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COVID-19 risk is fluid, and the guidance on this page does not supersede more recent government guidance or restrictions.
 
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Summer Camp COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan

We know this summer will look different, but we are excited for the woods to come alive again with laughter, fun, and friendship. At this time, GSCSNJ is planning and preparing for in-person Summer Camp programs with extensive health & safety modifications.

GS-COVIDFree

By taking the necessary precautions last summer, we were able to serve over 550 girls at our in-person Summer Camps with ZERO cases of COVID-19. These extra safety measures allowed girls to continue building their independence and self-confidence in a safe and fun way, while connecting and having fun with others.

The health and safety of our campers is always our first priority. In-Person GSCSNJ Summer Camps have extensive health and safety procedures and staff training in place every year. This summer, GSCSNJ will continue to update the 2021 guidelines as we receive further guidance and recommendations from the NJ State Health Department,  American Camp Association (ACA), and the considerations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Cancelations/Refunds

The $50 registration deposit is non-refundable. The remainder of the camp fee (excluding the deposit) will be refunded if:

  • The camper withdraws, and Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ receives a written request at least five weeks prior to the start of the camper’s session.
  • The camper leaves camp due to an illness or injury, and Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ receives a written request for a refund within two weeks of her return home. Refunds will be prorated on a per diem basis.
 
FULL refund will be provided:
  • If a program is canceled and no alternative program is available.
  • If Council cancels in-person programming for summer 2021. Registrants will also be offered the opportunity to enroll in virtual camp programming with supplies. 
  • Should a family decide before the Summer Camp program begins that they would like to not attend camp this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Should a girl test positive for COVID-19 or be exposed to a positive or assumed positive individual 14 days before the selected Summer Camp program.
 
NO refund will be provided:
  • If a camper leaves early due to behavior, home missing, or parent request.

 
2021 Summer Camp COVID Procedures:
 
Major Changes in 2021 Guidelines From Summer 2020

  1. Allowing overnight programs at our facilities
  2. Addition of in-person camping at Sacajawea
  3. Establishment of pre-camp HVAC, air conditioning, and water treatment
  4. Establishment of procedures for the following:

  • Vaccinated Staff and Campers
  • Mask Usage for Unvaccinated vs. Vaccinated Staff and Campers
  • Pre-arrival COVID Testing
  • Out of State Campers
  • Post arrival COVID Testing for Sleepaway Camp
  • Updated Contact Tracing 
  • Overnight Sleeping Arrangements
  • Off-site Trips
  • On-site Visitors
  • Food Service 

 

 

Please review and reach out to your Camp Director if you have any questions.

Camp Sacajawea: Carmen Guzman-Francesco - cfrancesco@gscsnj.org

Camp Inawendiwin: Jaci Moseley - jmoseley@gscsnj.org

Camp Oak Spring: Amanda Kelly - akelly@gscsnj.org

Below are additional measures and protocols in place for summer 2021 that we want to ensure parents, staff, and campers alike are aware of.

Through Executive Order 237, the State of New Jersey will allow for the operation of both Summer Day Camp and Summer Resident Camp programs.

The guidelines below WILL BE UPDATED as we receive further guidance from the CDC, ACA, state and county health departments, and GSCSNJ's COVID-19 In-Person Participation Guidelines.

Activities

Handwashing or hand sanitizing stations are installed near all program areas. Campers and staff are required to wash their hands before and after they participate in any of the following activities. Activity blocks will be scheduled with sufficient time for proper sanitization between camper units.

Adventure Activities

Shared items, such as life jackets, paddles and archery bows will be disinfected in between groups. If feasible, all participants will have their own equipment during their activity rotation. If an item that is not intended to be shared, is touched by another camper or staff member, it will be immediately sanitized and the camper or staff member will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Rock wall & zip line harnesses cannot be sanitized per manufacturer regulations. 

We will provide each unit with their own basic supplies for the week. This could include scissors, glue sticks, markers, and colored pencils. Community supplies will be handled by the Program Managers and be divided up between groups so that the supplies do not get cross-contaminated. At the end of the week, all supplies will be sanitized for the following week’s campers.

Swimming

We will be operating within any and all guidelines provided by the Department of Health in regards to pools and aquatic recreation facilities. Additionally, we will be limiting the number of swimmers allowed in the pool at once in regulation with the Department of Health guidelines.

Lifeguarding staff, with support from the facility staff, will sanitize community surfaces, such as changing stalls, cubbies, shower handles, etc, in between each camper group.

Camping Crafts & Supplies
Camping Crafts

Fire Building: Social distancing will be maintained for all fire building activities. Teaching girls Leave No Trace fire techniques will allow each girl to safely build individual fires while keeping our program quality high.

 

Arts & Crafts and STEM

Community supplies will be handled by the Program Managers and be divided up between groups so that the supplies do not get cross-contaminated. At the end of the week, all individual supplies will be sanitized and re-packaged for the following week’s campers. There will be no community Arts & Craft or STEM space at either camp this summer.

Off Site Trips

When participating in off-site activities and field trips, proper mask use is required, unless (1) the individual is eating, drinking or swimming, or (2) when not around the general public (ex. hiking in wooded areas away from the public). Offsite activities will minimize prolonged contact with others outside the camp. We will consider day trips with small groups to nearby recreational areas where interaction with the external community will be limited. 

While on offsite trips, campers will receive individual supplies, as feasible. Any shared supplies will be disinfected in between use.

 

Transportation

Busing

During busing/transportation, social distancing must be maintained by maximizing space between riders and maintaining space between the driver and the passengers. Campers who are part of a cohort or family members will be sat together to maximize the limited space. Face coverings must be worn by all onboard transport vehicles. Windows will be open, if safe to do so and except during inclement weather, to encourage air flow. All vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected between uses, all cleanings will be documented.

Campers or staff with a fever or have a family member in the household with a fever are not permitted.

 

Pick-Up/Drop-Off

Each camp will have a designated area for health screening. Cars are to arrive DAILY at the designated health screening area. Camp staff are to park in the designated area and report to the Health Screening area upon arrival. 

  • The Health Supervisor or designee will record campers’ and staff temperatures, asking questions about any symptoms that could indicate they have been exposed to COVID-19.

    • The temperature must be below 100.4 

  • When dropping off and picking up, adults and family members in the vehicle should be wearing a mask too.
Campers or staff with a fever or have a family member in the household with a fever are not permitted.

 

 

Social Distancing Guidelines

Camper Groups

Campers will be in groups or units no larger than 24 campers. Staff, CITs, and Camp Aids will be assigned to and remain with one group with the exception of Administrative Staff who all have the ability to be socially distant, except in cases of emergency. 

Parents, guardians, and other non-essential visitors are allowed at camp this season. Visitors will be limited and approved by the Camp Directors and/or Manager. All visitors will be required to wear masks while visiting camp. Visitors will be subject to the same daily health screening in order to be permitted on camp property. Visitors who cannot wear masks will not be permitted on property.

For Family Camp and Troop Camp, multiple families and/or troops could be cohorted together in a unit, not to exceed the standard unit size of 27.

Wearing Masks

Campers and staff who are vaccinated do not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors. Unvaccinated campers and staff will wear masks indoors unless (1) the camper is eating or drinking, or (2) they are overnight campers in their assigned sleeping quarters and among unit mates. When outdoors, unvaccinated campers and staff will wear masks only when attending all-camp or multi-unit events unless (1) they are eating or drinking, or (2) they are in the water. 

All individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask while cooking and serving food. 

All visitors to camp, including at drop off and pick up, vaccinated or unvaccinated, will be required to wear a mask while on the property, indoors and outdoors. Visitors must maintain 6-foot social distancing from all individuals who live outside of their household. 

All campers and visitors must provide their own masks each day at camp. Camps will increase breaks and encourage hydration of unvaccinated, masked staff and campers throughout the day.

Limiting Visitors
Early Pick-Up / Late Drop-Off

We will be limiting parents, guardians, and other non-essential visitors into camp. All visitors will be required to wear cloth face coverings while visiting camp. Visitors who cannot wear face coverings due to medical issues will not be permitted on property.

If the need for an early pick-up or late drop-off is needed, call your camp's Office Staff to schedule a pick-up/drop-off time.

 

Safety Protocols & Sanitization

Handwashing

Handwashing stations are installed near the program areas. Campers and staff will be required to wash their hands before and after they participate in any activities (adventure activities, swimming, crafts, etc.)

  • Campers and staff will wash hands when leaving and getting to an area.
  • GSCSNJ camps have implemented extra time in the schedule to allow for proper handwashing before and after activities
  • There will be hand sanitizer in areas where hand washing stations are not available (i.e. zipline, ect.)
Routine Camp Cleaning

During staff training, seasonal summer camp staff will be trained on proper cleaning procedures. Summer camp staff are responsible for spraying down shared areas before they leave. Deeper cleanings will be done and documented by the facilities department.

The daily camp schedules have been modified to allow time for sanitization of program areas in between camper groups. 

GSCSNJ will provide Troop and Family Campers with necessary cleaning supplies. Troops and Families are responsible for spraying down shared areas before they leave. Deeper cleanings will be done and documented by the facilities department. 

Out of State Campers

GSCSNJ will allow out-of-state campers members to attend our camp. They must follow the State of New Jersey travel restriction guidelines. Unvaccinated travelers and residents returning to New Jersey from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) need to self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging.

If a camper is fully vaccinated, or has clinically recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months, the State of New Jersey and the CDC no longer require quarantining or testing before/after domestic travel.

 

Nurse Facility & Equipment

Daily Health Screening

Upon arrival (either at camp or at a bus stop) the Health Supervisor or designee will ask questions about any symptoms, including fever, that could indicate they have been exposed to COVID-19. Parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to monitor their children for signs of illness every day as they are the “front line” for assessing illness in their children. Campers or staff who have a family member in the household with a fever are not permitted to stay at camp.

Campers and staff attending Sleepaway Camp and/or Family & Troop Camping will need to provide either proof of vaccination (if applicable) or a negative lab-analyzed PCR or rapid test that was taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival. If a camper arrives without a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination, they will be sent home without a refund. Campers can return to camp once they have received their written results or vaccination record.

The earliest campers can take their PCR or rapid test is Thursday prior to their camp week at 5:00 pm for a Sunday arrival. Day & Away campers can take their tests as early as 7:45 am on Sunday prior to their week at camp. 

Campers choosing to participate in our day camp program Thursday overnights do not need to provide a negative COVID test in order to stay overnight at camp. 

 

Campers or staff with a fever or have a family member in the household with a fever are not permitted.

 

Isolation Rooms

In addition to the required 1 sickbed for every 50 campers, and one additional sickbed for each additional 200 campers, we will have the required COVID-19 specific isolation rooms.

Procedures If Camper/Staff Develop Symptoms of COVID-19
Procedures If Camper/Staff Develop Symptoms of COVID-19 at Camp

Staff members or Campers will be isolated and removed if they develop symptoms related to COVID-19. GSCSNJ will follow current Communicable Disease Service guidance for illness reporting.  

  • If a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 while at the facility (e.g., fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath), the person will be immediately separated into a designated isolation room in the infirmary or Nurse’s office. Parents/ Guardians will be notified for immediate pickup. Staff member will be sent home; their emergency contact will be notified if the employee is not able to drive. 
  • The Nurse/staff member waiting with the child/staff member will follow safe distancing and use PPE protocol until the child is picked up at the main gate or staff member departs the premises.
  • The sick person or guardian will be advised to contact their health care provider for further guidance. We will ask the parent or employee to notify us if there is a positive test for COVID-19.
  • A camper/staff member who shows symptoms of COVID-19 may return to camp when they are no longer experiencing symptoms and do not have a fever of 100.4 or higher.
  • If a camper is unable to attend camp or needs to stay home for the remainder of their camp week, they will receive a refund for the camp days missed.
Procedures If There Is a Positive Case of COVID-19 at Camp

Should we become aware of a COVID-19 positive case at our camp, we will contact our local Health Department for guidance.

Staff and campers with symptoms of COVID-19 at Sleepaway camp will immediately be separated from other campers and staff. Individuals who are sick will be cared for in accordance with CDC Guidance for caring for oneself and others who are sick. Staff and campers who have had close contact with a person who has symptoms will be separated and monitored. 

If a camper or staff member becomes ill from COVID-19 and needs medical treatment, Emergency Medical Services will be called to transport the ill person to a local hospital in accordance with our Standing Orders. Additionally, we will immediately inform parents/legal guardians about any potential contact their children may have had with confirmed cases and immediately inform parents/legal guardians if their child(ren) are experiencing any symptoms.

Contact Tracing Procedures/Return to Camp

In the event of a staff member or camper receiving a positive COVID-19 test result, the parent/guardian will be required to promptly contact the Camp Director of the camp the ill person attended. They will also be required to fill out the form below in order to notify GSCSNJ. The person filling out the form will hear back from Council staff within 48 business hours. If, for any reason, the link is not available, Customer Care can be called or emailed at 856-795-1560 or customercare@gscsnj.org. 

FORM LINK: https://gscsnj.wufoo.com/forms/gscsnj-covid-19-report/ 

Camp Director or designee, and NOT parents/guardians or Troop Leaders, will be responsible for:

  • Confirming and tracing the positive tester

  • Contacting volunteers and parents of any camper who may have been exposed

Remember, only Council staff, NOT volunteers, will notify parents and others about a positive test result, and that the tester’s identity will remain confidential. Camper and staff health information is private, strictly confidential, and should only be shared on a need to know basis with a Council staff member.

If a staff member or camper contracts or is exposed to COVID-19, they cannot be admitted to  camp again until the criteria for lifting transmission-based precautions and home isolation have been met.

COVID Test Guidance

If a camper or staff member has a positive test result, they will not be admitted to camp. The CDC does not recommend getting tested again within three months after a positive viral test if the person does not have symptoms of COVID-19. Any campers and staff members who have had a positive viral test in the 3 months prior to the starting of camp, and have met the criteria to end isolation, will be required to present a letter from their healthcare provider documenting the positive test date and stating the individual is cleared to end isolation. Only then will they be admitted to camp.

 

Overnights

Post Arrival COVID Testing at Sleepaway Camp

All unvaccinated staff and campers will be required to take a documented test within 3-6 days of arrival at any youth camp. This applies to any camper staying three nights or more. The Health Supervisor will administer the PCR tests on Wednesdays to all applicable campers and staff. If any tests come back positive, that person will be removed from their group and isolated.  Parents/Guardians will be notified for immediate pickup. Staff members will be sent home and their emergency contact will be notified if the employee is not able to drive.

Post arrival COVID tests are not required for Brownie Mini Camp, Family Camp, Overnights, Day & Away, and Troop Camp participants.

Overnight Sleeping Arrangements

Bed and mats are aligned head-to-toe per regulations, with as much space as possible in between (preferably 6 feet). As weather allows, tent flaps will be open, and acorn doors and windows will be open. Campers are asked to bring and use a child-safe, battery operated fan to increase the effectiveness of open windows. Cabins with air conditioning units or HVAC systems are set to bring in as much outdoor air as the system will safely allow.

Campers, as part of a defined unit based on sleeping arrangements, are not required to wear their masks while in their assigned sleeping quarters and among unit mates. Campers must wear their masks when 6 feet of social distancing is not feasible, or cannot be maintained when in the presence of those outside of their unit.

 

Food Service

Cookouts

In order for campers to learn or practice their outdoor cooking skills, they will use one of two cooking methods. One method is individual cooking, such as foil packet cooking, stick cooking, or pie irons. Another method is using the one pot cooking method, where one camper or adult will be in charge of cooking and serving the item. Any persons involved in either cookout process will be masked and gloved while serving food, and only masked (not gloved because of the fire) while cooking. We will limit raw food to pre-packed and pre-cut/cleaned items (i.e. lettuce, tomatoes, onion, etc.). All campers and participants will use a new, clean (washed rinsed, and sanitized as dictated below) plate, and clean hands when getting seconds.

GSCSNJ will also provide prepackaged meals kits on occasion for campers to assemble their own DIY meal, or individually packaged meals. All food will be labeled to prevent items from being accidentally swapped. 

Week Day Troop Campers will coordinate to bring their own food and drink to Girl Scout camp. Food and drink will not be shared amongst non-family members. Troop Leaders or Unit Leaders will write camper names on snacks and drinks to limit items being accidentally swapped.

Troops will not serve food family style, but instead cafeteria style. An adult with a mask and gloves will serve food, making sure they do not make contact with the campers plate. Troops and Families are responsible for spraying down tables, eating areas, and food prep spaces before and after each use.

Day Camp Breakfast

For the campers who participate in overnights, we will provide them with a continental style breakfast with (including but not limited to) pre-packaged breakfast foods like bananas, yogurts, cereal, and muffins. Campers will retrieve their food from a gloved staff member.

Dining Hall Procedures
Applicable to Sacajawea, Inawendiwin, All-Camp Meals, and Oak Spring's Family Night

All surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized between each meal service. All self-service foods, such as buffets and salad bars will be eliminated. Fully masked and gloved staff or Camp Aides can serve the salad and meals cafeteria-style, ensuring all plates are cleaned and sanitized when serving foods.  

Use disposable food service items wherever feasible. If disposable items are not feasible, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are properly cleaned and sanitized.

The dining hall will be set up in a way where as much distance as possible is between each unit's tables. Units will be invited inside in an orderly fashion to prevent co-mingling of groups. Units will be invited into the kitchen to retrieve their table meals, where a masked staff member, Troop Leader, or Camp Aide will serve the food and beverages to the table. In an orderly fashion, campers and staff will be invited back to the cafeteria style salad bar where fully masked and gloved staff or Camp Aides will serve the food. If possible, we will have campers and staff eat outside. 

Bus bins (large and deep bins designed to be light enough to carry, even when loaded up with dirty dishes) will be provided for each table/unit where individuals will place their dirty dishes and utensils. Gloved and masked staff members will bring the bus bins back to the kitchen for cleaning. Staff will educate campers not to touch other people's soiled dishes.

Families at Family Camp will be allowed to eat family style. Families will be invited into the kitchen and served cafeteria style, where they can eat either in their camp units or in the dining hall. If families eat in their units, families will receive their food in biodegradable to-go containers. A masked and gloved staff member or Camp Aide will hand campers their utensils or they will be wrapped in a napkin.  

A masked and gloved staff member or Camp Aide will distribute the plates, bowls, cups, and utensils when setting a table in the unit. Plexiglass is installed in the kitchen spaces at Inawendiwin and Sacajawea to accommodate these procedures. Trash will be emptied by facilities staff nightly after eating.

Cookout Dishes

Although the preference would be for troops to use single use paper products and placewear, we do understand the need to be environmentally conscious when in the outdoors (especially when earning the eco badge series).  

If campers are using individual, labeled mess kits, and plan to clean them while at camp, all campers must clean those mess kits using dunk bags and the three basin washing method.

Lunch From Home & Provided Snacks

Each camper is required to bring their own lunch to Day Camp, except for any scheduled camp meals. Campers will place their lunches in the designated storage area upon arrival. No sharing of food will be permitted. 

GSCSNJ will provide two snacks daily to all campers. If the snack is not pre-packed, we will follow the cafeteria style serving protocols above.

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