Camp Colorado Board Chair Announces Camp Opening!
Camp Colorado Board Chair, Elizabeth Lucore, announces camp opening for the 2021 summer season. Read an outline of how camp plans to keep campers and staff safe in her letter.
LETTER from the Chair of the Board
In coordination with the Western Plains Church of the Brethren Outdoor Ministries Team, I am excited to announce that camp is open! While we will expect ongoing updates from the state of Colorado and the Douglas County Health Department, it appears promising that campers will once again hike up the road for Morning Watch this summer. Over the last year, leaders and board members have worked together to create a safe and Spirit-filled camping experience for our campers. We know so much more than we did last spring, but we expect to continue to learn and adjust even as we move forward together. This summer we expect to:
Continue to follow state and local guidelines in ensuring the safety of our campers and staff today, tomorrow and for the coming summer.
Reduced capacity for Church of the Brethren resident youth camps. Forty campers each week will allow us to match current camp guidelines for cabin and camp groups. We will have a minimum of 10 participants. If less than 10 campers register for a camp, those campers will be invited to join a different week of camp with a different age group, or receive full refund.
All staff over the age of 16 will be vaccinated at least two weeks before camp.
Amended camp practices and activities. Campers and staff will need to wear a mask over their mouth and nose indoors at all times with the following exceptions:
1. Seated and eating (efforts will be made
to have meals eaten outside as often
Campers and staff will be required to wear a mask outdoors when they are unable to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. Campers and staff are expected to have a mask with them at all times.
Sleeping arrangements will be slightly different with bunk beds 6 feet apart, and campers alternating top and bottom bunks for maximum space for separation when sleeping mask free. Open air ventilation will be encouraged when weather permits.
All camper registration and payment details will be completed PRIOR to drop-off at camp. The Camp medical provider will provide a medical screening for all staff and campers upon arrival, and a staff member will help them to their cabin assignment. Goodbyes might well be at or near the vehicle the camper arrived in. Daily screening and testing protocols will assure early detection.
Take advantage of being outside. Directors will compose schedules to keep activities outside as much as possible. By utilizing small group areas on the mountainside, forests and valleys, covered outdoor eating areas, gazebo, trails and chapel space, we expect campers will be outside more than ever. We know this is the safest option as we navigate through this year of COVID changes, but did you know this is also a way of healing? Being outside is scientifically proven to reduce stress, trauma and tension. We believe God wants us to enjoy God’s creation and to worship God with our very breath. In addition to your own water bottle, bring your sunscreen and your rain gear and let’s all enjoy the fresh mountain air together. Being outside will facilitate the safest space/place for fellowship, games and activities with fellow campers.
Care for sick campers and staff. We trust parents to keep campers who have any exposures or symptoms home. All campers attending Church of the Brethren camps will be required to have either a physician's note confirming COVID illness in the last 90 days, proof of vaccination more than 2 weeks prior, or proof of negative COVID swab no more than 72 hours before the start of camp. All campers not vaccinated will receive a free screening COVID antigen test on Day 5 of camp. Anyone displaying symptoms anytime after camp has started will be taken to the Camp Medical Provider for evaluation. If Covid-19 like symptoms are displayed, the patient will be cared for according to the Western Plains COVID protocol. If there is a positive COVID case at camp, the remainder of camp will be cancelled and all campers will need to return home or remain in quarantine as directed by the Camp Medical Provider and Douglas County Health officials. If necessary, parents/guardians may be required to come pick-up their camper before the end of camp for further care or possible quarantine in or out of the state of Colorado. Please review the Western Plains COVID protocol for full details. This is quite different from any other camping situation and we are glad for you to be fully informed before the start of camp.
Provide transportation safely. In case of evacuation, we will require ventilation and masks, or 6 feet of distancing for all individuals in vehicles.
With many moving parts, details, decisions and coordinations involved in offering a summer camp program, join us in taking things one step at a time, hoping, praying and planning to offer a fun and meaningful experience to our youth campers this summer. No doubt, some folks out there might think the guidelines we are following and practicing go too far OR conversely, think they don’t go far enough. May we each hold one another gently as we grow in faith and find joy each opportunity put before us. I pray that opening camp “simply, peacefully and together” is a blessing to us all.