Operational and Health Gateways
With all of the challenges and uncertainty that surrounded the summers of 2021 and 2022, the CECBR community provided a healthy and terrific camp experience for our children and staff. As we prepare for camp, we will use what we learned from previous summers, along with the latest research and direction from our Medical Advisory Group, to inform our decisions for Summer 2023.
Guided by our values, directed by science, and as always, driven by passion, the CECBR team continues to carefully plan for a healthy, safe and extraordinary summer at Equinunk and Blue Ridge. In our preparations, we have identified numerous ‘Gateways’ that will lead us through another terrific 7-week summer at camp. We believe that your family’s summer planning will be most effective through understanding ours. In the coming months we will share additional gateways and provide further updates to the ones listed below – we will notify camp families when gateways have been added and which content has been updated. Our family is here for yours, and along with our team, we are always available to discuss any individual concerns you may have.
In strength and love,
Sheryl, Richie, Adam and the entire EBR Team.
Summer 2022 Gateways – Our Template for Summer 2023
Guiding Principles In Preparing For Summer 2023
- For over 35 years, our camp decisions have been grounded in health, safety and childcare. We respect the reality of this situation and our decisions will continue to be based on guidelines determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Camp Association and the EBR Medical Advisory Group.
- We will use the most up-to-date information available to make the best decisions possible, accepting some decisions such as Visiting Day protocols will be determined closer to the start of camp.
- Remain both optimistic and realistic in our decision-making process.
- Be transparent in our process and communications with families and staff.
- Work to understand the needs of our camp families and staff, supporting them in the best ways we can.
In planning for Summer 2023, our belief remains strong that our campers will not only have another incredible summer back home at CECBR, but that they can look forward to the return of many programmatic and operational normalities; including buses to camp, Visiting Day, inter-camp tournaments and off-campus day and overnight trips.
Last summer we asked our team and camp community to accept the many uncertainties that went with planning and running an overnight summer camp in the midst of a pandemic and that we would make the best decisions possible with the best information available at the time. While there are fewer uncertainties, our team has embraced an even greater acceptance of adaptability, knowing that with the emergence of variants and subsequent infection surges, we must continue to plan for a variety of possible scenarios and adapt quickly as needed. In setting expectations for this summer, we encourage our families and staff to embrace this idea as well. We cannot be more thankful for your partnership over the years, and especially during the last two, as our family and team make the best decision we can for our camp community.
We are beyond excited for CECBR 2023 and cannot wait to welcome your children home this summer.
In addition to the guidance that has been given by our full camp medical team, we are thankful for the continued work of our EBR Medical Advisory Group. Our five-person team includes 3 camp physicians whose COVID-19 experience has been through private practice, urgent care and hospital-based medicine respectively. We also welcome a public health specialist to the team; she is a hospital senior executive responsible for overseeing COVID-19 specific infection control protocols, testing procedures and vaccination management at one of New York’s leading medical and academic centers. In late winter of 2020 our Medical Advisory Group brought on Dr. Daniel Griffin, Professor of Infectious Disease at Columbia University and Chief of Infectious Disease for the ProHealth Medical Network. Dr. Griffin is also the President of Parasites Without Borders, and has become a key COVID-19 advisor to numerous industries in the Northeast. His insight and work supporting CECBR has been tremendous.
Along with our camp medical team of doctors, nurses and health center administrators, the EBR Medical Advisory Group is an invaluable resource of information and sounding board as we determine our health protocols and operation plan. They will once again offer continued guidance throughout the summer and work with us in real-time as key medical decisions are being made.
Camp has further increased our medical team staff numbers in both health centers for this summer, including additional nurses and assistant administrators. Our medical team will also be staffed with two physicians for the start of camp as we handle our regular camp healthcare needs and new testing regimen.
Every decision our team made in the early days of the pandemic through to the running of camp this past summer has been done with great consideration using the best information and experts available at the time, respecting the reality of the situation and communicating transparently. Our Medical Advisory Group has begun meeting to discuss COVID considerations for Summer 2023.
The focus of our Medical Advisory Group’s work this fall has been on camp’s vaccination policy. Recent data is overwhelmingly conclusive that having antibodies from either vaccination or prior infection is instrumental in preventing serious illness or hospitalization. In the Northeast, the percentage of children who have either had COVID or have been vaccinated is significantly higher now compared to when we determined our vaccination policy last spring. While camp is a relatively insulated environment, this past summer also reminded us the importance of interaction with the outside world including staff time-off, trips and hosting an in-person visiting day. Camp life, much like our own lives, must evolve and follow current medical guidance. Therefore, following the unanimous recommendation from our Medical Advisory Group, for the Summer of 2023 camp will no longer require a COVID vaccination for children to attend. We do anticipate at this point that approximately 1% of our campers will not be vaccinated, and therefore, they may require additional testing, quarantine and isolation protocols should they become exposed or infected. Our policy will continue to require that all staff members are vaccinated next summer given their level of exposure when off campus and the impact on the running of camp should they become infected and have to isolate. As the state of the pandemic evolves over the coming months, so too might our vaccination policy, and families will be notified of any changes.
We each have a responsibility to protect the health of the CECBR community this summer. Our behaviors and situational awareness during the week before camp opens will be one of the most important elements of risk that we can each control in protecting CECBR.
Campers and staff are highly encouraged not to travel internationally or domestically 10-days prior to the start of camp. For those families arriving to camp from overseas, their travel plans must be discussed with the CECBR Medical Team if their child’s arrival into the US is within this 10-day period.
Household COVID Infection
If a person in your household contracts COVID within 2-weeks of the start of camp, please contact camp to discuss additional testing measures, your child(ren)’s history of prior infection, booster status and any impact on their arrival date with our medical team.
Gatherings and Recreation
*** The dates listed below are based on a Sunday arrival. If arriving to camp on Saturday, please begin adhering to these measures 1 day earlier. ***
The CECBR Medical Team strongly encourages campers and their families avoid the following activities:
6-day lead-up to camp, beginning on Monday, June 20th – AVOID:
- attending indoor events including, movies, shows, professional sporting events, or similar performances
- indoor parties or gatherings with those outside one’s household
- indoor youth sports
- indoor restaurants
- indoor graduations without mask use
2-day lead-up to camp, beginning on Friday, June 24th – AVOID:
- any gatherings with those outside one’s household
- attending mass outdoor events including, shows, professional sporting events, or similar events where in close proximity to others
Campers who test positive for COVID-19 in the month of June may have lingering virus levels that can impact their pre-arrival and post-arrival antigen test. If your camper tests positive during this time, we ask that you secure a verified test result administered by a healthcare provider or test center and upload a copy in your MyEBR account under forms. A verified result will also be important information for our medical team to have available in the event your child has an exposure while at camp.
Pre-arrival COVID-19 testing will once again serve as an important component of this year’s health plan. As our medical team will be focussing on current infection and mitigating potential spread, our testing strategy will focus on a series of pre and post arrival antigen tests. The frequency of the testing is intended to pick up on an infection that may have been acquired in the immediate lead-up to camp:
Campers and Staff Members
- Day Before Arrival — receive an antigen test performed by a healthcare provider, pharmacy, testing center, or an eMed proctored at-home exam; the results must then be uploaded to VOW Health for verification and submission to camp. Test results must be submitted to VOW Health to be cleared for travel to camp.
- Arrival Day — antigen test will be administered upon arrival to camp
- Two Days After Arrival — a final antigen test will be administered
PC/US Trip Out West
- Senior campers returning from their week-long trip out west will be administered an antigen test on the morning of their arrival back at camp and the next morning before the start of Visiting Day. Additional testing and the length of time for initial meals to be outside, will be determined by our medical team upon their return to camp.
Camper or Staff Time Away From Campus
- Campers or staff who must leave campus and spend a night(s) out of camp will be subject to additional testing requirements including an antigen test prior to their return to camp, upon arrival and on the second day of their return.
Overnight Visitors To Camp
- Spouses, children or significant others of our leadership team, as well as outside entertainers or staff trainers, who may visit throughout the summer will be required to take an antigen test prior to their arrival to camp, upon arrival and on the second day of their stay if still on campus.
Campers can look forward to a return to coach bus travel to camp this year from our traditional departure areas. Use of a well-fitting mask will be required during travel. Departure locations and bus assignments will be emailed to families in June.
Isolation, Pick-up and Return to Camp – person with a CONFIRMED DIAGNOSIS of COVID-19
- Day 0 is considered to be the day a person first shows symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive, whichever is earlier
- Days 1-5 are to be spent at home in isolation, or in the isolation bunk at camp if the person is asymptomatic
- Days 6-7 campers are welcome back to camp to enjoy a modified program
- campers will partake in all outdoor activities unmasked with their group, participate in indoor activities while masked, have meals outdoors and sleep in a designated and supervised isolation bunk until their full return to the bunk on Day 8
CECBR will ask for campers to be picked up from camp to recover at home, just as we would for any other prolonged illness that a camper is experiencing. Camp will have dedicated isolation bunks on campus for those campers and staff who require air travel to return home and for those who cannot be picked up right away. If your summer plans include travel outside of the tri-state area, please ensure that you have a COVID-specific emergency contact who can pick your child up from camp and care for them until you return home.
Quarantine and Testing – person who has been EXPOSED to COVID-19
- applies to all campers and staff who live in a bunk together or in shared staff accommodations
- applies to co-workers of an infected staff member who work in close proximity or have had close contact with
- notification of campers’ parents
- 72 hours of symptom monitoring and quarantine
- antigen testing on Days 0 and 3
- symptom health checks with medical team on days 4 and 5
- additional antigen testing for co-workers on Day 1
- campers will participate in modified programming
- campers will partake in all outdoor activities unmasked with their group, participate in indoor activities while masked, not participate in inter-camp tournaments and have their meals outdoors
Air purifiers placed in activity, dining, offices and health centers last summer will remain in place for this summer. We have selected purifiers whose HEPA filters will remove ‘respiratory droplets’ from the air to significantly reduce the possibility of airborne transmission of pathogens. This is being augmented with UV-C germicidal technology in our health centers. All cabins will once again be outfitted with window ventilation systems.
Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation
These protocols reflect the latest recommendations from the CDC, American Camp Association and the PA Department of Health.
- Prior to staff arrival, all interior spaces in camp will receive an electrostatic spray delivery of Viaclean’s BioProtect long-lasting antiviral and antibacterial disinfectant (90-day life). The application of BioProtect will be repeated following the third week of camp.
- Cabins and all common indoor areas will be cleaned and sanitized weekly by an electrostatic spray delivery of EvaClean’s PURTABS disinfectant – approved for COVID-19 use – EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be located around campus, including all activity areas and buildings.
- Hand washing will be required before and after every meal and encouraged throughout the day.
- Kitchens, mess halls and any tented dining facilities will be disinfected with a peroxide-based disinfectant after every meal. Additional electrostatic disinfectant spraying will be done on a regular basis.
- Our housekeeping team will clean all cabin and facility bathrooms, common spaces, and high-touch surfaces a minimum of two times per day.
A well-fitting mask will be required for travel to camp. Any additional masks that may be needed during the summer will be provided by camp.
Refillable Water Bottles
We encourage each camper to bring 4 refillable water bottles (well labeled) with them to camp. While cups will be provided at facility water fountains, campers will be asked to use water fountains to fill their bottles, rather than drinking directly from the fountain.
In-person Visiting Day and Testing
- Campers and parents can look forward to the return of an in-person visiting day on Saturday, July 16th.
- A pre-arrival antigen test on Friday, July 15th, verified by VOW Health, will be required for all parents and siblings who are visiting. Details on specific testing requirements, and whether an at-home rapid test will be permissible, will be determined the week prior to Visiting Day.
- If there is a current COVID infection in your household, an alternative visit will be arranged with your child and you may select another family member to visit in your place on Visiting Day – please contact camp if this situation were to occur.
- For this summer, we ask that only immediate family members (parents and sibilings) of campers attend Visiting Day. In 2023, we look forward to welcoming back grandparents and extended family members to Visiting Day.
- We are currently planning for an outdoor Visiting Day experience. Parents and siblings will be asked to remain outside of all camper bunks and to use a facemask when entering campus buildings or bathrooms. Additional tents, shade sails and bathrooms will be set up throughout campus to help facilitate an enjoyable outdoor experience.
- Given the format this special day takes at camp, both in the mixing among alumni and interactions with current campers and staff, sadly, we have decided to postpone this annual gathering to a date in the fall. We will miss having our alumni visit on this special day but following the increased risk of exposure over Visiting Day, we feel better in avoiding additional large gatherings of visitors.
PC/US Parent Color War Visit
- In line with several factors that have influenced the Visiting Day decision, we are currently developing plans for only vaccinated parents of PCs and Upper Seniors to join us during Color War. Final protocols will be determined in July and PC/US parents should refer to their email for anticipated Color War dates.
New Camper Picnic
- Scheduled for Saturday, June 4th, we are so excited for an in-camp experience for our 2023 New Campers! The event will take place almost entirely outside and we look forward to welcoming all new campers to their new summer home. Please bring a mask for use when viewing a bunk or using the restroom.
Siblings Rookie Day
- Sibling Rookies are welcome to join us on the afternoon through early evening of Friday, July 15th for their own special rookie experience. Please make sure to contact the EBR Team to schedule your Rookie’s visit.
Prospective Camper Rookie Tours
- Rookie Tours will continue this summer with masking protocols when viewing indoor spaces.
Campers Leaving Campus
- We anticipate there will be times campers must leave campus for a medical appointment or family emergency. Additionally this summer we will permit campers to leave campus for athletic tournaments at home. Upon returning to camp a testing and re-entry protocol will be implemented as stated above. Though this decision is based on current community health information, permission to leave campus may be paused should community or campus health conditions change.
Staff Leaving Campus and Time-Off
- With a 7-week camp season and 1-2 weeks of orientation, quality time off is essential in ensuring staff are well rested and at their best. Therefore, camp will permit staff members to leave campus in their own vehicles for time-off in addition to camp-sponsored transportation and activities.
Day Trips and Overnight Trips
- All age groups can look forward to the return of their 1-day amusement park trips. Campers entering 9th, 10th, and 11th grade will experience a variety of terrific overnight trips that have been planned.
- While our in-camp ‘leagues’ and instruction are the cornerstones of our athletics program, we know the excitement and pride playing in an inter-camp game brings to campers. Our campers attend travel tournaments at camps run by some of our closest friends and most respected Directors in the industry. We know that when at a tournament our children are under our care and warmly welcomed by the other camp. CECBR, at this point in time, will be participating in the Wayne County Camp Alliance tournament league and have already begun registering for tournaments and inviting other camps to participate in this year’s CECBR Marquee Tournaments. CECBR will only be participating in, and hosting, events that are entirely outdoors. Furthermore, camp directors within the Wayne County Camp Alliance will be in constant communication with one another on the COVID infection status of their respective camps and withdraw from tournaments as needed.