Happy Spring! Thanks for partnering in parenting with us!
Given the fluid 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 96th 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 in 2020 & 2021) to most effectively reduce transmission risk by employing a multi-layered approach including – required vaccinations, masking when necessary, frequent hand hygiene, periodic testing, daily 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 & vaccination cards be required this summer? YES. Birch Rock will require all staff and campers to have a documented negative PCR within 72 hours and/or an approved Antigen test within 24 hours of arrival to camp. A copy of your vaccination card and Covid-19 test will be required to be uploaded or emailed prior before entering the campus. Additional antigen testing will be administered upon arrival and conducted as needed throughout the summer season at camp. This will be required for all staff and campers without exception.
- Is there Transportation to BRC? All participants will be required to be delivered 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 be vaccinated or masked. These appointed times will be offered and confirmed as we get closer to Opening Day of each season. Flying into Portland Jetport PWM – please be sure to fill out the transportation form online and 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 currently does not have a mask mandate. However, in the event that “Covid 19 Protocols” dictate a change, or when travelling for trips in a camp vehicle – we do require face masks. We ask that all Birch Rockers bring their own personal multi-layered face masks or N95 type – 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. Daily “health checks” and monitoring of any symptoms and mental well-being will be conducted. 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. As we have done these past two years – in order to maintain the “bubble” of safety, and to respect our need to best manage healthy group congregate living – we respectfully will not be welcoming any parents, alumni, and neighbors during 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, in the 2 weeks prior to camp, your camper only participate in “low-risk” outdoor activities, maintain physical distancing and wear a mask in public indoor arenas and stores. Please avoid large indoor gatherings outside the family – i.e. weddings, graduations, parties, indoor congregate events and playdates. Staying healthy at home helps supports a healthy BRC summer experience for all! A pre-camp tracking form will be required for admission to the camp season.
- How will vaccines be part of the camp experience? Fortunately, our staff members and campers will be able to be vaccinated prior to the season. We do ask that each Birch Rock member be “up to date” with his most current CDC recommended vaccinations available for your respective age group.
- 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 Campfire. We hope with having a vaccination requirement and with clean hands, fresh air, and supporting each other’s personal space and monitoring one’s health and well-being camp will be the best recipe for a fun and enjoyable summer. We want all Birch Rockers to decompress from technology and embrace 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 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. 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 2022. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 583- 4478 with any specific questions and/or concerns. We appreciate your partnership in parenting.