Thank you for choosing YMCA Camp Mataucha and YMCA Camp Oakasha for your child's summer camp experience. We are looking forward to providing a summer of friendships, adventures, and memories. We have been working very closely with State and Local Health Departments, Office of Early Childhood, American Camping Association, and YMCA of the USA to provide a safe, fun, and worthwhile summer.
Below is a brief summary of some of the changes we have had to make to our camp programs for the summer of 2020 based on the requirements of the Office of Early Childhood. We are finalizing an in depth handbook for parents, which will be released prior to camp and available to all families.
While we do not expect there to be additional changes, State and Local regulations may require us to put additional precautions in place.
For YMCA Camp Oakasha Families, we are working with the Southbury Training School to see if we are able to offer a camp program this summer. Once a decision has been made we will update families. If we are unable to offer a camp program at the Southbury Training School this summer, we will work with families to utilize YMCA Camp Mataucha as an alternate choice.
Here is what is changing this summer
- Start Date: After the State set the date of June 29, a new executive order allowed summer day camps to open on June 22 (the original start date of camp). This will not change our schedule for this year.
- Group Sizes: Camp groups will be a maximum of 10. Groups will not participate in activities with other groups (this limits intermingling of campers). Additionally, social distancing will be taking place during all transition times.
- Transportation: We will NOT be offering busing to or from YMCA Camp Mataucha or YMCA Camp Oakasha this summer. This is based on guidelines set by the State and our bus company regarding campers intermingling, campers being grouped together, as well as capacity per bus. Families currently registered with busing who may need Before and After Care can register by calling the Camp Office at (860)274-4820. Please note, due to busing not being offered, we are unable to provide AM or PM Care at the Greater Waterbury YMCA.
- Camper Insurance Release: The YMCA's Insurance Company, Redwoods, requires all camp participants parents/guardians to sign a COVID-19 waiver prior to any camp programs. This waiver is required to be on file at the Camp Office prior to your campers first day.
- Camp Hours: We will be doing a staggered drop off this summer. Additional information on Drop Off/Pick Up locations will be sent out prior to the session. Below is the proposed schedule:
- Drop Off
- Before Care Campers: 7:00 AM-8:15 AM
- Traditional Camp ONLY: 8:20 AM-8:50 AM
- After Care Campers: 9:00 AM-9:20 AM
- Pick Up
- Before Care Campers: 2:45 PM-3:00 PM
- Traditional Camp ONLY: 3:10 PM-3:40 PM
- After Care Campers: 3:50 PM-6:00 PM
- Health Screenings: Daily health screening will be required for each staff AND camper this summer.
- Daily Wellness Cards will be sent home to all families prior to the session starting. Each morning parents will be required to send their child to camp with a completed wellness sheet including:
- Recorded Temperature
- How is the child feeling?
- Has the child been in contact with anyone who is ill?
- At drop off, a Camp Staff member will verify temperature with our own thermometers prior to campers going to their camp groups.
- Sick Campers/Staff: We are asking ANYONE who feels sick to abide by the following:
- Stay home if your temperature is above 100 degrees
- If a camper/staff in a group tests positive for COVID-19, the entire group (staff included) will not be allowed to return to camp for 14 days.
- Additional safety protocols are included in the operation manual.
- Face Masks: YMCA Camp Staff are required to wear face masks at all times when working with children. At this time, there is no regulation that requires children to wear masks; however a child may wear a mask based on the parent/guardian request. Camp families who wish for their child to wear a mask will be required to supply a mask for their camper(s). Camp staff will encourage wearing a mask as best they can throughout each camp day to support the families request.
- Camp Events: Unfortunately, there will be no Family Nights or Family Overnight for the summer of 2020.
- Special Events: Unfortunately, there will be no Field Trips or Inflatable Rentals for the summer of 2020.
- Specialty Camps & C.I.T.S: In an effort to limit group intermingling, there will be no Specialty Camps or Counselor-In-Training program this year. These campers will be placed in the Traditional Unit they are eligible to participate in.
- Rainy Days: If there is a forecasted severe weather day, camp will be cancelled due to social distancing guidelines in indoor or covered space per the Office of Early Childhood. Weather forecasts will be monitored and a joint decision by both the Outdoor Center Director and Chief Operations Officer before 7:00 PM if the next camp day will be cancelled. When storms are forecasted for later in the day, they will be monitored and a decision to cancel the remainder of the camp day will be made and families will be notified to pick up their children. Families will be notified via email, phone call, and text message in regards to Severe Weather Days. Families will receive a YMCA credit for each full day that is cancelled. On light rain days, camp will run as planned. Please send your child with appropriate clothing for the weather.
- Swimming: At this time, swimming in Smith Pond and the Southbury Training School Pool is undetermined. We have a plan in place that we will be reviewing with the local health departments. We will update families on the status of swimming as we learn more.
- Lost and Found: After each camp session Lost and Found will be removed from the Lost and Found Area on the first Monday of a new session at 9:00 AM.
- Facility Changes: We have made some changes to our facilities to enhance the safety of campers and staff.
- Additional Sinks: We have added additional hand washing stations around camp. Campers and staff will wash their hands prior to joining their group, prior to and after activities, and other times throughout camp day.
- Additional Shady Space: We have purchased several large outdoor tents for each camp to allow campers to enjoy the shade, while being socially distant from other groups.
- Facility Sanitizers: We have hired additional staff whose responsibility will be to sanitize common areas of camp.
- Program Site Closures: The following activity areas have been closed for the summer of 2020.
- The Big Red Slide
- Camp Store
Here is what is not changing this summer:
- Positive Role Models: Our staff are here to provide a summer full of friendships, adventures, and memories like every year at camp.
- Being Outside: Your camper will learn new skills, connect with new friends, and experience the outdoors like never before.
- Less Screen Time: Campers will get away from the screen and connect with friends new and old!
- Being Active: Campers will get the opportunity to be physically active in a variety of new games!
We know that these changes are challenging to our parents, campers, and staff. These are decisions that will help us to minimize everyone's risk of exposure to COVID-19 at YMCA Camp Mataucha and YMCA Camp Oakasha. These precautions do not completely eliminate the risk of exposure however, if you are sending your child to YMCA Camp Mataucha or YMCA Camp Oakasha this summer, there is a rick of exposure to COVID-19, the same way as there is a risk going to any public place.
Based on the changes above, if your status and enrollment at YMCA Camp Mataucha or YMCA Camp Oakasha has changed, or needs to be altered, please reach out to us by calling the Camp Office at (860)274-4820.
Thank you for your understanding with these changes. Please see the Operation Manual for Camp 2020 for a more detailed look at all areas and aspects of camp. The complete manual will be available to families on June 12. We appreciate and care about all of our Greater Waterbury YMCA Camp Families and our goal is to provide a safe, fun, and worthwhile program for your camper(s).
Outdoor Center Director
Greater Waterbury YMCA