Camp Abnaki - Summer 2021
As part of our COVID-Safety Protocols and in keeping with the Y core values, Camp Abnaki encourages and expects camp families and our staff to show CARE for the health and safety of others, to be HONEST with their risk of exposure and the presence of possible symptoms, to RESPECT established guidelines and protocols, and to make RESPONSIBLE decisions regarding the well-being of their own family and the safety of our whole camp family.
This is our second email to families about our COVID-Safety Protocols. Please review the initial communication found on our camp blog: CLICK HERE.
At the end of April, the Vermont Department of Health issued their Mandatory COVID-19 Guidance for Overnight Summer Camps and their COVID-19 Health Guidance for Childcare and Out-of-School-Time Care.

Based off this guidance, the CDC’s Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps During COVID-19, and the American Camping Association’s Field Guide for Camp on Implementation of CDC Guidance, Camp Abnaki has created and will honor the following COVID-Safety Protocols for the summer of 2021.
COVID-Safety Protocols
Pre-Camp and Session Expectations for Families and Staff

  • Leading up to camp, we expect our families and staff to continue to utilize the safety practices that have been shown to be effective: wearing masks when in public, physical distancing when gathered with others, gathering with other in outdoor spaces, avoiding large groups of people, and maintaining proper handwashing/sanitizing practices.
  • While safety should always be a consideration, it is our expectation that the ten days before a camper’s session and the five days of their session, families are more intentional with these proactive safety protocols. Please avoid birthday parties, team sports, other camps, and/or any larger gatherings directly before and during your camp session(s).
  • Note - vaccinated families and individuals may still gather with other vaccinated people. There is not an expectation of quarantine, simply an expectation of following safety protocols. In our Day Camp check-in screening, families will be asked if they have had risk of exposure and if they have followed these protocols. We are confident that our camp families will answer honestly for the safety of the whole camp community.
Daily Drop-off At Camp Pick-up Point and Travel to Camp

  • The state of Vermont requires families and commuting staff to complete exposure and symptoms screening each day before boarding the bus.
  • Every morning, as part of the screening, counselors will take the temperature of the campers as they arrive and ask questions about how they are feeling. Please review the list of COVID symptoms with your child(ren) and emphasize the importance of being honest about and communicate clearly how they are feeling every morning and throughout the session (CLICK HERE).
  • On the bus, campers will remain masked and windows will be opened to allow effective ventilation. Unless campers are siblings (from the same household), campers will not sit together. The commuting counselors will walk up and down the aisle to check-in with campers and help make the bus ride a fun part of the camp experience.
During Camp

Returning Home Each Day

  • Campers will return to the meeting point that they are dropped off in the morning.
  • When the bus pulls into the parking lot, guardians are asked to stand, visibly outside their vehicles. As campers are checked off the bus, guardians will be confirmed by Day Camp staff. Only individuals on our “approved for pick-up" list will be allowed to pick up the camper(s). Please be masked and remain physically-distanced from the Day Camp staff and the campers.
In order to be transparent, so you can make a participation decision that is appropriate for your family, we want you to know that our staff will be allowed to leave camp grounds during their time-off. Camp Abnaki believes that the mental health and social well-being of our counselors require a break away from camp to relax and recharge. We are setting clear expectations for following safety protocols when on time-off, away from camp and communicating clear consequences for failing to follow these protocols. Yet, we completely trust our staff and know they have camp’s well-being at heart. We are confident that they will remain safe when they are away and will return posing low-risk and ready to reengage camp.

We cannot guarantee that camp will be COVID-free this summer. We are confident that we are taking well-researched steps in order to mitigate the risk, but there still is a risk. Only your family can decide your comfort level with sending your camper(s) to Camp Abnaki.

Please read this email carefully. Please look over the links of the state and national COVID-19 guidelines shared below as additional resources. It is important that our camp community is familiar with and understands our COVID-Safety Protocols. Once you have reviewed the information, please feel free to reach out to camp by phone or email with any questions or concerns.

Links to additional resources:

As we send this communication out, know that we are already meeting to explore what we are calling our “What If” Protocols. What if someone has symptoms? What if there is a positive case in camp this summer? We believe that our proactive preventative protocols will lessen the likelihood of “What If” scenarios, but we must be ready. Please remain patient as we prepare our next COVID-Safety communication.

With all this talk about COVID-19, let us not lose sight of the joy and excitement of all the possibilities that this summer holds. We cannot wait for this summer and hope you share in our anticipation.

Celebrating 120 years of transforming lives
through our summer camp experience!
Jon Kuypers and Adam Moreno
Camp Director and Associate Director
YMCA-Camp Abnaki