We understand that it is challenging to prepare for this summer while much is uncertain. It is the intention to open Camp Shoresh this summer to give our campers the same quality program that thousands of kids have enjoyed for more than 40 years. However, the health and safety of our campers and staff are our absolute priority. Therefore, we will likely need to adjust our procedures and protocols to maintain a safe environment for everyone this summer. Please understand that the current situation is fluid and things may change.
We are opening enrollment based on the plan of being able to operate safely and with the same capacity as in previous years and with the usual transportation arrangements. We know that we will likely need to make adjustments and will do so with the recommendations and advice of medical experts. We will follow all local and state health department requirements. We will structure our bunks, daily schedule, and transportation accordingly. We will increase campus sanitation and will expect our families to work as our partners to ensure that our campus will be a healthy environment for all. As always, we will be flexible and creative, and will make this a meaningful summer for our campers. You will receive more details as to specifics as the summer nears.
Updated March 1, 2021
Please note: This has been written based on current information related to COVID-19. It is likely our policies and procedures may change as we lead up to summer. More details will be shared in our Parent Handbook as camp nears.
The information surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and evolving. The policies that we have established for Camp Shoresh 2021 have been made with the guidance of our medical professionals. First and foremost, we will adhere to all federal, state, and local health department requirements. Additionally, decisions were made taking into account the best practices for summer camps published by the American Camp Association, under the guidance of the CDC. The current guidelines outlined below intend to provide camp families and staff with information about how Camp Shoresh is adapting policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in camp this summer.
We ask that you partner with us in adhering to the policies we have established, in order to keep everyone in the Shoresh family safe, while providing a meaningful and fun summer experience.
BEFORE CAMP BEGINS
The health and well-being of our campers, staff, and their families is our highest priority. Parents will be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver for all campers prior to the start of camp. [This form will be in addition to submitting documentation of full immunizations and a medial administration authorization form if your camper(s) requires prescription medications at camp.]
It is the belief of our medical experts that the vaccine is effective in preventing transmission of the disease. We encourage all our staff, campers, and parents of campers to get vaccinated to help minimize the spread. Since it is unlikely that everyone on the campus will be able to be vaccinated prior to the start of camp, it is imperative that everyone do their part to keep our campus and our families Covid-19 free.
Every morning, parents will be required to complete a temperature check and symptom screening and sign off that their camper is healthy and able to attend camp. Staff members will also complete a temperature check and symptom screening. This must be completed prior to boarding the bus or coming to the campus, if transportation is self-provided. No one will be able to attend camp if the daily health check has not been completed that morning. Self-reporting of actual or potential COVID-19 exposure and staying home when experiencing even mild symptoms are significant responsibilities that all members of our camp community must commit to. More details will be forthcoming regarding the daily process.
What symptoms require my camper or a staff member to stay home?
Campers and staff members are required to stay home if they either have a temperature of 100.0° F or higher or are experiencing any of the possible symptoms of COVID-19. COVID-19 is associated with a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe illness, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. These include:
Fever or chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Fatigue • Muscle or body aches • Headache • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea
TRAVEL TO CAMP
In order to mitigate the spread of infection, the preferred situation would be for campers and staff to provide their own transportation to and from camp. We realize that this is not possible for many due to distance. We will be providing bussing but have not as of yet solidified if the most conducive means would be to continue our charter bus service or to switch to regular school buses, in addition to passenger vans. Either way, campers and staff will be assigned the same seats daily to ensure better contact tracing in the event of an exposure. Passengers will either sit next to a sibling or bunk mate (if applicable). Everyone will be required to wear a mask at all times while on board the bus or van.
In order to create as safe an environment as possible and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in camp, we will be making adjustments to camp procedures and policies in a variety of areas. When possible (and weather permitting), camp activities will be held outdoors, in rooms with doors/windows open, or in large indoor spaces distanced from other groups.
Campers will be divided into bunks with no more than 13 campers and two counselors. Each bunk will be considered their own pod and will stay socially distanced from all other campers and, as much as possible, staff members including head staff and specialty instructors (arts and crafts teacher, archery instructor, etc.). Bunks may be a combination of two grades primarily from the same city in order to align with transportation groupings. Unfortunately, we may not be able to take bunk requests into consideration this summer.
All campers and staff must wear masks when inside buildings with the exception of while they are eating lunch. Campers and staff will be required to wear masks outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained. In the event that heat is oppressive, campers and staff will be allowed to take off their masks outdoors while maintaining distance.
Though this summer may look different from and be more restrictive than previous summers, our Shoresh staff is incredibly creative and talented and will ensure that Camp Shoresh 2021 is a fun and positive experience! The infectious Shoresh ruach (spirit) will still be present even if we need to be distant. Sports and activities may need to be modified but we know everyone will be thankful to be back at camp.
Campers are encouraged to bring their own sports equipment (i.e. baseball gloves), to be used only by them and labeled with their name. Shared Shoresh-owned equipment will be cleaned between uses. We also suggest that everyone bring their own refillable water bottles, labeled with their name. There will be a detailed list of what to bring to camp in the Parent Handbook as camp nears.
The social hall in the Community Center will be set up to spread out each bunk’s designated tables. All campers will eat at their table with their bunk (their pod group). In addition to having over 6 feet of space between each group, we will rotate out one division daily to eat outside in the big pavilion. Junior Shoresh will eat lunch in their outdoor pavilion daily unless the weather prohibits this.
We plan to offer our hot lunch program. It will consist of individually portioned meals – there will not be a buffet line this summer. Individually wrapped canteen items will be sold with each bunk having an opportunity to visit the canteen at a designated time.
Unfortunately, we have been advised to cancel our trips to Hershey Park and Guppy Gulch this summer. There will also be no overnights or Shabbatonim. If conditions significantly improve, we may revisit these policies.
In the event of an exposure
If a camper or staff member exhibits any symptom of the coronavirus at camp – as described in the DAILY section above, they will be immediately taken to a room designated for isolation. Parents will be called to pick up their child since the camper cannot return home on the bus or van. Specific instructions will be given regarding quarantining guidelines and the ability to return to camp; these instructions will follow health department protocols required at that time.
In the event that there is a confirmed positive case at camp and your camper had direct exposure, you will be notified immediately. Shoresh is required to notify state and local health officials of any confirmed positive test.
If an entire bunk needs to be quarantined at home due to a positive exposure, Shoresh will provide virtual programming for a portion of the day for the affected campers in that bunk that cannot attend in-person camp for the days they are out.
Cleaning, Handwashing, and Sanitization Procedures
Camp Shoresh will increase its cleaning, handwashing, and sanitization procedures this summer. Sanitization protocols will be in accordance with the health department requirements. Sanitization enhancements will include hand sanitizer stations throughout camp, and additional cleaning and sanitizing of all public bathrooms, shared spaces, and high-touch areas.
It is important to note that this document reflects the current conditions if camp were to start today. We will continue to update these policies and provide greater detail when necessary as we get closer to the summer.
While it is our full intention to run Camp Shoresh this summer, we realize that there are still many unknowns.
We know that some families may be concerned about their ability to pay for camp this year. We ask these families to register and pay the $100 deposit and $25 application fee, and then apply for financial aid. Our scholarship committee will not consider any financial aid application without a Camp Shoresh application filled out prior. As scholarship dollars are limited, the earlier that families apply, the more likely it will be that they will have the opportunity to receive financial support. As always, we are committed to working with our families to make sure that everyone can afford to attend camp. Our Assistant Director, Rabbi Tzvi Tuchman, is the liaison to our scholarship committee. Anyone with extenuating financial circumstances should e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camp Shoresh is certified by the Maryland Department of Health and will adhere to their guidelines. Additionally, we will comply with the requirements of our local Frederick County Department of Health. We will also review the best practices set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Camping Association, and the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Finally, we are directly guided by various local doctors including one of our board members who is a world-renowned physician specializing in infectious disease and vaccine development.
Shoresh Inc. is a recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization.