Dear Hi-Rock Families,
This is the letter so many of you have been waiting for. It is the first step in getting our camp family back where we belong – on top of our favorite mountain, jumping into our favorite lake, hiking along our favorite trails and wishing upon our favorite stars. Today is the day we are opening registration for overnight summer camp 2021!
Don’t pack your trunk just yet! There are still many questions to be answered about this summer. We are awaiting revised guidance from the state which will hopefully allow overnight camps in Massachusetts to open. We are also continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation and working with camping professionals, medical experts, our local board of health, YMCA leadership and our board of managers to determine how and when we may open safely. But we are very hopeful and optimistic that there will be a way for us to reunite at our home away from home and we’re putting things in place to make that possible. Now is the time to reserve your spot and start dreaming about campfires, cabin chats and candlelight ceremonies.
We know some things will be different. Side hugs will become air hugs. The dining hall will become a collection of dining tents. We’ll be spreading out across our 1,000 acres like we have never spread out before. While things will be rearranged and reimagined, the most important parts will remain. We’ll be back together making friends, feeling the love of our Hi-Rock family, growing, thinking, laughing and learning together. And there will be no video screens in sight!
We’ll be keeping in close touch between now and summer to provide updates about what we know and how our plans are shaping up. As we have all learned, the impact of the coronavirus and measures we need to take to protect our community are ever-changing and hard to predict. We’ve prepared a frequently asked questions section on our website with up to date information about some of the key questions you might have right now. We’ll also host regularly scheduled family Zoom calls to answer your questions along the way. The first of these calls will be Monday, March 1, at 7:00 PM EST.
We know our camp plans will incorporate risk reduction recommendations from the CDC, the American Camp Association, the Association of Camp Nursing, and Environmental Health and Engineering Associates, along with adhering to guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the MA Department of Public Health, our local board of health and our consulting pediatricians. These plans will include but not be limited to requiring all campers and staff to wear masks, treating cabin groups as distinct cohorts who will maintain social distance from other groups, adding handwashing and sanitizing stations and increased surface sanitization, daily health screenings, and pre-camp testing. We are working on fine-tuning details of other plans including testing during camp and pre-camp quarantines and will make those details available to families over the coming weeks. We anticipate needing to reduce capacity and we are capping registration at 50%, for now. If we need to limit capacity further, campers will retain their spot on a first come, first served basis. We do not anticipate providing transportation to or from camp this summer and we have eliminated one-week sessions to limit the frequency with which new campers enter the camp population.
Please note that any campers who experience COVID-related symptoms or who test positive while at camp will be isolated immediately and will need to be picked up and cared for by their parents or guardians until criteria for return to camp are met. This summer, families must ensure that they will be in a position to pick up their campers at any point in their stay.
As with 2020, there is no financial risk involved in registering for camp at this time given the uncertainties that remain. All payments and deposits will be refunded in the case that camp does not operate or a camper is withdrawn due to coronavirus concerns.
Please reach out with any questions you may have. We look forward to working closely with you between now and summer to get our campers back to camp and the outdoors.
Big Hi-Rock love to you all,
The Hi-Rock Team