Camp Deerhorn Covid-19 Guidebook

 

Why does Deerhorn need this guide?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Deerhorn is preparing to make some small changes to our typical summer plans. The summer camp industry has been, and always will be, ready to change to better fit our campers and families. This guidebook explains some of those changes and new traditions we would like to use to keep our campers and families safe, as well as having another amazing Camp Deerhorn summer!

Like many other things right now, the data and science about Covid-19 is constantly changing. If the science and data suggest that we change to make something safer, we will act accordingly with the guidance of local health agencies, the CDC, the FDA, and the ACA. This guidebook is a working document, and will be updated often as we get closer to the summer. This year has taught us to be flexible, so everything is subject to change based on current guidance.

We are preparing to be as ready as possible when Covid-19 enters camp. We know that it is not possible to eliminate all risk of Covid-19. When we change the words “if the virus comes into camp” to “when the virus comes into camp,” it allows us to be as prepared as possible to keep everyone safe and happy.

The Swiss Cheese Approach

The Swiss Cheese Approach looks at your camp’s response and actions towards Covid-19 as a block of Swiss cheese. This approach was developed by other summer camps who are also changing their actions to make their camps as safe as possible during the ongoing pandemic. Every slice of Swiss cheese has holes. By using multiple prevention tactics together, we have a better chance of keeping the virus out of camp and reducing the risk of it spreading at camp. In other words, more prevention measures mean more ways to cover up those holes in the Swiss cheese. Wearing masks helps reduce the risk of Covid-19, but alone is not enough. Wearing masks, washing hands, frequent testing, social distancing, vaccinations, limiting time indoors, and avoiding large gatherings and indoor events before arriving at camp can, all together, greatly reduce the risk of exposure and spread of Covid-19. By using the Swiss cheese approach, we are giving ourselves the greatest chance of having an amazing summer!

 

Camp Deerhorn Covid-19 Policies and Procedures

 

What should I do before I come to camp?

Deerhorn is asking everyone who is going to be attending camp this summer to arrive with proof of a negative viral Covid-19 test that is dated within 72 hours before arrival, or documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 within the 3 months prior to your session. Please provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccination if you have received it. This will be our initial step to reduce risks.

Ideally, we are hoping everyone will minimize activity and gatherings for 14 days prior to arrival at camp. Taking your temperature,  and documenting where you’ve been and who you’ve been with can help reduce your risk of exposure.

For the 14 days prior to arrival at camp, we ask you to take the following into consideration to help Deerhorn be as successful as possible this summer. Please wear a mask when you are around individuals you don’t live with and whenever you are inside a building other than your home. Try to avoid going to inside dining restaurants and/or bars; curbside pickup is a great alternative. Wash your hands as much as possible or use hand sanitizer when hand washing is unavailable. The more you can social distance or stay away from individuals outside of your own home, the better. Finally, taking your temperature for the last few days before camp will help to make sure you are free of symptoms prior to arrival.  Your actions prior to your camp session can help make Deerhorn safer for everyone!

Summary

  • You’ll need a negative viral Covid-19 test dated within 72 hours of arrival or documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 within the last 3 months.
  • Provide documentation of receiving the vaccination if applicable.
  • Minimized activity and gatherings prior to arrival is not required but highly recommended

 

What does traveling to camp look like this year? 

Options for traveling to camp this year remain the same… bus, drive, or fly. If you choose to fly, please follow all CDC safety guidelines that are established for air travel. Masks should be worn the entire time you are traveling by plane. Temperatures will be taken when the individual/s are picked up from the airport. If you choose to drive, please only have your direct family members in the car with the camper/s. Limit the amount of times you stop along the drive to camp and please wear your facial mask when leaving the car. When you arrive via car at camp, we will ask you to arrive at an individualized time. The individuals attending camp will be subject to temperature checks before leaving the vehicles. Everyone must remain in the vehicle other than the camper/s and/or fathers who will be attending camp. Bathrooms will not be available for individuals not attending camp. This will limit the risk of Covid-19 entering camp. The bus will be slightly different this year. We will be asking everyone to arrive at the bus in Chicago at an individualized time. Temperatures will be taken prior to boarding the bus. This will help prevent groups of people from forming when the buses are preparing to take off. Please do not drop off baggage at the bus if you are driving or flying to camp. If you need help with getting baggage up to camp, there are several companies in the Chicago area that can assist you. Lunches will need to be packed for campers traveling on the bus. Please remember, no nuts or peanut butter is allowed. Please only send enough food for the bus trip lunch. A reminder that food is not allowed to be brought into camp. Campers must also wear a facial mask the entire duration of the trip on the bus with exceptions for eating or drinking.

Regardless of type of travel, all individuals attending camp must present a negative Covid-19 test that is dated within 72 hours of arrival or documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 within the last 3 months. Individuals that test positive for Covid-19, present with a fever of 100 degrees F or higher, do not provide the correct documentation needed (Covid-19 test or proof of recovery), and/or those who have been exposed to Covid-19 within the last 14 days will be denied from attending camp.

Summary

  • Flying to camp: follow all CDC air travel recommendations
  • Driving to camp: arrive at your slotted time, everyone other than camper/s and/or fathers attending camp may not exit the vehicle, limit stops along the drive to camp, and travel with your direct family members only (no one out of your home bubble)
  • Taking the bus to camp: arrive at your slotted time, only drop off baggage for camper/staff riding the bus during the current session, pack your own lunch for the bus ride (no nut products allowed), campers/staff must wear a mask for the duration of the bus ride
  • Arrival at camp will be denied if you do not provide us with a negative Covid-19 test or recovery documentation, and/or the camper/staff member/father is presenting signs of illness
  • Temperatures will be taken prior to arrival at camp

 

What is going to be different at Deerhorn?

Camp Deerhorn will do everything possible to ensure every camper the most normal camp experience we can safely provide. Overall, Deerhorn won’t look much different. However, you will notice small changes we will be implementing with our Swiss cheese approach to make camp as safe as possible. These changes listed below are always subject to change.

In-Camp Testing

Covid-19 rapid testing will be implemented during the campers stay at Camp Deerhorn. These tests will be used to ensure that Covid-19 has not entered the camp and to screen individuals that begin to show signs of illness. With these tests, we will be able to identify and isolate anyone who is infected and/or was exposed to Covid-19. The tests given during camp will be billed directly to the guardians of the camper being tested. Camp Deerhorn’s rapid testing plan, including number of tests given per individual and timing of the testing, is subject to change and will be updated closer to camp.

 Mask Wearing Policy

Camp Deerhorn will be implementing a mask policy as one of our tactics of protection within our Swiss cheese approach. Everyone on Camp Deerhorn property must be wearing a facial covering whenever inside a building. The buildings include, but are not limited to, the lodge, the hall, the office, the bathhouses and forts, the store, and the craft shop. Individuals will not be required to wear a mask when eating and drinking, or when in your koogee. Mask rules may vary depending on the building. Masks must also be worn around individuals at camp outside your koogee and activity group if 6 feet or more distance cannot be maintained. This may change due to number of individuals at camp and/or the timeframe of a given session. If an individual does contract Covid-19, Camp Deerhorn will be implementing a stricter mask wearing policy until contact tracing is completed. Campers will be required to bring their own masks labeled with their names. Type and number of masks will be communicated later.

Cleaning, Handwashing, and Sanitization Procedures 

Camp Deerhorn will be making changes to our normal cleaning and sanitation schedule. Bathrooms (including forts, bathhouses, and the privy) will be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily. The date and times of cleaning will be clearly posted inside the bathroom facilities. There will be a maximum number of people allowed inside each of the bathrooms. The kitchen will have a modified cleaning/sanitizing schedule to ensure effective cleaning practices within the kitchen and dining spaces. Activity areas and equipment will be sanitized between groups. Koogees will be sanitized before each session with an isometric static sprayer and frequently touched surfaces inside the koogee will be wiped down with disinfectant. Koogee inspection will be very important this year.

We are asking all Deerhorn campers, fathers, and staff to wash their hands regularly. Hands must be washed after using the bathroom and before meal times. Washing hands throughout the day is another tactic added to our Swiss cheese approach. Hand sanitizer will be available at all activities and meals.  Each camper is asked to bring a bottle of hand sanitizer to camp.

Meals Indoors

Meals at camp will look slightly different this year. We have luckily obtained 15 new tables thanks to some generous Deerhorn families. These 15 tables can be separated into half tables. We plan on spreading these 30 half tables throughout the old and new dining rooms as well as placing some in the main part of the lodge. Also, there will be a tent or porch with tables for dining located outside close to the lodge. During camper-only sessions, campers will be assigned a table with their koogee or their activity group. During Father Son sessions, each koogee will be assigned a place to sit in the lodge or tent/porch during meal times. This will help us if we need to contact trace. All individuals attending meals will be subject to temperature checks outside the entrances of the lodge. Temperature checks are subject to change.

The Deerhorn meal process will also look slightly different this summer. Instead of people going to the service kitchen window to refill platters of food, our hard working ACs will be assigned to retrieve the empty tray/container, refill it from other ACs located at the service window, and return to the table with the food. This plan will reduce movement within the lodge and help with social distancing. We will be asking the staff member or one father to serve the table with the provided serving utensils. Having only one person touching the serving utensils will help reduce the spread of germs.

Improved indoor ventilation is proven to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. To help with this, the lodge windows will be open to allow air flow and increase ventilation inside.  The lodge fans will also be running during meal times. Announcements will be held outdoors to shorten mealtimes. When funds allow, new fans will be added to the dining rooms and a screened-in porch will be added to the lodge for open-air, mosquito-free, dining. The addition of a tent with portable tables and chairs will also provide us with some outdoor dining options.

Water

Water fountains will still be available around camp, but will only be used for filling water bottles. The fountains will be sanitized each day. Campers and fathers are asked to bring their own water bottle with their name visible on it.

Inside the Koogees

Koogees will be cleaned prior to move in and between each session. This cleaning includes an isometric static spray of the entire cabin and sanitation of all surfaces such as dressers, mattresses, and door handles. We plan on having a smaller number of campers in each koogee in comparison to previous summers, which allows beds to be spread out more. We will also implement head to toe sleeping with campers sharing a bunkbed to reduce risk of exposure. Campers who share a koogee will also share an activity group, limiting exposure to more campers.

Father Son Camp

During Father Son Camp, families may opt out of sleeping in a koogee. If they choose to do this, they must bring their own camping gear, including their own tent and bedding. Places will be marked around koogee row where these tents will be allowed to be placed and a group will be assigned a location if they choose to do so.  Prior notification of intent to camp is required. Deerhorn is not able to accommodate RVs during Father Son camp. Families must stay on camp property in a koogee or a tent.

We are strongly suggesting that fathers get the Covid vaccine, if possible, before attending Deerhorn. Once families arrive at Deerhorn, they should plan to stay at Deerhorn for the duration of camp. For more info on other Covid policies, including bathhouses and dining, please see those sections of the Guidebook.

Daily Schedule

Camp Deerhorn’s daily schedule during the camper-only sessions will remain mostly the same. We will continue to provide 12 activities with campers attending 6 per day. Each activity will be arranged to ensure adequate distancing between individuals, and equipment will be cleaned and sanitized between each group. This cleaning will take place during the 10 minutes allotted between each activity period. During riflery, campers will be asked to wear masks while on the range due to limited spacing. At the beginning of each session, counselors will explain any changes that may take place at each activity to ensure ultimate safety. Deerhorn hockey has been cancelled for summer 2021 to limit out-of- camp exposure.

The Father Son schedule will also mostly look the same as past years. Activities may be opened at different times throughout the day to ensure proper spacing between people. Masks will also be required while attending riflery.

Camp Deerhorn’s schedule is always subject to change.

 

Shower Time / Bathhouse Use

We will be asking everyone inside the bathroom facilities to wear a mask when applicable. Everyone must wash their hands before exiting the facility. During camper-only sessions, shower time slots will be implemented to decrease the chance of groups of people forming.

Waterfront Activities/General Swim

Campers and staff should follow social distancing and proper hand hygiene practices prior to/following using any small crafts (canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, etc.) All shared use equipment (paddles, lifejackets, boats, fishing poles) will be cleaned and disinfected before AND after each use. All life jackets will be sprayed with disinfectant or soaked in a bucket of soap solution. More than one activity group may be on the waterfront at a time, but will be required to be socially distant in separate areas.

Trips

All out of camp trips, including, but not limited to changeovers, waterpark trips, and the Lake Superior trip have been canceled for the summer of 2021. Cancelling these trips will limit the amount of out-of-camp exposure for Deerhorn campers. Pathfinder, Voyager, and Pioneer are all still on the schedule and we are working on all the details to ensure the safest trips possible.

Evening Activities, Team Comp, and Sunday Events

All of our evening activities, team competition, and Sunday events will still happen in 2021. However, they will be adjusted as necessary based on social distancing, masking, and guidelines.

Words of Wisdom

During camper-only sessions, Words of Wisdom will still be happening every Sunday morning before lunch. The only changes is that the location will be somewhere outside and campers will be spaced out appropriately.

 Campfires

We will continue to hold Sunday night campfires and Father Son campfires. Cabins and/or activity groups will sit together, but spread out to provide at least 6 feet of space between each group. Entertainers will be spaced appropriately to maintain proper distance even if singing.

Camp Vehicles

Camp vehicles will only be driven by assigned, qualified staff members. Facial masks must be worn when inside the vehicle. Each vehicle will be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly between each use.

 Visitors

Due to the ongoing pandemic, visitors will not be allowed on camp property this summer. This includes, but is not limited to, tours, alumni, and guardians of attending campers. This will limit the amount of exposure to our attendants. Any contractors or out of camp service providers who must enter camp (maintenance, food deliveries, etc.) will be required to social distance, wear a mask at all times, and stay as far away from attendees as possible. Mail deliveries will be non-contact and the driver will be asked to wear a mask.

Infirmary

During the summer of 2020, Camp Deerhorn finished an addition to our existing infirmary building. We will be using the added space as isolation area for any individuals who become sick with Covid-19 and/or are showing signs of illness. The isolated individuals will have their own bathroom. If someone at camp becomes infected with Covid-19, we are asking that their guardians come pick them up from camp to take them home within 24 hours of notice or 48 hours if farther than 400 miles. If this is not possible, we ask that you do not attend Deerhorn this summer. When a positive case is detected at camp, all attending campers’ families will be notified.

We will be asking individuals to stay out of the infirmary building unless completely necessary. Campers can receive medical attention at activity locations, the office, and/or by a mobile health unit.

*** Remember: Campers testing positive for Covid-19 while at camp will need to be picked up within 24 hours, or 48 hours if over 400 miles away.

 

What about when camp is over?

On the last evening of each session, both Father Son and camper-only, we typically have an awards dinner. This summer they will be adjusted appropriately to follow all guidelines. During camper-only sessions, campers riding the bus home will be asked to stay in their koogees until a staff members tells them it is their turn to load the bus. Masks will again be required on the bus. If a camper is being picked up by car, parents will be assigned a time to arrive at camp to ensure no groups of people are formed. Again, individuals within the car picking up their camper/s will be asked to remain within the vehicles the entire time. No bathrooms will be available to non-attendees.  Please stop, stretch, and use the restroom prior to arriving at Deerhorn.

When returning home, be aware that you may transfer any germs you may have picked up at camp and/or traveling home to those with whom you live. We recommend you be extra careful for the 14 days after camp.

  

A message to our Deerhorn Family…

The Broadbridge family is so thankful for all our supportive camp families during these past 2 crazy years. Thank you for reading this guidebook and understanding why these changes must be made to our program.  Thank you for trusting us with your loved ones.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss, you can reach us at 800-713-3130 or deerhorn@deerhorn.com. We can’t wait to see you this summer!