Updated April 26, 2022
The one big strategy to a healthy, and adventurous summer: a PCR test. Read below for details on how we expect to have an adventurous summer with minimal covid protocols while at camp!
As we look forward to the summer of 2022, we want to share with you the thought process behind our approach to achieving a Covid-free camp season.
Simply put, our premise is that if we are able to start a session with no campers or staff in attendance who are Covid-positive, then we can mitigate the risks of it being brought into camp. Essentially, to begin with a pristine environment and then work to keep it that way.
By following this strategy, we believe that other mitigation efforts such as masking, cohorting and social distancing will not be necessary.
But it depends, obviously, on every camper family and staff members taking seriously the steps necessary to make sure they don’t bring Covid into camp. Truly, no one wants to be the person who disrupts the camp experience for someone else.
Please know our concern is for the health of your camper AND the continuity of his stay. If any camper becomes infected, it would require his going home and that his cabin adjust their activities while they undergo observation. Last year we had zero infections, and we’re hoping to repeat that good outcome!
Thus, the one primary strategy that we believe will most help us deliver a great session at Camp Rockmont for your son is a negative PCR test followed by 3 days of taking adequate precautions to avoid bringing a COVID infection into camp. The rest of our health guidelines are listed below, but this is the big one.
A PCR test is considered the best way to detect infections without symptoms present (a NAAT test is also acceptable). They are more dependable than a rapid antigen test, but they are more expensive, and they usually take 24-48 hours to read.
We recommend that you order a test from Vault Health, and that you administer it on Thursday before camp opens on Sunday. This test costs $90, and you can order it here. If you ship your completed test by Thursday, you will receive results by Friday or Saturday. Please order this test at least 10 days in advance.
Note: this will be a new system for most returning campers. It is likely that your health insurance will not cover this cost, so we found this less expensive alternative. Also, you may find a PCR/NAAT test on your own. We offer this link for your convenience.
After administering (and then shipping) this test on Thursday before camp, we ask that you take all precautions necessary from that point on to ensure your son isn’t exposed and doesn’t bring an infection with him to camp. This means avoiding indoor crowds, sleepovers and close contact with others who may transmit the virus. If your son is flying, we ask that he wear a mask for those hours as well.
Note: If a camper tests positive, he must wait five days before reporting to camp, assuming that he has no symptoms, or five days after the first day of symptoms and at least 24 hours after any fever (without fever reducing medications). This means that you could still report to camp as early as Tuesday following a positive test on Thursday.
Once we get everyone to camp, because of these advance tests and precautions, we anticipate that we can be free of cumbersome protocols. Your son can enjoy camp freely like it’s meant to be enjoyed. It all starts with a good test and then 3 days of caution.
The following are our additional health guidelines:
- Families will be sent and asked to complete a 5-day health monitoring form and asked to bring that with you on opening day.
- In order to lower the risk of transmission and infection by COVID-19, Rockmont encourages all campers to be up-to-date on all recommended vaccines. We are not requiring campers to be vaccinated.
- Rockmont is requiring our staff to be up-to-date on all recommended vaccines, while offering religious and medical exemptions if we can accommodate them within our health guidelines.
- We will again ask parents to remain in or around their cars at drop off and pick up.
- Because of our testing protocols and other preparations, we do not believe masking will be necessary, but we will follow all health requirements. If masks become required for indoor activities, we know from experience that we can comply with this requirement without any interruption to the full enjoyment of camp.
- We will support any camper family who desires for their son to wear masks in other situations.
- We will conduct a brief daily health screening for campers and staff, checking for symptoms of COVID-19.
- If any camper requires a test because of the presentation of COVID symptoms, we will contact his parents. If the diagnosis is positive, we will isolate the camper and make arrangements for his parents or guardians to pick him up within approximately 12 hours. After a positive diagnosis, the camper’s cabin group will be monitored closely and undergo testing as recommended by the Health Department. The Director will communicate with the parents of all cabinmates, and we will keep all families informed of any changes or concerns.
Camp Rockmont is an ACA accredited camp with years of experience in mitigating the spread of communicable illness (see Preventing and Treating Illness at Camp). As always we will have a full complement of resident nurses and a spacious Health Center. Nurses are present at every meal and are a key part of our standard health plan.
We look forward to welcoming your son. We are energized and confident as we approach the summer of 2022. Please contact us with any questions you may have.
The Rockmont Team