COVID-19 precautions at Camp Blue Spruce
Based on our success running camp in 2021, we are optimistic about next summer. By implementing our Covid guidelines and paying close attention to the work being done by the Oregon Health Authority, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Camp Association, we had zero positive COVID cases and tons of fun. We are so grateful to our summer staff and all of our families who helped us have a safe and successful program during a difficult year!
For 2022, we intend to implement many of the same precautions we used in 2021. Like last year, all campers, staff, volunteers and visitors spending time at camp this summer will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including timely boosters as available. If you have questions about the vaccine, this article by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA/Kids with Food Allergies) provides some information.
Please see our blog post from 2021 that lists some of the other protocols we will follow in 2022. As we plan for camp, we will continue to monitor updates and adjust accordingly to keep our campers, staff, and families safe while providing an amazing experience at camp.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us!
The Power of Camp Blue Spruce!
I’ve always known that camp is important, but it’s never been more apparent than our 2021 session. I’ve been lucky enough to be a Blue Spruce counselor since 2016, and to get to work with so many different ages of campers. This year I was the CIT coordinator, and it’s hard to overstate the impact that this single week of camp had. The CITs are our oldest campers who are starting to transition to a leadership role at camp, and they absolutely exemplify the magic of our CBS community. Throughout the week they bonded with each other, started stepping up to lead songs and games, and became examples for younger campers of how to put the Camp Blue Spruce values into action. I got to watch them grow into a cohort of compassionate, motivated, and confident leaders. Not only did they support and encourage each other, they connected with younger campers and made them feel safe and included. This kind of growth is incredible to see, and is so special and unique to Blue Spruce. Beyond just a physical space free of allergens, it’s a community full of shared experience and understanding that fosters growth and confidence.
We are so excited to announce that we will be opening for one week of camp August 16 – 21! We cannot wait to see our friends and have a lot of fun outdoors. One of the takeaways for us from the past year has been the poignant reminder of how much camaraderie and the natural world enrich our lives. We look forward to the renewed opportunity to share both.
We are known as a camp that takes the health and safety of our campers very seriously. Our amazing medical staff is competent, and our health and safety protocols are kept at a high standard.
This year, we are faced with a new health and safety risk – the COVID-19 pandemic. Although COVID-19 poses additional hurdles, we believe that bringing our community together and giving kids a chance to reconnect with friends and just enjoy a week of camp, is worth the additional effort required from all of us.
Our resulting approach is designed to be layered and redundant, recognizing that while risk cannot be entirely eliminated, a diligent, multi-pronged approach is shown to be effective in minimizing risk from COVID-19. We recognize that our organization, our campers and their families each have a role to play in ensuring that Camp Blue Spruce can be safely enjoyed this summer.
We will continue to be guided by science and public health policy, including local, state and federal levels. Our foremost commitment is to the health and safety of our campers and staff, followed closely by our assessment of how best we can uphold the spirit of Camp Blue Spruce.
With this in mind, the board of directors has approved opening camp with the following protocols in place to reduce the risk of exposure and the possibility of a COVID infection spreading throughout the camp. Some of these are asking you and your family to make a commitment to the Blue Spruce community. Others are things that we, as an organization, will do to create as safe of an environment as possible.
CAMP BLUE SPRUCE DATES
August 16 – 21, 2021 — Although we originally planned to run two weeks of camp this year, we are finding that due to the pandemic, we are unable to secure enough staff for two weeks.
This year we will begin on a Monday instead of our normal Sunday opening to allow for additional cleaning and preparation between camper groups at Camp Tapawingo.
ON OUR PART
We are reducing the number of campers this year to better allow for physical distancing and related contingencies. Campers will be placed in stable (cabin) cohorts with no more than 12 other campers. Dining, sleeping and most activities will be done within the cabin cohort.
This year, we are accepting campers in grades 5 – 11.
All staff will be fully vaccinated by the start of camp. Staff will observe pre-camp quarantine and daily health screenings at camp. They will not travel outside of camp during the week.
We will not invite daily volunteers to participate in special programming this year.
We are working closely with Camp Tapawingo, who is arranging the camp site, so that all activities except sleeping will take place outside. They are increasing ventilation and providing air filters in all the cabins and offering hand washing stations throughout the site. Camp Tapawingo is in compliance with all local and state mandates, including sanitation throughout the day of all high-touch areas of camp and daily disinfecting in the bathrooms and indoor spaces. We will adopt these measures as well.
Camper Daily Check-Ins
We will do temperature checks for each camper upon arrival. Each day staff will conduct a wellness check with campers and other staff, which may include daily temperature checks. We will send out pre-screening information and resources to families.
Responding to A Positive COVID Case
If someone is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, Camp Blue Spruce will test that person using a rapid PCR test. If the test results are positive, that camper will be isolated, and the parents called to come pick up the child as soon as possible, ideally within 4 hours, but no longer than 6 hours later. Other campers in that pod will be tested and watched carefully. They will be restricted from interacting with the rest of the camp and may also be sent home.
Face Masks and General Mitigation
At this point in time, masking, physical-distancing and hand-washing/sanitizing will be required at all times in common buildings. Mask-less exceptions will include while sleeping, while dining, during water activities and during outdoor activities following the guidance of the Oregon Health Authority and the CDC. Camp Blue Spruce will have masks available in case campers lose the ones they bring from home.
As always, the food at Camp Blue Spruce will be delicious. This year, however, it will be a bit different than in the past. We are simplifying the menus to allow the kitchen staff to remain physically distant while they work. All meals will be plated for the campers and eaten outside. Cabin cohorts will remain together at all meals and be physically distanced from other stable cohorts. Our sponsors are stepping up to provide many pre-made treats to make it easier on the kitchen staff.
Deposit ($150) is non-refundable.
- Camp tuition minus the deposit is refundable before the final registration deadline.
- Camp tuition and deposit are not refundable after the final registration deadline.
The camp tuition less the non-refundable deposit may be refunded when there is a doctor’s written statement indicating illness or injury prior to the beginning of the camp session.
We will strive to provide all significant updates via our website and through direct contact with our camper families.
On Your Part
We are requiring all eligible campers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including the two weeks after their second dose, and submit copies of their vaccination cards to us by the time camp begins. At this time, all children 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Unvaccinated children under 12, barring widespread availability of authorized vaccines for this age group, must provide negative test results from a molecular-based COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the first night at camp.
We recognize that not all individuals are able to be vaccinated. For those 12 and older who are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons, we will require a documentation from a doctor explaining the medical exemption as well as negative results from a molecular-based COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.
We ask all families to self-isolate as much as possible for up to 14 days before. Every family will be informed about protocol and safety expectations before camp. Families will be responsible for answering COVID-screening questions before camp.
Traveling to Camp
Do NOT travel to camp if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, you test positive for COVID-19, or you are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. Do NOT travel with someone who is sick.
2021 drop-off will be at Camp Tapawingo. It will look different than our traditional drop-off. Expect to meet with nurses and our dietitian in advance of camp via email or over the phone.
If your child has COVID-19
If your child has a positive COVID-19 test between 1 and 21 days prior to arrival, we will work with you to refund your camp tuition. Verifiable proof of a positive test within the specified timetable must be presented.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 while at camp, your child will be isolated and you will be asked to pick them up from camp as soon as possible, ideally before 4 hours, but no longer than 6 hours later.
This year the packing list will include multiple masks among other things.
As always, and especially important this year, campers will be required to bring a well-marked refillable water bottle.