Camp Horizons 2021 COVID-19 Policy
While we have our sights firmly set on a successful summer in 2021, we know there are some hurdles to clear before we get there. Camp will undoubtedly look different in 2021—and that’s okay! Our traditions, programs, and camp spirit can still continue even if it does not look like our previous summers.
As we prepare for summer 2021, there are many questions about how COVID may affect cabin life, activities, and everything in between. Our team of full time Directors, Program Coordinators, Customer Service Representatives, Food & Beverage team members, and Maintenance & Housekeeping staff continue to improve our practices in preparation to serve our camper and local families. Our program planning is impacted by a variety of external resources, including:
- The Virginia Governor’s office, which has begun updating guidelines to allow summer camps to run if Virginia is in the appropriate phase
- The American Camp Association, who we have been accredited by for nearly 40 years and which has created a field guide for best practices within the summer camp industry
- The Center for Disease Control, whose guidelines we’ve been following and will continue to adhere to this summer
The policies detailed on this webpage are only beginning, but express what we can share with confidence at this time. With the Governor’s support, the ACA resources available to us, and continued adherence to CDC guidelines, we feel confident in our ability to offer a safe and exciting program for the 2021 summer season. Please continue to refer back to this page as we expand our policies for the 2021 summer.
This information is current as of January 12, 2021.
In 2020 we were prepared to successfully run safe, effective, and fun programming. While we were not able to implement our plan for traditional camp programming due to Virginia’s re-opening guidelines, we did host 2 new programs this year:
- Camp Horizons Family Camp
- Horizons Learning Foundation (HLF) Enrichment Program
Camp Horizons Family Camp ran for six consecutive weeks in July/August with three length of stay options, required masks, and social distancing protocols in place. We offered activities in all of our departments and were able to have indoor dining with plenty of room between tables, as well as enhanced cleaning measures.
The HLF Enrichment Programs, essentially a forest school, assisted students in grades K-7 with their virtual learning. Students worked on computers in an outdoor classroom setting then participated in classic camp activities occurring after classroom time. The Enrichment Programs showcased the success of “pods,” as students interacted with one instructor and a predetermined small group of students. The HLF Enrichment Program will continue in the Spring of 2021 for students not doing in-person school.
The experience of running these programs put our safety procedures into practice, and 61 Family Camp families and 140 Enrichment Program students can attest to the success of our programming. With months of successful programming during the pandemic under our belt we are confident in our ability to run safe, effective, and fun programming during the upcoming 2021 summer.
As we plan for summer we know that there will likely be required testing, and we will look to the VA Governor’s office and the ACA for options. Our goal is to have rapid testing on opening day for all of our campers and staff. Through the next few months, we will be reaching out to testing centers and distributors to find the best option for a non-invasive test for all. This may incur an additional charge, and we will keep you abreast of any charges.
In 2020, our testing solution was a partnership with Vault Health, who planned to send test kits to campers and staff prior to arrival. These tests we reimbursable through insurance. With developments in accuracy and accessibility of rapid testing we are looking into on-site testing options.
The success at Family Camp and our education program showed that additional sinks and hand sanitizer stations stop the spread of germs. Those cleaning processes and hand washing and sanitizing stations that were implemented in response to COVID and allowed us to run these programs with success are here to stay. Our housekeeping team will continue with increased rounds paying special attentions to high touch areas and using CDC-approved products.
While an inherent benefit of attending camp is spending time in the great outdoors, we also use indoor spaces, like dining halls and cabins. We are fortunate that both dining halls and all of our cabins already allow excellent air flow, as they have plenty of windows. We will keep these open throughout the day to ensure plenty of fresh air gets in. We also will keep our cabin tables at meals more spread out than in previous years. Cabin counselors will remain the same during their session, so your camper will not have new counselors halfway through their session.
We value every member of our Camp Horizons family and want our families to view camp as a fun and rewarding experience free of hesitation due to financial obligations. With this in mind we lowered our camp registration fee to $375. Finally, if we are unable to hold camp in 2021 families may request a full refund or move their tuition to 2022.