2020 Protocols & Health Plan: The following information is from Summer 2020 and has not yet been updated for 2021.
At THE ARK Christian Ministries we are committed to the well being of our campers, volunteers, guests, and staff. We are seeking to follow recommendations regarding best practices during COVID-19 from the CDC, the American Camp Association, and State and local officials. Please check back often as the following is subject to change based on current information.
- This year THE ARK will be operating on the premise of family groups. In some situations, a family group is a small group within a camp session allowed to interact without social distancing measures. Each family group will be required to strictly social distance from other family groups.
- For camp sessions that sleep in the Block Cabins/Cave/Conference Center, those in a specific housing area (i.e. cabin) are defined as a family group.
- For Hut Camp sessions, family groups will be those in the Jungle Huts or in the Thai Huts.
- THE ARK will be maintaining a ratio of five campers to one faculty. Most family groups will have at least two adults and 10 campers.
CAMPER/FACULTY FACIAL COVERING PROTOCOLS
- We are asking that all campers & faculty pack at least 2-3 facial coverings for their stay at camp. Facial coverings are listed by the American Camp Association and CDC as: “Cloth masks, surgical masks, bandanas, etc.” The facial covering should cover the mouth and nose, and wearers should follow the guidelines for how to wear a facial covering.
- It is important to note that fabric and disposable surgical face masks do not provide substantial filtering or protection for the wearer of the mask, rather, the face mask /covering is essential for containing droplets expelled when the wearer is breathing, coughing, sneezing, or talking. By wearing a face covering when needed, our campers/faculty/staff will be doing their part in protecting other campers, faculty, and staff around them.
- It is essential that campers/faculty wear masks when indoors (excluding sleeping quarters), in close contact with THE ARK staff, or when they are using equipment which warrants the use of masks per protocols. Examples of equipment use include the climbing walls, hatchet throwing, archery, etc. The facial covering should cover the mouth and nose, and wearers should follow the guidelines above for how to wear a facial covering.
Campers and faculty will not have to wear facial coverings when in their sleeping area within their own family unit or when doing many activities with just their group.
PREPARING FOR CAMP - BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
- If you are sick/have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing in the last 14 days), or have recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please stay home and let THE ARK office know you will not be able to attend.
- Please take your temperature before arrival and then take a picture of the temperature on the thermometer to show to the check-in staff (each day for Day Camps). Please do not come to camp if your temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
- Please ensure that all forms/release waivers are signed.
- Parents will stay in the vehicle. Staff will screen for illness and paperwork completion.
- Faculty will greet kids in their family group and put on campers’ bracelets who are in their group.
- Faculty will then help to unload the camper’s luggage and once an entire family group has arrived, the faculty will take their family group to the assigned sleeping area to unpack.
FACILITIES – Due to COVID-19, we are doing everything possible to reduce the amount of shared facilities.
- Restrooms – This year volunteers and campers will only be able to use the restroom assigned to their family group. For camps that sleep in the block cabins, these are the restrooms inside your cabin. For Hut Camps, this is the Jungle or Thai hut bathrooms. Please make sure you are using the restroom before heading to activities since there will be no other bathrooms available.
- Recreation Areas – Jungle Huts and Thai Huts can use their areas as usual. All other camp sessions will be given a bag of balls that’s only for their family group to use at the recreation areas (if another family group is not already there). Huts, please do not use the main camp recreation areas. Main camp please do not use the hut recreation areas.
- Pool – The pool IS open but the pool house is closed this year. Participants should shower before arriving at the pool. There will be no access to the bathrooms/changing areas/or access to the gazebo. These areas will be roped off.
- Conference Center – This area will not be accessible except for the office or to pick up food.
- Common use areas: shelters, canteen, and playground.
- Shelters - All campers/faculty have been asked to bring a lawn chair. This is the only seating available for the shelters.
- Canteen – The canteen will be pick-up only. Participants will get their food and take it back to their assigned eating area. (Exact payment system TBD, but campers should bring $1 bills for the canteen. Most items are $1. Campers may purchase one food item and one drink each day at the canteen.)
- Playground – TBD
- A mealtime will be provided for each family group.
- Wash hands before arrival and put on a facial covering (just to pick up food).
- Food will be served in disposable containers.
- Meal locations:
- Huts will return to the huts
- Cabins will eat the picnic table outside their cabin unless it is raining
SICK CAMPER POLICY
- Any suspected sick camper will be brought to one of the camp student nurses.
- If a camper is showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a suspected fever, cough, shortness of breath), the faculty member will alert one of THE ARK student nurses before bringing the child to them so that the student nurse can don appropriate PPE.
- An ARK student nurse will then screen the child for signs and symptoms of illness. A temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit requires that a child be sent home regardless of other symptoms.
- Sick campers will be quarantined in the infirmary until a parent/guardian is able to come get them.
- The cabin will be cleaned and disinfected before other members of the family group are allowed to return.
- If the child sent home has a fever, the family group they were a part of will be screened for fevers. This screening will continue once a day until the end of the camp session or if a camper is feeling ill.
- If a camper is in a family group with a camper that was sent home with COVID-19 symptoms, parents/guardians will be notified upon checkout on the last day of camp.
- If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, the family group’s parents/guardians will be notified, and the family group will be sent home.