2021 COVID-19 Protocol
Happy Spring! Thanks for partnering in parenting with us!
Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our utmost commitment to health and safety for our entire camp community, we are providing the following FAQS about our upcoming 95th season at Birch Rock Camp. Please note that these protocols may change as we continue to work with the CDC, State of Maine and public health experts, industry collaborators and our internal wellness committee.
As we move towards the summer, we shall continue to adopt our mitigation strategies (as we successfully did last year in 2020) to most effectively reduce transmission risk by employing a multi-layered approach including – masking, hand hygiene, physical distancing, cohort activity groupings, periodic testing, daily temperature monitoring, fresh Maine air and pure camp fun! We appreciate your support in setting up your camper and the community for success this season by understanding the following:
- Will COVID-19 testing be required this summer? Birch Rock will require all staff and campers to have a documented negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival to camp. Additional testing will be conducted throughout the summer season at camp. This will be required from all states
- Is there Transportation to BRC? All participants will be required to be delivered (with proof of PCR test) by his parent/guardian to the campus at an appointed time arranged in advance with the camp. We ask that those travelling in the car also to have proof of 72 hour test or be vaccinated. These appointed times will be offered and confirmed as we get closer to Opening Day of each season. Flying into Portland Jetport PWM – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm. We appreciate that you limit those travelling with your camper to camp.
- Are Face Masks required? The state of Maine has a mask mandate -with the exception of swimming, sleeping, eating and showering. In congregate group settings, face masks will be required. We ask that all Birch Rockers bring their own customized/personal 4-5 & – washable two-layered face masks – and have them clearly labeled please!
- How will the Health & Wellness team monitor our camper? Our talented team of camp, medical and culinary professionals are going to do their absolute best to provide your camper the Birch Rock experience he desires. Monitoring of temperature and symptoms will be conducted daily. Of course, if there are any confirmed symptoms of COVID-19 or any other concerning health issues, the camp will contact the parent/guardian for further consultation.
- Will Birch Rock be allowing any visitors this summer? Sorry, No. In order to maintain the “bubble” of safety, and to respect our need to best manage and group quarantine – we respectfully will not be welcoming any parents, alumni, neighbors or future prospects during the camp sessions. Any other time, please contact email@example.com to make arrangements.
- Is there anything we need to do in preparation for our camper’s arrival? Yes, please! In order for our camp community to remain healthy and successful, we ask that your camper only participate in “low-risk” outdoor activities, maintain physical distancing and wear a mask. Please avoid large gathers outside the family – i.e. weddings, graduations, religious gatherings, parties and playdates. Staying healthy at home helps supports a healthy BRC summer experience for all! A precamp tracking form will be required for admission to the camp season.
- How will vaccines be part of the camp experience? Fortunately, our staff members will be able to be vaccinated prior to the season, but most campers will not have that accessibility. If your state does allow it, we would strongly encourage you to be vaccinated.
- Will there be any restrictions on activities this season? As we learned from last summer, we were able to offer most activities and traditional group gatherings like Tree-Talk and Camp-Fire with a few caveats: masking, clean hands and a little more “personal space” – especially when not in your activity/cohort group. Although there a few daily modifications since 2019, we really embraced new opportunities to dine outside more frequently, embrace evening fun with activity/cohort groups and decompress with the natural surroundings of Lake McWain.
- Are camping trips still going to be offered? You bet! Trips will be at selected wilderness locations and within one’s cohort/activity group – away from public-commercial populated arenas – primarily in the Western Maine and White Mountain areas. We also will have a satellite basecamp for the youngest campers across the lake from Birch Rock. If there are any concerns with your campers leaving BRC during the season, please let us know. There will be no socializing with other camps this season. Masks are required in all vehicle transportation.
- What if my camper and/or his cabin tests positive for COVID-19? Like any health and safety issue, we will confidentially reach out directly to discuss the situation and provide an action plan for best resolution. Anyone exhibiting signs of COVID-19 like symptoms will be isolated until a final determination can be made.
- How will the staff prepare for the upcoming season? Our veteran staff has already been engaged with virtual meetings and specific question/answer sessions since the beginning of 2021. In addition to our comprehensive staff training modules, the BRC staff will also be updating new standards of operation for this summer’s American Camping Association Accreditation visit and expanding our orientation time with health and camp professionals on how best to operate physically, emotionally and practically with prevention guidelines and compliances during a COVID-19 pandemic. Most of all, they are looking forward to providing your son a fun, healthy and incredible Birch Rock Camp experience this summer.
Please feel free to contact us directly with any specific questions and/or concerns. We appreciate your partnership in parenting.