Safely Running Summer Camp in 2020

Over the past several months, the Rocky Mountain Council has been monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and discussing how it would impact all of its Scouting activities. One of the largest activities the council hosts each year is summer camp at San Isabel Scout Ranch and Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base.

After extensive research of international, national, local, and company guidelines as well as participation in discussions with health professionals, the Rocky Mountain Council has determined that camp will run as scheduled this summer. 

During the many conversations that were had with health professionals, the council determined that various measures will be taken to protect staff and participants. These measures were chosen using the most up-to-date information that was available at the time and will be adjusted as needed as more information becomes available.

Updated 6/30/2020: The Rocky Mountain Council has chosen to close Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base in accordance with Chaffee County guidelines for running a residential summer camp in  2020. 

Update 6/20/2020: The Updated Health Guidelines document that was shared in May was updated to include the new guidelines from the governor’s office. Changes that were made to this document can be clearly seen in the comment section on the right-hand side.

Update 6/19/2020: Guidelines for running residential (overnight) camp programs were released from the governor’s office. These guidelines can be reviewed by clicking here.

Update 6/8/2020: The Rocky Mountain Council received notification from the governor’s office that guidelines for resident (overnight) camps would be available on June 21, 2020 rather than mid-June as originally announced.

Update 5/27/2020: The Rocky Mountain Council Executive Board voted to suspend camp staff training until June 21, 2020. By then we hope to have guidelines from the office of the governor on what is expected when running an overnight youth summer camp program.

Update 5/26/2020: The governor of Colorado announced that all overnight youth summer camps would canceled in June. The governor’s office will provide guidelines for opening them up in July and August will be provided mid-June. To read the full statement, click here.

Update 5/17/2020: After weeks of consulting with Rocky Mountain Council volunteers, local health professionals, and other parties, updated health guidelines for safely running RMC summer camps were released. These guidelines are a baseline and could change when the governor releases his guidelines. To read the health guidelines the council will be putting in place at both camps this summer, click the button above labelled Update Health Guidelines.

Update 5/13/2020: State government officials informed the Rocky Mountain Council that they had provided suggested guidelines for running summer camp to the office of the governor. The governor is scheduled to release his guidelines on 5/25/2020.

Update 5/4/2020: Originally the Rocky Mountain Council had been informed that the governor’s office would be providing guidelines for running summer camps by the beginning of May. This has been pushed back to the middle of May. The Rocky Mountain Council will continue to work with local officials to put together guidelines specific to our camps’ situation.

Update 4/24/2020: The Rocky Mountain Council was informed by state officials that guidelines for running camp would be made available at the beginning of May.

Before Camp

Will there be anything additional required of us to bring to camp?

Yes. Each unit will be required to bring a large container of hand sanitizer to keep in their campsite at all times. Additionally, each participant (youth & adult) should bring their own container of hand sanitizer that can be kept on their person at all times.

Masks are required as deemed necessary. We also recommend have each person traveling to camp has a mask for bathroom breaks and other stops along your route to camp.

Should we screen those travelling with us to camp?

Yes. Each unit must do a Pre-Travel Event Medical Screening. This screening will be done prior to travelling as a unit.

If any one in your group is disqualified because of symptoms, they must remain home.

Should we self-quarantine prior to coming to camp?

Yes, we highly recommend all who plan to attend camp this summer participate in a self-quarantine at least 2 weeks before their first day of camp.

We understand that in many situations this is difficult if not impossible. But we also recognize that there are some individuals who will be able to do this. If even a few participants can do this, it will help keep all those at camp a little safer.

We are struggling to get Part C of the Annual Health & Medical Record completed. Do we have to have this completed by a medical professional?

Yes & no. The Boy Scouts of America is authorizing a one time exception to this rule regarding the AHMR. If you have a Part C that was signed on or after February 1, 2019, it will be valid until August 31, 2020. 

For those using an AHMR that would in a normal year be considered expired, please complete Part A & Part B between 2 to 3 weeks prior to your first day of camp.

If you do not have a Part C available, please consider tele-health options or something similar.

At Camp

Will there be additional medical screening at camp?

Yes. Every person who enters our camp gates will be required to go through a medical screening. This screening will include collecting the pre-travel event medical screening forms (even those that were disqualified from coming), taking temperatures, recent medical history interview, and other steps as deemed necessary.

What steps are being taken by the Rocky Mountain Council to keep camp clean?

This year we will be taking extra measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures include the following:

  • Specifically hired and trained adult staff to clean high contact points daily (i.e. bathrooms, showers, doors, railings, etc.). No participants will be assigned cleaning responsibilities
  • Disinfecting tent platforms between sessions
  • Disinfecting activity equipment between activity sessions
  • Spreading out program areas
  • Staggered meal times
  • Spreading out seating during meal times, also little to no inside seating
  • Any part of a meal that was considered self-serve will now be managed by a member of staff who has the appropriate food handlers certification

How will activities be handled if the group size is considered to large based off of recommended group gathering size?

Colorado has stated that groups of 25 campers is allowed at residential (overnight) camping programs. We will adhere to these guidelines.

Currently there are recommendations for social distancing. How with this be implemented at camp?

Upon arrival, all troops will be put into groups of no more than 25 Scouts. These 25 Scouts will be the only Scouts that they will be able to interact with throughout the week.

Any program area or activity will happen with only 1 group at a time.

How will staff members be protected as well as monitored at camp?

Staff will be required to follow the same expectations as those of campers including washing hand regularly and maintaining a safe distance from others at all times.

Currently the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment is allowing individuals without symptoms to be tested for COVID-19. Should a member of our staff or a camp participant present symptoms of COVID-19, they will be taken for testing immediately.

After Camp

If someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 within 2 weeks after the last day of camp, should we contact the Rocky Mountain Council?

Yes. Please contact Samuel Ahlstrom and he will be sure to communicate this information with the appropriate agencies.

Should we self-isolate once camp is over?

Yes, this is a highly recommended practice. This self-isolation should be no less than 14 days. 

If you are able to be tested for COVID-19 once arriving at home, this is also recommended as this will allow you to cut down the amount of time required for an effective self-isolation.

Refund Policy

How does this decision effect the current camp refund policy?

This decision does not change our refund policy for most situations. (Information about refunds for San Isabel Scout Ranch and Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base can be found in their respective leader guides.) We are adding the following provisions to both camps’ refund policies:

  • If a registrant tests positive for COVID-19 within 2 weeks of their first day of camp, a full refund will be given. This will only be given if the registrant submits their positive test results with their refund request.
  • If a registrant is disqualified from coming to camp because they have any of the symptoms listed on the pre-event medical screening prior to travelling to camp, our normal refund policy takes effect. The registrant can receive a full refund if they provide a doctor’s note stating they had those symptoms.
  • If any registrant is disqualified from entering camp at the camp medical screening upon check-in, a full refund will be given to the registrant.
  • If a registrant is considered ‘high risk’, they can receive a full refund with a note from their doctor stating they the doctor recommends the registrant not attend.

There are parents who do not feel comfortable sending their Scout to camp in light of the current situation. Can we get a refund?

Our regular refund policy will apply in situations like this. Please review them for the respective camps in their respective leader guides.

If you have to close our session of camp, will we receive a refund?

Yes. If we are required to close down camp prior to your arrival your unit will receive a full refund.

If I qualify for a refund, when should I expect to see it?

Refund checks are typically cut and mailed at the end of August.

Additional Questions?

If you still have questions about camp this summer after reading this FAQ, please contact us using the form below.

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