Covid-19 Update

Camp Livingston Operating Guide 2021: A Summer of Success

Updated May 26, 2021

We are continuing to closely monitor the camping industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to the 2021 season. While most Jewish camps in North America did not open in-person for the 2020 season, there were several private camps that did open safely. The camp community directors continually share learning and best practices. We are combining these lessons and the American Camp Association operating guide with guidance from our Medical Committee in a working guide to help us operate a safe and healthy environment for our 2021 season. We are extremely excited to welcome your child(ren) to camp for what is sure to be a life-changing summer!

This guide is primarily intended for parents/guardians of current and prospective campers. 

While we understand that some campers over 12 years old will be vaccinated there will be many campers that are not yet old enough to receive their vaccine therefore for the safety of our entire community and with equity in mind we will continue to take safety precautions to keep COVID-19 out of Camp.
 
Overview of how we are working to have a safe summer – *If you missed our COVID-19 Town Hall Q and A please email abby@camplivingston.org for a link and password. 

  • We are working with our qualified medical committee to create proper guidelines and protocols.
    • Our committee is composed of practicing doctors who work at hospitals or in private practice throughout our region.  They are also Camp alumni, parents, and board members. 
  • We have installed temporary outdoor structures for space to spread out on excessively hot days, rainy days, and during meals.
  • We have ordered extra PPE, sanitizing equipment, and have partnered with 1health which will be sending pre camp PCR tests to your home as well as the Switzerland County Indiana health department who will be onsite administering PCR tests 5 days into our sessions.
  • We have updated our already top-notch sanitizing and hygiene procedures to reflect the needs of our ever-changing world and have developed a set of guidelines to help navigate us through each day of camp with fun and safety in mind. 
  • We are being mindful of capacity in our camper cabins.
  • We are maximizing our amazing outdoor facilities and finalizing programmatic  procedures which we will be training on with our staff during staff week. 
  • With the support of our qualified food service team, we have restructured the Chadar O’Chel (dining hall) procedures to reduce unnecessary movement during meals. 
  • We have updated our protocol for out-of-camp trips for AU (Adventures Unlimited) including booking private camping areas and programming to maintain a high level of safety (there will be no trips off camp this summer for non-AU Campers; however, there will be on camp overnights. We have an enormous property and we will get great use out of it).
  • We are continuing to follow and be active in conversations with the field of Jewish camping, ACA, CDC, and Indiana Department of Health guidelines.

Keeping you informed
We commit to keeping you informed as information surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving. Much like this update, we will continue to update our policies and provide greater detail to you when necessary. Should you have questions please reach out to Max Yamson, Executive Director at max@camplivingston.org

Throughout the summer, besides our regular daily communication with photos and blog posts, we will provide specific communication surrounding COVID-19. We will be alerting families if your camper shows symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 or if your camper’s cabin goes into isolation protocol due to the above concerns. Please note, we are required to notify state and local health officials if there are positive cases; we assure you that we will maintain privacy and will only disclose personal information when necessary. 

  • What is “isolation protocol”?
    • Campers and staff who exhibit symptoms will be immediately quarantined for further examination and monitoring by our healthcare professionals and will be tested should the symptoms align with COVID-19. That person’s cabin will go into an increased isolation protocol. Other than the individual with symptoms or a positive test, the rest of the cabin will continue to participate in typical camp activities and programs, but with a higher degree of separation from the rest of camp. Upon confirmation of a positive test, further action will be taken based on our protocol and in consultation with local health authorities.
  • Protecting our community
    We are require testing of all campers prior to and during camp.
  • Our testing plan is outlined below and is based on the information we know today. Our testing protocol is subject to change and you will be notified of any changes.
    • Campers will need at least one (1) negative molecular PCR COVID test within 72 hours before arrival. 
      • All campers must have a negative PCR test in order to attend camp. It is imperative that a few days prior to the test and once taken that campers and families are overly cautious and practice social distancing until arrival at camp. YOU are our partners in risk mitigation.
    • Upon arrival at Camp (see more on transportation and arrival updates below), all campers will have a symptom screening with a member of our health care team and may undergo a rapid COVID-19 test.
    • Camp health care professionals will administer at least one molecular PCR COVID test within 5-7 days of being at camp.

There will be limited traffic in and out of Camp. Our local facility staff and some vendors, who do not live on the campus, will have minimal exposure to the main camp community, will be screened daily, must always wear masks when interacting with others, and will follow the same protocol as outlined in this document.

Staff

  • Our staff is fully vaccinated this summer.
  • Our staff will stay onsite throughout the summer, spending days off in a designated area away from the main camp in order to get the much needed rest they need in order to maintain their health and give them energy to continue to provide the high level of service expected from you and our leadership team. 

Interacting with each other
Based on expertise from local, state, and federal health officials, as well as the experience of camps that operated safe and successful 2020 seasons, we will be slightly updating our village/cabin interaction model for summer 2021. It is key that everyone understands these updates.

  • cabinis like the immediate family and do not need to mask when around one another. Cabins generally have 8-12 campers, and 2-3 staff. During the first week of camp, while there will be some choice of activities, many activities will be cabin-based.
  • cohortis a group that can exist in the same space but will remain distanced and masked. For example, two Golan boys’ cabins may both be in the art pagoda or ropes course but will be distanced and wearing masks.
  • Shower time will be scheduled by cabin/cohort.
  • For the first 7 days of the session, there will be minimalcohort After this time, if testing and preventative measures have been successful, we may provide some programs at these levels but will maintain a safe distance between cabins and may continue to require masks at specific programs/times. If there is a reason for campers from different cabins to interact such as siblings who wish to see one another, they may be able to do so but must remain masked and maintain a safe distance from one another.
  • All-Campactivities such as services and campfires will take place outside where proper social distancing between cabins can be maintained. Masks may be necessary at these programs. 

Having fun while being safe and masking policy
This summer, Camp Livingston will make two significant adjustments to ensure that our community can safely have all the fun and enjoyment of camp. 

  • More programming will be cabin-based where individual cabins will be able to participate in a variety of amazing programming. (Ex. One cabin at a time at the inflatable water park) 
    • Each cabin is like an immediate family; no masks are necessary when with this group only. 
  • When programming takes place as a cohort or a larger camp group, distancing and masking may be required.  We plan to distance and spend as much time as we can outdoors in nature.

We will be continually updating our operations and program procedures based on our community’s health at various points during the session.  Based on the testing results and best available health standards at the time, we hope to shift to a more traditional Camp Livingston program model with traditional activity choices and programming. This would mean a loosening of restrictions, allowing campers to participate in activities with other campers from their village while still maintaining public health measures.
 
We have made slight modifications to our programming to ensure health and safety of our camp community. Each activity area will have plans that follow all ACA, CDC, and other recommendations. We are adding temporary structures to provide shelter for activity spaces and to accommodate more outdoor program areas and rainy day activities. 
 
When groups are indoors or if not able to maintain distance, everyone may be masked.
 
A rainy day
Summer is meant to be spent enjoying nature and all the activities Camp Livingston has to offer but occasionally rain disrupts our plans. In light rain where lightning and thunder are not present, per our normal guidelines, regular activities will continue in their normal locations. If weather becomes unsafe or severe, programming will shift to indoor activities for cabins. Cabins will rotate from in-cabin or small indoor space activities to larger indoor spaces that can be shared with the cohort while wearing masks and keeping a proper social distance.

  • We have added several large tents to accommodate rainy day events in a partially outdoor setting.

In the event of an emergency weather situation, safety procedures will override COVID-19 protocols when necessary (masks will be mandatory and extra masks will be made available).
 
A higher standard of cleanliness 
The cleanliness and safety of our facilities is something in which we take great pride. Our facilities team works tirelessly to maintain camp and keep everything running smoothly. In addition to our standard cleaning procedures, the protocols include:

  • Signage that illustrates best practices to mitigate the spread of the virus and clarify expectations of campers and staff will be placed around camp.
  • 60-80 hand sanitizing stations throughout camp with a focus on building and cabin entries and high traffic areas.
  • All cabins will be sanitized and thoroughly disinfected prior to camper arrival.
  • Cabin cleanliness will be an elevated priority which will include training for staff and campers on how to reduce  the spread of COVID-19.
  • Touchless water bottle filling stations have been added throughout camp.
  • Bathhouses in all villages may only be used by campers living in that village and will be cleaned and sanitized with more frequency. Common bathrooms and all shared areas throughout camp will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day. 

Food is important, but safety first
Camp Livingston uses a third-party vendor, Kandle Dining, to operate our food service. The company operated at other camps during summer 2020 and will use their knowledge to plan for safe meal service that still provides choice. Meals this summer will be family style (rather than previous buffet style) in order to limit traffic during mealtimes. While the variety of options we have had, such as the salad bar, may be limited, we will create choices and provide for special dietary needs as we have always done. We are committed to being inclusive of all dietary needs. The Chadar O’Chel (Dining Hall) will be expanded using tents designed for longer term temporary use and installed by a professional highly rated vendor, giving us the ability to dine together while social distancing.
 
Health Care/Health Center
Camp has added a temporary secondary health center to separate daily medication and other daily health care needs with anyone who may show signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Our health care staff  has established and will follow guidelines based on recommendations from the CDC, local authorities, and our COVID-19 medical committee. Systems and procedures are be set for all aspects of our health care practices. These details will be available prior to summer. Medicine taken at mealtimes will be delivered to each child by our health care staff.
 
Transportation – UPDATED
Camp families are all important partners in making this summer at Camp Livingston a success.  

  • There will be no bus transportationfor the 2021 camp season (first day, mini-session, and final day). 
  • We are asking families to drive their own camper(s) to and from camp this summer. This will allow the important mitigation strategies that each family is following before camp to stay intact. 
    • You should have already received instructions and times which were sent to your email on file. Please do not share our drop off protocol.
    • Upon arrival, camp staff will guide you to a medical screening area and a luggage drop off area.  Parents/guardians will not be permitted to go beyond the screening location. 
  • Like in previous seasons, we will accommodate camper arrival by plane and airport pick up. Please let us know if this is your arrival method as soon as possible. We hope to limit airplane arrivals to campers coming from extremely far distances only. 

Adventures Unlimited – UPDATED
AU will be traveling in their own “bubble” this summer. We have altered our usual off camp camp site lodging to be private where we will continue to maintain our COVID-19 safety protocol. Much of the AU programming can be done without the interference of outside vendors however there are several programs, such as climbing and white water rafting, where a guide is necessary. During these programs our guides and our group will be following a strict mask protocol which will help us ensure the health of our campers and staff.
 
Upon returning to camp the AU group will be able to participate in all the great programming Camp Livingston has to offer while maintaining a safe distance from the rest of the camp community.

  • AU will have a separate meal area adjacent to the Chadar O’Chel and their own Village (the Negev) where they will be able to spend time together in their “bubble.”

Please remember – forms and scholarships
If you haven’t done so already, please log on to your CampInTouch account. Camper forms are up and available for currently enrolled campers and were due on May 1st.

A friendly reminder about tuition deadlines – All tuition was due on May 1.

  • Cancellation reminder
    • I understand that if I cancel my application between October 15, 2020 and March 31, 2021, all tuition will be refunded except the $350 deposit. If I cancel between April 1, 2021 and May 1, 2021, I will still be responsible for 50% of the total camp fees. Cancellations received after May 1, 2021 will be responsible for 100% of camp fees. All cancellations must be in writing.

We commit to keeping you informed and are always available for questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to set up a time to connect. All of us on the staff and lay leadership team are looking forward to a meaningful and life changing 2021 summer at Camp Livingston! 

Sincerely,

Max Yamson

Executive Director