Earlier this month Camp Colley Foundation staff participated in the American Camp Association’s annual National Conference hosted virtually. This year the ACA conference’s theme was Innovation and focused on supporting camps think creatively about their operations in the uncertain times brought on by COVID-19. The ACA reiterated their firm stance that children across the country need summer camp now more than ever.
The conference’s COVID-19 learning and planning track was invaluable to Camp Colley to determine the necessary precautions and additional steps that must be taken in 2021 to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus among participants and staff at camp. With a focus on non-pharmaceutical interventions, or NPIs, conference breakout sessions focused on key areas or camp operations through the lens of COVID prevention. The ACA has worked closely with the CDC in creating and publishing “Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps”, a set of directives for camps to apply to their programs in order to promote safety and health throughout the upcoming summer season.
By applying critical learning and key takeaways from the conference in conjunction with the CDC’s published suggestions, staff outlined a list of 47 strategies** Camp Colley will implement in 2021 to aide in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through its programs. Innovative approaches to masking, sanitization and handwashing, health surveillance, testing and social distancing will be utilized at Camp Colley, as well as program modifications, changes to meal times and food service, and transportation adjustments will also be implemented.
Camp Colley’s pathway to program operations in 2021 is clearer than ever thanks to the incredible amount of information disseminated at the ACA National Conference. Innovative approaches to implementing NPIs will be the focus of our planning this spring so that we are able to welcome underserved Phoenix kids at Camp Colley in June.
**Please note: this is a working document that will likely be expanded upon as directives from the CDC and ACA continue to evolve leading up to summer 2021.