BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — This email is being received Tuesday afternoon by parents and friends of “Eagles Landing and the Nightowls Camp,” one of the most popular camps in South Palm Beach County/North Broward County:
There comes the point when we must decide whether to open or close our doors using the most recent and relevant data. We then make a final decision and place trust in ourselves as a camp and as parents to protect our most valuable possession, our children. For Eagles Landing and The Night Owls that time has come.
After much consideration, we are excited to announce that we will be opening camp, following all available safety guidelines, June 22nd through August 7th for a 7-week summer. A key factor in our decision was the CDC statement that while some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.
Children (19 years old and under) are said to be the safest demographic as long as precautions are taken. Every summer presents risks at camp. This risk, while invisible, will get the most attention from us while we still prepare for all other areas of camp as we do annually. Recognizing that we have staff older than 19 years old, we are taking all necessary precautions for them as directed by the CDC, the American Camping Association and professionals. We take the decision to open very seriously.
I, along with Bobby, Traci, Liza and Laurie, have children either working at ELC or attending as campers this summer, so just like you, we are placing our trust in what we do best, keeping campers safe and happy. Right now, I am sure all of you are ready for your children to get back to being kids again. In the coming weeks, as we get closer to our June 22nd opening, we will finalize all guidelines and preventative measures to ensure a safe camp season. Cleaning protocols, new meal schedules with fewer campers at one time, and daily temperature checks, along with additional safety measures, will be detailed and sent to all enrolled families.
This is an extensive and evolving list, which is why we have decided to wait to finalize it, as there are still five weeks between now and the start of our 23rd summer. Remember that while we have made the decision to open, the decision to attend camp is yours. You are not required to participate and for those of you who do not feel comfortable with your children attending, please email us and we will advise you of our credit/refund options for 2020. Camp is also optional for our staff, and each staff member has the option to skip this summer and be welcomed back with open arms in future summers. With this decision made, our staff is very excited that they will be returning to their summer home and be able to see their summer family. Our Night Owls staff will be arriving around June 8 and will have a two-week period of quarantine since many come from out of the state.
Please understand that all the precautions we are implementing, while extensive, are for the benefit of you and your children. We will be in touch towards the beginning of June with more information regarding all the above. This has been a very different year for everyone, and we hope to give back a sense of normalcy. ELC is a “way of life” for our campers, staff and administrators. We are so glad and appreciative we will be able to enjoy it with all of you this summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
All of the following FAQ’s are subject and likely to see modifications due to the fluidity of the current situation. We will continue to monitor and make the necessary modifications prior to and during the summer as needed and directed.
1. How can camp operate with “social distancing”?It is important to remember that “groups” at camp (Cowboys, Starlings, Adonis etc) are permitted to be “together” like a family since they will be the same campers each day. The “social distancing” will come into play between these groups. In other words, our plan will be to keep the Cowboys six-feet away from the Cubs. Obviously camp will be somewhat different in terms of group competitions but each group can still swim together, play sports together and enjoy our specialties, together.
2. Will parents/guardians of ELC Campers be able to stay involved in their child’s camp experience?Yes. As in past years, our Campanion App will allow parents to view pictures of their campers and stay up to date with all things ELC. Parents will not be allowed to leave their vehicle during drop off or pick up and will not otherwise be permitted to visit the campus. In the event that a camper needs an item from home after drop off, we will make arrangements to meet the parent/guardian at their car to retrieve it. All this is done with extra precaution to keep our campers as safe as possible.
3. How will meals be handled this summer?We intend to stagger our lunch periods. For example, instead of four lunch periods of 45 minutes, we are planning to have eight lunch periods of 22.5 minutes which will allow our campers to spread out as much as possible. We plan for Night Owls to have two seatings of breakfast and dinner instead of one for these same reasons.
4. Will drop off and pick up be different than usual?Drop off and pick up will be staggered to allow campers to arrive at camp over a longer period of time to space them out and avoid large groups. This will undoubtedly take longer (especially at pick up) but it is the safest way to operate. As an added precaution, we intend to check the temperatures of all campers daily before they are permitted to enter camp, and parents will be required to return home with any camper whose temperature is above the acceptable limit. Detailed guidelines outlining the procedures for drop off and pick up and the circumstances under which campers who have registered fevers will be permitted to return to camp will be circulated closer to the start of camp. Late arriving campers and those that may have an early dismissal will be assisted by our staff members so that parents/guardians will not leave their vehicles. We are currently working with local officials to determine the ability for us to offer our bus service. We will update all busing families as soon as we have more information available about buses.
5. Will staff members be required to wear masks?Yes, we intend to require our staff members to wear masks when indoors to protect themselves and others. Campers will not be required to wear masks, but parents have the option of sending their children to camp with masks. We will do our best, in this case, to keep the masks on those campers.
6. Will we be informed if a camper or staff member tests positive Covid-19?Our goal is to keep our ELC family as informed as possible while remaining in compliance with various privacy laws. While those privacy laws prohibit ELC from providing detailed information about any specific individual(s), we intend to share generalized communications about any confirmed cases of Covid-19 among our staff or campers.
7. Who will be allowed on campus?We intend to limit access to the campus to campers, staff and essential third parties There will be no general visitation allowed of any kind for any reason. Deliveries of food and supplies from pre-approved vendors will be permitted, but all those entering the campus will have their temperatures taken at the security gate. North Broward will not be conducting campus tours and no North Broward activities will be allowed on campus for this summer. Certain necessary North Broward employees (i.e., administrators and maintenance staff) will also be allowed on campus but they will follow the same protocols as ELC staff.
8. How will we keep the pool area clean?The pool deck, Wibits and the Slide, and all areas will be cleaned before, during and after each period of camp. The chlorine in the pools is thought to kill the Covid-19 virus, among other things.
9. Are we aware of and or concerned about the new “kawasaki-like disease” (MPIS) affecting campers?Absolutely, we are, however there are things we now know about it that we would like you to understand. With medical attention within a few days of seeing the symptoms, it is curable with treatment. The negative outcomes as per the research we have done indicate these are due to children having the symptoms go untreated for a week to ten days. We are assigning specific staff to look for these signs and symptoms on a daily basis. It is believed to be a reaction to a virus (not always Covid 19) that causes an over-reaction in children’s immune systems. It is highly detectable with signs being: rash on hands and or feet, fever, gastrointestinal issues, among others. Finally, and very reassuring, it is not communicable. Children do not give it to other children.
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