January 13, 2021
We have almost reached our capacity and will be closing enrollment shortly for 2021. Our full attention is now devoted to programming, staffing and operations for the camp season.
It’s likely we’ll be in a modified bubble this summer. This will allow us to limit who comes in and out of camp. We’ll run an incredibly fun and instructional program and camp will feel very much the same. The difference: there’ll likely be no out-of-camp day trips, intercamp games and off-site camping trips. Additionally, staff time-off will mostly take place on camp at “staff only” areas as opposed to outside camp. These and other measures will allow us to be protected and safe. Even in a modified bubble, camp will very much feel “normal.” Activities, events, games, traditions, intra-camp games and tournaments and Special Days will happen as always!
In all likelihood, campers and staff will wear masks while traveling to camp and for the first seven days after arrival. We’ll then de-mask on Day #7, once we have tested everyone at least three (or four) times and are “in the clear.”
We plan at this time to proceed with our regular summer dates. We hope to give you confirmation of dates by mid-March. It’s quite possible – because of our modified bubble – we’ll not host an in-person Visiting Day. If there is no in-person visitation, we’ll provide ample time to speak with your children by phone, visit by video conference and to virtually meet their counselors and Campus Leaders.
We will send “Travel To and From Camp” information in early March. At that time, we’ll ask you to select your mode of travel on one of our camp-chaperoned flights or motorcoaches. Of course, driving to camp and dropping off your child is also an option.
Our Health Center is under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Steele and Dr. Jeffrey Maher. Dr. Steele has been at camp for six years and is a Laurel mainstay. She’s been an Emergency Department and Urgent Care Doctor in New York for more than 20 years. Dr. Maher is the Medical Director at Bowdoin College and was a key leader responsible for opening Bowdoin this year and setting up policies in conjunction with the safe opening of other NESCAC colleges. We are incredibly fortunate to have these two amazing doctors with us all summer.
Dr. Aimee Altschul, a pediatric allergist in Westport, Connecticut and Dr. Evan Sherman, an Emergency Department physician in Palm Beach County, Florida will each join Dr. Steele and Dr. Maher for a week at camp as well.
Nurse Manager Cara Siefart returns for her fourth year at camp. Jane Glazer is our Nurse Practitioner joining us this summer from Harvard Health Services and Health Center Coordinator Kathryn Phillips returns for year #10. Our team of 12 other Nurses and Nursing Assistants are eager to see everyone in Readfield this June!
Campers and staff will be asked to be vigilant in their connections outside of home and school in June, especially the ten days preceding camp. There should be no trips or situations where campers or family members are in high-density settings or risk unnecessary exposure.
Covid-19 testing is evolving rapidly. We will update you on our protocols this Spring, but our initial plan is as follows:
Test #1: At-Home PCR Test Five Days Prior To Camp and then “Be Extra, Extra Careful”
Test #2 and #3: Camper Arrival Day Rapid and PCR Test
Test #4: Camp Day-Six PCR Test
Our testing plan and daily symptom checks will be rigorous and follow best practices under guidance of our medical team.
We’re also fortunate that Camp Laurel has obtained a Federal CLIA Licensing Number and our Health Center is now FDA certified as a CLIA-Waived Clinical Lab for Summer 2021.
If a child tests positive from the at-home PCR Test, they would be unable to come to camp until they isolate for 7-10 days, register two negative tests and are cleared by the home and camp physicians.
If a child tests rapid-positive upon arrival at camp, they would be isolated until we receive results from the at-camp PCR Test. If that test is positive, they will remain in isolation and must be picked up from camp within 24-36 hours.
If a child tests positive on Day #6, they too would be isolated and must be picked up from camp within 24-36 hours.
Because of the nature of contagion and the duration of the isolation period – even though children who are tested and confirmed positive may “feel fine” – it would be difficult, at best, for a child to be fully isolated at camp for the required time period.
While we’ll still run a robust and full in-camp program the first six days of the summer, campers and staff may stay in Pods and participate in group activities during that period.
If there is a positive case in a cabin at camp, campers and counselors in that cabin would move into a “Pod Camp” and would be tested regularly. Those campers and staff would quarantine and participate in activities and meals as a group for 7-10 days. Contact tracing will help identify others who may need to be tested.
We have installed new Exhaust Roof Vents to help ensure clean air flow and increased circulation in every cabin at camp. In addition, we have upgraded the air-conditioned Health Center, Office and Dining Hall at camp with CDC-recommended Merv13 Filters and Ultraviolet Bulbs.
Get ready – Chefs Larry, Lewis, Joel and the amazing food service team who’ve been at camp for 20+ years are all back with us. The food will be the same delicious Camp Laurel menu you’ve come to expect. The difference: instead of self-serve buffet lines, we will have staff-served buffet lines. We’ll also spread out more than usual in the Lodge, utilizing our Outdoor Dining Pavilion for all meals, instead of just lunch.
You will receive the Camp Laurel Parent Handbook in March. At that time, we will present the most current policies and procedures for camp.
Our 2021 Camp Spot Clothing and Equipment Website will be ready later this month. We encourage you to use The Camp Spot, our official outfitter, for all your children’s clothing and equipment needs this summer.
Stay Positive. Test Negative. And prepare your children for an incredible summer with us!! While we can’t, of course, absolutely guarantee a Covid-free season, we are committed to making camp as safe, exciting and fun as possible.