Dear MCBC Community,
April is here and it’s starting to feel like camp is right around the corner! The MCBC Leadership team is currently in the process of recruiting and onboarding our volunteers and we are looking forward to gathering in-person for volunteer orientation in May to prepare the best camp experience for our young burn survivors.
The MCBC Leadership team is also keeping a close eye on the pandemic landscape and evolving recommendations on how to handle the pandemic at camp according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and industry experts such as the American Camp Association (ACA) and the Association of Camp Nursing (ACN). Read on for an up-to-date version of how MCBC plans on handling the pandemic this summer. Please keep in mind these expectations are current as of April, 2022 and we fully expect that they will change before camp starts.
Q: How are we making our decisions?
MCBC Camp Leadership is adhering closely to the recommendations of the CDC pertaining to K-12 schools and their COVID-19 community level framework when making decisions about preventive measures that will be used at camp this summer. We are also pulling from our experience last year to duplicate successful preventive measures that resulted in 0 COVID cases identified at MCBC in 2021. Finally, MCBC Camp leadership remains in close touch with other burn camps across the country to share ideas and suggestions for dealing with COVID-19 among our population of burn survivors.
Q: Will we have to keep wearing masks?
As of April 2022, we will continue to require that anyone on MCBC’s campus wear a mask when indoors unless you are eating or in your cabin. The CDC recently changed their guidance to remove the focus on physical distancing as a preventive measure in favor of focusing on other control measures such as wearing a mask, ensuring that rooms are properly ventilated, avoiding overcrowding outdoor areas, and moving activities outdoors (quote ACA/CDC/ACN Webinar from 3/29/2022). These are all things that MCBC already does pretty well so the emphasis in the summer of 2022 will be masking indoors.
MCBC will continue to provide surgical masks for any camper who comes to camp without a properly fitting mask. As a reminder, our requirements for masks at camp are the following:
- The mask must cover your nose and mouth
- The mask must fit under your chin and be snug on your face
- Bandanas and neck gaiters are not acceptable masks at MCBC
Q: Will we have to test before coming on campus?
MCBC will require all program participants, regardless of vaccination status, to bring proof of a negative COVID test prior to their arrival on Taum Sauk’s campus. Caregivers will be responsible for sending MCBC Leadership a screenshot of the negative test before their camper gets on the bus or arrives on campus. The screenshot can be sent via text message to (314) 399-8516 or via email to email@example.com.
This year, we will accept results of PCR and Rapid Tests administered in a health care setting as well as at-home rapid tests. Campers and volunteers will test according to the following timeline:
- Volunteers: Test on Wednesday, July 27th
- Campers: Test on Thursday, July 28th
Program participants who receive a positive result on their COVID test will not be able to attend camp in 2022.
Q: Are vaccines required for camp this year?
No. Vaccines will not be required for either volunteers or campers in order to participate in MCBC programming this year. Burns Recovered and MCBC continue to support the CDC’s position that the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. This position is further supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics who highly recommend that our younger community members (ages 5 and above) also get vaccinated unless there are contraindications. We will continue to ask all of our program participants about vaccination status not as a determinant of whether the participant will be accepted or not, but to make decisions on how to handle a possible exposure to COVID-19 involving that participant during the week of camp.
Q: Are we podding?
Whether we use “pods” (a group of between 10-15 people who travel to activities together, eat together, and can be unmasked around each other, even when indoors) or not is will depend on the vaccination status of our camp population (campers and counselors) and the community level (low, medium, or high) of the counties where our campers travel from. Since we do not have all the information to make a decision one way or the other right now, we will wait until closer to Day 1 of camp to make a determination.
Q: Do we have to track our COVID-related symptoms every day for the two weeks prior to arriving to camp like we did in 2021?
No, we will not be asking campers and caregivers to track their symptoms. In its place, we will include a more extensive COVID screener that will be completed either at the bus stop or when you drop your child off at Camp Taum Sauk. We continue to expect that campers will arrive at camp healthy (Tips from the Association of Camp Nursing on how to do so) and to avoid any nonessential travel and crowded indoor spaces for the 10 days prior to coming to camp.
As always, we appreciate your flexibility and patience as we plan for camp among a (still) unpredictable and transmissible virus. Please contact the Burns Recovered office at (314) 939-1550 or email the MCBC team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need clarification. Y’all are awesome and we can’t wait to share the MCBC magic with you this summer!
Yours in Service,
MCBC Camp Leadership