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2021 Operational and Health Gateways

We all cannot wait to be back Home@EBR for Summer 2021. 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 many more 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. We intend to make monthly updates to this page and post additional camp preparations and COVID-19 specific information here. 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.

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles In Preparing For Summer 2021

  • 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 much of this information will not be available until late spring and therefore will not rush into making any premature decisions.
  • 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.
Outlook on Summer 2021

Our family and leadership team are excited for this summer. The efforts to prepare and run camp this summer will be extraordinary, and we have just the right people to do it. There may be programmatic and operational modifications to this summer. Our goal is to seamlessly integrate these modifications in a way to make camp feel just as familiar and wonderful as it has always been. With that said, we all must keep an open mind and respect the circumstances of our world in our adaptation to running and attending camp in a COVID-19 era.

Decision Time Frames

posted: 1/28/21

Many of the key decisions effecting the operations of camp will be made this spring. This is due to the importance of our team needing to know the community infection rates, both in our campers' home communities and Wayne County, in April and May to best predict what those infection rates may be in June and July. Furthermore, through our communications at the county, state and federal levels, we are pleased to learn that the PA Department of Health will be taking a more active role in guiding camps this summer and will be providing that guidance at a yet to be determined date this spring. We, like you, would always prefer decisions are made with as much advance notice as possible, therefore we will do our best to set a reasonable time-frame for when specific gateways will be determined and will articulate in the sections below.

Medical Advisory Group

posted: 1/28/21

In addition to the guidance that has been given by our larger camp medical team beginning last year, we are thankful to those who have joined the EBR Medical Advisory Group. Consisting of 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. Along with our camp medical team of doctors, nurses and health center administrators, the EBR Medical Advisory Group will be an invaluable resource of information and internal sounding board as we determine our health protocols and operation plan for this summer.

Expanded Medical Team

posted: 1/28/21

Camp has 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 first week of camp as we handle our regular camp healthcare needs and new testing regimen.

Testing

updated: 2/25/21

Accurate and frequent COVID-19 testing, we believe, will be elemental in running a healthy camp this summer, both in the lead up to opening day and throughout the summer. This will be in addition to the development of symptom check and likely temperature check protocols. At this point in time, camp is developing testing protocols and pleased to share we have contracted with several companies to provide the following:

  • pre-arrival day PCR test on Thursday, June 24th (and for Florida campers on Wednesday, June 23rd)
  • arrival day PCR test on Sunday, June, 27th (and for Florida campers on Saturday, June 26th)
  • post-arrival PCR test to be administered following an initial in-camp quarantine period on Thursday, July 1st
  • point-of-care Rapid Antigen testing at both CE and CBR health centers
    • CECBR has become a FDA certified CLIA-Waived Clinical Laboratory
    • camp has already purchased antigen testing equipment that is currently available and this equipment will be upgraded should new antigen testing procedures and equipment become available closer to the start of camp
  • in-camp specimen collection for PCR testing at local laboratory as needed
  • periodic surveillance PCR testing as determined by our Medical Advisory Group
Vaccinations

updated: 2/25/21

While all previously required vaccination must remain current, including MMR, to attend camp, our Medical Advisory Group will not be making a decision on the requirement for camper or staff COVID-19 vaccination until early spring. However, in ongoing conversations regarding the vaccine's new introduction, yet to be determined pediatric trials and uncertainty on availability, we do not anticipate a COVID-19 vaccination being required to attend camp this summer for children or adults. However, camp is strongly and actively encouraging all adult staff who have access to the vaccine to be inoculated with both doses prior to their arrival. CECBR is currently working with the Pennsylvania Camp Association to educate our lawmakers and the PA Dept. of Health on the importance of including camp staff in the 'essential worker' category and to make them eligible for vaccination prior to the start of camp.

Sanitation and Enhanced Facility Cleaning

posted: 1/28/21

The following protocols were developed last summer and implemented for our Home@EBR experience. These protocols will be expanded upon closer to the opening of camp to ensure they 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 after every meal.
  • Our housekeeping team will clean all cabin and facility bathrooms, common spaces, and high-touch surfaces throughout the day.
Camper Travel

posted: 1/28/21

While our annual camp planning already has coach buses booked for camper travel to and from camp this summer, and camper buses remains a possibility, we are strongly considering a camper drop-off approach to opening day this year for campers living in the tristate area. Campers traveling from Florida on the camp chaperoned flight, or other areas that require air travel, should plan to arrive on Saturday, June 26th and to anticipate additional and frequent testing at the start of camp. We are targeting mid-April to finalize this plan.

Phasing At Camp: Quarantine, Mask Use, Cohorts, Mixed Group and Co-Ed Activities

posted: 1/28/21

Though this plan will be shared in detail prior to the start of camp, we would like to briefly share the idea of 'phasing' at the start of camp. To be determined by community infection rates, testing results and any guidelines set forth by the CDC and PA Dept. of Health, we anticipate the implementation of 'phases' that will outline the degree of health measures to which campers and staff must follow.

Upon arrival, for both staff during orientation and campers on opening day, camp will be implementing the highest level of health measures to prevent the possible spread of illness. This highest level will likely be implemented for the first few days of camp until post-arrival PCR test results are returned. These measures may include: daily wellness screenings and temperature checks, activities being programmed by bunk or bungalow to establish a small group quarantine, delaying mixed-group or co-ed activities, indoor activities being held outside, mask use when inside non-bunk communal buildings, and outdoor dining and activity areas, for which camp has already secured several tents.

Camp will then progress through additional phases bringing camp to our full 'one camp, one family' program and routine - including our frequent co-ed activities. Should camp need to remain, or return to, a higher phase level, special arrangements will be made for brothers and sisters to still visit with one another in an outdoor, socially distant and safe manner.

Controlled Campus - Visiting Campus: Visiting Day, Alumni Day, PC/US Parents, New Camper Picnic, Siblings and Tours

posted: 1/28/21

Though we remain optimistic that in 6 month's time, the world, and certainly our local communities, will experience to a large degree a ‘return to normalcy' led by low community infection rates, it is simply too early for our team to make several important decisions relating to our ‘controlled campus' this summer. While at this point we believe some decisions can comfortably be made, for others, we remind ourselves that only time will allow the information we need to make the best informed decisions possible. Therefore we anticipate running a 'controlled campus' this summer that, though will lean towards limiting contact with the outside world, the interactions that we do have will be carefully thought through and planned.

Visiting Day

  • Currently Visiting Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 17th. Though we would love to share this exciting day in its traditional fashion, at this point in time, we believe it is unlikely we could gather all together at one time. Our team is considering other ways, in-person and virtually, for you to visit with your child(ren). If we cannot hold our 1 large gathering on July 17th, we are developing a plan for a series of much smaller family visits, limited to parents and siblings only, over the course of the full weekend - therefore we ask that you please keep open both Saturday, 7/17 and Sunday, 7/18. If however our team determines that in-person visits pose too great a risk, then camp will arrange for a few virtual visits with your child(ren) over the summer and a chance to meet their bunk counselors and Grouphead. We are targeting mid-May at the latest to finalize this plan. We understand this decision timing has unique travel implications for families living outside the tristate area and we will be reaching out to you to discuss further. Our intention is for you to visit with your child(ren) this summer, and by waiting until this spring to make the decision, we believe we all stand a better chance of making this happen.

Visiting Day Testing

  • If camp is able to host an in-person Visiting Day, the weekend would be followed by a return to arrival day phasing and PCR testing before we return to our ‘one camp, one family' program and routine.
  • Pre-arrival COVID-19 testing for parents and siblings will be considered by our Medical Advisory Group in the weeks leading up to Visiting Day should it be in-person.

Alumni Day

  • 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 or a grander celebration in 2022.

PC/US Parent Color War Visit

  • In line with several factors that influence the Visiting Day decision, it is too early to make a determination if immediate family members will be able to visit during Color War this summer. Our team is discussing ways to include parents in this culminating evening of your child's journey at CE/CBR and if not in person, will deliver these events to you virtually. We are targeting mid-May to finalize this plan.

New Camper Picnic

  • Currently scheduled for Saturday, June 5th, we continue to plan for an in-camp experience for our 2020 and 2021 New Campers! Though the event will take place entirely outside in a similar fashion to our Fall Foliage event, with appropriate social distancing and mask use measures, we look forward to welcoming all new campers to their new summer home. We are targeting mid-May to finalize this plan.

Siblings and Tours

  • Much like Visiting Day, the possibility and format of in-person sibling tours will be determined this Spring. Please continue to keep open Friday afternoon, 7/16 for your tour.
Controlled Campus - Leaving Campus: Day and Overnight Trips, Inter-Camp Tournaments

posted: 1/28/21

As mentioned above when discussing visitors coming onto campus, our 'controlled campus' must also address possible scenarios when campers and staff would normally leave campus. The scenarios below reflect our thinking at the present time and will evolve in the lead-up to camp.

Campers Leaving Campus

  • We anticipate there will be times campers must leave campus for a medical appointment or family emergency. In those cases, a testing and re-entry protocol will be implemented. However, we do not anticipate permitting campers to leave campus for tournaments at home or milestone family gatherings. Though this decision will be made in the spring, it is best to plan accordingly as the conditions are now.

Staff Leaving Campus and Time-Off

  • In addition to the conditions specified for campers, our staff may not return to their home communities on their time-off this summer. We do however believe that for a 7-week camp season and 1-2 weeks of orientation, quality time off will be essential in ensuring staff are well rested and at their best. Therefore, camp has been securing several off-site locations where we can bring our staff to enjoy their days and evenings off that is controlled, led by camp leadership and not in contact with the outside world; these areas include renting exclusive campsites along the Delaware River to be used by staff and as a new area for camper programming.
  • As we work to ensure that staff time-off is even more relaxing and enjoyable, our team is constructing a new outdoor staff lounge called 'The Woods at Courtyard.' This new space will feature fire pits, bbq's, and a great social atmosphere to connect with camp friends.

Day Trips and Overnight Trips

  • While we will not be running our traditional group amusement park trips this summer, our full leadership team has been exploring a few great outdoor venues that can be exclusive to CECBR use and allow our middle and upper camp campers an exciting adventure off-campus.
  • Though camp is still many months away, and our team has discussed which elements we can, and cannot, control on an overnight trip (high school age groups), and the amount of advanced planning and bookings that are needed for a well coordinated trip, we have made the decision to not run our 3-day overnights this summer. However, with the rental of exclusive campsites along the Delaware River, we are extremely excited to offer a whole new array of adventure and camp-out programming.

Inter-Camp Tournaments

  • 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. While we know these camps are preparing just as diligently as we are, at this point in time, we are inclined to be more insular in our programming this summer. If conditions this spring improve significantly, we will consider a limited inter-camp tournament should our camp friends be interested as well.
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