Covid-19 Preparations

2021 COVID-19 RESPONSE – FAQ

(updated 2/9/21)

While camp did not run in 2020, we invested a great deal of time and energy creating a thorough and professionally supported COVID-19 Safety Plan. We put that plan into place during our 2020 JC, SC, and Cabin 14 programs and during our four weeks of Post Camp, all without a single COVID case and with minimal intrusion on our campers, staff, and Post Camp guests.

Camp Ojibwa will be open for camp in 2021! We are watching CDC and state and local guidelines, and we are meeting regularly with medical professionals, camp experts, and other camp owners/directors to discuss COVID protocols.

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding COVID. Given the changing landscape of the virus and the continued rollout of the vaccine, we expect continued changes in our protocols, and we will update this page regularly. We will always be guided by two goals in this process – giving our campers the best, most fun, and most “normal” camp experience possible, and taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of our campers and everyone on the Ojibwa grounds.

We are always happy to take feedback and answer questions as to where we stand at any given time. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or suggestions or would like to discuss any COVID-related issue.

1. Will camp be a closed campus this summer?

At this point, we are planning for a mostly closed campus, meaning campers and staff would remain in camp for the summer. Restricting the flow of people in and out of camp is the simplest way to ensure a COVID-free camp. We may revisit this on a limited basis depending on virus prevalence, staff vaccination status, and other factors. We also may look into “bubble” outings, where groups of staff and/or campers can leave camp in a “bubble” environment.

Regardless of whether staff or campers are permitted to leave camp, some limited outsiders will need to be admitted to the camp grounds, e.g. for deliveries and maintenance. We plan strict safety measures for such outsiders, including requiring masks for all non-camp personnel at all times, as well as all camp personnel who interact with non-camp personnel.

2. What will be the “quarantine guidelines” prior to camp?

It is very likely that there will be some expectation of a quarantine or limited exposure period prior to camp.  We recognize this may be difficult for some individuals and families, particularly those families outside the Chicago area, and we also recognize the difficulty in enforcing a quarantine requirement.  We are looking closely at the efficacy of quarantine, particularly in conjunction with other common precautions.  In short, we will likely not rely on quarantining as our main means of avoiding COVID at camp.

3. Will there be all sessions of camp as planned?

Yes, our plan is to run every advertised session of camp.  We strongly believe we can execute that plan and will do everything possible to make that plan happen.  Should we need to adapt or adjust for the safety of all involved, we will let you know as soon as possible to help you plan.

4. Will COVID testing be implemented in the plan?

Yes.  You can assume that there will be a negative test required prior to heading to camp, and that we will have some testing protocol at camp.  We are working on test sourcing, and expect the testing situation to be more favorable in the spring and summer.  We will continue to follow public health guidelines and recommendations from our camp medical team to determine our specific testing protocols.

5. What if there is a positive result prior to camp?

If a camper  tests positive for COVID in the days leading up to camp, we will work with the family and take every reasonable step – in accordance with CDC guidelines and in conjunction with our medical staff – to ensure the camper can still come to camp.  There will most likely be a quarantine period and additional tests before anyone can enter camp after a positive test. You can find current CDC guidelines here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/isolation.html

6. What if there is a positive result at camp?

We are planning for a COVID-free summer.  However, if an individual at camp tests positive, that will not end camp.  We are working on procedures to ensure that if camp has a positive COVID test or tests, we can isolate the individual(s), either on or off camp grounds, and work with our medical staff and the camper’s doctor to ensure both the health of the camper and that we do not have an outbreak.  

7. Will masks be part of the plan?

Yes.  While we want as normal a summer as possible, campers and staff should expect to wear masks at times, particularly at the start of camp.  The two easiest ways to reduce the likelihood of COVID at camp are  being outside and wearing a mask when not outside.  At this time, we do not expect that campers or staff will need to wear a mask when outside or when in their cabins.  However, masks are likely to be required in certain circumstances, such as in the buffet line in the mess hall or potentially for other inside activities.

8. What about parents’ weekend?

We are not ready at this time to definitively say there will be no parents’ weekend.  However, it is likely that there will be no parents’ weekend.  We recognize planning is very important to you.  If there is no parents’ weekend,  we will have some form of virtual visits and parent involvement.

9. Will staff be required to be vaccinated?

We do not know.  We strongly encourage anyone who can get vaccinated to do so.  We understand that camp personnel have moved up the vaccine priority list, and will have more information on potential staff vaccination protocol in the coming weeks.

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