The camp administrative team has been monitoring protocols and guidelines from the county and state health departments. We are working diligently to prepare a 2021 summer program that will allow us to run our much-loved camp in a manner that prioritizes staff and campers' wellbeing. The Camp Leadership Team would like to offer our well-known, well-loved program. However, we need to make informed decisions now in regards to the structure of our 2021 camp format. Our current idea is to create and organize a smaller camp that follows mandated COVID-19 guidelines. If health conditions improve and restrictions are lifted in spring 2021, we will jump for joy and offer the original camp program.
As we develop a smaller-scale program, our priorities are twofold:
- Provide maximum camper and counselor safety based on federal, state, and county guidelines.
- Foster a child-centered program that allows campers to express their individuality, broaden their interests, and enjoy the companionship of friends and staff.
The campers will be placed in cohorts consisting of 15 children and three/four counselors to meet current health and safety protocols. Junior Camp will consist of one Kreative Kangaroos cohort, three Unit A cohorts, four Unit B cohorts, and three Unit C cohorts. In Senior Camp, campers will be place in cohorts, based on campers’ activity preferences.
Camp will utilize more outdoor campus spaces in 2021. There will be many large tents, and we will create outdoor classrooms so that the cohorts can participate safely in a variety of activities. Campers will continue to eat outside, play on the multiple playgrounds, swim in the on-campus pool, and compete on the Green Acres field. Social distancing, mask wearing, frequent handwashing, and regular sanitizing of surfaces will be required. All camp employees will be trained in COVID-19 protocols.
Due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 landscape; these plans may expand or change to ensure the health and safety of our camp community and meet new requirements. At a minimum, Green Acres Day Camp's COVID-related protocols will comply with applicable State of Maryland mandates and align with Montgomery Country Health Division and American Camp Association. As we progress through the pandemic and towards the summer season, we may alter, cancel, or replace certain aspects of camp. If we do, this web page will be updated and registrants will be notified by email. Depending on the severity of a change, we may offer registrants a full refund. Otherwise, our regular cancellation policy remains in effect. You may view a summary of the policy in the Registration & Enrollment section.
What Families Can Do
We ask that parents and guardians work with us by adhering to the following guidelines.
- Keep any child from camp with the following symptoms:
- Fever (temperature of 100.0F or above) or chills
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)
- New/unexplained nasal congestion or runny nose
- New/unexplained loss of smell/taste
- New/unexplained muscle aches
- Any other signs of illness
- Notify the Camp Health office as soon as any of the aforementioned symptoms occur in a child.
- Keep any child from camp if they have been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19.
- Close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was “within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”
- Comply with any camp or medical professional’s request to have a camper or family member tested for Covid-19.
- Follow any and all quarantine procedures requested by Green Acres Camp or the appropriate medical professional.
- Maintain open communication with the camp’s Health Staff regarding any suspected cases of Covid-19.
- Follow all morning attestation protocol implemented by Green Acres Camp. We will share more information about how we will ask families to attest to their campers’ health in the coming months.
- Provide your campers with their own masks, clearly labeled with name and the direction the mask should be facing when being used. Gaiters and bandanas are not allowed as a mask for camp.
- Keep personal toys, games, and other items at home. This will help us prevent the use of shared items throughout the camp day.
- Have the same person pick up and drop off campers each day (as much as possible).
- Have an authorized adult prepared for an emergency pick-up at all times.
- While we cannot restrict families’ activity outside of Green Acres Camp, we ask that they consider how their choices before and after the camp day affect the larger community. We encourage everyone at our summer camp to follow the big 3: hand hygiene, physical distancing, mask wearing, along any other guidance from the CDC at all appropriate times. We thank you in advance for doing your part in keeping our community safe!
What Our Staff Will Do
Each day, you can expect our staff to follow the following protocols:
- Staying at home with any of the aforementioned symptoms or if in close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19
- Complying with any request by Green Acres Camp or the appropriate medical professional to get tested or quarantine
- Following all morning attestation protocol set forth by Green Acres Camp
- Monitoring campers for any signs of illness throughout the camp day
- Preventing the sharing of food
- Preventing the sharing of common items unless they are disinfected between uses
- Communicating with the Health Office as soon as any symptoms are suspected for campers/staff
- Implementing contact tracing protocol with all members of the camp community in relation to a suspected case of Covid-19
- While we cannot restrict staff activity outside of Green Acres Camp, we are asking them to seriously consider how their choices before and after the camp day affect the larger community
- Following and encouraging Green Acres Camp’s “Big Three”
- Physical Distancing: maintaining 6 feet of distance as much as possible
- Frequent handwashing (before/after activities, lunch, after sneezing, after coughing, after contact with bodily fluids, monitored as needed by age), disinfecting equipment and high use spaces throughout the day
- Wear masks.
What Our Leadership Team Will Do
Green Acres Camp’s Leadership Team is committed to making the camp day safe, fun, and a memorable experience for all. Here are some further adjustments we are prepared to make should Covid-19 impact our area in the summer:
- Providing effective, comprehensive, and ongoing training to our staff on all Covid-19 practices
- Establishing smaller groups in accordance with state guidelines
- Reworking group schedules to assist with contact tracing. This may affect older campers’ choice of activities throughout the day.
- Reworking special events to prevent an entire division from grouping together
- Organizing lunches in spread out areas, staggered times, and outside as much as possible
- Providing a separate screening room for any staff/campers with Covid-19 symptoms
- Moving activities outside as much as possible
- Implementing staggered swim times/days to cut down on larger groups
- Utilizing the school’s professional cleaning crew for large, shared spaces throughout the campus
- Using EPA-approved cleaners and disinfectants when maintaining the campus
- Providing the proper PPE to nurses and staff as directed by the local board of health
- Staggering the pick up process at the end of the day to mitigate the clustering of large groups
- Cleaning and disinfecting all areas of the campus exposed to a reported positive case of Covid-19
As the situation evolves throughout the course of the year, we will communicate more information regarding any adjustments to our programming and protocols in a transparent and timely manner.
Letter Sent out to Parents on 3/12
Hello, parents of 2021 Green Acres campers! We are so excited to be offering in-person camp this summer, and we look forward to meeting or getting reacquainted with you and your campers soon (see What’s Next, below). Although changes have been implemented due to COVID, what you love about Green Acres Camp remains. COVID doesn’t mean that we compromise on fun, friendships, and learning!
Beginning with this letter, we will be updating you periodically about Camp policies and procedures. Please read the whole letter.
Bus Transportation/PM Care
Several families have asked whether we will offer bus transportation and PM Care. Various logistical factors must be considered before we make a decision. First we need to know how many parents are interested in these services. Please complete the surveys below by March 19 if you are interested in bus transportation and/or PM Care for your camper(s).
New COVID-19 Updates
We are making many changes to keep campers safe this summer. We now have large tents all over the campus, which we plan to use as outdoor classrooms. Our newly extended Wi-Fi will allow us to show Gully virtually and to enhance outdoor classroom activities. We plan to have only one Unit at a time physically present at Gully, with all other Units participating virtually. Each cohort will have separate, designated spaces both inside and outside and will not mix with other cohorts. Handwashing times now are part of all campers’ schedules. We have replaced classroom tables with desks to support social distancing. Like in the past, lunch will be outside. Campers will be social distancing and we will not provide milk. Masks will be required at all times except during lunch, swim instruction, and free swim.
At the pool, all campers will still be socially distanced while receiving instruction. There will be one lifeguard in the pool giving instruction, two masked lifeguards in chairs, and three masked cohort counselors positioned strategically to support the lesson. There will be 50% fewer campers at the pool during swim time compared with previous years.
For Senior Camp, Track 1 campers will have daily swim instruction, Track 2 campers will have free swim on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30-9:00 am, and Track 3 campers will have free swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30-9:00 am. All campers can sign up for private swim instruction before and after the Camp day. More information about this option is on the Camp website now and will be in the Camp Parent Handbook, which you will receive later this spring.
Staff Vaccines, Testing, and Daily Health Screenings
While staff vaccination currently is not a camp requirement, our counselors have been classified as educators, have received proof of employment documents, and are eligible to receive the vaccine. Many of our staff are teachers and may have been vaccinated already.
All staff and campers will be required to receive a COVID test and a negative test result the week before their first day of camp. Testing will occur on campus. The present plan is during the camp day, campers/staff will be tested periodically throughout the Camp season. We will provide more information closer to the date.
We will be using a new feature on CampMinder or the MedBot app for daily health check-ins. This required daily procedure will allow parents and staff to take temperatures and answer preset health questions themselves and to communicate the results easily to our camp nurse. There also will be random temperature checks. Look for more information in the Camp Parent Handbook later in the spring.
Updated Refund Policy
Please review our Camp refund policy in the event of a quarantine. If a camper or staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, every member of that cohort will be required to stay home, and Green Acres Camp will conduct a cleaning of the pod in accordance with state and county guidelines. The cohort will be required to remain off campus for 36 hours, and the camper or staff member with the symptoms will be required to receive a negative PCR test and be symptom free for 24-hours. Activity packages will be provided, as well as access to a half day online program. No refunds will be given in this scenario.
If the symptomatic person receives a positive test result, the entire cohort will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Green Acres Camp will conduct a cleaning of the pod in accordance with state and county guidelines. Activity packages will be provided, as well as access to a half day online program. A refund of $500 will be given to each camper should this situation occur.
Camper Community Agreement
The tentative Camper Community Agreement is attached. Given that CDC guidelines and State and County protocols continue to change, we will update this agreement later in the spring. Each family will have to sign the Agreement and send a signed copy back to the Camp Office before your camper’s first day.
We will host a Camp Town Hall on Tuesday, March 16 from 6:30-7:15 pm via Zoom to give you an opportunity to ask questions and make your thoughts known. During this event we will share more details about daily schedules and COVID procedures. To help us organize the Q&A portion of the Town Hall, we ask you to submit your questions here: *link*
We are extremely excited about the Camp 2021 “Summer of Champions” theme. Campers and staff will “travel” all over the world and hold a Green Acres Camp mini-Olympics! We hope that you and your camper(s) are pumped as well! Please spread the word; we still have some openings in Unit B, Unit C, and Senior Camp. Tell your friends why Green Acres Camp is the place to be!
See you soon!
Green Acres Camp Team