Penikese Science + Nature Camps Covid-19 Policies and Procedures - 2021
Updated: Jun 19
Dear Parents & Campers:
Below is a summary of our COVID-19 guidelines pertaining to your preparation and arrival at camp. These have been established according to the most recent Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) standards for recreational camps, effective May 29. Please read them thoroughly. You can download a PDF of these pages using the below link.
We strongly urge campers to be vaccinated. While this is not a requirement to attend camp, it is an important safety measure for all who will be living together on Penikese Island this summer. Staff & instructors at camp will be fully vaccinated.
Recognizing that some of our campers may only be partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, we have established protocols in place to protect everyone. Our precautions depend on the full cooperation of all parents, campers and staff—thank you for your compliance.
The Island Cohort: We will establish a cohort (or “pod”) on Penikese Island for each session of camp. The pod will consist of 12 campers and the island resident staff following MADPH camper to counselor ratios. This allows resident staff and campers (including those unvaccinated) to be unmasked indoor and out during each camp session. Once they arrive on Penikese, resident staff and campers will remain on the island throughout the session. Vaccinated instructors will make day visits, maintaining social distancing from the pod.
At camp we will encourage handwashing, practice daily sanitization of surfaces and objects and use other recommended hygiene practices such as minimizing sharing (e.g., all campers will have their own binoculars and their own magnifying glasses to use during each session). Meals will be served by servers (no buffets), snacks will be individually plated.
High-Risk Camper? Please notify us if your child is at high risk for COVID-19 (e.g., asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions), even if she/he is vaccinated. Our Health Care Consultant and will contact you to discuss whether additional protections may be necessary at camp, and what supports we can offer to best protect your child.
Vaccinated Campers: Prior to camp opening, we ask that parents upload a photo of the camper’s COVID-19 vaccination card to our parent portal (Login to the Penikese Parent Portal; at the bottom of the landing page, click “View details;” on 2021 Summer Camp details page, scroll down to see “Upload Documents”)
Pre-camp isolation is not a requirement, although to provide everyone at camp the greatest degree of safety, we encourage even vaccinated campers to be particularly careful to avoid exposure for 10 days before camp opens. We suggest physical distancing from those outside the household, mask-wearing when not at home, avoiding unnecessary travel, and refraining from indoor social gatherings with people outside of the household.
10-day pre camp isolation: Unvaccinated campers should isolate for 10 days before camp opens. This includes physical distancing, mask-wearing when not at home, avoiding unnecessary travel, and refraining from indoor social gatherings with people outside of the household.
PCR Test 72 hours before camp: Unvaccinated campers must arrive at camp with evidence of a negative PCR test that has been conducted within the past three-days (72 hours). These test results may take more than a day, so plan to have your camper tested no later than the Thursday or Friday prior to opening day. Suggestions about where to obtain these tests are listed below.
Arrival Test: Parents of unvaccinated campers must obtain a Binax now test (available at pharmacies) to bring with the camper to check-in camp on Monday morning. The Binax test be conducted by the camper’s parent/guardian front of staff. Unvaccinated campers will then complete the mandated “modified quarantine” (~15-minute isolation while awaiting arrival test results);
Results: If the Binax test is positive the unvaccinated camper will not participate in that session of camp and will be urged to quarantine at home and seek further medical advice.
Suggestions about where to obtain tests:
PCR: CVS MinuteClinics, many local urgi-care walk-in clinics; call ahead to check.
Binax (home test kit ~$20): Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Amazon
B. COVID-19: ARRIVAL DAY INSTRUCTIONS
Monday Morning Health Check: On the Monday morning you are bringing your child to camp, please notify us if your camper or anyone in your household is experiencing COVID-29 symptoms. A simple CDC self-check list is posted at our website’s health page: https://www.penikese.org/health. If anyone in the household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, we request the camper not come to camp, whether vaccinated or not. Again, please notify us!
Staggered arrival schedule sign -up: We have implemented a staggered schedule for camper arrivals on Monday mornings at the start of each session. No more than three families at a time will be scheduled for any 15-minute arrival period in order to prevent congestion on site.
Families will be provided designated parking at the Penikese Shore House parking lot (565 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole) and will be ushered through the check-in process by camp staff, according to their camper’s vaccination status. Those arriving on foot from the ferry or Woods Hole Village will also have a designated waiting area.
Arrival slots are: 9:00am, 9:15am, 9:30am and 9:45am. Please sign up for an arrival time slot for one of these options for the opening date of your session. We suggest that if your camper is unvaccinated you sign up for one of the earlier time slots to accommodate testing time: https://www.penikese.org/camp-arrival
Transportation: Parents are encouraged to arrive at camp by private car, avoiding public transportation. We do anticipate that a number of Vineyard-based families will come to Woods Hole by ferry, and those living locally may well walk. These families are urged to minimize public exposure while progressing to camp. In order to adhere to MA DPH COVID-19 standards, we have not offered bus service to camp this year.
PPE: Regardless of vaccination status: ALL persons arriving at the Penikese Shore Office (565 Woods Hole) for camp opening should wear masks. There may likely be unvaccinated individuals present. We are establishing a safe camp cohort for each session starting Monday morning.
Staff: Throughout the duration of camper arrivals all staff will wear masks. Staff assisting with testing will additionally wear gloves.
C. SUMMARY OF DOCUMENTS AND SUPPLIES FOR CAMPER CHECK-IN
FIRST & FOREMOST: No one should come to camp if they are feeling sick.
For all campers:
• Medications: If your child is bringing prescription or Over-the-Counter medications to camp, please prepare the meds to be logged-in upon arrival. Instructions are provided in our 2021 Camper-Parent Guide.
• Masks are to be worn by the camper and everyone arriving with the camper.
For Vaccinated Campers:
The campers’ vaccination card (or upload an image to the CampBrain Parent Portal ahead of time as described above).
For Unvaccinated Campers:
• Negative COVID-19 PCR test results from Thursday or Friday before camp
• Binax test kit to administer at check-in
D. COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS TEAM
We have established a response team consisting of medical and administrative staff who will respond to COVID related questions and concerns from campers, parents/guardians, and staff. The Team is comprised of the Camp Director, our Heath Care Supervisor (also Head of Island), our local Consulting Physician, and a Consulting RN who is retired corporate Health & Safety Director. The primary contact for all COVID-19 concerns is the Camp Director.
If you are interested in downloading the detailed set (13 pages) of our policies, procedures & protocols, please click below for the detailed.
Questions? Please contact the Camp Director via email, text or phone:
• Email email@example.com
• Phone or Text: 833-548-7276