Revised 2020 In-Person Camp Policies

The world is a different place than it was three months ago.  While we at Hosmer Point draw on decades of experience keeping children safe at camp, no-one has experience running summer camp in the changing conditions we will face this summer.  Although we plan to closely follow the industry guidelines issued by the State of Vermont and the American Camp Association, the risks of participation this summer are significantly different than in years past.  In addition, the activities and format we will offer this summer will be different than our usual camps, and our interactions with each other will be governed by strict guidelines. There will be more required of families, both before and during camp.  What will stay the same is our incredible staff, our commitment to safety, and the feeling of “home” that we all have at HP.  We ask that all families realistically consider these factors before registering for camp this summer.


What Will Camp Look Like This Year?

This will be an entirely new camp program, designed to allow campers to experience favorite camp activities and important final year and LIT traditions.  There will be only 20 campers per session, with four to six campers per cabin.  Participants will be initially limited to CITs, LITS, and campers completing 9th grade.  If there are additional spaces remaining, campers completing 8th grade may enroll (we will have a lottery for the spots).  Because we are remodeling the Bay bath house, all campers will live in the Point.  There will be four counselors living in the cabin section who are part of the camper group.  Other staff will be on camp, in directorial roles and leading activities, however they will not have close contact with campers.  While a camp nurse will be on staff, they may not be on site full-time.  Because there will be fewer campers, the daily schedule will not look the same -- there will be more flexibility.  Campers will work together to decide what activities are available each day, and there will be more community projects to complete.  We will not offer all the same evening activities, and the team competition will be with two entirely new teams.  Our usual team comp traditions will be carried forward as part of the Hosmer at Home program.  Similarly, LIT and CIT leadership curriculum will be covered during Hosmer at Home, leaving time on camp for this new and different experience.  This summer will be an adventure that will never be repeated!


How Were These Protocols Developed?

The CDC, American Camp Association, and State of Vermont have all issued guidelines for camps. The HP Leadership Team has looked at all these guidelines.  We will be closely following the Vermont guidelines, and in most cases have chosen to follow the ACA guidelines when they are more conservative than those recommended by the State.  In addition, we are working closely with our supervising physicians and camp nurses, who strongly recommended we limit this year’s program to in-state campers rather than rely on testing (which has a high chance of providing false negatives).  All these guidelines are living documents, and our protocols will continue to be revised and expanded in the weeks before camp.


Out-of-State Campers

  • Only campers who are permanent or seasonal Vermont residents may register for camp this summer.

  • Campers returning to Vermont from other states or countries must follow Vermont state recommendations for quarantining after arrival (currently, you must quarantine for two weeks or for one week and then test negative).


Pre-camp Requirements

During the two weeks preceding camp, all campers and their households must adhere to the following conditions:

  • All campers must stay within the State of Vermont during the two weeks preceding camp.

  • During the two weeks leading up to camp, campers and their households will not visit or spend time with people who have arrived from other states or countries within the past two weeks.

  • Campers and their households must follow all State recommendations for Covid safety, including maintaining social distance when with non-household members, wearing masks in public spaces, frequent hand sanitation, and avoiding gatherings of more than 25 people.

  • Campers will maintain a daily record of their health and contacts.

  • Each camper and a parent or guardian must attend a virtual pre-camp safety orientation.

  • Any camper who has Covid-like symptoms, or who is exposed to the virus in the days leading up to camp, can not attend.  All tuition will be refunded.


Health Screening

  • Campers who have a pre-existing condition which might make them more susceptible to severe Covid-19 symptoms should not attend this summer.

  • All campers will need to provide a written clearance from their family doctor or pediatrician stating that they have discussed the camp program with the family and feel it is in the camper’s best interest to attend.  This clearance may be in the form of an email or written note - no exam is required.

  • Campers will be screened for symptoms via phone before camp, upon arrival, and daily at camp.  Campers must agree to truthfully describe the state of their health.

Health Safety Measures at Camp

  • Families will not be permitted to leave their car at drop-off and pick-up.  Families can ask questions and consult with the camp Nurse and Directors during pre-camp orientation or nurse check-in.

  • Campers will not have close contact with persons outside their group of 20 campers and 5 cabin counselors.  Staff additional to the 5 cabin counselors will stay at least 6’ away from persons in this group, wear masks when interacting with the group, and avoid sharing indoor spaces and equipment with them.

  • Social distancing will be the rule for all whenever practical.

  • All campers and staff will wear masks when indoors and when social distance cannot be maintained, except within cabin groups.

  • Campers will have assigned equipment for many activities, and will avoid touching other’s equipment, bunk space, or belongings.

  • Staff will follow the same pre-camp requirements as campers before and between sessions.

  • Campers, counselors, and other staff will all have daily cleaning and disinfecting responsibilities to ensure that equipment is cleaned between users and that frequently touched surfaces are cleaned multiple times per day.

  • There will be a gap of 72 hours between camp sessions.  During this time, high-touch and wipeable surfaces will be cleaned throughout camp.

  • All meals will be served family-style with assigned seating.


Covid-19 Symptoms at Camp

  • Any camper who presents with Covid-like symptoms while at camp will be isolated immediately.  Their family will need to pick them up that same day, as quickly as they can.  The family will then need to take the camper for testing, and relay test results to the camp Directors as soon as possible.  We will work with the family and our consulting physicians to arrange for testing.

  • Because of the short duration of the program, even if the camper tests negative,  they will not be able to return to camp.

  • The remaining campers will have activities within their cabin group only until the test results are received.

  • If a family learns the camper may have been exposed after they drop them off, they must notify the camp directors immediately.  We will work with the family and the State Health Department to plan what happens next.  Likely the camper will need to go home.

  • If a camper tests positive for the virus, all campers will be sent home.  They will need to be picked up that same day.  Tuition will be refunded on a prorated basis.

  • Because it is likely that a camper could have Covid-like symptoms while at camp, all families must have a written plan for quickly picking up their camper, obtaining testing, and isolating the camper at home.  A plan is particularly important if the camper’s parents or guardians will not be available while they are at camp.


Post Camp

  • Families should plan to monitor the camper’s heath for two weeks after they return from camp.  Hosmer Point should be notified immediately of any Covid-like symptoms.

  • We advise avoiding close contact with high-risk individuals during these weeks.  If there are high-risk individuals in your household, consider if the risk to that individual can be managed.


What Happens if Things Change?

So much has changed since three months ago, and we anticipate that this situation will continue to evolve in the weeks before camp.  It is possible that we may be able to relax some safety precautions, but it is also possible that the number of cases in Vermont will increase, and we will need to cancel the program altogether.  If this is the case, we will refund all tuition.