Learn about our COVID-19 protocols for Summer 2021 — Learn More

COVID-19

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We are counting down the days until camp! Still, we understand that Summer 2021 is not a typical summer. While we passionately believe camp is needed for kids this summer more than ever before, we appreciate that sending your child to overnight camp in these unusual times raises different questions, and running a camp in a pandemic requires a new set of realities at camp. We want you to know we take this responsibility very seriously, and we encourage you to reach out as many times as you’d like to talk through your questions. While COVID-19 has led us to redefine what ‘normal’ looks like, we are confident 2021 is going to be our most amazing summer yet!

The safety and well-being of our staff and campers is our top priority. We are committed to communicating with you with transparency and honesty leading up to and throughout the summer. To ensure a safe and fun camp experience, we set our policies and protocols in accordance with guidelines set by the American Camp Association, the State of Maine Health Department, the Center for Disease Control, and a number of public health and medical experts working specifically with overnight camps to provide training and guidance. We are constantly monitoring updates from the medical community, and we will be modifying and adjusting our protocols as the science evolves. Our goal is for camp to feel as normal as possible for as much of the session as possible.

We know the world feels scary and overwhelming right now. That’s why our goal is to help kids feel as secure and care-free as possible while they’re with us at Camp Kingswood. Check out some of our more frequently asked COVID-19 related questions below.

FAQs

What will life be like in the bunks?

Totally normal! At Camp Kingswood we have large, airy, open cabins with big screen-only windows with lots of ventilation. Even so, as an extra precaution, no bunk will have more than 12 campers. Campers will never need to be masked in their bunks, and they will not be expected to sleep in masks.

Will campers need to wear masks?

Everyone will be required to wear masks at the beginning of the session, except when eating, in the water, or in their bunk. We will phase out of masks as quickly as we can, using a phased-out approach. We aim to use masks less and less as we complete camp-wide PCR tests.

We hear campers will be in pods – what does this mean?

Like at many schools, we plan to use ‘pods’ to create smaller groupings of campers as a way to mitigate risk and limit exposure. Each bunk will be their own ‘household,’ and our intention is for households of the same grade to be a pod. We’ll know more about these protocols as we approach the summer.

Will there be any changes to activities?

All camp activities will be running in 2021 – what will change is the way campers go to activities. While typically campers have a combination of bunk activities and choice activities every day, it’s likely this summer that campers will have more bunk activities at the beginning of the session and more choice later in the session, so campers can be in activities with their pod at the beginning, and then in mixed groups once we can mingle beyond our smaller groupings.

How will we do Shabbat, Color War, the Camp Play, and other camp-wide events?

We’re getting creative with how we gather, knowing that these all-camp moments are so important to our summer experience. We’ll be doing lots of programming outside, and we’re even creating an outside tented dining space so we can move our meals lakeside! While our infamous Ruach song sessions may not be able to happen this year all squished together and sweaty in the Old Rec, we will be singing and stomping our hearts out outside! We’ll be reworking our session schedule so many of our long-standing traditions and events will be in the second half of the sessions, after we’ve cleared our testing landmarks and can be all together.

Is camp going to operate as a closed campus?

Yes, Camp Kingswood will be a closed campus this summer. We will not be hosting Visiting Day, Summer Tours, or any summer visitors while campers are in camp. We call this a ‘soft bubble,’ because we will have a small number of maintenance staff and other support personnel who don’t work directly with campers coming and going (those individuals would only ever be around campers outside and masked). At this time, our summer staff have been hired knowing they will not be permitted to leave campus for the duration of their time at camp, and it’s a testament to our amazing staff that not a single one dropped out because of it. Like our campers, they all just want to be at camp!

What changes have been made to the Health Center to account for COVID-19?

We are renovating and updating our Health Center to create additional isolation spaces and to ensure a smooth flow of regular day-to-day camper health needs. We will have two extra staff working in the Health Center all summer.

My camper is usually fine away from home, but what if they are feeling nervous or anxious because of COVID-19?

We anticipate campers (and staff!) will arrive at camp this summer with more anxiety and jitters than usual, and we will be ready. We typically have two Camper Care mental health professionals on staff, but this year we will have three therapists/social workers on our team, all of whom work year-round with children, teens, and young adults.

How will COVID-19 testing work?

Testing is one really important way to limit exposure and mitigate risk at camp. As we move closer to the summer, we’ll communicate specifics about our testing protocols, as they are likely to change as test availability and options evolve. Our current protocols include a proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, a test on arrival day, a PCR test on day 4, and testing on a set schedule throughout the session. Symptomatic campers or staff will receive a PCR test, as will anyone they’ve been in contact with throughout the past week.

Will we need to do anything special prior to arrival?

All campers and staff will be asked to limit exposure prior to arrival, and to not create new exposure risks. We may use an app like many schools are using, to assist parents with the process of a daily check-in, in the days leading up to camp. Every camper will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test prior to arrival. More details will be provided prior to camp.

Will campers be leaving for trips?

We will not take campers on any trips this summer to public places like water parks or baseball games. We do plan on making full use of our gorgeous Maine surroundings, and our older campers will have the opportunity to leave camp in small groups for adventure trips like hiking and rafting that will not expose our campers to anyone outside our camp bubble.

What if my session is canceled due to COVID-19?

We’re doing everything in our power to create the safest possible summer experience for your children. The State of Maine allowed overnight camps to run in 2020, and we have received every assurance that camp in Maine is a go in 2021! That said, COVID-19 has thrown many curve balls over the last year. In the event that your child’s session at Camp Kingswood is cancelled, you will be provided with a variety of options, including a full refund.

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Still have questions?

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