As you prepare for summer we want to address some of the key questions we have heard from you wondering what 2021 will look like. Here are our current thoughts on key aspects of camp. Please check back periodically and read your e-mails for frequent updates.
We will be sharing more details about our testing protocols in the coming weeks, but we want to share an outline of what to expect at the start of the summer, and our expected testing guidelines for the duration of the summer.
- 14 Days Before Camp: In these critical two weeks leading up to camp, we are asking that campers and their families avoid large gatherings, unnecessary engagements, and unmasked exposure to individuals outside the home. We understand that some campers may still be in school during these two weeks and we ask that they avoid exposure outside of the classroom. We will also require pre-screening including self-screening, taking and recording temperatures, and recording this information in an online tool for the 14 days leading up to camp.
- Pre-Arrival at Home: PCR test a couple days before arrival at camp. A kit will be sent to you from us or a laboratory partner to be used on the day we direct. We will share more information soon. The sample will be sent to a testing lab via an overnight carrier. In this week before camp, it is essential that campers avoid interactions with people outside their immediate household until their arrival at camp.
- Arrival Day: A rapid test before coming into camp.
- First Week Testing: A PCR test on the fourth or fifth day of camp.
- Continued Testing: Surveillance testing and diagnostic testing for symptoms will continue as needed throughout the summer.
*Please note that a $400 fee for COVID-19 costs, including testing, will be included on your next invoice.
In our communications with staff, we are strongly encouraging staff to be vaccinated before they travel to camp. We plan to arrange for vaccination for any staff who are unable to do so before arriving at camp. It is our strong hope to get as close as possible to 100% counselor vaccination before campers arrive.
As a reminder, all camper baggage must be shipped to camp prior to arrival. As always, campers can bring a small travel bag with them on arrival day. We won’t be able to facilitate moving luggage while we are working through the screening process with all of our campers. As always, campers can bring a small travel bag with them on arrival day.
We have decided that the safest way to minimize as much risk as possible at the start of the summer is to have all campers arrive individually. We will arrange specific dropoff times for each family to allow us time to complete a full medical screening and COVID-19 testing for each individual camper. In accordance with our pre-camp precautions after taking the pre-arrival PCR test, we request that campers arrive in vehicles that only include members of their immediate household. If your daughter will be arriving by plane, please email Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org directly to coordinate your plans.
We plan to provide standard transportation home from camp at the end of the summer.
We believe now that it is unlikely that we will have a normal Visiting Day this summer. We are still waiting on NYS Health Department guidance on Visiting Day. However, if we are able to welcome families to camp, it will be very restricted. We deeply value sharing a taste of camp with families and if a traditional visiting day is not possible, we will make sure you get to connect with your daughters to hear about their experiences throughout the summer.
The final bill for this summer will be going out by the end of the month. Please complete your daughter’s Transportation and Baggage Form in your CampMinder account ASAP so we can finalize the charges to your account.
If your daughter takes any prescription or regular over-the-counter (OTC) medications, our procedure for dispensing and administering medicine, to help us comply with NY State regulations, requires you to have all of your daughter’s medicine dispensed by CampPacks and sent to camp prior to her arrival. This includes allergy medications (like Claritin, Benadryl, Flonase), Vitamins (Probiotics, Multivitamin, Gummies), Melatonin, Miralax, and any other OTC medication your daughter will take on a regular basis over the summer. On opening day, our medical staff will be focused on conducting the COVID-19 testing and the intensive medical screenings that will help to insure a healthy summer for our camp community. As a result, our medical team will not be able to process or distribute any medications that do not arrive via CampPacks. Please see the CampPacks Information Packet in CampMinder for detailed instructions registering with CampPacks. If you have any questions regarding your daughter’s medications at camp, please contact Caressa Himoff (email@example.com).
It’s clear that spending time outside is the safest, best place to be right now, and we’re lucky that our summers at camp are filled with so many fun outdoor activities like tennis, our expansive waterfront, team sports, and hiking at our five hundred acre farm! As recent CDC guidance has changed focus from surface transmission to increasing air circulation, alongside physical distancing, we are using the latest recommendations to create safer shared environments. We will maximize our already ample fresh air in all of our indoor spaces and will continue to be creative about using outdoor spaces in as many activities as possible (e.g., lakeside yoga and group fitness). Our plans will continue to develop with feedback from medical professionals, new studies and data, and updates from the CDC or New York State.
We are planning for each day at POP to be filled with the same summer magic we know and love. In addition to all the great things that the kids love to do at camp, trips out of camp may be limited and will depend on conditions this summer. We plan on creating COVID-safe interactions for siblings and camp sisters, as we know how important those relationships are!
The first part of the summer will look a little different than usual with social distancing measures similar to those at school and COVID-19 testing before we are able to mix together larger numbers of campers or age groups.
Campers will not need to wear masks in their bunks, but they will wear masks when interacting outside their “groups”. These groups, starting first with bunks, will get larger over time and in phases based on rates of COVID-19 at camp. Generally speaking, if we bring multiple “groups” together, we’ll mask. We will also wear masks in the dining room except when eating.
As always, meals at POP will include a wide variety of excellent choices and the fan-favorite meals we’ve come to know and love! We will continue to have our healthy choices at each meal, salad options, and our famous treats. Additionally, we will continue to prioritize health and safety for members of our community with food allergies and special diets.
We are very fortunate to have a beautiful, spacious dining room that is large enough to comfortably accommodate our entire camp community. To enhance the safety of our campers and staff, we have developed options to create more space at meals using outdoor or staggered seatings as needed during the summer. Some of our favorite meals at camp already take place outside, and we will be adding more exciting outdoor food events this summer!
We believe we will be able to do some trips and activities outside of camp that do not mix with the general public, especially for our older campers. We are excitedly planning for outdoor adventure trips like whitewater rafting and zip lining, hiking, and camping, pizza nights off camp, and, of course, trips to our favorite ice cream shops! Trip options will vary depending on age group, safety, and local infection rates. We’re keeping our options open! There will be no additional Sub, Senior, and Peaker Trip Charges this summer.
In the event that a member of our community tests positive for COVID-19 over the summer, we have dedicated space that will allow any COVID-19 positive campers or staff to isolate from the rest of the community. In the unlikely event that your daughter tests positive for COVID-19, we recognize that she likely will be more comfortable isolating at home, if that is permitted. We encourage you to keep this remote possibility in mind as you organize your summer plans.
Our Big Sister Letters will be coming out in late April. We can’t wait for our new POP campers to get connected with their camp sisters and get even more excited about the summer!
We are so proud of a group of Peakers who are organizing a Virtual 5k to benefit the YMCA Adirondack Center. The 5k will take place during the weekend of May 22nd. For each POP camper and staff member who completes the virtual 5k, the Himoff Family will donate $100 to the YMCA Adirondack Center to support educational enrichment for children in our local POP community. All donations will be given in memory of Olivia Nguyen. We will be sharing more information soon, so please be on the lookout for details!
We are so happy to announce that Dr. Catherine DelSignore, MD will become our Point O’Pines Camp Medical Director. Catherine is one of our veteran camp doctors and has been a pediatrician in our Adirondack region for the last 7 years with the Hudson Headwaters Health Network. We are ecstatic to have her expertise to help campers and staff have a healthy summer and Catherine will continue to be one of our camp doctors. Catherine enjoys spending each camp summer with the girls. She will work closely with our experienced team of physicians and nurses as part of our medical team in the Health Center during the summer. Outside of camp she loves spending time with her husband and three kids (7, 4, and 2 years old) enjoying the outdoors, especially hiking and biking to the ice cream shop near their house. They also love to travel to new places. Catherine will be especially helpful this year as we navigate COVID-19 and plan for a great summer!
We are fortunate that we have been able to coordinate Catherine’s joining our team with the Hudson Headwaters Health Network, our regional health provider, as well as working with their extensive team of medical experts to support our COVID-19 preparations. The Himoff Family has long been a strong supporter of the HHHN and we have had a great relationship with them for years. We are very excited about this partnership!
Point O’Pines has always valued traditions that have carried on for generations, from mother to daughter, and even to granddaughters. The Himoff family has always seen its role as safeguarding this legacy and sustaining the vitality of the Point. Part of cultivating the magic of the Point has been to develop our deep leadership team, and add fresh new creative ideas and perspectives. We have been so pleased to share with you the promotions of Betsy, Emily and Kelly earlier this year to broader roles at camp, and wanted to share that we have additionally named Annie Lorenz as an Assistant Director. Annie has been part of our year round camp team for the past 10 years.
Parents will be seeing much more leadership from these rising members of our team. Betsy will be planning our daily schedule of activities, overseeing our staff, and managing the daily routine of camp. Emily will continue to develop close relationships with camp families and communicate with them throughout the year. She will take the lead in creating bunks and during camp, she will work closely with the Area Heads to make sure that every camper has a spectacular summer. Our special programming, including evening activities and events led by our older campers will be led by Annie. Kelly will be in our office answering all of your questions about camp and organizing all the logistics related to camp running smoothly. She will also continue to play a key role in our staff recruitment process. Sherie and Erin are stepping into mentoring roles for the next generation of POP leadership and will continue to guide these rising professionals with Jim, Sue, Brandon and Caressa Himoff. Youthful leadership brings energy, vitality and passion. Guidance from the older generation brings wisdom and experience. We are thrilled to see such a talented and dedicated group of women take on more leadership at camp.