Summer 2021! Rockbrook’s 100th birthday! It’s hard not to be excited about the coming camp season, but at the same time to wonder what the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis will mean for camp. While there is some good news on the horizon as vaccines become increasingly available, we know the coronavirus will most likely still be a concern this summer, and our planning must include specific steps to maintain the health and safety of our entire camp community.
As we consider additional protocols and how we might modify our current procedures to address these concerns, we’re fortunate to have several sources of expert advice and guidance. Our national accrediting organization, the American Camp Association (ACA), has worked with the CDC and an expert panel of health professionals to publish a “Field Guide for Camps.” Written with input from State Health Departments across the country as well, including North Carolina, this is an ever-updating summary of information and best practices for camps. This Field Guide is excellent, and Rockbrook will use it extensively as we plan for the summer of 2021.
We realize too that the effects of the pandemic and the country’s response to it are still changing, and that therefore our plans must remain flexible as new information becomes clear. We hope you can be patient as we learn more and slowly crystalize the details of our plans. Most importantly, yes, we are actively planning to hold camp at Rockbrook this coming summer.
So how will camp be different in summer 2021? With all of the current health and safety concerns, recognized best practices and Covid-19 information for camps, and a degree of provisionality in mind, we do expect a few changes. For example, to minimize the risk of spreading any infection, we will wear masks when appropriate, change how we gather in large groups, how we schedule our activities, and how we eat our meals.
Here are a few other points of action we are considering in our plans:
- Utilize Covid-19 testing for all staff and campers, both as a pre-arrival screening and on-going assessment.
- Define cohort groupings: cabins as “families” and larger “neighborhoods.”
- Wear masks when appropriate (e.g. when within 6 feet of different cohorts).
- Eat meals mostly outside with greater outdoor, covered eating areas.
- Enhance our sanitation procedures and emphasize hand washing.
- Expand our on-site medical staff and Health Hut procedures.
- Alter our opening and closing day procedures to limit contact.
- Emphasize outdoor activity whenever possible.
- Limit exposure to “non-camp” population generally.
It is likely we will be able to offer most of our core programming for in-camp activities (including rock climbing, ziplining and hiking), as well as most off-site adventure trips.
Again, like us, we hope you will remain flexible as we work to create a safe camp environment. We’re committed to keeping everyone informed as we move toward that goal.
While camp will be different in some ways, we know there will still be the kind of authentic friendship, daily experience with nature, opportunities for creativity and adventure, and the kind of carefree fun the Rockbrook community always provides. More than ever, it seems, we all need camp, so we’re extremely excited about this coming summer at Rockbrook.
Thank you once again for your overwhelming support and encouragement over this past year. It’s been a real comfort to know our camp families love Rockbrook as we do, and a true joy to feel that camp spirit in anticipation of our next summer together.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions about next summer, give us a shout. We are always happy to hear from you!