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 In Preparing For 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Testing
PC/US Parent Color War Visit
New Camper Picnic
Siblings and Tours
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
Staff Leaving Campus and Time-Off
Day Trips and Overnight Trips