GSGATL COVID-19 Guidelines for Summer Camp 2021
Updated March 4, 2021
Safety is a cornerstone of Girl Scouting. As we develop exciting programs for campers, we will continually update our camp health and safety procedures when regulations and recommendation changes occur on both the state and national level. We are regularly monitoring COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC, American Camps Association, Georgia Department of Health, county health departments, and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Covid-19 Guidelines.
As with previous summers, we will have a detailed health screening process for sleepaway and day camps that includes temperature checks, lice checks, and a check for communicable diseases. We are working with our Camp Health Consultant (Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner) to include COVID-19 specific checks and regulations. This year we will not be able to allow family members to get out of the car at check in, so all paperwork and payments must be completed before arriving to camp. Unfortunately, this also means there will be no parent visits during camp or parent program at the end of camp. These are necessary changes in order to limit staff and camper contact. Decisions on final health check procedures including pre-screening forms and processes, and COVID-19 testing requirements will be made closer to the start of camp.
Additional safety measures that will be in place:
- Living unit capacities have been lowered at each of the camps. Cabins will be reduced to 70% capacity and beds will be set up to keep heads at least 6 feet apart. We have added MERV 13 filters to our air handling systems where possible and are looking at additional ventilation and filtering options for cabins. Each cabin will be considered a “family group” and family groups will have 12 campers or fewer. Masks will not be worn for sleeping.
- Meals will be handled in family groups with groups assigned to specific areas to eat. Most meals will be taken outdoors. Meals will be pre-plated, boxed, or bagged. Buffets and salad bars will not be available this summer. Social distancing will be in place for all meals.
- Additional staff will be hired to help ensure proper cleaning procedures occur on a regular basis. Cabins will be disinfected with a fogger daily. Cleaning protocols are in place for cleaning of program spaces and equipment between use by family groups. We have drafted enhanced cleaning procedures that include cleaning high touch areas every two hours (during active hours between 7am and 10pm).
- In addition to current hand washing stations, additional hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the camp. Campers will sanitize before each new activity to avoid cross contamination.
- Programs will be conducted in family groups and community groups (combination of 2 family groups or less than 24 campers). The focus of our programs will be small group interaction and developing relationship skills within our communities. Campers will only interact with other campers in their designated community. In order to manage contact to a limited number, we will not be able to move campers from assigned cabins and community groups once they arrive on camp. Most staff will only interact with their designated community group with the exception of the Director Team, Health Care, and some program specialists. These staff operate under strict social distancing and mask guidelines.
- Equipment and supplies for camp activities will either be in kits for individual use or sanitized between users. This includes equipment used for horseback riding, archery, ropes course, boating, and crafts.
- Temperature and health checks will be done daily either at check in or breakfast. Campers will not be allowed to participate if they are feeling ill. COVID-19 testing requirements will be outlined closer to the start of camp and are based on state requirements and regulations for summer camps. Camp staff testing decisions will also be made closer to the start of camp. Each camp location has two health coordinators to handle the increased requirements.
- Programs will be predominantly outdoors to reduce risk.
- At this time, we anticipate mask requirements will be as follows: all campers and staff will wear masks except when clearly socially distanced outdoors (10 or more feet) or when swimming, eating, or sleeping.
Recognizing that camp families may be nervous about camp this summer, we have modified our cancellation policy to make it easier for you to feel comfortable planning for camp and making changes as necessary. If you need to cancel your camper’s registration, you can do so by May 1 to receive a full refund.
Camp FAQs can be found here on our registration site.
The situation is evolving, and changes to information and recommendations are ongoing. To ensure the highest level of safety for our campers and staff, we will make final decisions on cabin capacities, social distancing, mask-wearing, etc., in spring 2021 --once we have a better idea of what summer will bring.
Camp activities (high adventure and general programming) are offered at the camp leadership team’s discretion. They may be modified or canceled to follow COVID-19 restrictions. Camp activities may not be available to all units and can be canceled due to weather or other circumstances. If Council cancels in-person programming for summer 2021, registrants will receive a full refund (including the deposit). Registrants will also be offered the opportunity to enroll in virtual camp programming with supplies.