ALFORD LAKE CAMP COVID-19 PLANNING

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TRAVEL TO CAMP

February 2021

Dear ALCers and Families,

 

We are excited to welcome Campers and Counselors back to Alford Lake Camp in 2021! The successful reopening of camp is dependent on all members of the 2021 ALC Community being fully committed to doing everything they can to make sure everyone arrives at camp healthy. 

 

We expect to ask all families to drive their Camper to ALC this summer. We have reserved buses for travel from NYC, Darien, and Boston with the hope that we may be able to offer this option. We will send updates, hopefully in late March, but recognize you may need to make travel plans sooner. 

 

We are following guidelines given by the State of Maine along with our own additional precautions as we strive to create the safest procedures for our community. These guidelines may change as we get closer to camp, and we will update you as we learn more.

 

As you make your travel plans, please keep the following in mind:

  • During the two weeks before arrival, we ask all families to go the extra mile to reduce risk of exposure: minimize contact with others, avoid non-essential visits to public spaces, and any contact outside your family bubble should be outdoors, masked, and distanced. Basically, we expect you to work hard to minimize any chance of exposure. We know you will want to see friends and extended family before you leave for camp, but this is not the time for farewell parties. Please avoid going in stores or restaurants and instead use curbside pickup or delivery options. If you or your family members must go to school or work outside of your home, please follow all Best Practices of masking and social distancing. 

 

For those whose transportation includes a flight:

  • Flight travel may contain a higher risk of exposure. Therefore, families should plan to arrive in Maine and self-quarantine for at least 5 days prior to getting the COVID-19 test. 

 

ALL Campers, CTs, Staff, and whoever is accompanying them to camp must be tested for COVID-19 within 24-72 hours of arrival at camp and must have the negative test results in writing upon arrival at ALC, and follow the same instructions given to campers 5 days before test is taken. We ask that the whole family quarantines after the test. We will send testing details closer to the start of camp.

Please contact ALC if anyone in the family is a close contact of a person who has been diagnosed with, tested for, or quarantined in the two weeks before arrival to camp.

 

As with all things COVID, we know this information and guidance may change, but this will at least get you started with planning. We will soon send the complete parent handbook, which includes many important details about all aspects of getting ready!

 

Warmly,

Sue & Betsy 

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Last spring, our global community faced challenges that none of us had ever experienced. Alford Lake Camp closely monitored developments with the Covid-19 virus. ALC’s COVID-19 Task Force (our Directors, winter leadership team, head nurse and camp pediatrician) reviewed the latest information and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as Maine Summer Camps and the American Camp Association. 

With great sadness, we determined that we could not open camp safely. We did not have adequate time to implement all of the safety regulations required to protect our campers and staff.

 

Hallmarks of the ALC experience that remain regardless of any limits of Covid. 

 

  • Friendships  

  • Time outdoors 

  • A summer without screens 

  • Loving community  

  • Fun activities

2-0-2-1 at Alford Lake, no other year the same!

 

This past summer our whole community reminded us that ALCers are FLEXIBLE! While the Covid-19 situation is always evolving, we will work everyday to get ready to welcome ALCers back to Hope, Maine this summer. 

 

There are many things we already do that will help:

  • We are lucky to live in tents! We roll up the flaps during the day which allows great air flow. We have always set up the beds in our tents so that campers’ heads are 6 feet apart from each other.

  • We give everyone a squirt of hand sanitizer when they come into the Dining Room before a meal (or as they line up for outside meals) and also ask them to wash hands before a meal.

  • All campers and staff are required to have a health exam within 12 months of camp.

  • We have Registered Nurses in residence 24 hours a day who work closely with a local pediatrician who is also a camp dad. 

 

Ongoing Preparation:

  • We listen to briefings from the Maine CDC and our Governor. We want to stay up-to-date on continuing developments, recommendations, and rules as they evolve in Maine and throughout the country. We are VERY lucky to be in a state that has responded well to Covid-19. The Maine CDC has issued detailed guidelines for opening summer camps and we have earned the badge indicating our commitment to follow those guidelines. 

  • Our team participates in meetings and serves on committees with our membership organizations: Maine Summer Camps and the American Camp Association.

  • We have frequent conversations with colleagues from other camps as we all work together to provide the best and safest summer in 2021. 

  • We monitor ACA Standards, knowing that there may be some updates between now and June of 2021.

 

We know that there may be some changes to the way we function and interact at ALC this summer. We may need to wear masks, we may need to keep in small groups, we may eat more meals outside, we may not be able to welcome visitors. We may need to stand really far apart when we sing camp songs, but we will find a way to sing! What we DO know is that a summer at ALC is more important than ever and we will FLEX, be educated and up to date and ready for an amazing summer!