We hope this next communication continues to find your family safe and healthy. We’re extremely grateful for the ongoing support and kind words.
Due to the estimated time frame for our region to reopen, we have concluded that we are unable to open camp as scheduled on June 29. This is, of course, a disappointment, but as we await further guidance and information from health and government officials, we have now narrowed down our options to two scenarios.
We are hopeful that we will be able to open camp on July 20 and operate for a 5-week camp season that would conclude on Friday, August 21. Our goal is to run a great, albeit abbreviated, camp season that is safe and follows the guidelines provided to us by health experts and our state government but also preserves the most special Ramaquois traditions.
We have not yet received guidance from the state or county about new regulations for camp, pools, and transportation, but we can share with you that there would be many changes to keep campers, their families, and you safe. Some of these changes include eliminating all outside visitors (including visiting days and nights), no off-campus trips, fewer campers, no large gatherings, and shorter activity periods to focus on disinfection and hygiene.
By now, we are all aware that many resident camps, and even a few day camps, have made the decision to postpone camp until 2021. Ramaquois may ultimately make the same decision. If the last few months have taught us anything, it is that the future is uncertain. Of course, there remains the possibility that changes in regulations or the virus’s behavior will force us to suspend camp operations for summer 2020.Though that would be disappointing to many people, we have committed to only opening camp if we can do so safely. We have heard from so many people that children (and many staff members!) “need camp,” and if we can open in a way that we feel is safe and appropriate for our community, we will spare no resource to make that happen.
We will make the decision whether or not to open camp based on three key factors:
We are pleased that our region has been cautious about re-opening. We are hopeful that the situation continues to trend in the right direction and we are given approval.
We will only open if we believe that by July 20th there will be a very low rate of infection and transmission in our region, thus reducing the likelihood that anyone comes in with the virus and/or that it’s transmitted. We plan to implement additional protocols to further reduce the likelihood of the virus entering our community. These protocols will require parents and staff to do at home screening each morning (according to best practices at the time of opening).
As you know, the reason Ramaquois exists is to provide social growth for children by creating strong bonds between campers and counselors in a camp group. Most of the changes we anticipate making will be about improving hygiene, increased disinfection, not mixing different groups of campers, reducing shared equipment, and implementing contact tracing. Our goal is to keep campers safe while maintaining the sacred connection between a group of campers and counselors.
We expect to have a final decision no later than June 10th. There is no need to take any action or make a decision at this time. However, if a five-week camp season doesn’t work for you, or if you have reservations about working at camp due to health concerns or nervousness of any kind, or you simply need to know your summer plans before June 10, please get back to me and let me know. There will be no hard feelings and no negative consequences for making a choice to opt out for this summer. We only want you to work at camp this summer if you’re 100% comfortable doing so.
We understand that you are eager for answers. We realize it’s asking a lot to ask for more time, but we don’t want to look back later and think that we could have opened safely for a great summer. We’re so grateful for your patience.
Jared & Phil