We are committed to trying to open Camp Ben Frankel Overnight in the safest way possible in 2021 - while retaining the magical experience and fun. As always, the health and well-being of our campers, staff, and their families remains our highest priority. To achieve this goal our staff and board are dedicating their focus, resources, creativity, and energy into finding a way to safely open Camp Ben Frankel Overnight.

Our planning and research into safe overnight camp operations began in the spring of 2020 and has continued in earnest ever since. As we all know, the landscape and safety recommendations regarding COVID-19 are constantly changing. Although we have been planning and learning for months and months, we expect health recommendations to continue to evolve and that we will know more as summer nears. Along the way we will continue to navigate these ever-changing, challenging times. Below are details regarding our initial health and safety plans. Our commitment to you is that we will stay in touch regularly as our plans continue to unfold and that we will continue to review and update our plans in order to provide the safest experience possible.

Increasing Our Budget For Health And Safety

Thanks to the generous support of donors like the Foundation for Jewish Camp we have been awarded more than $60,000 to help strengthen our covid safety plans for the summer. In addition to the grant funding we making additional investments to our health and safety budget which will allow us to:

  • Grow our medical staff

  • Invest in testing, PPE, and other medical supplies

  • Add handwashing stations

  • Add showers

  • Add toilets

  • Add covered space for outdoor dining

  • Add extra beds for quarantine and isolation

  • And more

Adding A Health & Safety Director

We are expanding our year-round team by adding a Health and Safety Director, Cyndee Levy. Cyndee's role is to closely study emerging best practices and work with our medical partners to develop safe practices and operations before and during the summer of 2021.

Case Studies: Private Overnight Camps That Safely Operated In 2020

In the summer of 2020, a number of privately owned summer camps were able to open and operate safely. Those camps have worked closely with our partners at the American Camp Association and the Foundation For Jewish Camp to help share the lessons that they learned and best practices that they developed.

 

Partner Organizations and Best Practices

We work closely with a wide variety of partner organizations to leverage their collective expertise and resources towards fulfilling our mission and operating a successful summer camp. For example, the American Camp Association developed the Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance and hosts webinars and conferences to enable camps to continually share and learn from each other. The Foundation For Jewish Camp has connected hundreds of professional camp leaders across the country, hosted covid-related training sessions, and provided access to emergency resources. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation provided grant funding and access to free consulting services.

Initial Planning

While we have begun to outline concrete plans for summer 2021, most of our specific strategies are still in development. This is because we want to ensure that we are basing our plans on the most up-to-date and accurate information.

The following items are under close consideration and will likely be incorporated into our safety plan:

  • Vaccines strongly recommended for all eligible participants 

  • Pre-camp health screening

  • Pre-arrival safety measures and PCR testing

  • PCR testing upon arrival

  • PCR testing 5 days after camper arrival and as-needed

  • Routine health screening while at camp

  • Cohorting (dividing campers into smaller groups or “pods”)

  • Mask requirements

  • Increased disinfecting and cleaning

  • Frequent hand washing

  • Facility modifications with emphasis on outdoor activities and ventilation of indoor spaces

  • Alteration of activities to allow for social distancing, increased outdoor activities, and smaller groups doing activities at one time

  • Designated quarantine facilities with programming and staff, should this be needed

  • Limiting visitors to camp

  • Limiting movement in and out of the campsite

    • Replacing offsite camp trips with onsite activities

    • Developing creative plans for staff time off, since (for safety reasons) they will be required to stay in camp during their time off.

COVID SAFETY