We are hopeful that many aspects of the COVID pandemic will be improved by Summer 2021. However, we will continue to plan conservatively to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Below are a few of the things we know, we expect, and we are still trying to figure out.
- Campers will need camp more than ever after a year or more of limited outdoor and social experiences with peers.
- Camp Echo goals of safety, community, personal growth, and FUN! will still be at the forefront of our planning, achieved through the evolving lens of COVID.
- COVID will impact many of our programs, policies, and operations.
- Pre-camp health screening will be in place to minimize the risk of COVID coming into the Camp Echo community. This screening is likely to include a combination of quarantine and testing based on CDC, State of Michigan, and ACA recommendations.
- Programs will be adjusted to limit exposure to individuals outside of the Camp Echo community. This primarily impacts Teen and Adventure Trip programs by eliminating or reducing activities such as eating in restaurants, air travel, visiting other camps, or utilizing crowded public parks.*
- We will honor any government recommended travel restrictions that impact locations that we operate (Evanston, Fremont, and any trip destinations).*
- We will utilize non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in a variety of ways, including remaining physically distanced, staying outdoors, and wearing masks.
*Following these recommendations will have the greatest impact on the following Adventure Trips: Cascades Backpacking, Georgian Bay Sea Kayaking, and Rockies Backpacking.
- We do not expect to require vaccines for our campers. This is based on current guidance from the ACA, which is working with the CDC and public health experts. They have shared that they don’t expect camper age participants to have access to vaccines by next summer due to their low-risk and therefore low priority for vaccine distribution. Our hope is that staff would be vaccinated. (As of December 2020)
- Individual group sizes, and the overall camp population, will be reduced to increase physical distancing between campers and staff.
- Many activities will be done as individual groups (8-10 people, such as traditional camp cabins, adventure trips, and teen groups). These groups will have opportunities to do activities with other groups as a part of a Unit (5-6 camper groups) and all-camp activities. The extent to which these groups interact will be dependent on CDC, State of Michigan, and ACA recommendations.
- Transportation to and from Camp Echo will be provided from Evanston, by bus and van, with pre-departure health screening and strategic bus assignments, which could include staggered bus departures. We also hope to offer drop-off and pick-up options at camp as we have in the past!
- Based on Camp Echo’s Summer 2020 and many other camps’ anecdotal evidence, campers and staff will be healthier than ever due to increased hygiene and cleaning protocols.
- We will develop many unexpected new traditions and program opportunities based on our new reality!
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS AND THOUGHTS, WHO CAN I CONTACT?!?
We are not surprised to hear it – there is a lot to process right now! The best way to share your questions and thoughts with us is through this Google Form! We will be notified when you fill it out and get back to you as soon as possible. Please be patient as we respond to many questions.
Updated on 12/3/2020