Summer 2021 COVID FAQs

Summer 2021 FAQs

Last updated 05/21/21 – We will be updating this document as more information becomes available.

Please see below for our most frequently asked questions about camp and COVID-19. If you have additional questions, please contact us so we can assist you.

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Do you have a required action COVID-19 Response Plan?

Yes, the state of Michigan requires this for all licensed camps and must be submitted with our 2021 license application. Our plan includes the following:

  • How we will monitor symptoms of COVID-19
  • How our programs will practice social distancing
  • How will we ensure proper hygiene (including regular cleaning and disinfecting)
  • How will we obtain, and the use of, safety equipment (including PPE, when appropriate)
  • Our communication protocol to report symptoms or a positive test
  • Our isolation procedure in case of symptoms or confirmed cases onsite

What current precautions will you have in place to keep my camper safe this summer?

These policies are subject to change before the summer as we receive more guidance from LARA (Michigan’s camp licensing board), CDC, and other government agencies. We will update this page as necessary.

Currently, the following precautions will be in place:

  • Negative COVID test: This is not required by the state of Michigan but we will require all campers to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of their arrival at camp and ask that families quarantine their campers between taking the test and arriving at camp. We are also hoping that access to rapid antigen testing will enable us to additionally test on all campers before entering camp.
  • Camper Vaccinations: If / when vaccinations are available to younger members of our community we may be requiring proof of receiving the vaccine before coming to camp. If possible, campers should be through their two-week post-vaccine period by the start of camp. We have been told that the vaccine may be approved as soon as mid-may for campers ages 12-15.
  • Pre-Camp Health Screening: In an effort to minimize illness at Camp, we will be asking that you check on the health of your camper daily beginning 14 days prior to camp. We will be providing you a form two weeks before your camper’s session to be filled out and returned to camp. The form can also be found here.
  • Time outside: We already spend a lot of time outside at camp, and this year we are going to take it even further. Meals, rest hour, activities, skit nights or variety shows, etc. will all be outside as often as possible.
  • Cohort Model: We are currently planning to follow a “cohort model,” meaning camp will be split into smaller groups of campers, and any high-risk activities will be limited to within those groups (i.e. eating and sleeping without masks, any activities done indoors in close quarters, etc.). Cohorts will be arranged by cabin group, and we may extend the group size to include two cabins.
  • Social distancing, masks, etc.: In this sense, camp life won’t be too different from at-home life. We’ll wear masks when it makes sense, and we’ll spread out whenever we can (like rearranging our program meetings so we’re not all sitting too close together). Masks will not be required when campers are eating, swimming or sleeping but at these times we will maintain a strict cohort model and social distancing protocols.
  • Sanitization: While we know that surface transition is minimal, we plan to continue our sanitization practices from 2020. In addition to the regular daily “germ busting” and kitchen practices, we will sanitize high-touch surfaces each day and avoid sharing high-touch objects (i.e.balls, swim goggles, etc.) between cohorts as much as possible. We will also make sure everyone is washing and sanitizing their hands frequently.
  • Staff precautions: First off, staff who regularly interact with campers will all be vaccinated well before the summer. Staff will be expected to follow our time-off policies put in place to minimize their exposure to COVID while outside of camp. This means staff won’t be eating out or going to bars on their days off, they’ll minimize the number of people going inside establishments (i.e. to get carryout on a day off), and will avoid high-risk contacts with staff members outside of their cohort. 

How are these decisions being made?

We are working with the Michigan camps licensing department (LARA) to establish our policies for the summer and these policies will be reviewed by our camp nurse and camp doctor. 

The most recent version of their guidelines can be found here.

What happens if someone tests positive for COVID while at camp?

We would work closely with the Grand Traverse and Benzie County health departments to respond appropriately. This is what we currently know:

  • We will be sending anyone who becomes ill home immediately.  
  • The camper or staff member who is showing symptoms of COVID will be immediately isolated in the health lodge away from other staff and campers.
  • Any “close contacts” will be cordoned off into a small group. Because we will be following a cohort model, it will be easy to identify the campers/staff who may have been exposed to the person in question.
  • We will work closely with the health department to determine the next steps.

Will staff be trained to make sure camp is COVID-safe?

Yes! Per a CDC study from 2020, we know that, at camps that had COVID outbreaks, it could usually be traced back to the staff. Our staff will be well aware of this fact and should understand that the safety and success of our community will be in their hands. As mentioned above, this means our staff won’t be eating out or going to bars on their days off, they’ll minimize the number of people going inside establishments (i.e. to get carryout on a day off) and will avoid high-risk contacts with staff members outside of their cohort. 

We will also update our staff training to include any and all information they need to adhere to our COVID policies.

What if I decide to cancel my camper’s registration prior to camp?

If YOU need to cancel your camper’s spot in the session for any reason, refunds will be given, less a $100 administrative fee, and ONLY if we are able to fill their spot.

In order to ensure the healthiest environment possible, if your camper cannot participate in their session due to a COVID exposure directly prior to camp or they’re experiencing COVID-like symptoms, all camp fees will be returned minus a $100 administrative fee.

What happens to our deposit if our session gets canceled?

In the unlikely event that WE need to cancel your camper’s session due to COVID-19 or any other unforeseen circumstance, 50% of your payments made up until that point will be refunded**. This method helps cover any direct costs (materials, staffing, insurance, taxes, etc.) that camp has already paid in preparation for your camper to attend camp. 

** For families with multiple campers, only 50% of what has been paid for ONE of your accounts will be held and 100% of sibling accounts will be returned.

I’d like to speak with someone, can I call?

Yes, of course. We anticipate a lot of conversations with campers and camp families. Please reach out to Curtis@lookoutsummer.com to set up a time.