SUMMER 2021 COVID-19 MITIGATION POLICIES & PROCEDURES

May 26, 2021

DEAR CAMPER FAMILIES,

Summer 2021 is just around the corner! We’re excited to be able to welcome campers back to our camping ministries this summer. All our preparations to reopen have been guided by the safety of our campers and staff and the effort to honor your trust. Your family is a part of our camp family.

Our camp family is big and broad and diverse – and we like it that way! We realize, however, that diversity in our family means a variety of understandings of what “safety” means. In addition, we’ve been monitoring a variety of constantly changing guidelines based on interpretations of “safety” from government, health agencies, and camp industry sources. While we’ve hoped since last spring that both guidelines and public opinion would coalesce, more or less, around a set of best practices that most understand to be “safe”, that has not happened.

So we find ourselves in the somewhat uncomfortable position of deciding the meaning of “safety” for our programs, for our camp family. As we have weighed the science and recommendations for our operations, as well as the opinions expressed by many of you, we’ve developed the following policies and protocols to be followed this summer (see below). In addition, as a ministry collaboration with local churches, we will also fully incorporate the specific mitigation policies and procedures of each of our partner churches.

Some of you will find these guidelines too lenient to make you feel safe. Others will be concerned that we are engaging in unnecessary mitigation. As the ones who sit in the position of displeasing so many, please know that these policies and protocols manifest what we believe to be “safe” for the camp family for this summer. We feel confident that things will be different for Summer 2022, and realize that some of you may not be comfortable returning to camp until then. For the rest of us, we thank you for your trust, your understanding, and your willingness to work as a family to ensure that our campers might experience the joy and faith-forming capacity of camp this summer!

With deep appreciation,

C. Russell Davis
Executive Director
North Georgia Camp & Retreat Ministries

 

PRIOR TO ARRIVAL AND CHECK-IN

Below are some of the adaptations to expect prior to arrival and during check-in:

• Out of an abundance of care and precaution, campers with pre-existing conditions for complications with Covid-19 as defined by the CDC are strongly discouraged from attending camp.

• To help reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 entering camp, all campers will be required to pre-screen for Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days prior to their check-in day using our Check-In Form. If your camper is symptomatic, or if they have been exposed to somebody who is confirmed Covid-19 positive, you will be required to bring proof of a negative test administered within 72 hours of arrival. Camp fees in these cases will be refundable per our refund policies for illness.

• During check-in/out, we will ask families to wear masks, and to be distanced from one another.

• Camper temperatures will be taken at arrival each morning. Any camper who registers a high temperature of 100.2° or higher at check-in must have a normal temperature for 24 hours and receive a negative Covid-19 test before they may attend camp.

 

DURING CAMP SESSION

During the camp week a number of proactive mitigation measures and operational changes will be implemented, including the following:

• We will use our living groups as “cohorts” to limit the breadth of possible spread of the virus during the camp week. Exposure to campers and staff outside the cohort will be limited.

• Should a camper present symptoms of Covid-19 at camp, that camper as well as all within their living group may be isolated and sent home.

• Our refund policy does not allow for a refund in the case of an illness after the camp session has begun.

• Typical group activities may be significantly altered and/or eliminated in order to maintain our mitigation model. Activities possibly affected include, but are not limited to chapel times, meal times, closing celebration, etc.

• Campers and staff must wear cloth face coverings when in indoor spaces that are shared by others using the church property (ex: restroom trips, walking through the church during meal times, etc). The majority of all camp activities occur outdoors which provides ample air flow and space for distancing. Because of this, during almost all time outdoors campers and their counselors will not be required to wear masks.

• In the event of a Covid-positive camper or staff member, we will notify those exposed and actively participate in health department contact tracing.

 

AFTER CAMP & GENERAL NOTES

• All families agree to notify us of any Covid-positive diagnosis of their camper or immediate family member in the 10 days following their camp experience so that we can notify our other campers families.

• Our normal Cancellation Policy (see FAQs Page), will apply to Covid-19 cases as well. Please note that if Grow Day Camps is unable–for any reason–to offer the camp session for which your camper is registered, we will offer a full refund.

We believe that the combination of all these mitigation efforts, plus others we’ll implement behind the scenes, combined with continued increasing societal awareness and responsibility, and lower positivity rates for the disease in Georgia, will allow us to operate camp safely this summer.

We’re sharing a lot of information here. If any of it is unclear, or if you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at ian@ngcrm.org or (706) 864-6181 and/or check our updated FAQs Page.

Thank you for being a part of the North Georgia Camp & Retreat Ministries family, especially during this challenging time. We look forward to a wonderful, and safe, Summer 2021!

 

NOTES

  • Originally Posted: February 1, 2021
  • Last Updated: May 26, 2021
  • Open Letter Update:A Challenging Year, A Confident Outlook” – a general update on Summer 2021 from our director sent via email on March 18, 2021.
  • Additional Notes: We are in the process of updating the text across the pages on this website to match the above policies. If any program descriptions or policies appear in conflict with what is listed above, please know that this page contains the most up-to-date information. Additionally, please also note that the pictures and videos found on this site were taken during or before Summer 2019 and therefore may or may not reflect the adapted practices and policies listed above.