Dear Camp Families,
With the approach of summer 2021, we wanted to update our valued camp families on the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe, healthy, and FUN 2021 Summer Camp for all of our campers, families, and staff at 4-H Camp Wabasso! While the situation continues to evolve, we are making plans based on the general guidance that we have received from the American Camp Association, the CDC, New York State Department of Health, Cornell University, the New York State 4-H Program, and the experiences of the hundreds of camps that did run in some capacity in 2020. This remains an evolving situation, and we are receiving new guidance on a regular basis. We will continuously update this page with any new guidance we receive.
To ensure we are running the safest program possible, there will be a number of changes at camp this year. Changes to our registration process, camper check-in and pick-up, daily schedules, class choices, cabin groups, health and sanitation, and more. But you know what isn’t going to change? The opportunity for campers and staff to build healthy, thriving communities at camp. The positive, life changing experiences that happen at camp every day, simply because of the culture we have developed over nearly 75 years of 4-H youth camping. Campers are still going to have great experiences, make new friends, try new things, and gain the independence that comes from a week away from their families. These experiences are the cornerstone of what 4-H Camp Wabasso is all about. And so, while some things may look different this year, if you look a little deeper you will see that 4-H Camp Wabasso remains dedicated to serving the families in our community and we are beyond excited to get back to camp and see and hear, so many smiling, happy campers playing outdoors again!
We know you have questions, and many of those questions revolve around what we are doing this year to protect your child. The truth is, a lot. Below are some examples of the steps we are taking this year to enhance the health and safety of our campers and staff in 2021.
Paperless Marketing and Registration: We are changing the way we reach out to campers, and how to register for camp. Though we’ve had an online registration system for several years now, we will not be printing brochures and distributing them by mail or through the schools. Saving trees feels good! If you need a printed copy of the registration form, just email or call us and we’ll be happy to mail one to you!
Drive-through Camper Drop Off: Nobody enjoys standing in long lines to drop off campers on registration day. This year, we are working on a new drop off procedure that will give families a 30-minute check-in window. You’ll be able to drive into camp, be greeted by a staff member who will conduct a basic health screening right at your vehicle, and then help your camper unload their gear. Parents won’t even need to get out of their cars! This process will rely on families arriving promptly for their assigned time. If you are going to be arriving outside of your scheduled time slot or it simply does not work for you, please notify camp immediately, so that we can take the necessary steps to get you into camp as safely and efficiently as possible. Remember to be patient as we are serving many families.
Pods: This year, campers will be assigned into cohorts, or Pod groups, based on cabin and age. Based off current expectations, Pods will include up to 15 campers and their cabin counselors. These Pod groups will be important, as Pods will rotate through the daily schedule together. For most Pods, multiple near-by cabins will be paired up, allowing co-ed Pods while maintaining gender specific cabins. Campers and staff assigned to a particular Pod will have very limited interactions with campers and staff from other Pods.
Masks: While we are still awaiting specific guidance from the New York State Department of Health, we anticipate that masks will be a requirement for all campers, staff, and guests of camp through the 2021 season. Overnight campers should plan to bring a supply of at least 10-15 face coverings in a large, zipper style plastic bag, with their name on it. Campers will be responsible for managing their masks properly throughout the week under the guidance and support of their counselors. Absolutely no sharing of masks will be permitted. Camp will have a very limited supply of disposable masks available if needed.
Sanitation: We have acquired bulk hand sanitizer, which will be available throughout camp, including inside the doorways of most buildings. Each Pod will be provided with a Sanitation Kit including liquid sanitizer, paper towels, and sterile wipes, so that campers and staff can sanitize program areas before they leave, preparing them for the next group. Shared program supplies will be sanitized between uses. Maintenance and administrative camp staff will ensure sanitization of communal spaces like the restrooms and the dining hall. Hand sanitizer will be available in more remote locations where access to running water is limited.
Reduced Capacities: Based on current guidance, we are planning to reduce the number of people in certain spaces together at the same time. Our current plan calls for 50% capacity in the cabins, Dining Hall and any other indoor spaces. This means that our largest cabins will house just five campers and one or two staff, while our smaller cabins will be home to just three campers and a single staff member. This plan is subject to change as we await further guidance from the New York State Department of Health. The dining hall, which normally has capacity of 125 persons, will be restricted to no more than 62 people. See meals, below.
Meals: Given the large number of campers, and the reality that masks cannot be worn during meals, we will be restructuring meal times to allow two Pods to be eating meals inside at the same time. We will have two rounds of meals to accommodate all campers.
Daily Schedules: Big changes are coming to our daily schedule! We have developed a schedule that allows Pods to rotate through the shared programming spaces so that no more than one Pod is using a particular location at a time. Pods will be rotating through camp classes throughout the week, so rather than selecting favorite classes this year, campers will enjoy each camp class offered to their age group! While we haven’t determined each class that will be offered, campers are guaranteed to get time in the lake with swimming and kayaking, as well as other camp favorites like nature and hiking, archery (for campers age 8+), arts and crafts, and sports and recreation.
Camp Fees and Refunds: For the time being, we will only be accepting the $100 deposit on camps until we receive further guidance from New York State Department of Health. If camp has to be cancelled due to COVID-19, full refunds will be given. If a camper cannot attend their session due to COVID-19, all reasonable accommodations will be made, and these will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
We hope that you will consider joining the fun in 2021! We are aiming to open registration for our camp sessions on February 1. If you know anyone who is interested in working at camp, staff positions will also be posted on our website by February!
Please know that due to the evolving scenario with the COVID-19 pandemic, any and all programming is subject to change. As we move closer to camp, if things change, we will be updating the information on our website, emailing out to registered campers, posting on Bunk1, and we will post changes to our 4-H and CCE Facebook pages, so be sure to follow us on those platforms, and/or check your email regularly. We will be in touch!
Last updated January 15, 2021