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Summer Camp 2021

You can expect to see this page updated as information becomes available and decisions are made. You will also receive detailed instructions in the weeks before your camp session.


Camp Takodah COVID Safety Webinar

We hosted a COVID Safety Webinar on March 30, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET to share the NH Overnight Camp Guidelines related to COVID and answer the most commonly asked questions from families. While the webinar provided the most updated policies and procedures at that time, we know that the policies and procedures might change as NH updates the guidelines and as additional COVID information and prevention strategies emerge. We will keep our camp families informed as updates become available. Here from Camp Director Ryan Reed on the current plans:


Camp Takodah COVID Safety Plan

We have worked closely with the NH Department of Health & Human Services and our Medical Advisory Team on developing a COVID Safety Plan. The purpose of this webpage is to explain how our plans will affect summer camp so that you can make an informed decision about your participation this year.

We are advising vulnerable or high-risk campers to consult their primary care physicians on whether summer camp is reasonably safe for them (i.e., lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, immunocompromised, severe obesity, diabetes, kidney disease or dialysis, and liver disease).

While we have not been informed of any impending updates to the NH DHHS overnight camp guidance, we acknowledge that conditions are rapidly changing – and that we might receive updated guidance before summer camp, which we will pass along to you right away.

If you decide that summer camp is not the right choice for you this year, then please contact Linda DuBois, our Office Manager, no later than April 15, 2021, at 5:00 PM ET to receive a full refund of your camp fees (including your $125 deposit). If you decide to cancel after April 15, then you will receive a refund of all of your fees except for your $125 deposit. No refunds will be issued after June 1. You can reach Linda at linda@takodahymca.org or 603-352-0447.

In addition to this webpage, please check our Parent Resources Page for additional information about preparing for summer camp:

Parent Resources


Summer Camp COVID Guidelines

Open House

We will need to limit the number of people who attend our in-person Open House.

Camp Staff will record a video tour around camp — and they will be sure to answer all of the most frequently asked questions.

That being said, we know that some families and campers will need to see Camp Takodah in person to feel comfortable with attending summer camp. We will offer an in-person Open House for those campers on May 8. Families will be required to sign up for staggered arrival times to avoid large congregations at camp.

You can expect an email in late April with information about both the virtual and in-person Open House options.

Medical Advisory Team

In addition to working with the NH Department of Health & Human Services, Camp Takodah has assembled a Medical Advisory Team comprised of local medical experts to support the development of a COVID-19 Specific Communicable Disease Plan.

The team will also provide ongoing advice and support throughout summer camp to mitigate any possible COVID infection or exposure.

We have also hired a COVID Safety Officer whose entire job focuses on ensuring that everyone at camp follows the COVID Safety Plan guidelines at all times. The COVID Safety Officer will be supported by our professional and seasonal leadership teams in ensuring a safe and healthy experience for everyone at camp.

Camp Bubble

The COVID Safety Plan is focused on creating a healthy ‘camp bubble’. Not only do the guidelines focus on COVID and healthcare management at camp, but they also emphasize the careful and safe migration in and out of camp.

Campers will not be able to leave and return to camp during their session this year. If a camper needs to depart camp for any reason, then they will not be able to return to camp during the same session.

It hopefully goes without saying that we are all in this together. The COVID Safety Plan only works if everyone follows the guidelines. We are committed to following them at camp, and we are imploring you to follow all of the pre-camp guidelines so that we can create the safest possible environment for our campers and staff.

Vaccines

As of March 17, 2021, all summer camp staff working in NH are eligible to receive a COVID vaccine regardless of their state of residence.

We anticipate all of our camp staff being fully vaccinated before campers arrive.

We anticipate that very few, if any, of our campers will be fully vaccinated before summer camp.

We will follow our COVID Safety Plan guidelines regardless of vaccine status.

Healthcare

Our healthcare team will operate from our COVID Safety Plan and the Standing Medical Orders prescribed by Cheshire Medical Center. Cheshire Medical Center is currently revising the Standing Medical Orders with respect to COVID symptoms, infections, and exposures. We do not currently know which specific symptoms will trigger a COVID response. For example, we hope to have guidelines that will enable us to treat a camper complaining of allergies without needing to trigger a COVID response. When we receive the Standing Medical Orders, then we will pass them along to you.

We are installing a large Healthcare Tent outside of the Health Center to enable outdoor triage and treatment, as well as to provide for greater social distancing. All health complaints and medication distribution will happen in the Healthcare Tent.

Our healthcare team will wear PPE when interacting with any campers or staff.

Our healthcare team will have the ability to perform rapid antigen tests at camp — and anyone receiving a rapid antigen test will also receive a PCR screening test with our partners at Cheshire Medical Center, ConvenientMD (Keene), or Heywood Hospital. The rapid antigen test will help us determine the level of COVID response at camp, and the PCR test will serve to confirm the antigen test results, as PCR tests currently provide significantly more reliable results.

COVID Testing

All campers will be required to provide proof of pre-camp PCR screening test with a negative result within seven days before arrival.

Everyone at camp will have a PCR screening test (saliva-based) on the following days:

  • Day 1 (upon arrival)
  • Day 5

We will conduct daily screening questions and temperature checks for everyone.

Takodah Nurses will conduct spot antigen rapid testing and PCR testing, as needed, for individuals who present with symptoms or exposure.

Isolation & Quarantine Procedures

Our healthcare team will operate from our COVID Safety Plan and the Standing Medical Orders prescribed by Cheshire Medical Center:

Symptomatic Individuals

  • Test and isolate them immediately until test results are available
  • Quarantine anyone with close contact with them (10 minutes within six feet) until test results
  • Deep clean all exposed areas and equipment immediately

Infected Individuals

  • Dismiss them from camp immediately via private transportation
  • Dismiss anyone with close contact with them (10 minutes within six feet) from camp immediately
  • Deep clean all exposed areas and equipment immediately

Quarantine

Based on the guidelines, if a camper needs to be quarantined, then their entire cabin cohort will need to quarantine with them. Quarantine is not nearly as bad as it sounds. Cabin cohorts that are quarantined will be able to enjoy many camp activities outside of their cabin — and they will simply be required to stay clear of all other staff and cabin cohorts. For example, a quarantined cabin would be scheduled for recreational swimming time at the waterfront when no other cabins or staff are present. All program areas and equipment will be cleaned and sanitized after every use.

Camp Refunds

Anyone dismissed from camp due to infection or exposure will receive a prorated refund.

Education & Communication

We will post signs around camp on personal hygiene and everyday preventative measures.

We will train our staff on the COVID Safety Plan, personal hygiene, and time-off expectations.

We will orient campers to the COVID Safety Plan and personal hygiene on the first day of camp.

We will report testing result statistics to public health officials and families.

We will report symptoms/exposure and isolation/quarantine to families.

We will ask families to self-report symptoms and exposures.

Summer Camp Staff

We anticipate all of our camp staff being fully vaccinated before campers arrive.

We are asking all staff to limit unnecessary contact with others outside of their households starting seven days before camp, including, but not limited to, sporting events, birthday parties, and family reunions.

All staff who are fully vaccinated are exempt from PCR screening tests seven days before camp.

All staff will be required to submit a pre-arrival self-screening for symptoms, risk factors, and exposures seven days before arrival.

All staff will receive screening questions and temperature checks upon arrival — and anyone who is symptomatic or exposed will be refused entry to Takodah.

All staff will quarantine together at camp during staff orientation.

All staff will have PCR screening tests on days 1 and 5 of staff orientation.

Staff will be required to follow all CDC, NH, and COVID Safety Plan guidelines during their time off.

Pre-Camp Guidelines

International campers will be required to attest to home quarantine for 10 days before camp – and that home quarantine can happen in their home country or in the USA.

All campers will be required to submit a pre-arrival self-screening for symptoms, risk factors, and exposures seven days before arrival.

All campers will be required to provide proof of pre-camp PCR screening test with a negative result within seven days of arrival.

Any vaccinated campers will be exempt from home quarantine and pre-arrival PCR tests, as long as their vaccination is approved by the CDC.

We are asking all campers to limit unnecessary contact with others outside of their households starting seven days before camp, including, but not limited to, sporting events, birthday parties, and family reunions.

Local Emergency Contact

All campers will be required to have a local emergency contact who is available for pick-up in case of COVID infection or exposure. We anticipate receiving PCR test results in the morning, and any infected or exposed camper will be required to depart camp by the end of that day.

Arrival and Check-In

We will continue to offer airport runs to/from Boston Logan Airport on Opening and Closing Days (all the same pre-arrival guidelines apply).

Each camper may only have one parent/guardian with them for drop-off to limit the number of people in camp at one time.

All families will receive a scheduled drop-off time (30-minute window) to limit the number of people in camp at one time.

Everyone will be required to practice face-masking social distancing while on camp premises.

Everyone will receive screening questions and temperature checks upon arrival — and anyone who is symptomatic or exposed will be refused entry to Takodah.

Parents/guardians will be able to drop off their campers at the front doors of their cabins with all of their personal belongings. After meeting their cabin leaders, parents/guardians must depart their cabins immediately. Cabin Leaders will help campers move into their cabins, make their beds, and store their personal belongings.

After leaving their campers at their cabins, parents/guardians may go to the Dining Hall to submit their medications.

Parents/guardians will not be able to shop at the Camp Store or make Camp Store deposits on Opening Days. Please add money to your Camp Store account via your Camp Brain account or by contacting Linda DuBois, our Office Manager, at linda@takodahymca.org or 603-352-0447.

Parents/guardians will not be able to wander around camp during check-in, and they will be required to leave immediately after completing the check-in process.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to have a Kona Snow Cone and Ice Cream truck this year because of the new COVID safety guidelines. Please make sure your camper eats lunch before arriving at camp, as their first meal will be dinner that day.

Local officials have prohibited line-ups on Fitzwilliam Road/119 and the camp lane for public safety reasons. Please plan your trip so that you arrive in Richmond no earlier than your scheduled 30-minute check-in time. You will not able to exit your car until your scheduled 30-minute check-in time, and so there is no reason to arrive early — and arriving early will create a less safe environment by increasing the number of people in camp at one time.

Face Masking, Social Distancing, & Personal Hygiene

Campers will be required to bring and wear reusable/washable cloth face masks whenever they are near anyone who is not in their cohort. We will use the same mask requirements as schools do (no bandanas, gaiters, or vented masks). We recommend packing three masks for a session of camp — and we ask that you label the masks with your camper’s name.

We will provide regular laundry service for all masks to ensure continuous cleanliness and hygiene.

We will sell masks in the Camp Store at our cost (probably around $3 per mask). 

Campers will be required to practice social distancing of six feet whenever they are near anyone who is not in their cabin cohort.

We will also require the following personal hygiene standards for everyone at camp:

  • Attending a COVID and Hygiene Orientation with our COVID Safety Officer
  • Practicing regular handwashing and sanitizing (70+% alcohol solution)
  • Using reusable/washable water bottles instead of water fountains (sanitizing wipes will be available at all spigots)
  • Teaching and requiring everyone to cover coughs and sneezes
  • Teaching and requiring everyone to avoid touching their eyes, nose, mouth, and face
  • Prohibiting everyone from sharing personal items
Cohorts, Cabins, & Sleeping

Each cabin group is considered a cohort and is comprised of two cabin leaders and 10 campers. Some cabins might also have a Leader-in-Training (LIT) who is a high school senior training to be a future cabin leader.

Face-masking and social distancing will not be required in cabin cohorts (inside or outside).

The cabins will have the same capacities as normal. We will space the bunks as much as possible and require sleeping head-to-foot to provide as much space as possible between campers while they are sleeping.

Campers will be assigned bunk beds and will be required to use the same bunk throughout their entire session.

Campers will not be allowed to share personal items.

We will be required to keep the cabin windows open at all times for proper ventilation. We are also installing additional windows in new North Camp cabins to create better airflow. 

We encourage all campers to bring warmer bedding for cooler nights when we will not be able to close the cabin windows.

Bathhouses (Twins)

Campers will be scheduled with their cabins for morning and bedtime bathroom times for taking showers and brushing teeth. Nobody who is not in their cabin cohort will be allowed in the bathhouses with them during these times.

Campers may use the bathhouses throughout the day by practicing face-masking and social distancing.

All of our toilets and showers have wood partitions that support social distancing. The trough-style sinks prevent the installation of partitions, and so campers will be required to practice face-masking and social distancing when they are in the bathhouses with people who are not in their cabin cohorts.

Dining

Campers will eat in one of our three dining locations with their cabin cohorts (Dining Hall, Dining Hall Terrace, and Dining Tent. Only one division will be in a particular dining location at a time. Divisions are made up of seven cabins of the same genders and age ranges. All of the tables in the dining locations will be placed to maximize space between cabin cohorts.

Everyone will be required to practice handwashing and sanitizing (70+% alcohol solution) before and after eating.

Campers will be required to practice face-masking and social distancing until everyone is seated at their assigned tables.

Breakfasts and dinners will be served family-style according to the following guidelines:

  • Cabin leaders will serve everyone food and drinks (no passing bowls or utensils)
  • The dining locations will not have breakfast, salad, soup, or sandwich bars
  • Prepared salads, sandwich kits, soups, and cereals will be available on each table
  • Each cabin will clear their dishes into a bus tub at their table, and then the kitchen staff will collect the bus tubs after everyone has departed the meal
  • Cabin leaders and kitchen staff will sanitize all surfaces after each meal service

The kitchen staff will prepare picnic-style boxed lunches. In nice weather, cabin cohorts will be encouraged to enjoy lunch somewhere in camp apart from other cabin cohorts. In poor weather, cabin cohorts will be able to eat their picnic in their assigned dining location (all of which will be covered to protect from the sun and weather).

Program & Activities

We anticipate that the camp program and activities will look different from Week 1 to Week 2 of each session. During the first week, we will be more cautious in limiting interactions between campers around camp while we are still creating a safe camp bubble. After the first week, everyone at camp will have had three negative PCR screening tests — and we can be reasonably sure that we have successfully created a safe camp bubble. That being said, campers will have a little more flexibility during the second week.

Week 1 Programming

  • Campers will attend classes within their divisions (70 campers)
  • Campers will still be able to choose their own classes; however, the class options will be more limited (focusing on the most popular classes)
  • Campers will attend evening programs and special events within their divisions
  • Campers will enjoy recreational swimming time in their cabin cohorts (with only other cabin cohorts from their division at the waterfront at the same time)

Week 2 Programming (after three negative PCR tests)

  • Campers will be able to attend classes with everyone in their camp (Boys Camp or Girls Camp)
  • Campers will be able to choose their own classes from the full array of classes at camp
  • Campers will still attend evening programs and special events within their divisions
  • Campers will still enjoy recreational swimming time in their cabin cohorts (with only other cabin cohorts from their division at the waterfront at the same time)

Activity Guidelines

  • All activities will require proper social distancing, face-masking, and personal hygiene
  • All activities will be conducted outside
  • Staff will sanitize program areas and equipment between uses
  • We have eliminated mandatory swim lessons for this year
  • We will avoid trips to populous places, avoid public interactions, and disinfect vans between uses
Visitors

Visitors are prohibited at camp this year because of the COVID safety guidelines.

Takodah can only permit visitors in true emergencies. If you have an emergency, you will be required to call the Camp Office to make arrangements.

Please note that families will be unable to drop off mail, forms, or packages at the Camp Office during camp sessions this year.

Please ask well-meaning friends and relatives to refrain from making unannounced visits to camp.

Mail & Care Packages

We are encouraging families to refrain from sending mail and care packages to camp this year to minimize the number of people coming and going from camp.

We recommend bringing all of your cards/letters and care packages with you to camp on Opening Day. You will simply need to write your camper’s name, cabin number, and delivery day on the package — and our office staff will deliver your package(s) to your camper on your desired days. Not only will this minimize the number of delivery drivers in camp, but it will also ensure that your camper receives packages exactly when you want them to.

Family and friends are also welcome to send campers one-way emails to campermail@camptakodah.org. Simply type your camper’s full name and cabin number in the subject line — and our office staff will print/deliver letters to campers after lunch every day. Since campers do not have computer access, they will not be able to respond by email.

Camp Store

Parents/guardians will not be able to shop at the Camp Store or make Camp Store deposits on Opening Days. Please add money to your Camp Store account via your Camp Brain account or by contacting Linda DuBois, our Office Manager, at linda@takodahymca.org or 603-352-0447.

We are currently investigating a way for parents/guardians to pre-order Camp Store merchandise that will be waiting for campers in their cabins when they arrive at camp.

Campers will also have the opportunity to use see Camp Store merchandise in the Dining Hall and use order forms to have the merchandise delivered to their cabins.

We will also schedule time for each cabin cohort to shop at the Camp Store when no other cohorts are present.

We will have an ice cream cart that will circulate around cabins during the rest hour right after lunch — and campers will be able to purchase ice cream using their Camp Store accounts.

Changeover Weekend

If your camper is registered for 2+ consecutive sessions, then they will be required to stay with us at camp during the weekend(s) between those sessions (called changeover weekends). If your camper is enrolled in consecutive sessions this summer, then you don’t need to do anything to register them for the changeover weekend(s).

Please note: The changeover program is only available to campers attending 2+ consecutive sessions. We’re not able to accommodate additional campers.

Parents/guardians are prohibited from visiting or picking up campers during changeover weekend this year. We will be happy to schedule phone calls, Zooms, FaceTimes, and/or Skypes so that you can talk to your camper during the changeover weekend if you like

The changeover program and activities will remain mostly the same except for prohibiting campers from taking field trips.

We will continue to offer laundry service to changeover campers through a local vendor. We will collect laundry from campers on Friday and then return it to them on Sunday. We will simply charge campers for the cost of the laundry (usually around $12). We will deduct the charge from their Camp Store account, and so please make that a consideration when depositing money for your camper.

Cabin Leaders will help campers move into their new cabins, make their beds, and store their personal belongings.