Camp Michigamme Covid-19 Response Plan for 2021
05/14/2021: With the release of the Michigan Covid-19 easement plan, every bullet point of this plan will be identified in bold whether that item is already normal, permanent, specific for this summer, or will be pulled back as the vaccination levels continue to shift upwards throughout the summer.
05/17/2021: The Governor released a new easement plan regarding the end of mask mandates on July 1st. This page now reflects that guidance.
Monitoring and Responding to Symptoms of Covid-19 in Campers.
- Campers will not be able to arrive at camp if they are experiencing the following symptoms. (This has always been and will continue to be a normal practice)
- Fever of 100.4 or above.
- Sore Throat
- Difficulty breathing beyond their baseline condition (in cases of Asthma, etc.).
- Diarrhea or Vomiting
- Severe headache
- Campers will have to wait 2 weeks before coming to camp in the following situations. (This will persist through the entire 2021 summer regardless of Covid easement plan.)
- After testing positive for Covid-19, 2 weeks following the ceasing of symptoms, and/or having received a negative test.
- If not tested for Covid-19, 2 weeks following the ceasing of symptoms.
- 2 weeks after being exposed to someone who is positive for Covid-19.
- 2 weeks following being exposed to someone showing symptoms of Covid-19.
- Daily temperatures will be taken with a Laser Thermometer at lunchtime. It will be documented that temperatures were taken, but there will not be documentation on individuals. Laser thermometers are not perfect. If someone has a temperature over 100, they will be double checked with an internal thermometer (mouth) at the nurse’s station. (This will be lifted at the 70% vaccination point.)
- If someone has a fever, they will be going home. We do not quarantine on property as we are not a medical facility. If a family cannot pick up their child in a reasonable time frame we will further seek transport to a medical facility for treatment. (This has always been and will continue to be a normal practice.)
- If someone on property leaves property to seek treatment and tests positive for covid, while we are following the “cohort strategy,” then everyone in their cohort will have to go home to protect the rest of camp from the spread of the illness. Depending on the week that may be the whole camp or may be a portion of the camp. (This will be lifted at the 65% vaccination mark. After that time if will be the choice of the families whether to stay or not.)
- During check in day all camper families will fill out a screening form and the camper will get their temperature taken at the nurse’s station. (This will be lifted at the 70% vaccination mark.)
- As an organization we are obligated by the state executive orders to promote testing and vaccination of all our staff and campers. We are also legally prohibited under those same executive orders from asking for any documentation that testing or vaccination has happened. Those executive orders do obligate camper families to be honest and forthright in informing us if there has been a positive test, symptoms, or an exposure. At this point, I can say the extreme majority of our staff and volunteers have already been or are planning to be fully vaccinated at the start of camp. Recently certain vaccines have been approved for children as young as 12. As an organization we will encourage all camper families to get vaccinated if that is the correct and safe decision for your family. With the update that on 05/15/2021 that the Mask mandate will be lifted on July 1st, all campers 12 and older who are attending Senior High and Science Explorations camp can voluntarily show their vaccination records to avoid wearing masks. Campers below the age of 12 will not be required to wear masks. (This will persist through the entire 2021 summer regardless of Covid easement plan.)
Hygiene and Sanitation.
*The CDC and the International community fully recognizes that Covid-19 does not transmit in a significant way through touching surfaces. We will be conducting Hygiene and Sanitation is a mostly normal way throughout the summer. Below is a summary of how we normally clean.
- We will wash hands with soap and water before every meal and after any “messy” activity. (This has always been and will continue to be a normal practice)
- The dining hall is fully cleaned and sanitized before and after every meal. (This has always been and will continue to be a normal practice)
- There will be an ongoing friendly competition at camp to keep our living spaces clean, with daily cabin checks by supervisory staff to monitor the cleanliness of the cabins. (This has always been and will continue to be a normal practice).
- Bathrooms will be deep cleaned daily. (This has always been and will continue to be a normal practice)
- UV light air recirculation and sanitation systems are being purchased and will be in the cabins. (This hasn’t always been a normal practice, but having seen it implemented in some schools, it seems like a good thing to start doing.)
- All buildings will be sanitized daily with a sanitizer misting system. (This hasn’t always been a normal practice, but having seen it implemented in some schools, it seems like a good thing to start doing.)
- Campers should come with a shower caddy that will fully organize all their hygiene supplies, is capable of getting fully wet, and will also prevent toothbrushes and/or bar soap from having to be placed on a surface while in use. (This has always been and will continue to be a normal practice)
Capacity of the Dining Hall, and Cabins.
*If our camp was at full capacity, we would have 100 campers and 25 staff members. Our dining hall was built with enough space to seat and feed 125 persons. We are in a rebuilding stage regarding programming and enrollment, and in 2019 our busiest week was 48 campers. In 2019, all our weeks were between 20 and 50 kids. Ultimately we don’t know what our enrollment for each week will be this year with the reopening. Our current enrollment is tracking to be about the same or even little higher than it was in 2019, but we will still be well below full capacity. Overall we have plenty of space in the cabins and dining hall to safely space everyone, but we are also erecting a new donated wedding tent for a secondary dining space and we have another building called the Agape Wigwam that could be used for a dining space.
- Our dining situation will be handled in the following stages.
- At 50% and 55% vaccination, Grace Hall will be used for 4 cabins worth of campers. The Wedding Tent will be used for 4 cabins worth of campers. The two floors of the Agape Wigwam will be used for 2 cabins worth of campers.
- At 60% vaccination, Grace Hall will be used for 6 cabins worth of campers. The Wedding Tent will be used for 4 cabins worth of campers.
- At 65% vaccination, Grace Hall will be used for 8 cabins worth of campers. The Wedding Tent will be used for 2 cabins worth of campers.
- At 70% vaccination, Grace Hall will be used for all 10 cabins of campers.
- The normal full capacity of cabins would be 10 campers and 2 adults. Where possible we will be spacing the campers out through the cabins to 5 campers and 1-2 adults.
- All the beds in the cabins will be spaced so that from pillow to pillow there will be over 6 feet of space.
- Masks will not be required in the cabins, as the cabins will be within cohort groups and will be treated further as a temporary family unit. There will be a strictly enforced rule that no one may visit a cabin that they do not live in. (This will be lifted at the 70% vaccination mark.)
Cohorting, Programming, and Masks
*One of the biggest benefits of camps that may be different from home or school is that we try to instill a sense of autonomy and choice in the lives of our campers. In a typical year we allow campers to sign up for a majority of their program periods. In the time of Covid is has been recommended that “cohorts” are the way to go to try to prevent the spread of Covid. It is important to stress that CAMP CAN NOT PREVENT COVID FROM ENTERING OUR PROPERTY. That has been the case at every school and workplace in the state. Sometimes Covid gets in, but cohorts are how we prevent the spread of Covid across groups. In 2020, at my previous camp in New Hampshire, cohorting was required to such an extreme that campers were only allowed to interact with the 7 campers in their cohort, and the two adults in their group. The result was that the kids had to go through the camp program in a prebuilt schedule, much like school. It was better than nothing, but it was not fully camp. Most schools in the UP have been utilizing cohorting. Many schools are considering 30 kids to be one cohort. The recommendations of the CDC and the ACA (American Camp Association) has been that it is allowable to expand the size of cohorts to move camp closer to it’s normal experience. It is the position of the CDC and the international community that there is no evidence of any Covid cases that came from passive outdoor interaction (ex. Passing someone on the sidewalk.) There have been some cases of outbreaks in a crowded outdoor setting (ex. Sporting Events, Festivals, Rallies.) We will be promoting spacing at activities and we will ask families to not crowd each other on check in day. Otherwise we should be able to utilize the full potential of our outdoor setting.
- Cohorting (This will be lifted at the 65% vaccination mark.)
- If camp has less than 30 kids enrolled in a single week, we will operate camp as a single cohort. This means that kids will be able to mix and match as they sign up for the programs that they would like to do.
- If camp has more than 30 kids enrolled in a single week, we will split the kids into 2 cohort, probably along the line of Boys and Girls. We will still allow kids to mix and match within their cohort, but the program selection will be cut in half when it comes to signing up.
- If we have more than 60 kids enrolled in a single week, we will split the kids into 3 or 4 cohorts, that will most likely align with age.
- Masks will mostly not be required, but will be required in a few situations. In June, if you are 12 or older, if you have been vaccinated you do not need to wear a mask at all. All those under the age of 12 do not need to wear a mask. (This will be lifted on July 1st.)
- While using the bathrooms, except for brushing teeth, or showering.
- While standing in the dining hall. (ex. The bottlenecks of entering and exiting the buildings. Setting up and cleaning the dining hall afterwards.)
- In the Nurse’s station. (This may persist after the 70% vaccination mark, at the discretion of the Nurse, and especially if a camper is showing symptoms of Covid.)
- At any programming indoors with the exception of if a cabin is riding out a thunderstorm in their own cabin.
- Masks are not required in an outdoor setting.
- Masks are authorized to be worn by anyone who feels more comfortable with a mask on. We recommend everyone has a mask on hand in the rare case someone else wants masks to be worn while being approached. We are trying to provide an environment where no one is judged or feels uncomfortable and the caring thing to do is to respect the wishes of those around you. (This will be lifted on July 1st, with the exception of the Nurse’s Station.)
- During check in and check out day we will ask visiting adults to wear masks at the nurse’s station and while entering their camper’s cabin. Staff members will also be wearing masks at the nurse’s station and at the cabins. Campers will only be required to wear a mask at the nurse’s station. You won’t have to wear a mask at the initial paperwork and check in station as it will be outdoors at the wedding tent. (This will be lifted on July 1st. Nurse’s station may persist after at the discretion of the Nurse.)