Transmissible Disease Prevention and COVID Safety Protocols

Camp Southern Ground 2021


Camp Southern Ground is committed to keeping all campers and staff safe and well during our 2021 camp season. These protocols have been created from guidance and recommendations from the CDC, the American Camp Association, and in close consultation with local health professionals and our own camp doctor.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Scott Hicok, the camp director:

Scott Hicok – Camp Director

[email protected]

Main Goals:

The main goal of our safety practices for summer 2021 is to provide a COVID safe environment for all staff and campers. However, we also want to provide a camp experience that is as close to the “normal” camp experience as we can. Therefore, our plan prioritizes keeping campers in smaller groups, or cohorts, to allow as much safe & mask-free time at camp as possible.

Important Highlights:

  • All staff on-site during summer camp will be fully vaccinated
  • Campers will be required to have a negative COVID 19 test (rapid or PCR) within 1-3 days of arriving at camp
  • Campers & Staff will be assigned to a “tribe” and to a “cohort” (two tribes that have connected rooms) where they will be allowed to be unmasked during indoor or outdoor activities if they are only with that group
  • Campers & Staff will also be assigned to a “team” (2 cohorts) where they will be allowed to be unmasked during outdoor activities if they are only with that group
  • All program areas and eating areas will be cleaned and disinfected after each use, including all used equipment
  • Camp will have 2 full time health professionals on-site during summer, including a 24/7 RN

Prior To Camp

  • All campers must present evidence of a negative COVID 19 test completed within 1- 3 days of the start of camp. We will be in contact to let you know how to share that information with us. (Testing is not required for a fully vaccinated camper as long as it has been 14 days since their 2nd vaccine, and we will need proof of vaccination)
  • While we expect mask use to be as limited as possible, we ask that all campers bring at least 6 masks with them to camp in a zip-lock bag with their first and last name. Additional masks will be kept on hand, and with your camper’s counselor
  • Per the CDC guidance, we advise families to self-quarantine their camper prior to their arrival at camp.
    • The CDC advises that unvaccinated campers and staff members to engage in a 2-week prearrival quarantine that includes physical distancing, mask-wearing when not at home, avoiding unnecessary travel, and refraining from indoor social gatherings with people outside of their households.

    Arriving to Camp

    • Check-in for campers will be conducted as a drive through process, and we ask that no one besides the camper leaves their vehicle, except for the specific bathrooms that will be available
    • During check-in, the cars will go through several stations, including verifying all your camper’s information, collecting medications for the camp nurse, and unloading your camper to send them off for a great week
    • Each camper will be screened for COVID on arrival, including a temp check.
    • Campers will first be assigned to their “tribe” which is their group of 5-7 in their bunk room
    • Each tribe room is also attached to another tribe room, these connected rooms will be considered your child’s household for the week and is called their “cohort”
    • Finally, for outdoor activities, one male cohort and one female cohort will be combined as a “team”

    During Camp

    Cohorts and Masking

    Masks are an important part of COVID safety, and campers should expect to wear them at times during camp. However, our goal is to practice safety through space and planning and to keep mask use to a minimum.

    • After arriving campers will be placed into their tribe, their cohort, and their team. Each team will be color coordinated (red team, white team, blue team) and will be given colored bracelets so that staff can quickly see that campers are with the correct team or cohort.
    • When campers are with only their tribe or cohort, indoors or outdoors, they will be able to be un-masked, as long as social distancing is maintained from other cohorts
    • Only for outdoor activities (pool, bike track, etc.) when campers are only with their team they will be able to be un-masked, as long as social distancing is maintained
    • CSG plans to keep campers almost exclusive in their tribes and cohorts while indoors, and with their teams while outdoors
    • Masks will be required for campers during certain short transitions in and out of our main buildings such as the lodge and the dining hall, or if we are unable to social distance. This may include times like moving indoors during bad weather, or if we have to gather in a large group for safety purposes
    • When not in use, your camper’s counselor will keep their masks to ensure they are clean and ready to be used
    • Campers can use well-fitting cloth masks with two or more layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric or disposable masks. Masks provided by camp will be a surgical style mask

    Daily Checks and Screening

    • Each morning and each night all campers and staff will be screened for COVID including a temp check
    • All camper or staff who present COVID related symptoms will be isolated in our COVID safety space, which is separate from all other buildings at camp

    Physical Distancing

    • Distancing our cohorts will be one of our primary tools for keeping camp covid safe
    • While the CDC advises 6 ft, CSG will practice using 12 ft of distance between cohorts unless they are outdoors with their team
    • CSG staff will oversee all movements and transitions of cohorts from one program area to another, including how campers enter and exit the residential lodge and the dining hall
    • We ask families to prepare their child to follow staff directions about where they go and who they share space with

    Hygiene and Hand Washing

    • Campers will wash hands or sanitize at the beginning and end of each activity, and before entering any building
    • Sanitation stations will be placed around the camp property
    • Counselors and camp staff will also carry hand sanitizer at all times
    • High touch surfaces and all program supplies and equipment will be disinfected and sanitized daily or after each use
    • Bathrooms and showers will be cleaned daily and immediately after heavy use

    Quarantine/Isolation Plans

    We will isolate staff or campers with symptoms immediately, the camper’s guardian will be notified immediately, we will conduct a rapid COVID 19 antigen test on-site or allow the parent or guardian to pick up their child to receive a COVID 19 test on their own if they prefer that.

    • They will remain isolated until the test result is resulted with the plan detailed below or until the sick camper is picked up by their guardian. Medical care will be provided as needed. If a staff or camper needs to be further evaluated, they will be safely transported to the local urgent care or hospital.
      • If the COVID 19 test result is negative, the staff or camper will remain in isolation until his or her symptoms have improved (typically, 24 hours without fever and no use of fever-reducing medication). The camper can be in isolation at camp or with their guardian away from camp.
      • If the COVID 19 test result is positive, the camper will be isolated until picked up by the guardian, and should remain in isolation at home for at least 10 days after symptom onset, and 24 hours without fever without use of fever-reducing medication, and other symptoms have improved.
      •  COVID-19 contact tracing for a positive case will be completed while maintaining camper confidentiality. Camp will notify the families affected with the steps that have been taken as well as next steps. As applicable, campers will be allowed to transfer to another camp session if available or transferred to next year
      • For families that have traveled from out-of-state, CSG will assist in providing transportation to camp for the parent or guardian. CSG will also provide assistance finding an appropriate place to quarantine or assist with travel home. 
    • CSG will notify the health department immediately following a positive test result, and will work with health officials to identify close contacts. For a positive case, all unvaccinated members of the cohort will be quarantined as a cohort and referred for testing. All other close contacts outside the cohort will quarantine and monitor for symptoms per CDC guidelines.

    After Camp

    • If we are notified after a week of camp of a COVID positive camper, all exposed individuals will be notified, and we will participate/communicate with public health departments as directed.
    • Campers who are not fully vaccinated should get tested with a viral test 3–5 days after traveling home from camp AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel. Refer to CDC’s Travel During COVID-19 website for more information about what to do after traveling home from camp.
  • If a camper has a positive result from their COVID test, we ask that families follow the CDC guidance, and we will work with families to either move back your campers date or transfer them to next year
  • CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test if the person does not have symptoms of COVID-19. Campers who have had a positive viral test in the 3 months prior to starting camp and have met the criteria to end isolation should have a letter from their healthcare provider documenting the positive test date and stating the individual is cleared to end isolation.
  • If you are traveling from out-of-state to camp:
    • Please review and follow the CDC guidelines for travel -
    • If your camper is flying, we will contact you directly to clarify our safety procedures during that process. Your camper will be required to be masked during the flight, in the airport, and in our shuttle until they arrive to camp.