We spent the months leading up to summer 2020 creating a thoughtful and detailed COVID-19 Safety Plan. We are proud to share that this plan, along with support from our camp families, allowed us to run four weeks of our camp program last summer – COVID FREE!
The weeks spent at camp in 2020 were nothing short of magical! It was incredible that we could provide a safe, fun, and much-needed experience for many campers. And now…the countdown to summer 2021 begins!
While we hope that the world is in a different place by summer 2021, we are confident that our COVID Safety Plan can be implemented once again, with any necessary adaptations needed.
OUR PLAN MOVING FORWARD
Below is some information that provided some support and clarity for our camp families. The information below is a living document and we will continue to make adjustments and adaptations based on guidance and guidelines received. Please view our FAQ below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Summer Camp happening at Camp Newaygo this summer?
YES! And this summer will be the best one yet! We have been here for the past 95 summers and plan to be here for at least 95 more! We look forward to welcoming you back this summer. We will be operating three June Mom and Me weekends, overnight All Girl’s Overnight Camp and Co-ed Day Camp starting in June. We will build on the successes of 2020 to develop plans for these programs.
What is the Summer Schedule?
Overnight Camp begins on June 20th, and Day Camp begins on June 21st.
Dates and Rates can be found HERE
Are You Implementing Additional Health Screenings Prior To Camp?
Yes, in 2020 all overnight campers and staff needed to complete a COVID-19 test before arrival. All campers and program participants will be asked to monitor and track their temperature and any COVD-19 symptoms 14 days prior to arrival to camp. We do plan to require COVID testing for overnight camp this year, but not our day camp program or Mom and Me camps. These programs will be kept separate.
How Will You Monitor Camper Health While At Camp?
We have a registered nurse and a health officer on site at all times. Campers and staff will have their temperatures taken regularly throughout the day, and our on-site RN will closely monitor the health of all campers and staff.
What Are The Sanitation Protocols?
With a full-time housekeeping director, and trained housekeeping staff, we will ensure program spaces and equipment are sanitized between groups. Cleaning supplies meet hospital-grade level sanitization and CDC guidelines when possible. Camp leadership has prepared daily cleaning protocols, and hour-by-hour schedules for program and housekeeping staff.
What If A Camper Or Staff Shows Symptoms of COVID-19 At Camp?
Campers or staff with a suspected case of COVID 19, will be immediately isolated in our Health & Leadership Lodge, assessed by the Camp Nurse, and transported to Gerber Memorial Hospital in Fremont, MI to complete a Rapid COVID-19 test. Campers or staff showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of the test result, may be sent home. Other campers in that group would be isolated and assessed, and parents will be notified of procedures.
How Will Check In and Check Out Work?
Overnight Camp & Day Camp Check-In and Check-Out will be contactless for parents. All paperwork and payment must be completed prior to check-in. Following ACA Guidelines, we are asking that campers come with only 1 adult to camp (no other adults or siblings, please). Temperature checks will be required for everyone driving through the gate, including parents. We are requiring all parents and campers to wear a face covering at check-in. Check-In time will be assigned by cabin and unit groups. It is very important to arrive only at the time that you will receive in an email. This insures that we can social distance children between cabin/unit groups and they don’t intermingle. Make sure that all of your luggage is easily accessible and packed well. Camp staff will assist your camper in unloading luggage from the car, sanitizing it, and then camp staff will transport luggage by golf cart to your camper’s cabin or unit. If parents would like to speak with our Camp Nurse, a telephone or video appointment can be arranged prior to camp. Please let us know that you would like to speak with the nurse by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents will not exit their vehicle at any point during check-in. Camp counselors will assist campers with moving into their bunks and setting up beds. Please prepare your camper for this change. Check-Out will follow similar procedures to Check-In. Each camper will receive a specific time for Check-out. Closing ceremonies will be recorded and made available to parents. Please wear a face covering, bring only one adult (no siblings), and be prepared to remain in your car and receive a temperature check.
Bathrooms will not be open for parents on Check-In and Check-Out days. Please plan accordingly.
For Mom & Me and Family Camps, guests will be asked to stay in their vehicle until they complete a health check and move into private lodging.
What does a “modified program model” mean?
This means camp activities need to happen in smaller groups and on camp property. Camp leadership has been looking at every component of camp to maintain as much of the Camp Newaygo experience as possible. Overall, campers will experience camp with a small group. Campers last year said: “My favorite part was getting close to unit mates because we all took same classes. I liked doing so many different classes that in a normal year would not be part of the Camp Newaygo experience.”
What about Campouts?
We are excited to bring back wilderness trips as part of our Overnight Camp experience this summer. We are consulting with experts and looking at best practices as we plan for these adventures. Cabins campers will stay on-site, and unit campers will camp at carefully selected COVID-safe locations.
What about Horseback Riding?
Horseback Riding will not be part of the Summer program in 2021, because this happens at a public riding stable off-site. To ensure every risk mitigation strategy possible, we have decided to wait to bring this program back until Summer 2022.
What about classes?
Classes will be scheduled ahead of time and supported by program area specialists. Campers will experience classes with their cabin or unit, led by their own counselors. The leadership team will work to design fun, fresh class experiences every week.
What about evening programs and ceremonies?
We know that these are a special part of the camp experience. Last year campers enjoyed many favorite evening activities – Goldrush, campfires, talent shows – all with a new COVID-Careful design. We feel confident that we will continue to build on the creativity of our staff to offer these important pieces of our program.
I have a Last-Year-Camper, How Will This Impact Their Experience?
Camp traditions like: scarving, Pi Banquet, and Final Campfire will still take place with a modified program model. The Camp Leadership team knows that this LYC (last year camper) experience is so important to our campers, and we will do our absolute best to honor their expectations. With wilderness trips, we will be monitoring guidance from experts to determine wilderness trip locations and duration.
Will My Camper Need To Wear A Mask?
Yes. We do require that every camper and adult arrive at check in day with a face covering. In our 2020 program design model, campers rarely needed to wear a mask, because we were able to program outdoors, with social distancing. We will provide more information to families as soon as we receive the guidelines from the State of Michigan. You can find CDC guidance on masks HERE.
Will It Still Feel Like Camp?
We know campers have been through a stressful time, filled with unanticipated change, high anxiety, and disappointments. Yes, it will still feel like camp.
How can I help Camp Newaygo?
Camp Newaygo has an amazing community of supporters who care about our mission and sustainability. We rely on this support to provide life-changing experiences for guests year-round.
Please consider these ways that you can support Camp through this difficult time:
- Make a donation
- Notify us of any grants, foundations, or other funding opportunities that would provide support to Camp Newaygo during this time. Please contact Jane Vitek, Executive Director, email@example.com with this information.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE AT CAMP
Thank you so much for your continued understanding, patience, and support of Camp Newaygo through this challenge. If you have questions or concerns, and would like to speak with someone on the phone, we will have staff available Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time): (231) 652-1184