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 are thrilled to hear about the FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the COVID vaccine in children 12 and older! We strongly encourage you to be proactive about securing appointments for your daughters, so campers can receive both doses before camp. Please keep in mind, if your daughter receives her first shot by May 21st, she will be fully vaccinated in time for the start of camp. We will not be able to administer or facilitate any COVID vaccinations for campers while they are at camp.
If your daughter has received COVID vaccinations or has had COVID since you have completed her Health History Form, please update this form in CampMinder.
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.
- Pre-Arrival at Home: In an abundance of caution we will require that all campers (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) complete the PCR test that you will collect at home (and return via pre-paid FEDEX) on the morning of June 23rd. We will soon send a link from Quest Diagnostics where you will fill in your information for the delivery of your PCR kit. The only exception to the pre-camp COVID test is if camp has been provided with documentation of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the three months before the start of camp. If your daughter recently had COVID-19 please share this documentation with us now. Alternative PCR tests will be coordinated with camp for those outside the US on that date. This PCR testing is a New York State requirement and campers will not be allowed in camp if they do not submit their PCR test to Quest on June 23rd.
- Arrival Day: A rapid test before coming into camp. Vaccinated campers will not be asked to take a Arrival Day antigen test, but will need to have their temperature taken and be asked the arrival screening questions at our testing site on the way to camp (more information on where to stop for screening before you enter camp will be sent to you soon.)
- 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. Vaccinated campers will join in some of our pooled PCR testing this summer for more accurate COVID-19 surveillance.
*Please note that a $400 fee for COVID-19 costs, including testing, will be included on your next invoice.
We are updating the pre-camp precautions we have communicated to now allow any fully vaccinated people (fully vaccinated means 14 days after the second dose) in your household to follow the CDC recommendations for vaccinated people (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html), rather than stricter requirements. All campers, regardless of vaccination status, will still need to answer the daily screening questions starting June 12th.
As a reminder, the restrictions for unvaccinated persons in a camper household are to use social distancing and masks, make effort to reduce interactions with people outside the household and refrain from participating in any high risk activities, such as the following:
- Attending large social gatherings like a wedding, funeral, or party.
- Attending a mass gathering such as a sporting event, concert, or parade.
- Being exposed to crowds such as in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters.
- Being on trains, buses, in airports, or using public transportation (except as required to travel to camp, to school or to work and only if wearing appropriate PPE, such as a mask).
- Traveling on a cruise ship or river boat.
- Gathering with other families, including other camp families, without physical distancing or masks.
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.
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. If your daughter will be arriving by plane, please email Kelly at email@example.com directly to coordinate your plans.
Summer at camp will be much more joyous and less stressful for your daughters if we can keep COVID-19 outside of camp. With many of our campers’ schools, there have been exposures on buses that have resulted in quarantine of every bus passenger. Even one case of motion sickness would be considered a potential symptom and could delay the start of camp for your daughters. Because of this we have elected not to use buses to camp, and we, therefore, continue to require each camper to arrive with their parent or guardian who will be responsible for helping answer screening questions and be responsible for the camper in the unlikely event that a camper is not allowed to start camp on time as a result of the medical screening. Campers must arrive only in vehicles with their immediate household.
We plan to provide standard transportation home from camp at the end of the summer.
All remaining camp forms are due. Please make sure your forms and necessary documents are submitted.
Risk and COVID-19 Consent Form: Parents of all campers, regardless of camper vaccination status, must complete the Risk and COVID-19 Consent form by June 11, 2021, the start the 14-day pre-camp precautions period. For the few individuals who have not completed this form, please complete it in your CampMinder account as soon as possible so we can start our testing program. A link from Quest Diagnostics will be sent to you soon to register for your home PCR test kit.
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. Most activities at camp will take place with some modification to spend more of our time outdoors. There will be few differences at activities between vaccinated and unvaccinated campers.
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. In the first phase of camp before our day 4 testing, New York State requires masks to be worn by unvaccinated campers in the bunk except when resting or sleeping. Vaccinated campers will not be required to wear their masks in the bunk.
Campers 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.
Vaccinated campers will not have to wear masks at camp, except in rare situations such as in a vehicle.
Trips out of camp will be somewhat limited for safety to reduce visits to crowded places this summer. 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! There will be no additional Sub, Senior, and Peaker Trip Charges this summer. These trips will be available to both vaccinated and unvaccinated campers, but the percentage of campers vaccinated in an age group will have an impact on trip planning.
Little camp sisters are a very important part of Point O’Pines, and we are going to make sure that all camp sisters are able to find time together, outside, to hang out. Vaccinated campers will be a bit more free in visiting and spending time with their unvaccinated little camp sisters. Big Sisters, please reach out to your Little Sisters, if you haven’t already! If you have any questions about the Big Sister Program, please reach out to Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Vaccinated campers may still be tested for COVID-19 if they develop symptoms. The vaccination status is an important consideration, but our medical staff will test vaccinated campers if symptoms indicate that COVID-19 should be ruled out.
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. We encourage you to keep this remote possibility in mind as you organize your summer plans.
Vaccinated campers will not be required to quarantine if they were to be exposed to COVID and remain asymptomatic, but will be monitored for symptoms.
New York State is requiring that parents of campers make careful arrangements for their children as they plan their summer. In the unlikely event that your child were to be sent home by public health authorities or camp for either isolation or quarantine, parents will need to ensure that they are able to pick up their camper within 24 hours of notice, using private transportation by someone who will be living with the camper. Please look at these potential contingencies and communicate with your emergency contacts. If there is a time period where a pickup within 24 hours is not possible, please contact our office now before camp starts so that we can work with you to set up alternate arrangements for your daughters’ safety.
Please also note that in the event that a parent or guardian who is a member of the household tests positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, that person cannot enter camp, including to pick up their child. An alternate parent or guardian or emergency contact would have to pick up the child.
These summer planning preparations do apply to vaccinated campers for the unusual case where they test positive for COVID-19 despite vaccination.
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.
All baggage must be shipped to camp ahead of time. If you have not registered with CampTrucking, please do so as soon as possible (www.camptrucking.com). 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.
As you begin the process of getting organized and packing your daughter’s items for camp over the coming weeks, we want to remind you that in light of our nut-free policy, toiletries made with nut products are not permitted. Please note that this includes shea oil and shea butter. Food allergies can cause severe, even life-threatening, allergic reactions and we are asking for your help in keeping your daughter’s fellow campers safe. Please check all lotions, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lip balm, as well as any other toiletries that your daughter may bring with her to camp. We appreciate your cooperation.
With all of the preparations to keep COVID out of our community at the beginning of camp, we have come to the conclusion that it is too big of a risk to welcome families for Visiting Day this summer. Instead, we are going to provide new opportunities for you to get to know your daughter’s bunk and feel as connected as possible with your daughter throughout the summer. We are committed to making sure you will be able to visually experience the fun your daughter and her friends are having at camp by increasing pictures and videos shared throughout the summer. We’re already planning for special schedules, meals, and treats for the girls! We know this decision is disappointing, but we hope that by not having Visiting Day, we will be able to open camp more and keep the environment less restrictive. We will be sharing more details as we get closer to camp.
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, our procedure for dispensing and administering medicine 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. We will not be able to accept any medications on Arrival Day unless approved by Caressa Himoff in advance. Our medical team will not be able to process or distribute any medications that do not arrive via CampPacks. We appreciate your attention and help to keep your daughters safe and healthy at camp! If you have any questions regarding your daughter’s medications at camp, please contact Caressa Himoff (email@example.com).
CampPacks requires that all registrations and prescriptions be forwarded to their facility no later than May 31, 2021
Jim and Chef Chuck have been busy dreaming up fun new menus exploring fun themes and cuisine from around the globe! Although dining at camp may look a bit different, we will still have fantastic menus every day with many additional special dinners on the beach. We will continue to offer fresh, healthy options that we’ve previously had at camp in addition to all the favorite dinners and treats that our campers know and love. As always, we will 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 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.