Summer 2020 – in Review

How We Handled Health and Safety this Summer

We are always grateful after we wrap up a safe and healthy summer, and we are especially grateful to reflect back on the summer of 2020. We saw families relaxing and playing together, eating well, and enjoying all that Rockmont has to offer. The practices we implemented to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 were effective and helpful, and we gained confidence and insight as we look forward to Father/Son weekends and the summer of 2021.

Our basic plan was to give families the space to enjoy their time together and the ability to practice good, COVID safety. Here are some of the practices that helped us stay healthy this summer:

  • Families were encouraged to be tested before arrival and were screened upon arrival.
  • Staff were screened every morning
  • Families remained in cohorts.
  • Masks were worn inside except when eating and outside when closer than six feet.
  • At every morning gathering we emphasized that we are looking out for each other and encouraged everyone to wear masks and keep appropriate distances.
  • All the tables in the dining hall were spaced six feet apart.
  • Tables and other surfaces were cleaned before and after they were used.
  • At night, we set multiple fires (and distributed individual S’more packs), so that no one had to crowd around a single fire.
  • We had maximal outdoor programming.

As we prepare for Father/Son weeks and for the summer of 2021, we are learning from other camps who operated in various ways this summer. As you may have read, some camps have shown that children can, in fact, spread COVID-19. But other camps have shown that a multi-layered use of health interventions can effectively prevent transmission. These experiences will help us as we make our own plans for health and safety.

A multi-layered safety plan is a familiar concept for camps. We do not typically rely on a single practice to keep kids safe and healthy; instead, we create back-up practices, double-checks, and multiple procedures that all work together to mitigate accidents or illnesses. The camps who prevented the transmission of COVID-19 used the following practices, and found success:

  • Pre-arrival quarantine
  • Pre and Post-arrival testing and screening
  • Cohorting
  • Proper use of face coverings outside of the cohorts
  • Physical distancing
  • Enhanced hygiene measures
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Maximal Outdoor Programming

We look back to a safe and healthy summer with great gratitude, and we look forward to the fall and next summer with great anticipation.