We are so excited for this summer! After waiting “22 for 2,” we can’t wait to get back to our summer home.
Over the last year, we have spent a lot of time making sure that the summer of 2021 will still reflect the best parts of Camp Saginaw. While there may be some changes this year, what will not change is our commitment to ensuring that each and every child - and staff member - has the Summer of their Life.
As we have all learned over the last few months, the situation is constantly changing, and we will continue to be flexible with our planning. We are actively following the guidelines and recommendations set by the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the American Camping Association. If/when those guidelines or recommendations change, we will update our plans and share that information with our camp families.
The information below is current as of April 15th, 2021.
We are asking all camp families and staff members to practice “reduced risk” behavior during the ten (10) days before arrival to camp, at a minimum. We know that children may have school and parents may have work, but you should limit all other interactions. This includes avoiding gatherings with people outside your home, as well as any large group events (weddings, parties, etc).
We strongly recommend that your child is “isolated” at home as much as possible during this time. This will minimize their risk of testing positive for COVID prior to or upon arrival at camp (which would require them to go home, as per the guidelines below).
We will also be asking each family to complete a pre-camp Health Screening Check. Parents will need to log in to an app (called Campanion) and answer 2-3 questions each day regarding any possible exposure or symptoms. Answers from this app will be sent right to us at camp.
Please keep in mind that the actions of one family have the ability to affect everyone in camp. Our goal is to get everyone into camp COVID-free, and your family can help with that by actively avoiding scenarios with possible exposure.
We will be operating camp during our original dates. All campers will start on Sunday, June 27th.
• Two Week session will end Sunday, July 11th.
• First Half session will end Saturday, July 24th.
• Full session will end Sunday, August 15th.
We will not be running our Second Half session or our Weekend Club this summer.
Campers will be driven to camp this year (no buses). We will stagger arrivals throughout the day in order to streamline the entry process.
Campers who fly will receive separate instructions for a safe entry into camp.
As we get closer, we will share our complete arrival procedures with our families.
We will still be offering Metro service the weekend of June 19-20th for all camper baggage. It is strongly recommended that all families use Metro for baggage. This will allow us to unpack for all 1st to 7th graders, as always, during staff orientation and will help for a streamlined camper drop-off process on the first day. Please visit the Forms section of CampInTouch for dates and prices.
We will be offering camper bus and van transportation home after our First and Full sessions, as always. Stops will be the same as in years past and are consistent with our Metro (baggage) locations. Campers enrolled for our Two Week session will need to be picked up at camp on Sunday, July 11th. If you have another child in camp that is staying for a longer session, they will not be able to come to the parking lot to see you. This will help manage potential COVID exposure.
We have contracted with GENETWORx to provide nasal-swab molecular PCR tests at camp that will be sent to their lab for processing.
Here is our current testing plan:
All campers and staff will need to get a molecular PCR test (Test #1) three (3) days prior to their arrival to camp. A negative test result will need to be provided to camp before entry. You can take your child to a local testing facility, or we will offer an option to purchase an at-home testing kit.
All campers and staff will get a molecular PCR test (Test #2) on Arrival Day at camp. These tests will be sent to a lab, with results back in 12-36 hours.
All campers and staff will get another molecular PCR lab test (Test #3) on Day 5 at camp.
All campers and staff will get another molecular PCR lab test (Test #4) on Day 10 at camp.
We will also be conducting temperature checks and health screenings daily for these first ten (10) days.
If a child tests positive from Test #1 (the test 3 days before camp), they will be unable to come to camp until they isolate for 10 days^ and are cleared by their home pediatrician and our camp medical director.
If a child tests positive from Test #2 (Arrival Day), they will be isolated at camp and must be picked up from camp within 24 hours.
If a child tests positive from Test #3 (Day 5 test) or Test #4 (Day 10 test), they will be isolated at camp and must be picked up from camp within 24 hours. Campers included in a pod (bunk) with a child that tests positive will remain in their pod until the pod is cleared of possible infection. During this timeframe, these campers would still be allowed to participate in camp activities, while remaining solely within their pod.
^Per the CDC, isolation and precautions can be discontinued after 10 days and after the resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
Masks have been proven to reduce the risk of spreading COVID, and we will be using them at camp this summer. Our packing list has been updated to include our mask recommendations.
• 1 box of disposable masks (50 count)
• 10 reusable masks
Please make sure that all masks fit your child properly, and all reusable ones are clearly labeled with your child’s name and are machine washable.
A lot of our plans for the beginning of camp will be dependent on our testing results. We know that Week 1 will see our campers only participating in activities with their pod (bunk). Additionally, all campers and staff will be in masks at most activities.
We will have activities outdoors (wherever possible), and we will stagger meal times and locations to allow for campers to be more spread out while eating.
As the summer progresses - and we have more test results back - we are planning to gradually expand pods and ease mask requirements.
As many of you are aware, adjusting camp for COVID has a real financial cost. We’ve contracted with a testing company, hired additional cleaning staff and medical staff, ordered additional cleaning supplies, and have done some significant work at camp to ensure we have more spaces for campers and staff to spread out while participating in activities.
For this summer only, we are implementing a “Summer 2021 Fee” for all campers. This fee will cover the following:
Three (3) COVID molecular PCR tests for each camper
These will be the tests on Days 1, 5, and 10. If your child develops symptoms over the summer and needs additional testing, we will be in touch with you directly.
Gratutity for Staff
The majority of our families typically tip our staff on Visiting Day. Without a traditional Visiting Day this year, we recognize that it would be difficult to accommodate this. Therefore, we are going to use part of the Summer 2021 Fee to help compensate our staff. While our staff work hard every year, we know that they will be working even harder this year.
Our families were able to use Campanion as part of a pilot program in 2019. Now that it is up and running, there is a fee to use this service. Campanion is essentially the app version of CampInTouch. With Campanion, families will be able to view all camper photos (and use facial recognition to streamline the viewing), save/download photos, complete forms, send emails to campers, and complete our pre-camp Health Screening Check.
The Summer 2021 fee will be $369 per camper. We will be posting this fee to your account on May 1st, and these fees will be due May 15th. (For families who pay by autobill, we will charge your card on file on Monday, May 17th).
Our plan for the summer is to create a “controlled environment” at camp. The main way we will accomplish this is by limiting entries and departures in and out of camp.
Limiting entries will include no outside entertainment, and a virtual Visiting Day. We will also be accepting most deliveries at the gate, to avoid entry into camp.
Limiting departures will include no off-campus trips, as well as having staff remain on site all summer.
A bonus of this situation is that we will be able to create brand new summer programming for our campers while maintaining traditional camper favorites. By getting back to the “basics” (campfires, divisional nights, etc.), we can focus on what truly makes Camp Saginaw special.
As in previous summers, we will have a designated cleaning and housekeeping staff at camp. This summer, we will focus even more on sanitizing and disinfecting.
All staff will be arriving earlier than the campers for a mandatory quarantine and Orientation at camp. Staff will also be asked to practice “reduced risk” behaviors before arrival, as well as follow a similar testing procedure as our campers.
Staff will bring masks (see Staff Packing Guide), and will be in staff “pods” during Orientation.
We are asking all staff to get vaccinated before the summer. As childcare workers, most staff are currently eligible in their state for the vaccine. Camp Saginaw is able to assist staff in making appointments, if necessary.
There will be a Staff Lounge at camp where staff will be able to spend their time off. This comfortable space will offer great amenities for staff to enjoy, and Saginaw will provide fun, Staff-Only programming options.
We are very hopeful that cases will continue to decline, and vaccinations will continue to increase. We are also hopeful that more studies will come out to help guide our summer plans.
Many of the above decisions are a continual work in progress, which means that we can be flexible and adapt to changes in the COVID situation.
We will happily adjust our protocols if science allows, but either way, we are confident in our ability to provide a fun and exciting summer to our campers and staff.
Please know that Camp Saginaw takes the health and well-being of our campers and staff very seriously. We will do everything we can to provide our camp families with a safe and fun place for their child to spend the summer.
We are counting down the days until we are all reunited in the 19363!