2022 Operational and Health Gateways
With all of the challenges and uncertainty that surrounded Summer 2021, the CECBR community provided a healthy and terrific camp experience for our children and staff. As we continue to prepare for Summer 2022, we will use what we learned from last summer, along with the latest research and direction from our Medical Advisory Group, to inform our decisions for Summer 2022.
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.
Guiding Principles In Preparing For Summer 2022
- 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 2022, 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 2022 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.
Following several comprehensive conversations within our family and with unanimous advice from our Medical Advisory Group, Camps Equinunk and Blue Ridge will require that all campers and staff are ‘fully vaccinated’ (2 doses of a mRNA vaccine or 1 dose of the J&J vaccine) this summer and strongly encourage that everyone who is eligible is ‘up to date’ with booster shots as recommended by the CDC. Parents and staff with concerns are encouraged to speak with their pediatrician/physician and welcome to speak with our Medical Advisory Group should they choose. Community health is at the forefront of this decision which will limit the potential spread of COVID-19 at camp and drastically reduce the risk of severe illness should someone become infected. A vaccination requirement is not a 1-fix solution, rather it will complement this summer’s revised testing, cleaning, hygiene and mitigation protocols.
Our drive to deliver an all-encompassing camp experience must always include the assessment of potential risks and how we can mitigate them. While part of last summer’s health success can be attributed to the very closed campus we ran, in order to provide the full camp experience to campers and staff, we must return to greater interaction with the outside world – both in allowing more visitors onto campus and our campers and staff being off-campus for tournaments, trips and staff time-off. In order to achieve this level of interaction, we must be confident that our camp community can remain healthy, and if exposed to COVID-19, it will not cause great illness to our campers and staff. A fully vaccinated camp population is a crucial element in achieving a healthy community.
Pre-arrival COVID-19 testing will once again serve as an important component of this year’s health plan. The testing protocol is still being developed and will consist of a rapid-antigen test just prior to campers’ departure to camp, details will be shared around May 15th.
In-season testing will be directed by camp physicians for those who are symptomatic of COVID-19. Campers and staff members in shared bunks or living accommodations with those who have tested positive will begin surveillance testing on day of exposure, day-3 and day-5.
Senior campers returning from their week-long trip out west will be administered a rapid test upon their return to camp and on day-2.
Campers who must leave campus and spend a night out of camp will be subject to additional testing requirements including a rapid test upon their return to camp and on day-2.
Campers can look forward to a return to coach bus travel to camp this year from our traditional departure areas. Departure locations and bus assignments will be emailed to families in June.
Current CDC guidelines require a 5-day isolation period followed by 5-days of mask use. As CDC guidelines are constantly being updated, our management plan will be determined closer to the start of camp.
However, it is very likely that the 5-day isolation period will remain in place and therefore 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.
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.
The need for masks use during travel to camp will be determined just prior to Opening Day. 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
- Campers and parents can look forward to the return on an in-person visiting day on Saturday, July 16th.
- For this summer, we ask that only immediate family members 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 2022 New Campers! The event will take place entirely outside and we look forward to welcoming all new campers to their new summer home.
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 testing and masking protocols to be determined closer to Opening Day.
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. 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.