January 13, 2021
We have almost reached our capacity and will be closing enrollment shortly for 2021. While many age groups are wait-listed at this time, we have a few select openings for Second Session Campers. Our attention is now devoted to programming, staffing and operations for the camp season.
It’s likely we’ll be in a modified bubble this summer. This will allow us to limit who comes in and out of camp. We’ll run an incredibly fun and instructional program, and camp will feel very much the same. Additionally, staff time-off will mostly take place on camp at “staff only” areas as opposed to outside camp. These and other measures will allow us to be protected and safe. Even in a modified bubble, camp will very much feel “normal.” Activities, events, games, traditions, intra-camp games and Special Days will happen as always!
In all likelihood, campers and staff will wear masks while traveling to camp and for the first seven days after arrival. We’ll then de-mask on Day #7, once we have tested everyone at least three (or four) times and are “in the clear.”
We plan at this time to proceed with our regular summer dates.
We will send “Travel To and From Camp” information in early March. At that time, we’ll ask you to select your mode of travel on one of our camp-chaperoned flights or motorcoaches. Of course, driving to camp and dropping off your child is also an option.
Our Health Center is under the direction of Dr. Brenda McBride. Dr. McBride is a Pediatric Hospitalist at CHOP – the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is a Laurel South mainstay and returns for her 6th summer. Our Nurse Practitioner, Miriam Allman, joins us for her fifth summer at camp. She is the Nurse Practitioner at Saint Thomas Choir School in Manhattan during the winter. We are very fortunate to have Dr. McBride and Miriam leading our health team.
Steve Lyons joins us for his tenth summer as our Health Center Manager. He is a recently retired Paramedic from Florida. Sue Bandyopadhyay and Miranda Potter return as our Charge Nurses and have many years of Laurel South experience. They are both accomplished school nurses in Maine.
We’re very fortunate that Dr. Jeffrey Maher, the Director of Medical Services at Bowdoin College, is the advisory and consulting physician for The Laurel Camps.
Campers and staff may be asked to be vigilant in their connections outside of home and school prior to camp. It’s possible we’ll ask campers to avoid trips or situations where they or family members are in high-density settings or risk unnecessary exposure.
Covid-19 testing is evolving rapidly. We will update you on our protocols this Spring, but our initial plan is as follows:
Test #1: At-Home PCR Test Five Days Prior To Camp and then “Be Extra, Extra Careful”
Test #2 and #3: Camper Arrival Day Rapid and PCR Test
Test #4: Camp Day-Six PCR Test
Our testing plan and daily symptom checks will be rigorous and follow best practices under guidance of our medical team.
We’re pleased to tell you Laurel South has obtained a Federal CLIA Licensing Number and our Health Center is now FDA certified as a CLIA-Waived Clinical Lab for Summer 2021.
If a child tests positive from the at-home PCR Test, they would be unable to come to camp until they isolate for 7-10 days, register two negative tests and are cleared by the home and camp physicians.
If a child tests rapid-positive upon arrival at camp, they would be isolated until we receive results from the at-camp PCR Test. If that test is positive, they will remain in isolation and must be picked up from camp.
If a child tests positive on Day #6, they too would be isolated and must be picked up from camp.
Because of the nature of contagion and the duration of the isolation period – even though children who are tested and confirmed positive may “feel fine” – it would be difficult, at best, for a child to be fully isolated at camp for the required time period.
While we’ll still run a robust and full in-camp program the first six days of the summer, campers and staff may stay in Pods and participate in group activities during that period. Of course, the hallmarks of Laurel South – fun, friendship, family and spirit – will be emphasized as always.
If there is a positive case in a cabin at camp, campers and counselors in that cabin would move into a “Pod Camp” and would be tested regularly. Those campers and staff would quarantine and participate in activities and meals as a group for 7-10 days. Contact tracing will help identify others who may need to be tested.
We have installed new Exhaust Roof Vents to help ensure clean air flow and increased circulation in every cabin at camp. In addition, we have upgraded the air-conditioned Health Center and Office at camp with CDC-recommended Merv 13 Filters and Ultraviolet Bulbs. The Dining Hall has been outfitted with Sphere Units consisting of Fans, Filtration and Ultraviolet Bulbs.
Get ready – Chef Kevin and our amazing food service team will be serving the same delicious Laurel South menu you’ve come to expect. However, Lunch will look a bit different as we will modify the traditional buffet. We will also spread out more than usual in the Dining Hall, utilizing our Outdoor Dining Pavilion for all meals. In addition, we are building a new, tented Dining Deck for even more outdoor space that overlooks the renovated Brook Trout Pond!
You will receive the Laurel South Parent Handbook in March. At that time, we will present the most current policies and procedures for camp.
Our 2021 Camp Spot Clothing and Equipment Website will be ready later this month. We encourage you to visit The Camp Spot, our official outfitter, for all your children’s clothing and equipment needs this summer.
Stay Positive. Test Negative. And prepare your children for an incredible summer with us!! While we can’t, of course, absolutely guarantee a Covid-free season, we are committed to making camp as safe, exciting and fun as possible.