GSEP Summer Camp COVID-19 Strategies and Updates
Updated June 9, 2021
Wow, this year sure has been full of curve balls and changes to our “normal” lives! We miss you! The camp team at GSEP has been working hard to figure out how we can safely open our camps for summer 2021. We are sure that everyone is used to words like “evolving situation” and “new normal” by this point in the year. Camp will need to use phrases like that as well, because while we have put together the safety strategies and guidelines below, we will also be keeping up to date with any additional and evolving changes that are announced by our health experts and advisors, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), national, state, and local rules and regulations. This is not an all-inclusive listing, as that list would be too long for this guide! Please check our COVID-19 website regularly for the most up to date information.
Campers will be assigned to a cohort of up to 12 campers. The majority of activities, meals, etc. will take place within this cohort. Any larger group activities that take place will be outdoors and cohorts will follow social distancing per the CDC and ACA most recent guidelines.
Effective June 26, 2021, all GSEP camps will follow new mask guidance. Masks will be required for ALL indoor activities except eating, sleeping, and showering. Masks will not be required outside as long as the social distancing guidelines provided by CDC are met. If, however, girls will be in an outside activity that involves singing, cheering etc., masks will be required. These changes reflect most recent CDC and ACA COVID-19 guidance for camps released May 28, 2021. A mask lanyard will be provided to each camper upon arrival at camp.
Health Paperwork and Procedures
All campers will be required to go through a daily temperature and symptom screening.
Resident Camp – All resident campers will be required to complete a temperature and symptom screening for 14 days prior to attending camp.
High touch surfaces will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Increased cleaning of activity equipment will be done per recommended guidelines. Deep cleaning will take place between camp sessions each weekend.
Handwashing and/or sanitizing stations will be available throughout camp. Time will be built into each schedule for designated handwashing.
Food and Meal Procedures
Day Camp – All food will be individual, prepackaged or individually portioned by designated staff. Campers will receive a snack each day. Dietary restrictions will be handled on an individual basis by the camp director. Campers will bring their lunches with them to camp and will not be permitted to share food or drinks with anyone. Campers will wash their hands before and after eating their lunch and will eat appropriately socially distanced.
Resident Camp – Per the CDC guidelines, campers will be seated 6 feet apart while eating inside dining halls. There will be additional seating available outdoors as well . Meals will be served at staggered times to reduce cohort interaction and will be served by designated staff. Alternative options will be available at each meal; for example, cereal at breakfast, or salad at lunch or dinner. Contact the camp director with any concerns about dietary restrictions at least two weeks in advance of the start of the camp session. Any time campers eat outside of the Dining Hall either kitchen staff will prepare the food, or individual campers will prepare meals for themselves using individual portions.
Drop Off Procedures
Contactless temperature screening will take place for all campers upon arrival. If a temperature is 100.4°F or higher, that camper will not be permitted to stay at camp and will need to follow return to camp policies.
Day Camp – Staff will ask COVID-19 screening questions at each camper’s car before directing the camper to their cohort. All parents and non-campers will remain in their vehicles at all times.
Resident Camp – Drop off times will be staggered based on last name of camper. Please see the first page of each camp’s section for specific times. Upon arrival, each car will be given a COVID-19 symptom checker sign off for all occupants of the vehicle. It is recommended that only one family member drop off the camper. All paperwork and Trading Post money must be submitted electronically ahead of time, however the Trading Post will still be open for live sales at check-in. After check-in, families will say their good-byes in main camp and campers will join their cohorts.
Pick Up Procedures
Day Camp – Staff will check parent/guardian ID at their car and staff will sign off for the camper to be picked up.
Resident Camp – Pick up times will be staggered based on last name of camper. Please see the first page of each camp’s section for specific times. Upon arrival, each car will be given a COVID-19 symptom checker sign off for all occupants of the vehicle. It is recommended that only one family member pick up the camper. A notecard with the remaining funds from Trading Post will be in the camper’s end of week paperwork, but not a gift certificate. The Trading Post account will remain open for the camper for the remainder of the summer and a gift certificate will be issued and sent to the camper at the end of the summer. There will be no closing ceremonies or dinner served on Friday.
Day camps will not be hosting overnights for summer 2021.
Tents – Girls will sleep up to four in a tent in a head to toe position. Up to two cohorts will be assigned per unit, however cohorts will not mix tents.
Cabins/Lodges – Campers will sleep in a head to toe position. One cohort will be assigned per sleeping room, the lodges at Camp Mosey Wood and Camp Shelly Ridge have four sleeping rooms; therefore, up to four cohorts will be sleeping in the same building.
Trips and Transportation
All campers and staff must wear masks at all times during any form of transportation, including, but not limited to, busses to and from camp and busses and vans used for camp trips. Since busses to and from camp will consist of multiple cohorts, capacity will be limited to 50%.
Return to Camp Policy
If a camper shows symptoms consistent with COVID-19, she will be sent home pending the results of a COVID-19 test. Camper’s families are responsible for obtaining a COVID-19 test for their camper. A camper who tests negative for COVID-19 may return to camp after being symptom and fever free for 24-hours, without fever reducing medication. However, a camper who tests positive will only be able to return to camp after 10 days of isolation and their symptoms have resolved. Staff showing symptoms will be isolated from the general camp population and have the same requirements as campers for return.
A healthy camp starts at home and we need you to help keep our camps safe. We highly recommend that campers should not travel to areas recognized by the state of Pennsylvania as high-risk and follow other state and local recommendations for at least two weeks prior to arriving at camp. GSEP thanks you for being diligent and for your understanding as we work through this together to provide a safe and in-person camp season for our Girl Scouts!