FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Following is information that informs our decision to operate summer camp in 2021 and may guide you in your decision to send your child to camp:
- Our Resources – we are working closely with recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health and with our local public health departments. The Ohio Department of Health issued Director’s Orders Updating and Revising Requirements and Guidance for Youth Day Camps and Residential Camps in July of 2020. These requirements and guidance are still in place, revised as of 5/28/21, and have guided our planning for 2021. They are interpreted through each local health department where the camp resides, we have been in communication with the appropriate health departments as plans have progressed.
- Alongside the Ohio Department of Health resources, we have been using the Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance that was prepared for the American Camp Association and the YMCA of the USA. This joint effort was prepared by Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. of Newton, MA.
This summer our focus will be on people more than ever. Keeping campers and staff safe is our highest priority. If you have questions about the program, safety protocols, or any concerns, please contact Ian Roberts, Executive Director.
Will there be camp in 2021?
We are fully anticipating and preparing for a full summer camp season in 2021. Programs are being developed, staff are being hired and we are even committing to a construction project to make sure we have capacity for all the campers we will need to serve this summer.
At the same time, we are aware this is a dynamic situation that may lead us to alternative paths to maintain camper safety. If needed, we are prepared to have a shortened camp season or several other options if the need arises. In the end, we will have as full a camp season and experience as we are safely able to have this year.
What will check-in look like?
- Each camper family will be assigned a staggered check-in time alphabetically by last time.
- Upon arrival, campers will have a temperature, athlete’s foot, and lice check, have their medical forms reviewed, and drop off any medications needed for the week. The pre-camp screening sheet must be turned in, completed.
- Families will be allowed a “one parent/one child” structure. All other family members must remain in the vehicle during drop off.
- No public restrooms will be available to non-campers.
- Temperatures of 100 degrees F or higher will be not accepted at camp. If your camper is unable to attend due to a COVID-related symptom, our staff will do our best to make alternative arrangements for a future session or caregiver approval to return to camp later in the week.
- All unvaccinated campers will take a BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen test upon arrival. If the test is positive, they will then take a PCR test to verify the result.
For the safety of our campers, the Camp Ho Mita Koda Foundation has made changes to the Summer Camp program to maintain physical distancing. We have reduced camp capacity and implemented a pod system to limit the number of interactions with different people.
What are pods?
- Pods consist of 8 campers and 2 staff members. Pods will physically distance themselves from other the pods attending camp at all times.
- Campers and staff in each camp session will be part of one pod. Other sessions at camp that week will be in separate pods.
- The campers will be in their pods for the entirety of the week and will complete all camp programs and meals together as a unit—no interaction with other pods.
How many people will be at camp at a time?
Each session’s capacities may vary dependent on offerings. No matter the program choice, we will operate within the pod structure to maintain physical distance and safety. At MAX, we will not ever have more than 64 total campers onsite.
What COVID precautions will there be where my camper will sleep?
- Campers will maintain a physical distance within their pods.
- Bunks will be 6 feet apart and campers will sleep head to toe (lice precaution).
- Windows will be open and fans will be provided for additional ventilation.
- Permanent hand- sanitizing stations live in each cabin.
Campers will wear a mask outside of their pod, unless eating or drinking, outside strenuous activity, sleeping or distancing more than 6 feet from others outside.
Masks will be worn indoors when there is less than 6 feet of distance to other pods. Masks are not worn if exclusively within the small group pod.
Masks will be worn on check-in and check-out days, as well as when we are singing at the campfire.
Dining and Meals
What will meals look like?
- Campers will eat together in their pods cafeteria-style in the dining hall.
- Friday’s dinner will be served out of the dining hall.
- During days where meals are served in the dining hall, campers will have an opportunity to spread out and eat outside at picnic tables and various areas around camp as well.
- Hand sanitizing stations are installed at each table.
- Pods will not mix.
- One-way entrance and exit.
- Staggered arrival and departure into the Dining Hall.
What about handwashing and sanitizing group spaces?
- Before, during and after participating in activities campers will wash hands and/or use gel hand sanitizer when needed.
- After participating in activities, camp staff will disinfect high-touch surfaces
- Before and after meals, campers and staff will wash their hands
How will my camper shower at camp?
- Campers will shower a minimum of twice per week and as needed.
- Shower schedules are created so that pods do not overlap.
- Campers are responsible for cleaning their shower areas after bathing.
- Staff sanitization of high touch areas between pods (i.e. door handles, table tops, benches, program equipment using sanitization wipes and spray).
- Twice daily sanitization of areas twice daily (lunch & evening) electrostatic sprayers.
What role will camp have when COVID-19 has passed?
We believe that this summer season will potentially be the most important ever for our campers. After a time of social distancing and loss of connection through school and work, there is a need for relational connection. There will be a need to outdoor activity and deep breaths as we all process this experience.
Camp is designed to meet these needs. In addition to a return to “normal” life, a week at camp will encourage your camper to connect with others as we enjoy the camp activities that will stretch their legs and soothe their soul. Moments around campfires singing songs and sharing stories will be not just a camp experience but it will be a way to restore all of us to living the “new normal”.
Is there a way to register for summer camp without paying upfront?
Yes. For summer 2021, we are accepting registrations with a fully-refundable $50 initial deposit with the understanding of full payment prior to the 2021 schedule session.
We know this is a complicated time financially for families, but we also know that families value the importance of camp. Being outside, with friends, while gaining a new understanding appreciation for T1D are important for our families and we want to allow you to make a commitment to summer even if you have concerns about your short-term financial situation.
Is there a refund/cancellation policy in relation to COVID-19?
While we anticipate returning to full camp operation as soon as safely possible, yes, we have modified our refund policy for this situation. If circumstances have led your family to a difficult financial situation, this policy is designed to give you relief.
At the same time, please remember that your registration fees and commitments are the resources we need to prepare for another great camp season. It’s a delicate balance, but we want to work with our families to make sure everyone is cared for and safe. You can find more information on our Cancellation/Refund Policy HERE.
What happens if a camper or staff member shows symptoms or tests positive?
We are hard at work developing policies, procedures, and guidelines to help guide the direction of our camp operation in the safest possible way. Our Medical Committee is working with state and local governments to ensure that if camp were to operate, we have mitigated all risks to the best of our ability including additional screenings, stockpile of PPE, social distancing and isolation plans, revised group size, staggered meals, and so much more.
Once our policies are finalized and approved, we will be sharing them with our families.
Will you test campers during the session?
The short answer is yes.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and widely accessible in the United States.
- Everyone aged 12 years and older is recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to keep from getting and spreading COVID-19.
While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared with adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, can spread the virus to others, and can have severe outcomes. Children who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms (“asymptomatic”) can still spread the virus to others. Children are more likely to be asymptomatic or have mild, non-specific symptoms and they are much less likely than adults to have severe illness or die. Both adults and children with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
At Camp Ho Mita Koda, safety is our #1 concern and we are committed to following the recommended best practices and mandatory regulations as set forth by the local, state, and federal agencies, which allow us to operate summer camp.
Here are some questions to consider and understand with regard to testing this season:
Will everyone be tested? No. Only unvaccinated campers will be tested. If your camper is vaccinated, they will not need to be tested unless they show symptoms. Currently, 100% of all CHMK staff and volunteers are fully vaccinated.
What covid test method will be used? We will be utilizing both a rapid test and PCR test as needed. A rapid test will be administered to all non-vaccinated children. If it comes back positive, they will then complete a PCR test to verify the result. If the test result is negative, they are good to go and no further testing is needed, unless symptoms are displayed later on.
What brand of covid testing will be used? We have contracted with Abbot Testing to use the BinaxNOW tests. This is currently the most studied and widely available antigen test available in the United States and approved by our senior medical team and foundation board.
What laboratory site will be used? CHMK is a CLIAA approved site. All testing will be completed by a medical professional, with results available onsite in 15 minutes. If further testing is required, we will utilize the labs at one of our partner hospitals.
What type of test will be given? The BinaxNOW is an Anterior Nasal Swab test. Meaning, a small Qtip is rubbed on the inside of the nasal walls, which is completely painless and quick. No brain poking swabs will be used at all, as is common with the nasopharynx swabs.
Will the results be anonymous and where will the data be stored? Yes, all tests are completely anonymous and no reporting of a positive or negative test is required to the local health department. The tests will be disposed of and we simply record whether a camper is positive/negative in their intake chart. Outside of this, no other record or data is kept on the child.
How frequently will the tests be administered during the week at camp? We will only test once during a session. The test will occur at check-in. A second test may be needed during a session if a camper is displaying symptoms.