|We are sharing with our camp families and the entire F&W community what we believe is most important for people to know and to give everyone a sense of the care we are taking in our preparations. Our decisions are guided by the American Camp Association’s Field Guide for Camp, developed in collaboration with Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc., based on current CDC guidance and consultation with our own medical and public health experts.
COVID-19 vaccines are not required for campers at this time. We are recommending but not requiring our Seasonal and Year-Round Staff who have access to a vaccine to get fully vaccinated prior to the start of camp. Summer staff will participate in a quarantine period at their camp prior to camper arrival and will be asked to remain at their camps all summer.
It is critical for families who do not live in Vermont to understand Vermont’s specific travel guidelines and to make their travel and drop-off plans in light of these guidelines. This link will take you to the most up-to-date information: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel (read Leisure Travel section). Currently, out-of-state visitors who plan to stay overnight in VT must quarantine for 14 days OR for 7 days followed by a negative COVID-19 test. We anticipate overnight campers will be quarantining at their camps in small groups when they arrive in accord with state rules.
Travel to camp should be as direct as possible and, optimally, be done in a single day with contactless behaviors along the way. We will require all arriving campers to present us with evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel to camp.
Arrival day at camp will look a little different this year, with staggered “drop off, kiss and goodbye” arrival procedures instead of allowing family members to help campers bring their summer belongings into their cabin.
Our three-sided, open-air cabins are a boon as they offer good ventilation and access to plentiful fresh air. There will be the usual merriment and antics, yet there will also be fewer people in each cabin to allow for physical distancing. Campers will have grouped into smaller cohorts to minimize mingling while allowing for fun with friends.
As you speak with your camper, please let them know there will be some changes in the daily routines at camp. We intend to offer our meals in shifts at our larger camps, and our activities will be done with physical distancing and masks. There will be frequent hand washing, camp-wide disinfecting and in some cabins, and program areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, there will be additional barriers (plexiglass or other material, for example). In addition to our regular daily cabin health check-ins, there will be a daily COVID-specific screening. We anticipate there will be camp-wide staff and camper COVID-19 testing on or around Day 7 of camp.
Most of our backpacking and overnight trips will be on our Woodward Reservoir and Lake Ninevah properties, trails, and shelters so we minimize any contact with people outside of our F&W community. Our Questers groups will travel as a household on their adventures after quarantining for an initial period.
The Tamarack Farm facility will act as a quarantine location. Specific outdoor cabins at the Tamarack Farm facility will be used to isolate campers and staff exhibiting and signs and symptoms immediately and provide other healthcare-related management and care.
We’re eager for a summer of fun in glorious Vermont, and we’re taking every precaution we can to ensure the health and safety of our campers and staff and bring back the magic of camp. Please explore our COVID-19 policies on our website https://farmandwilderness.org/covid-19-resource-center/ and feel free to reach out to me with any questions or firstname.lastname@example.org and the live chat on the website.
We look forward to seeing you this summer!
Frances McLaughlin, Executive Director
P.S. We are holding a Zoom Town Hall on February 25 at 7 p.m. for camp families to hear more about camp 2021 and have their questions answered. Sign up here: