Gan Israel Enhanced Camp Protocol – revised 6/7/20

Camp Gan Israel is the Safe, Fun, Jewish Camp! The safety of your child is our primary concern!

We follow the guidelines assembled by experts in the fields of camping and public health, including the CDC, the PA Department of Health, the American Camp Association, the Association of Camp Nursing, the YMCA, the JCCA, the EPA, and the FDA.

We want to implement these guidelines in the calmest, most natural way possible, to ensure both camper safety and happiness.

This is a living document and may change as more information about COVID-19 becomes available.

Here’s an outline of our plan:

I. Pre-camp best practices

A. A healthy camp really does start at home. Here are some things you can do to help your child have a great camp experience in all ways, both physically and emotionally:

1. Monitor your child for any signs of illness.

2. Teach your child to sneeze and cough in his sleeve and to wash his hands often, especially before eating and after using the toilet.

3. Make sure your child gets enough rest at night.

4. Send sunscreen and teach your child how to apply his own sunscreen. Spray sunscreen is best.

5. Talk with your child about telling his counselor or director about problems or troublesome issues at camp.

6. Should something come up during the camp day or afterward – you see an unusual rash of hear a disturbing story – contact the camp director and let them know.

B. Health screening for possible COVID-19 symptoms

1. During the 14 days before your child starts his stay at camp, families will be required to conduct an ongoing daily monitoring of their child’s health. Each day check your child for fever, cough, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, aches, extreme headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

2. If, during this time, your child exhibits one of these symptoms, you will be required to report this to the camp director and together we will closely monitor any developments.

3. If your child subsequently exhibits more than one of these symptoms, you will be required to get him tested for COVID-19 before he comes to camp.

4. If your child tests positive, he will need to stay home for 14 days before he starts camp, and he must be symptom-free for 72 hours before he can come to camp. You will need to report these test results to the camp director.

5. If your child tests negative, he can start camp once he is symptom-free for 72 hours.

II. Daily screening during the camp season

A. Morning screening

1. Each morning, you or a designated person from your immediate family will drive your child to the bus stop. Please try to make this the same person throughout your child’s stay at camp. Please stay in your car with your child and pull into one of the screening lines. Please do not park your car, get out, and bring your child to the bus. Please do not use this time to socialize with other parents at the bus stop.

Please do not allow your child to leave your car before his daily screening. Please do not allow your child to walk to the bus alone. You will need to remain with your child until the daily screening is completed.

2. A camp bus monitor will approach your car, ask you to lower your window, and ask you a few quick screening questions about your child’s overnight health status.

3. If, during this time, your child has experienced one of these symptoms, you will be required to report this to the monitor and take your child home. Together we will closely monitor any developments.

4. If your child subsequently exhibits more than one of these symptoms, you will be required to get him tested for COVID-19 before he comes to camp.

5. If your child tests positive, he will need to stay home for 14 days before he returns to camp, and he must be symptom-free for 72 hours before he can return to camp. You will need to report these test results to the camp director.

6. If your child tests negative, he can start camp once he is symptom-free for 72 hours.

7. If your child has not experienced any of these symptoms overnight, you will be asked to lower the back window of your car so the bus monitor can take your child’s temperature. We will be using a digital thermometer that doesn’t require physical contact.

8. If your child’s temperature is just 100.4 degrees but he is not exhibiting other symptoms, you will be asked to review what your child has done before he got in line to be screened. (For example, was he running around in the heat? Sometimes, overactivity or extremely hot weather can temporarily elevate a child’s temperature.) He may be asked to stay in the A/C in your car for a few minutes and try to cool down. We can then check his temperature again.

9. If he still has temperature, please follow the directions listed above. (#3 of this section)

10. If his temperature has returned to normal, then he will be allowed on the bus. The bus monitor will provide hand sanitizer for each child to clean their hands before entering the bus.

B. Daily monitoring – if your child exhibits any of the symptoms mentioned above in the middle of a camp day, you will be required to come to camp to pick up your child. Your child will be isolated in the camp infirmary until you arrive.

C. If another camper in your child’s bunk or bus group has tested positive for COVID-19:

1. You will be informed immediately. As long as your child stays asymptomatic, he will not be required to take a COVID-19 test; he will, however, will be required to stay home for 7 days.

2. If your child subsequently exhibits any symptoms, you will be required to get him tested for COVID-19 before he can return to camp.

3. If your child tests positive, he will need to stay home for 14 days before he can return to camp, and he must be symptom-free for 72 hours before he can return to camp. You will need to report these test results to the camp director.

4. If your child tests negative, he can start camp once he is symptom-free for 72 hours.

D. All staff will be required to follow the same pre-screening and ongoing screening protocol.

III. Bunks and Bus Groups viewed as ‘households’

1. Its widely accepted by our expert consultants that its unrealistic to require children to wear masks or gloves, or to stay 6 feet away from their buddies. To limit camper cross exposure and to encourage distancing, campers will be assigned to their usual bunk of approximately 12 campers and a designated counselor. This will be their "household" and they will play, learn, eat, swim, etc. together. The goal is for this bunk not to mix with other bunks. Bunks will be assigned to a division of approximately 4 bunks,

keeping the size of the division limited to 50 campers, with the bunks socially distancing within their division. Divisions will also social distance one from the other. (This is called the "concentric circles" approach.)

2. 1st choice in activities will be for them to do individualized bunk activities. When it’s necessary to do multi-bunk activities, we will adapt those activities to become low-to-no contact activities.

3. Instead of all campers using all of the same equipment and supplies, each bunk will be issued their own sets of equipment and supplies.

4. 1st choice in location for activities will be the outdoors, to provide maximum ventilation. When this is not possible (due to inclement weather, etc.), bunks will have activities in well ventilated screened buildings, usually in their own bunkhouse.

5. Each bunk will have a table and chairs in front of their bunkhouse, and this will be their home base for most activities, including lunch on days with nice weather. On rainy days, they will be eating inside their bunk house (screened, well ventilated building)

6. First priority activities involve each bunk to play individually. If activities require multiple bunks to play together, teams will not mix bunks and game rules will be modified to encourage no contact between groups.

7. Bussing will follow the same format. Each camper will be assigned to a specific seat on the bus. Each bus will be divided into 3 zones with 12 – 14 campers assigned to a zone, kept as consistent as possible throughout the camp season, with zones distanced from each other by empty bus benches. If necessary, very young campers may be seated with their older siblings. We will be limiting our buses to a maximum of 80% of their capacity. All of the windows will be open to achieve maximum ventilation. Plans for air-conditioned buses will have to wait for another summer.

IV. Counselor Staff to also follow ‘household / concentric circles’ approach

We are following the same principle as we are with the children – that is, staff are to stay together as a "household" and not mingle with other young adults for the duration of their stay at camp. We are trying to get counselors who will be with us for as long a stay as possible, which will limit the number of adults to which the campers and staff are exposed. Any out-of-town staff will not be able to travel out of our immediate area on their days off. We're  encouraging the staff to choose free time activities that are outdoor and involve limited physical contact with their surroundings.

V. Swimming will also follow ‘household’ approach

We will have an instructional swim period every day, Monday through Thursday, and a recreational swim every Friday. Instructional swim will be easy to implement, as children stay with their bunk and only a few bunks enter the pool at one time and stay on different ends of the pool. Recreational swim may not be every day, because we can't allow large numbers of campers in the pool at once. (As usual, we will not be swimming in camp during the 9 Days.)

VI. Increased Hygiene

A. Masks worn by staff during close contact with campers, such as when they help campers change for swimming, apply sunscreen, and serve lunch.

B. Hand hygiene - frequent hand washing / sanitizer scheduled into each camper’s camp day, especially before eating and after using the toilet.

C. Cough etiquette – camper and staff orientation plus ongoing encouragement to cough or sneeze into tissue or arm.

D. Increased janitorial staff to focus on keeping frequently touched surfaces clean.

VII. Tuition Credit Policy

 

A. If a child is required to stay home because he is exhibiting signs of sickness, Gan Israel will not be issuing a tuition refund or credit for the time missed in camp.

 

B. If a child is required to stay home because someone else in his bunk or bus group tested positive for COVID 19, Gan Israel will issue a tuition credit for time missed in camp (to be used during Summer 2021).

 

C. If a parent decides to voluntarily keep their child home because a child in another bunk or bus group tested positive for COVID 19 but there is no direct evidence that these children came into contact with each other, Gan Israel will not be issuing a tuition refund or credit for the time missed in camp.

As always, communication is key. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 215-852-0276 or ZGerber@GanIsraelPhilly.com

Yours in camping,

Rabbi Zalman & Miriam Gerber

Rabbi Yudi & Chana Gerber