Camper and staff safety during the Coronavirus outbreak. Last Updated 6/13/2020.
Panel With Parent Questions Answered by Paul Dreyer (CEO) and Sarah Pekala (VP, Day Camps)
With an acute focus on the health and safety of campers and staff, we’ve made significant changes to our 2020 camp offerings.
- Our typical Day Camps are canceled, and replaced with smaller, customized groups.
- We will also be offering online day camps.
- We have also decided not to cancel any of our Expedition Camps (5 night camping trips).
During this time of uncertainty, we know that you deserve clear, detailed, and relevant information. Please read on for information about:
- Why we are changing specific camps and delaying other camps.
- The new day camp options that we will be offering for you.
Depending on the changing recommendations from the CDC, state and county governments, and medical experts, we may need to cancel or adjust additional day or overnight camps.
Of course, this crisis continues to unfold and change daily. Here at Avid4, we will continue to listen to the medical and public health experts, and we will use that information to help guide our on-going decisions, which may include further cancelations and additional new options.
Why we are changing specific camps and delaying other camps?
Most importantly, we must do what is right for the public health of our families, our staff, and our greater communities. Regardless of where any of our COVID-19 curves are through the summer, we believe that it will be necessary to focus on smaller group sizes and individual parent comfort levels. It would be underestimating the virus to return to normal so quickly. We believe that pivoting “camp as usual” for Day and Resident Camps is simply the right thing to do.
A big reason why we made these decisions early on was to reduce some of the uncertainty in your lives. This whole situation continues to be so incredibly trying for parents. One of the worst aspects of this crisis is the deep and unrelenting feeling of uncertainty that we have all been carrying. By communicating our decisions to you early and giving you specific alternative camp options, we hope to remove at least some of that uncertainty and help you plan for summer.
Why did we cancel Resident Camp but not cancel Expeditions?
Again, the health and safety of our families, our staff, and our greater communities are paramount. Resident camp brings a lot of campers and staff together in the same place (at Windy Peak it is about 150 and at Mount Evans it is about 250). Even with stringent policies and procedures in place, we believe that a positive COVID-19 case at resident camp would mean potential exposure for everyone at camp and their families at home. At Avid4 Adventure, we encourage and lean into positive risk-taking, but this specific risk is simply too big for us to take.
Unlike resident camp, expeditions meet and stay in small and self-contained groups. Through proactive policies and procedures and following the guidelines put forth by the American Camp Association and the CDC, we are confident these will minimize COVID-19 exposure on expeditions and still allow for a positive outdoor experience. Of course, we know that there is still risk of exposure, but due to small group sizes, we have decided that the benefits (for kids, parents, and staff) of running these overnight camp programs outweigh the potential risk.
Great camp options that we will be offering for you all summer!
In addition to our overnight camp Expedition trips, we have worked incredibly hard to create alternative day camp programs that dramatically reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission. We know that families will have different needs and desires, and that is why we are offering THREE different types of camp programming that will all deliver the same authentic, professional, and empowering experiences that you are used to receiving from Avid4 Adventure.
Small Group Adventures – An incredible, action-packed week of adventure, in a small group (no more than 5 kids) to reduce transmission risk. For all small group adventures, you meet your experienced and health-screened instructor each day at a nearby trailhead or recreation site. The group will focus on a technical adventure sport for a full week of six-hour days. Instruction could be in stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, mountain biking, or rock climbing.
Camp at Home – A week of customized day camp that comes to you! One experienced, first aid and CPR certified, health and background screened staff member would come to your home each day (you would NOT need to be home), spending six hours with up to four kids (you put the group together). The curriculum is highly customized for your kids through consultation with the instructor beforehand and may include: Survival Skills, Biking, Outdoor Cooking, Map and Compass, Campsite Planning and Setup, Hiking, Nature Crafts and so much more. Activities would be facilitated in and around your home and local green spaces. You can select this option for as many weeks as you need, providing customized coverage for your whole summer!
Online Camp – Your campers will be part of a virtual group that meets each day with their instructor, as well as experiential educational sessions with our best instructors from across the country. All activities are designed to take place in your house and backyard and a list of readily accessible supplies will be provided in advance. Online Camp is Mon-Fri and you can choose to sign up for a morning or an afternoon session (each 2.5 hours). Morning and afternoon sessions will be different, so you could also sign up for a full day of engagement. Activities will include yoga, music, outdoor art projects, games, learning about Leave No Trace, first aid skills, equipment repair, outdoor adventure planning for family outings, and so much more.
Additional Information if You had Enrolled in Camps before COVID-19
We would love to still serve your summer camps needs – please consider registering online for our alternative day camps or our expeditions. To make things easy for you, we have transferred 100% of your purchases into credit in your account – you can use that credit when you check out. Please know that space is limited in these other camps, so we recommend registering soon.
If you are not able to find an alternative camp that works for your family or you do not use all of your credit this summer – no worries! Your credit will remain good for any Avid4 program for the next 3 years (through summer 2023). Here is our full cancelation/credit/refund policy.
If needed, we also have a partial refund option available for you. You would receive 80% of your purchase price back – we would process a 70% refund and keep 10% as a future credit for any Avid4 program for the next three years.
If you need a partial refund instead of 100% credit, please complete this quick form.
Thank you, thank you, thank you – for your continued patience and support during this painful and difficult time for all of us.
For additional information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camper and Staff Safety
The safety of our campers and our staff is our number 1 priority, and we are committed to limiting exposure of the virus to any of our staff right now and at all of our Day Camp and Overnight Camp locations this summer. Avid4 does not have any programs or camps happening, and so right now we do not have any students, participants, or field staff at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
We have always had specific communicable disease and hygiene policies and procedures at camp that aim to protect against the transmission of any disease. Of course, this is a novel virus, and so we will be revising and updating these procedures as needed based on the latest CDC and ACA recommendations. Health checks (both through pre-camp calls/screening and on-site screening), hand washing, and strict “feeling sick” policies will be in place at all camps for all campers and all staff. Read the full list of current procedures here.
For your own everyday lives, we encourage you to consider all of the prevention recommendations from the CDC, including:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance (at least 6 feet) between yourself and other people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use the crook of your arm (inner elbow) to cover your mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Facemasks are not recommended to prevent the illness. They are recommended to prevent an ill person from spreading the disease to others.
You can see specific resources about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) here:
Center for Disease Control (CDC): Coronavirus Website
World Health Organization (WHO): Coronavirus information
WHO answers coronavirus questions: “Myth Busters” page
NPR: Concise info in cartoon form, "What Kids Want To Know About Coronavirus"
John Hopkins Medicine: Coronavirus Disease 2019 vs. the Flu
Scientific American: Why preparation is important
For any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to email@example.com.