When does summer camp planning begin and when should STEM Camp COVID protocols for next summer start? A lot of people would be surprised to learn that STEM Camp starts planning for summer camp the day after camp is over the previous summer. In a typical year STEM Camp would lock in its 40-60 sites through meetings, site visits, negotiations, etc. starting in the fall. The rest of the fall is spent on operations review and making improvements for next year including activity development and recruiting between 300 and 600 summer staff.
This year though there was a new task – that of preparing the Return to Camp guidelines document in preparation for the summer of 2021. To get a head start, STEM Camp Founder, Kevin Cougler, formed an expert committee comprised of one doctor, two nurses and two elementary school teachers. It took two months to fully research and develop the guidelines and Cougler expects more edits will be forthcoming as the pandemic situation evolves. The document was further vetted and approved by legal and insurance organizations.
“I am extremely confident that the document developed, based on the health expertise of our health consultants and the real life experience of teachers in elementary schools every day, is an excellent plan to help keep children and their families as safe as possible while at STEM Camp in 2021.”
As part of the plan STEM Camp is planning on hiring a health and safety coordinator at each of its locations tasked with ensuring regular hand washing is taking place, social distancing is being observed, protocols are being followed by staff, campers and parents, and materials are being disinfected regularly.
“I believe that our plan calls for even more safety precautions to be followed than the school system and I will be sending my own child to STEM Camp this summer”.
Cougler believes STEM Camp was one of the first summer camps in Ontario to develop a plan for the summer of 2021 and has shared the plan with other summer camps to help them develop their own protocols.
You can download the most recent Return to Camp guidelines document on our FAQ page.