When we needed to cancel summer camp in 2020, we heard two nearly universal responses from our camp families:
- Parents believed we made the safe and responsible decision.
- Both campers and their parents were heartbroken about missing a summer of Takodah.
Now, five months after that decision, we all find ourselves wondering about next summer.
The good news is… We’re planning to have Summer Camp 2021! From hiring summer camp staff to planning our summer camp menu, we are moving full steam ahead.
We have many reasons to be optimistic:
- While the vast majority of summer camps closed last summer, some camps hosted their typical summer programs. Some of those camps happened without incident and others had large outbreaks. Both sets of camps have generously shared the lessons they learned with the professional camp community, which gives Takodah the opportunity to develop policies and procedures based on emerging best practices.
- While New Hampshire, like rest of the country, is seeing rises in Coronavirus cases right now, our infection rates are still relatively low, especially in Takodah’s neck of the woods.
- Our local schools have had tremendous success in managing Coronavirus to keep our students safe. For context, nearly all of our local schools have at least some kind of in-person component.
- Takodah has hosted several groups over the past few months, including a Richmond Family Fun Day and ongoing childcare for a local school district. These events, and others, have gone off without a hitch – and there have been no cases of Coronavirus emerging from Takodah. In addition, these events have been practice-runs for hosting larger-scale events in the future, like summer camp.
- Testing and treatments seem to be improving nearly every day – and vaccines are on the horizon. While we lack a crystal ball to see how everything will unfold, we have reason to believe that these incremental improvements will have the cumulative effect of creating a safer environment in 2021 than we were presented with in 2020.
- It cannot be overstated that kids are remarkably resilient and adaptable – and while Coronavirus has certainly made their lives different and sometimes challenging, they have responded with incredible grace and a ‘go with the flow’ mentality. Now that they have had a school year to adjust to this new normal, they have the tools needed to stay safe and healthy in a summer camp environment.
That being said, we are keeping our eyes trained on several factors that could affect summer camp:
- There is another wave of cases expected during flu season – and the severity and impact of cases this winter will likely have an impact on our plans for the summer.
- Assuming that cases surge over the next few months, it will be telling to see how schools are able to manage Coronavirus, as camps often take cues from schools regarding health and safety management.
- While there is reason to be hopeful about testing, treatments, and vaccines, it is a waiting game to see their efficacy and scalability, as well as whether our region has the infrastructure to deliver them effectively and efficiently.
- The CDC and the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services are continuing to work on rules and guidelines for running summer camps – and those policies will have a profound impact on what summer camp will look like.
- On this election day, it will be interesting to see if and how both local and national races might impact public health policy in the coming year.
Just like last year, our work will continue to center around providing an authentically Takodah experience in a safe and socially responsible way. And, like last year, you can expect to hear from us whenever there are updates regarding summer camp. Until then, our hearts are full in anticipation of bringing everyone together at Takodah again soon!