As the situation with the COVID-19 virus, designated this week as a National Emergency, grows more serious, we at Camp Carysbrook continue to be vigilant and alert, and we encourage you all to do the same. Since the time of our first email to 2020 camper families, we have seen proactive measures beyond vigorous hand-washing recommendations in the form of event and even school cancellations to contain the virus spread. We want to reiterate that at this time, there has been no advisement that there will be any disruption to the summer that Erika and her incredible team are preparing. In fact, we have been seeing reports that an outdoor environment may be one of the healthiest places to be with plenty of fresh air and wide open spaces, as long as our health policies and procedures for communicable diseases like the Coronavirus, among others, are in place and properly executed.
That said, it may be wise to explore your protection options including insurance offered by CampDoc at the time of registration. If you are concerned about tuition refunds now that the January 1, 2020 refund policy deadline has passed, we recommend that you contact CampDoc if you have not already purchased their protection plan or if you have any questions regarding coverage. If you are concerned about travel insurance as well, we have been encouraged to recommend Travel Guard to protect your travel plans. We have been in contact with our insurance carrier and we have been advised that the best solution at this time is to make sure customers have their own insurance in order to be able to pursue a refund under the terms of that protection. As you may imagine, because we are a small business, there are a host of financial commitments even before the summer comes, and we are already accountable to service agreements and capital improvement projects for 2020 investing in this summer and beyond for our campers. Therefore, we will be relying on you to make arrangements for insurance including but not limited to any changes to your camper’s schedule including illness, presentation of symptoms at the camp screening, or exposure to the virus within the past two weeks prior to camp. Continuing to partner with you to keep our camp community healthy and to honor our financial commitments will enable us to persevere in these difficult and uncertain times and also continue to operate camp for years to come.
In the spirit of Camp Carysbrook, we would also like to offer a few fun suggestions to support you as you take the recommended measures of social distancing and limiting contact while children are out of school. This is a great time to get outside and go for a walk or a hike in a secluded or unpopulated area. It’s also an incredibly valuable time to connect with those in your home, much like at camp, so ask them to teach you a card game they know, or encourage them to write a letter to someone they are excited to see at camp this summer, maybe even do a book club. Some campers, new and returning, may also find that following the camp schedule is a fun way to structure these days and a great opportunity for you to help them practice for camp including excellent personal hygiene, not only washing hands but also helping sort clean and dirty laundry, getting their living space ready for “inspection”, and even taking rest hour. Carysbrook campers have an excellent bag of tools for times like this, so get out the board games and spend these nights in, make your own evening program like skits, mini rock concert, sing-off, or some quality backyard stargazing. Camp skills are life skills!
We hope that these ideas and information will help you create memories and manage the anxiety of the unknown. We will continue to monitor the situation, consult with the CDC, the ACA, and the medical and health professionals advising us at Camp Carysbrook, and communicate to you the most up to date information. And we trust that everyone will do their part to listen to the experts and heed their advice to contain and minimize the impact of this virus well within the timeframe of the start of camp so that we can proceed with caution and hope that this will be yet another summer to remember for all the right reasons.