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What will summer camp look like this year?

We now have some guidance to support what the week at CFL will look like this summer in terms of safety guidelines and changes related to COVID-19.  The safety protocol guidelines look very much like what the guidelines from the American Camp Association and YMCA, two of the largest nationwide camp agencies, who put out joint guidelines drawn up in collaboration with the CDC and private consulting firms.  Related to State guidelines, the Illinois Restoration Plan appears to be the more cautious of the State plans (vs. Wisconsin) and the Camp is following guidelines laid out by the State of Illinois.  You can click to view the slide show presented by CFL-Leader-COVID-Presentation,  and below we have summarized a few key areas, specifically:

  • Pre-camp screening and high-risk individuals, and screening & isolation while at camp (the first 13 pages of the CFL document)
  • Cohort system – concentric circles (our troop will be one group that spends half days in specific areas, not mixed with other groups, and areas will be deep cleaned during the breaks in between program area changes)
  • Social distancing and mask protocols
  • Screening & isolation while at camp

Since the camp has detailed their plan in the attached slide show document, rather than repeat those details here, we request that you read the document (CFL-Leader-COVID-Presentation) in detail and give careful consideration to whether your scout (or yourself as a leader), will be participating in summer camp this year.

The intent is that with this information in hand all families have the information to make an informed decision about whether their scout(s) will be attending summer camp this year.  In addition to what the camp has included in their document, our Troop has outlined the following additional details to supplement the CFL Plan and respond to some of the inquiries that have been received to date:

 

PRE-CAMP

In addition to the guidelines laid out in the CFL document, we are asking that you take additional precautions in the remaining weeks before camp as your decisions will also affect the health of our entire group attending camp.  Please refrain from participating in large group activities, and continue with recommended health practices of mask wearing and frequent hand washing.  As the rest of our State transitions into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Response Plan, we request that families planning to attend summer camp please remain in a Phase 3 status, limiting exposure prior to camp, for the benefit of the entire group.  A scout is Trustworthy, among other points of the law, and is being asked to maintain a serious commitment to the safety of others in the Troop’s camp group.  More details about pre-camp health screening and pre-departure protocol will be sent out separately (some of which have been detailed in the CFL document).

 

MASK AND CLEANUP PROTOCOL

The camp will be providing the boys with a “buff” to be worn at camp.  A buff is basically a tube of lightweight stretchy fabric that can remain around the neck at all times and be raised into a mask position.  The camp (and the troop) will NOT be requesting the scouts to wear masks at all times.  The scouts are being required to keep their masks on at all times when they cannot remain at least 6 feet or more between them, or to raise their masks when passing other cohort groups.  The adult to leader ratio is currently one adult to 3 scouts, and consider the mask policy to be a key factor important to the safety of all attending.  Please discuss the seriousness of this policy with your attending scout and confirm their understanding.  If you wish to send a mask that you believe meets a higher standard you are welcome to do so as well.

Typically all troops are assigned to areas of camp to clean during the week (bathrooms, etc).  The boys will NOT be performing these duties this year and a CFL Staff position has been created to develop specific deep-cleaning procedures and oversee a cleaning team.

 

TENTING, COOKING & EATING

The scouts will be sleeping ONE to a tent.  This is something to take into consideration if your scout has extreme phobias related to being alone through the night while at home.  Home sickness at camp can be a frequent occurrence and something the leaders are experienced in dealing with.  However for extreme cases this may not be the year for a separation experiment.

The scouts will still cook in a patrol format but will be expected to maintain their masks while cooking as distance cannot be maintained during this activity.  Eating will also be in a patrol format, however a safe non-mask distance is difficult around picnic table and the scouts will need to eat staggered at 3-4 to a table (instead of 8) or in a distanced circle format on camp chairs.  Final details are being refined at this point in time but we will not be allowing scouts to sit side-by-side around a picnic table for meals or other activities.  Scouts are being asked to bring a camp chair as part of their gear this year to aid in the distancing solution.

Boys will need additional equipment this year and will need to carry water at all times as the camp is eliminating community water filling stations.  More details to come.

 

PROGRAMMING

For 1st year scouts, those scouts traditionally work on Scout through First Class Skills, including fire and knife safety skills, their first year at summer camp, which will be taught by T23 leaders within our own camp site.

Due to the new concentric circle format the camp has cut back on some of the program areas and merit badges, and has cut out camp-wide activities.  There will be no congregating at the Trading Post or Gaga pit.  The impact on our specific troop due to these changes will be mitigated as the majority of merit badges that the majority of T23 scouts previously signed up for are still offered.  The scouts that signed up for eliminated merit badges (animation, archaeology, bird study, reptile/amphibian study, and welding) will have an opportunity to work on other offered merit badges as our “cohort” group moves to each area, and the Troop will be offering certain badges for scouts within our own site.  A large number of our scouts signed up for the cooking badge, which has been eliminated, and our troop will be leading that badge in-site for those boys.  Group campfires/games/trading post will be organized within our own camp site.

Click CFL REVISED MB Offerings for 2020 for a listing of program areas and activity/Merit Badge Offerings.  More information about Merit Badges at CFL and the Troop’s decision not to coordinate a second week at camp can be found here:

 

CAMP REGISTRATION COMMITMENT AND REFUNDS

The camp has done away with a late registration penalty and has asked us to have everyone registered and paid up for our session by the beginning of July.  As you carefully consider the format of camp this year we ask that you reply ASAP to confirm or decline related to your scout’s participation in camp this year.  While you may have previously provided this confirmation, we ask that you do so again in light of the more detailed guidelines that have been shared.  Refunds will be issued up to 2 weeks prior to the date of camp if your situation changes and your scout is no longer able to attend.

 

CAMP FORMS & HEALTH FORMS

Click here for information on Health Forms.

 

Due to the updated information, we need to verify our numbers one more time.  We request that you read the document in detail and give careful consideration to whether your scout (or yourself as a leader), will be participating in summer camp this year.  Please RSVP one more time as to whether your scout (or you as a leader) will be attending summer camp this July.

 

 

Additional Resources

Webinar Presented by Three Fires/CFL regarding Summer Camp 2020.

Restore Illinois Phase Information

82-page document from the ACA/YMCA Camp Safety & CDC Guidelies

Email our Summer Camp Coordinators

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