COVID-19 Safety Information

COVID-19 Safety Information

We are looking forward to this summer and counting down the days until Session 1 starts on July 4! On February 25th, Massachusetts gave the green light for overnight camps to reopen. We expect updated minimum standards guidelines to be released ASAP and are continuing to prepare to implement the best safety practices for our camp this summer. 

Undoubtedly, summer 2021 will be different. We acknowledge that changes can be challenging and are focusing on making the very best of the opportunity to return to camp. Camp will still be camp, and the WA WA spirit will be the basis for everything we do this summer! 

While we know that these next few months will continue to teach us a lot, we are planning for what may be the biggest changes for the summer and sharing that with you at this time. 

COVID-19 Overnight Camp Policies

*last updated May 15. 

Please contact the Camp Director, Lily Mercogliano Easton at lily@campwawa.org with any questions not answered below.

COVID-19 Fequently Asked Questions

Our cabins are currently capped at 6-8 campers and 1-2 counselors.  Per updated guidance from the State of Massachusetts, each cabin will be well ventilated. 6 feet of distance will not be required for campers from the same cabin, whether during daily activities or when sleeping.

These cabin groups will form a cohort that will stay together for daily classes, activities, and free time in order to track camper interactions.

 

Siblings that are close in age may choose to request to bunk together, as this is also allowed during a more typical summer. Or they may enjoy the camp program more by being placed with their age peers in separate cabins. Either way, siblings and friends in other cabins will still see each other – they would just save hugs and close contact for when camp is over.  

 

Many all-camp favorite activities would still be on the daily schedule; however, they may be adapted to keep the cohort structure in place.

A negative PCR test is required to be taken within 48 hours of coming to camp. The results must be uploaded into the camper health profile prior to driving to camp. For most campers, this means scheduling a PCR test for the Thursday afternoon before a Sunday arrival. Additionally, a rapid test will be administered during drop-off and also in the event any symptoms of COVID-19 develop in a participant or if they come in contact with the public.

Camps that implemented the multi-pronged approach of pods, testing, and masking saw great outcomes in summer 2020 – asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 were identified prior to, and during the early days, of camp, and spread was mitigated so as to allow for the majority of camp programming to continue as normal. 

At WA WA this summer, campers will not wear masks when doing activities just with their own cohort, and will wear masks when in a shared space with other cohorts. For example, masks will be worn when using our bathhouse, “The Beacon”, when traveling to and from different parts of camp, and during any distanced activities with other cohorts or during contact sports with other cohorts. 

“Visitors Day” is a great WA WA tradition, however we will not hold it this summer in order to limit the number of outside people within base camp. Letter writing is always a treasured point of contact while campers are at camp. The landline phone is also available for phone calls as needed.

Campers that are staying for the month are encouraged to stay at camp between sessions for the session break stay-over. Laundry will be done, and this way campers can avoid having to coordinate a PCR test in time to return within 24 hours on a weekend. We are awaiting guidance from the health department on the specific protocol for campers who go home for those 24 hours in between.

Our camper cabins, bathhouse, lodge and dining hall are all already extremely well ventilated and have a notable amount of open-air capabilities. In addition, our daily activities take place outside on our lake, fields and trails as much as possible. 

We are still evaluating the best method for delivering meals and have several options to work with including using our parade field, and both our inside lodge & dining hall (both areas are surrounded by open windows).

As we have learned over the past year, families can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks in public, using proper handwashing and cough covering methods, staying home when sick, and getting vaccinated when eligible.

Our camp is licensed by the State of Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We work closely with our local health department, as well as the Massachusetts Camping Association, and the American Camping Association (ACA) New England Chapter. Our health care is supervised by Nella Stoltz, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, DNP, APRN, PNP-BC, ACNP, CCRN-P, and delivered by a team of nurses and doctors- all of whom have pediatric experience during the rest of the year.

Family Camp during the first two weeks of August, 2021 will also follow CDC and MDPH guidelines for COVID mitigation and prevention. Family groups will register as one family and will be defined as those that are sharing a cabin. 
 
Activities in our common areas like the lake, parade field, lodge, and dining hall, will all be socially distanced. Just like last summer, and this summer during youth overnight camp, we will require mask wearing whenever social distancing is not possible. 
 
Meals will be served family style. Families will also have access to dry food storage in their cabins for safely storing food they want to bring for themselves. We are still researching the best locations for eating meals but, just like for youth overnight camp, we have a range of safe options available for families. 
 
And similar to our youth overnight camp, we will also ask families to do what they can themselves to prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to coming to camp. At this time we do not know what the testing requirements will be in August for out of state travel to Massachusetts and we will update this page with more information when we have it. 
 

Health care staff are all fully vaccinated. For counselors and other support staff, we are providing all the support we can to encourage staff to vaccinate, however it is not a requirement of employment.

All participants are required to complete a 10-day self-quarantine. For campers, that means monitoring symptoms daily, staying home as much as possible, not enrolling in any group activities outside the home, and always wearing a mask when in the company of anyone outside your home. Staff will complete a portion of their quarantine during the 7-day staff week at camp. This 10-day quarantine applies to all participants – whether vaccinated or not. 

Our partners in planning for Summer 2021:

  • Massachusetts Camping Association
  • American Camping Association
  • Health Supervisor Team