2021 COVID Care FAQ’s
Camp Mah-Kee-Nac is excited for our 91st Summer. Our Covid Care plan is being developed and executed in consultation with the American Camp Association, the CDC, our local BOH, and the Medical Team we’ve secured to provide the best and most current care for our campers and staff.
This information is fluid and continues to be updated. The following are answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
Our COVID Care Plan will consist of multiple layers of protection that will include PCR and antigen testing, mask-wearing, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, cohorting in smaller groups, spending most of our time in the great outdoors, and forming our modified bubble. Please read below for more specific protocols and information. While we cannot guarantee a covid-free season, we are committed to being proactive and making camp as safe, fun, and EXTRAORDINARY as possible.
Leading up to camp and required for both sessions, there will be PCR testing for all campers and staff. All campers and staff must produce a negative PCR test in order to start camp. Campers and staff will be asked to be vigilant and limit their risk of exposure leading up to camp, especially after testing. Pre-camp testing protocols will be communicated in the coming weeks.
A modified bubble will allow us to limit who comes in and out of camp, mitigating any unnecessary risk of exposure. While certain deliveries and services are required for camp to run successfully, we will make sure that any staff who interact with vendors are wearing the proper PPE and maintaining physical distance. Staff time-off will most likely take place in and around camp, where staff can experience time and space with their peers. In a modified bubble, camp events like Green & White (Color War), Olympics, and our other iconic special events, intra-camp competitions, and our exceptional daily program can still take place very safely.
Currently, we plan to develop a clear path to safely operate two sessions. If an adjustment needs to be made camp will remain flexible in those circumstances. In either case, we plan to ensure that every enrolled camper has a spot at camp.
Yes. Mah-Kee-Nac has an on-site infirmary complete with a Camp Physician (our Medical Director), 2 RNs, 2 LPNs, 1 EMT, and a Health Care Coordinator. Dr. Lawrence Lutner, our Camp Physician, is a board-certified Pediatrician, and Medical Director of a national health insurer. He routinely has clinic hours twice daily, in addition to clinic visits for any child showing signs/symptoms of illness, regardless of the time of day. Camp Mah-Kee-Nac has been certified by the State of Massachusetts as a CLIA-Waived Site for 2021, allowing all Covid-19 tests to be administered by trained camp personnel, on-site.
We will continue with both a combination of rapid antigen and PCR testing on arrival day and then again 5-7 days into camp. From then on, we will test when necessary. We will also perform temperature and symptom screenings regularly. At the start of each session, we plan to be in smaller cohorts by cabin and/or age groups. Campers will wear masks and/or physically distance when mixing with other cohorts. As we continue to be healthy, we will hope to increase the cohort sizes. We plan to be mostly outdoors but will continue to be masked for any activities we cannot do outdoors or physically distanced, except for bunk living. The key is a multifaceted approach to camp with multiple layers of protection.
Right now we know that mask-wearing significantly reduces the spread of Covid-19. We do plan for campers and staff to wear masks when physical distancing with other pods and cohorts is not possible. Campers and staff will not need to wear masks when inside their cabins with their cohorts.
Before the start of camp this year, families will have a copy of our COVID Care Manual so you will be aware of the steps we’ll follow in this case. If we have a positive case in camp, we would work closely with our BOH to carry out the steps necessary to keep others safe and control any spread. It would likely involve immediate isolation of the patient who would need to be picked up within 24-36 hours. Additionally, we would contact trace, quarantine, and begin testing of those who came in close contact. We would plan for camp activities to still take place safely for a group that is quarantining together. Once the group has cleared the current symptom-free quarantine required timeline they will assimilate back into the larger camp community.
- Prior to Camp: If a child tests positive prior to camp they would be unable to come to camp until they isolate for the required period of time, are symptom-free, and have been cleared by at-home and camp physicians.
- On arrival day: If a child tests rapid positive upon arrival at camp, they will isolate until we receive results from the second rapid test or arrival day PCR test. If the second test is positive, the child would need to be picked up within 24-36 hours.
- At camp: If a child tests rapid positive at camp, we would follow the same protocols as above and await the second test results. If the second test is positive, the child would need to be picked up within 24-36 hours.
There will be a Covid Mitigation/Testing Fee in place for all families per camper.
To ensure safe arrival at camp, and to limit any exposure after pre-camp quarantine and testing, we are asking families within a 3.5 hour driving distance (NY, NJ, CT, MA, RI) to drive their campers to camp this summer. We realize that in some limited cases this may not be possible and we are prepared to work with families who require additional assistance with transportation. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if this is the case.
Camp plans to provide regular transportation home from camp.
We would prefer all camper baggage to be delivered to camp at least three days prior to camper arrival. Our recommended baggage company is R&B Baggage. You may also consider UPS, FedEx, or like services. A note: campers will have their bags unpacked and their areas set up for them before arrival so we can jump into the long-awaited camp fun right away!
Unfortunately, this summer we WILL NOT be hosting an in-person Parents Visiting Day. You may cancel or postpone your Visiting Day plans until Summer 2022. Camp will be offering new and creative ways to stay connected with your camper this summer.
With regard to any out-of-camp trips, at this point in time, we are focusing our efforts on trips such as camping, hiking, rafting, mt. biking trips, etc. that can be done exclusively within our own community and do not require any third-party sleeping accommodations. We are also planning more frequent and never-before-seen exciting in camp Special Events to supplement trips that are unable to take place.
We are working closely with our staff members to assist them in getting Covid-19 vaccinations before camp starts. Our hope is that most, if not all, of our counselors and staff, will be vaccinated. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are proceeding with our plans as if that will not be the case.
This will be the summer every camper deserves! We are planning some unbelievable in-camp programs, special events, and experiences for the campers to make this summer EXTRAORDINARY for them. Think of it as an exciting year to start camp, where the future summers can only get even better!