.  We will continue to keep them in isolation until they are picked up by a guardian, transported to a hospital, or given an “all clear” by the Health Department.
  2. If a cabin group is isolating, they will also be tested and anyone testing positive will move over to the isolation side of Camp.
  3. If there are multiple positive tests from across various cabin groups, the camp will be shut down, the Health Department and the Center for Disease Control will be notified, and they will conduct testing for the entire camp and will follow up by advising on next steps regarding how to care for and transport individuals who are infected and how to safely allow for uninfected individuals to return home.

 4.      Volunteers and Staff

  1. Volunteers –As we are going to be dependent on our volunteer leaders (Directors, Assistant Directors, Counselors, etc.) our Counselor Training will be mandatory for this summer.  If someone cannot attend training, they may not serve as a volunteer.  Additionally, all volunteers are required to be vaccinated prior to serving this summer.

                     i.            Volunteers will be responsible for knowing and assisting in Covid protocols

                   ii.            We are asking that each person only attend one week of Camp this summer (i.e. if you are a CYF counselor, you may not also be a counselor for Chi Rho.  If you are a CYF camper, you may not be a C.I.T. for Junior Camp) so as to reduce the potential for cross over spreading of the virus from week to week.

                 iii.            As we need two counselors per cabin, and as we need as many counselors as possible to be vaccinated, we would like to ask those who may be available to strongly consider serving as a volunteer during a week at Camp this summer.

  1. Nurses – Anyone serving as a nurse is required to be vaccinated. 
  2. Staff – Summer staff typically has one long weekend, and a day off as part of their schedule of serving the camp.  We are asking our summer staff this year to spend their time off at the camp and to NOT travel off and then back on camp grounds.  We realize that this is asking a lot, but our hope is that in offering a shorter camping season, it will be easier to be able to stay isolated at the Camp for the entire month.

                     i.            Roles – We have contracted an outside caterer to handle our Kitchen Staff needs. This will free up most of our staff responsibilities to be assisting in the increased cleaning protocols.

                   ii.            Programming – Often times, staff have helped with various activities (i.e. demonstrating the ho-down, putting together a talent for the talent show, etc.) throughout the week.  We are asking our staff this summer to do as little program involvement as possible so that they may maintain distance from the rest of the camp as they will be the only people who will be present from one week to the next.

  1. Caterers – As we will be having outside caterers handle our meals this year, we will not be able to have these people stay on camp for the entire month, as we are requiring our maintenance and secretary staff to.  We are working to develop strict protocols with the Caterers, however, to ensure that all food preparations and delivery are done safely.  Caterers will be temperature checked, will not work if sick, and will abide by best practices in food safety and service. 

 5.      Facilities

  1. Tom Bowerman-Jett, as our Camp Site Manager will be responsible for the cleaning of Camp.  He will have several staff members who will assist him in this responsibility.
  2. Camp bathrooms and shared spaces (i.e. Dining Hall) will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily
  3. There will be signs encouraging safe practices posted around camp (i.e. handwashing, not leaving toiletries on counter tops, etc.)
  4. There will be adjustments to the facilities to allow for social distancing and open air spaces.

                     i.            Campers will be asked to sleep alternatingly in upper and lower bunks so as to spread out

                   ii.            The Dining Hall will have all the doors opened and fans circulating air through the building. 

                 iii.            Green chair circles will be spread out so as to be six feet apart

                 iv.            Markers will be visible in the gym, at vespers, closing circle, and in other spaces so that when programs take place in these areas they can be done so safely while observing social distancing.

6.      Weekly Logistics

  1. Arrivals – We will be including a registration window as a part of the RSVP and Registration Process.  Campers and their families will be given a specific window (i.e. 3:00-3:30) when they are expected to come to register.  This will limit the number of people who will be clumped together and will allow for those waiting to be social distant.  Rapid testing will be part of the registration this year.
  2. Departure – We will also have specific windows for picking up campers this year.  These pick up times will be based on cabin numbers so that one cabin per cluster will empty at a time.  (i.e. cabins 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17 will be Saturday morning from 11:00-11:30am This is just an example, exact departure times will be determined at a later date closer to when camp happens)
  3. Contact During the Week – Parents/Guardians will be required to give a phone number that is the best to reach them at in the event of an emergency.  As we will be on high alert regarding possible Covid risks, we ask that parents/guardians be especially attentive to calls from Camp so that we may be able to address any possible issues as rapidly as possible.
  4. Cabin Groups – While this impacts some camp programs more than others, we will be having cabin groups stay together for most of the week.  Whenever more “close quarter” situations are absolutely necessary (i.e. overnight, meal times, shower times, etc.) cabin groups will stay together for this part of the day.  We are asking that siblings who identify as the same gender be put in the same cabin, and that as much as possible, cabin groups will be occupied by those who traveled to Camp together.
  5. Daily Routine – Many aspects of our daily programming will be altered to be able to accommodate for increased social distancing.  We will include several hand washing breaks throughout the day. 
  6. Meal Times – We will not have traditional table setters, jumpers, dishwashers, etc.  Instead, we will have our kitchen staff set meals out ahead of time on tables.  The tables will be distanced from one another, but will have the whole cabin sit together for all meals.  Additional food may be retrieved from the back counter by a counselor from the table at staggered times that will be announced by the director.  Cleaning will be carried out by camp staff after every meal.
  7. Singing – If the weather is good enough, we will go outside and spread out on the lawn in front of the Rec Hall/Old Dining Hall to do our singing.  Masks (as always) will be required during singing.
  8. Weekly Programming – Each week is responsible for its own programming (i.e. CYF, Chi Rho, Junior Camp, will all have their own schedule of activities) but will be required to adhere to enforcing social distance and masked programming at all times.  It may be possible to modify some of our existing programming (i.e. many of the ho-down dances are line dances and could be done distanced) but new ideas will be needed to take the place of some of our traditional weekly practices at Camp.  Additional information regarding each specific week’s schedule will become available as the directors and councils of the weeks develop new programming.

 7.      Contact in the Event of Infection

  1. Phone call to Parent/Guardian - Should a camper test positive, a Director from that week will be responsible for contacting the parent/guardian of the camper to come and retrieve the camper.
  2. Phone call and accompanying emails – Should someone in the same cabin as your child/ward test positive, you will receive a phone call notifying you and an accompanying email that will read as such:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

There has been a case of COVID-19 at Camp Christian. Each case of COVID-19 is interviewed by public health. As part of this public health investigation:

 

  • The camper/counselor diagnosed is being sent home
  • The campers who were close contacts (in the same cabin/cohort) of the persons with COVID-19 are being isolated and tested.
  • The parents/guardians of all campers known to have close contact with people with COVID-19 have been notified and asked to be ready to come and get their child from camp.

 

Because it is impossible to assess all interactions and because of the length of time cabins spend together, all cabin mates members are considered close contacts. Your child was in the same cabin as the person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Your child is currently under isolation protocols and will be tested and monitored for symptoms.  You need to arrange to come and get your child as soon as possible. The only exception to this rule is if your child has been vaccinated prior to coming to Camp.

 

  1. Email contact – Should someone in the camp but NOT in the same cabin as your child/ward test positive, you will receive an update.  IF YOU WOULD REQUEST WE CALL YOU DIRECTLY, PLEASE NOTE THAT ON THE PARENT/GUARDIAN FORM OTHERWISE YOU WILL ONLYRECEIVE THE FOLLOWING EMAIL:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

There has been a case of COVID-19 at Camp Christian. Each case of COVID-19 is interviewed by public health. As part of this public health investigation:

 

  • The camper/counselor diagnosed is being sent home
  • The campers who were close contacts (in the same cabin/cohort) of the persons with COVID-19 are being isolated and tested.
  • The parents/guardians of all campers known to have close contact with people with COVID-19 have been notified and asked to be ready to come and get their child from camp.

 

We do not believe your child was in close contact with anyone with COVID-19. Your child does not need to go home and observe quarantine or isolation precautions, but you are welcome to come and pick up your child if you prefer.

 

If your child develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, follow these isolation instructions.

  • Keep your child home from other activities around other people.
  • Seek medical care and testing for COVID-19
  • Public Health does not recommend COVID-19 testing for your child at this time. A negative test result does not mean that your child will not develop symptoms or become sick after the test. A negative test result means that your child did not have COVID-19 detected at the time of testing.

 

Conclusion

It is not going to look or feel like what we traditionally experience as a week at Camp Christian.  In many ways, it will be an incredibly difficult summer for us to be so close to old friends and loved ones without being able to connect with them in the ways we normally do.  It will be difficult to not be able to engage in some of our beloved traditions that we have known for years at Camp Christian.  It will be a difficult summer.

It will also be a beautiful time when we can be together, united by the Holy Spirit.  It will be beautiful to see the creativity and the resilience of our campers, our volunteers, our staff, and the way that God is at work at Camp Christian.  Many religious traditions were born out of trials and tribulations.  The Passover meal came as a response to the plague and exodus story.  When Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, the Jewish people developed new religious practices to be able to worship in a decentralized location – thus local tabernacles (or temples and eventually churches) were developed.  The people who were taken into exile, away from their homeland and their loved ones, wrote some of the most beautiful and poignant sections of what we read today in the Bible.  Even the last supper was a sacred meal shared on the eve of death. 

We are in the middle of a plague, a confusing time when our sacred locations are not safe and our holy rituals cannot comfort us.  While it is difficult and painful, it is also an opportunity for us to create new beauty in our relationship with one another and with God.  In fact, these are the times when God does some of their most amazing work.  We look forward to being open to God shaping us during this summer, but we know we can only do this if Camp is a safe and healthy environment for everyone who walks onto this hallowed ground. 

We will continue to work with the Health Department, closely follow the updates from the Center for Disease Control, and be in communication with parents, campers, volunteers, and staff as we move forward in the coming months.  We will share updated programs and developments/changes to our protocols if the state of the pandemic changes, as we anticipate.  Most importantly, and to reiterate from the Introduction: We are confident in our ability to open Camp Christian this summer as we have been advised by the Health Department, informed by the American Camping Association, and following the Center for Disease Control.  If we are advised that it is unsafe to hold programs we will not open Camp.

Lastly, we ask that you please be in prayer in these coming weeks and months.  Pray for your own discernment as to how best to proceed with your own health and safety.  Pray for our leadership in government and in the region that they may make wise decisions.  Pray for those who have known grief from this virus.  Pray that the world may know healing and wholeness that comes ultimately from our God who we know in Christ.



Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

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