OVERNIGHT CAMP COVID-19 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

As an addendum to the 2020 Overnight Camp Handbook online

Holston Summer Camp is thankful for the opportunity to host your camper. Camp is a special timed place to make new friends, play outdoors, and learn new skills. Camp engages youth in a Christian community that promotes love for, connection with, and service to God’s creation.

Despite the pandemic, the Holston board of directors and I decided to conduct our annual summer camp. Although no amount of prevention can guarantee that everyone will remain unaffected, we have decided that testing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and maintaining an appropriate distance is necessary for the health of our campers and staff. Camp will be conducted outdoors in open-air areas and will use preventative measures to mitigate risk. We have updated our regular overnight camp policies because we care about the health of your camper and our staff.

Crosby Palmer returns for a second year to be our Summer Program Director after graduating from Vanderbilt Divinity School with a Masters of Divinity degree. Crosby has been an asset to the summer program and leads a teams of skilled, experienced counselors who have been trained to educate, entertain, and inspire your campers. These young adults have responded to a call to be disciples of Christ. They work long hours for comparatively low wages. The counselors are my heroes and I love each of them. Please remind your camper to behave appropriately and respect the words of the counselors.

This camp depends on the benevolence of our friends. Please consider a recurring gift that will help us sustain our ministry. You can easily set up a payment on our website www.HolstonCenter.org. Thank you for choosing Holston Camp, where “our hearts belong.”

Jim Austin, Director  844-465 7866  jaustin@HolstonCenter.org

Crosby Palmer, Program Director  469-435-0515 cpalmer@HolstonCenter.orgHEALTH POLICIES FOR ENTERING OVERNIGHT CAMP

Please review these recommendations with your camper family before attending camp:

  • ALL OVERNIGHT CAMPERS MUST UNDERGO TESTING FOR COVID-19 WITHIN 7 DAYS BEFORE ARRIVING AT CAMP.
  • PLEASE BRING WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION WITH YOU TO CAMP AS PROOF OF YOUR CAMPER’S TEST FOR COVID-19.
  • ANY CAMPER WITHOUT WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION OF A COVID-19 TEST TAKEN WITHIN 7 DAYS OF ARRIVING AT CAMP WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAY, AND A FULL REFUND WILL BE PROVIDED.
  • ANYONE WHO IS ALREADY REGISTERED WHO DOES NOT WISH TO COMPLY WITH TESTING MAY REQUEST A FULL REFUND.
  • AFTER TESTING FOR COVID-19, WE REQUEST THAT CAMPERS AND FAMILY REMAIN IN SELF QUARANTINE, WEAR MASKS, AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING.
  • Prior to attending camp, we strongly recommend camper and camper families be especially careful when risking exposure to anyone or anything that may carry the coronavirus.
  • Please monitor your camper’s health prior to attending camp, noting a fever or other symptoms — cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
  • Campers should arrive well rested, nourished, and hydrated.
  • Campers who do not feel well or are ill should not come to camp. A full refund is available for camper families who choose not to attend camp.
  • Campers should arrive wearing a washable cloth mask (or N-95 mask) that comfortably covers the nose and mouth. Please no bandanas as masks. (Masks are not available at camp.)
  • Campers will be prepared to display an additional washable cloth mask (or N-95 mask).
  • Campers will be subject to masking and social distancing throughout the camp session.
  • Upon arrival, campers and their representatives will be interviewed regarding their health and each camper’s temperature will be recorded.
  • The camp reserves the right not to admit a camper who poses a communicable disease risk to others.
  • Staff will undergo COVID-19 testing before overnight camp.

OVERNIGHT CAMP’S CONTROL MEASURES

  • Holston Camp will abide by local, state, and CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.
  • Masking will be mandatory. Masks will not be used while eating, swimming, sleeping, resting, or during certain activities.
  • Campers will practice social distancing.
  • Hand-washing and sanitation will be strictly enforced.
  • Camper groups will be limited in size and will not intermingle.
  • Three times daily, each camper’s temperature and general health responses will be recorded.
  • Staff will lead campers in outdoor activities and avoid closed spaces.
  • We discourage sharing personal supplies or property.
  • Campers will sleep in open-air cabins at 1/2 capacity (4 per cabin), keeping distance between campers sleeping head to toe. Some campers may be allowed to sleep in separate tents or in individual hammocks. YOU MAY BRING YOUR OWN TENT AND HAMMOCK.
  • Dining will be done outdoors or in open, covered spaces.
  • Food will be prepared in the camp’s kitchen or by counselors and not by campers. Staff will serve food cafeteria style in accordance with CDC recommendations.

POLICY IN RESPONSE TO A COMMUNICABLE OUTBREAK AT CAMP

In the event a camper or staff member displays distinct symptoms of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease such as measles, chicken pox, mumps, etc., the camper or staff will be immediately quarantined at camp and a parent/guardian called to remove the camper from the premises.

For campers displaying a fever at or above 100.4 °F (38 °C) and other symptoms of COVID-19:

  • The camper will be safely quarantined and monitored until his parents/guardians remove the camper from camp.
  • The parents/guardian will be asked to immediately test the camper for COVID-19.
  • Parents/guardians of campers during that session will be notified that a camper has shown symptoms of COVID-19, has been removed from camp, and is being tested.
  • The parent/guardian of the displaced camper must promptly provide written results of testing to the camp director.
  • The camp director will notify camper families and staff of that session the results of the COVID-19 test.
  • Usually the results of testing may take several days, but a camper testing negative for COVID-19 may return to camp.
  • Campers of the same group as a symptomatic camper may stay at camp or choose to leave with partial refund.

According to CDC guidelines, campers or staff with confirmed Covid-19 must do the following:

  • Remain away from camp for at least 72 hours after recovery (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)
  • Be sure other symptoms have improved
  • Confirm that at least 10 days have passed since first symptoms.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO BRING TO OVERNIGHT CAMP
(see overnight manual for full list)

We will be spending as much time outdoors as possible, so be prepared for the weather and the environment.

Please bring only one piece of luggage and a day pack.

  • Two (2) washable cloth masks, daily disposable masks, or N-95 masks
  • Day pack
  • Personal, packable hand sanitizer (please don’t share)
  • Rain gear with hood
  • Several pairs of shoes or sandals in case one gets wet (no flip-flops please)
  • Quick-dry shorts, shirts, and trousers (avoid cotton)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Sleeping bag and pillow (additional blanket if needed)
  • Personal hammock (optional—we have a supply to issue to everyone)
  • Toiletries for bathhouse
  • Flashlights or headlamps with new batteries
  • Warm clothing to layer and sweaters (Banner Elk mights can be chilly)OVERNIGHT CAMP DROP OFF PROCEDURES

Please abide by the following rules:

  • Arrive between 3:00-4:00 pm on Sunday.
  • Wear masks.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others not in your party.
  • Parents/guardians may hike to the rustic campsites. It is approximately 0.5 miles.  Please don’t enter the cabins.

Parents/guardians should depart by 4:30 pm so that we can begin our camp program without distractions.

PICK-UP PROCEDURES

Please abide by the following rules:

  • Please arrive between 3:00-4:00 pm on Friday.
  • Wear masks
  • Stay 6’ away from others not in your party
  • There will be no program.

Parents/guardians should depart by 4:30 so that we can preparing for our next camp session.

Drop-off and pick-up will be conducted at the Lake Lyons parking lot and pavilion located on Hickory Nut Gap Rd., 0.6 miles past the primary entrance to Holston Presbytery Camp and Retreat Center.

IN SUMMARY

This summer is unprecedented in camp history. Our goal has been to provide a positive experience for your camper to be outdoors, to connect with friends and nature, and to realize the love God shares with all creation. We will be circulating a brief survey to better understand what we got right and how we can improve. We hope you and your camper will return again and bring a friend. Also, remember to keep the camp in your prayers and donate generously to our ministry.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY 15, 2020

CONTACT: JIM AUSTIN, DIRECTOR (O) 844-465-7866 (C) 423-202-1655

GOOD NEWS FOR PARENTS, DAY CAMP IS OPEN AT HOLSTON

Holston Presbytery Camp and Retreat Center will operate a Day Camp program beginning May 25. HPCRC’s Day Camp provides Christ-centered childcare for our surrounding community. Holston is celebrating its 65th anniversary.

The program operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. A light breakfast is served from 8:00 until 8:30. Lunch and a mid-afternoon snack are also served. Sessions are planned through June, July, and August. Day Camp will not operate the week of July 4. It is open to rising 1st through rising 8th graders in limited numbers.

“We have carefully considered the CDC guidelines in combination with American Camp Association’s recommendations for camps and have concluded we can conduct a safe and healthy program that meets the needs of the community,” said Jim Austin, Director.

The camp plans to observe the following guidelines to keep the campers safe: social distancing, wearing face masks, being primarily outdoors, practicing sanitation and hygiene, and monitoring groups.

We will continue to require a safe distance of 6’ between campers. This may be easier said than done with children eager to be with their friends, but we recognize the value of this practice. We have designed activities that observe social distancing,” said Austin.

“We ask that each camper bring a clean, washable, cloth mask to camp. Although we feel we can be in open areas without a mask, there will be times we need to apply face protection.”

Research shows that transmission of a virus is less likely in open, outdoor spaces. Holston Camp has 150 acres of beautiful, wooded land for children to explore. The camp has several open-air pavilions where children can play on a rainy day.

“We will practice personal hygiene and sanitation every day. We are abiding by CDC standards for cleanliness in our kitchen, bathrooms, and indoor areas. We will sanitize commonly touched surfaces daily,” Austin said.

Enrollment will be limited to smaller groups stationed at different points on campus. Groups will not be allowed to co-mingle. Temperatures will be taken at drop-off, at lunch, and at pick-up. Campers will be closely monitored for any symptoms that indicate a possible infection.

Although Holston Overnight Camp has been canceled for June, it is tentatively scheduled for July with a modified program called ALL IN CAMP. Overnight camps will be held in the “rustic” campsite areas where campers can enjoy screened-in cabins, bathhouse, and open-air, covered picnic areas.

With these key factors in place, Holston provides youth a summer camp experience that unites them with friends, offers stimulating activities and conversations, and identifies God as our creator, sustainer, and redeemer. Register at www.HolstonCenter.org.

Please call Jim Austin, Director with any questions. (844) 465-7866.

Thank you for your prayers, patience, faith, and for being a friend to HPCRC!

Love always,

Jim Austin, Director

423-202-1655 (cell)

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines are here.

American Camp Association (ACA) Guidelines are here.

North Carolina DHHS Guidelines are here.

Avery County NC new is here.