June 1, 2020
Summer camp is around the corner. The Covid situation has made a world with camp and gatherings very different. This email is to relay a brief outline of our plans to keep the children, instructors and parents safe and options to participate later if you or your children are uncomfortable. Most of these procedures will be internal to the camp programs. Some changes will require action required for you as a parent. These will be listed separately at the end of this email so that you know what to do.
The most important thing to know is that SMILE will be open! SMILE Summer Camp will operate using all of the appropriate modifications recommended by the CDC plus additional protocols of our own.
SMILE has 12,000 square feet of space. We have the flexibility to spread out and offer each participant their own workstation which they will not share. Workstations will be 8 feet apart. The number of participants and programs are going to be limited as a result.
We have put many hours into what we plan to do to make sure we have a safe environment – temperature checks, masks, assigned workstations, small programs, fewer programs, remote participation, etc. We concluded that even with the overhead of all the safety measures, we can provide a high-quality hands-on program that can’t be gotten elsewhere.
Since we are a hands-on camp, we spent the most time debating (agonizing) with how to sanitize all the materials we distribute and interact with. There are many supplies that we could put into a kit the week prior to camp so that each camper had their own materials, but at some point that becomes impractical. Then last week, the CDC came out with a report that there are no confirmed cases of Covid acquired from surfaces. While we do not think the issue is completely settled. It does provide enough support to allow us to distribute supplies and program materials.
Our internal network will host games (chess, monopoly, etc.) that campers can play during lunch and snacks so they aren’t sharing on the same game board but can play against each other. Our goal is to maintain the interactive nature of our program to the extent we can without increasing risk. This will be a lot more work and it is impossible for things to be the “same” as before, but we will do as much as we can.
In general, we will be:
- Limiting the number of people in the building
- Keeping everyone separated – individual workstations are 8 feet apart
- Wearing masks
- Checking temperatures on entry, morning, lunch, and afternoon via. Thermal camera
- Washing hands
- Sanitizing frequently
- Each program will function as a group – there will be no multigroup activities
- The first experiment Monday morning for all programs will be about how droplets are created, distributed in and how long they stay suspended in the air, how filter materials trap them. Each camper will make/decorate their own mask that they will use for the week.
If you or your children are uncomfortable attending because of the current situation, your options are as broad as we can make them. You can:
- Participate on-line through Zoom from the safety of your home in any summer camp program this summer (we will have to send you a kit with all the necessary supplies). Some programs are much better suited to this than others.
- Reschedule to a week later this summer or fall
- Keep the credit in your account to use on any other programs that SMILE offers now or in the future.
o A future week of camp (including next summer)
o Teacher workdays
o Track-out program
o Birthday party
o Parent’s night out
o Our AG program (once a month on Saturdays)
o Our live on-line @home program (science, math, art, programming, and 3D Printing daily)
Things Parents are responsible for:
- Children need to wear closed toed shoes.
- Provide a water bottle that campers can refill at a non-contact refill station.
- Pack your child’s lunch and snacks
- Drop off and check-in from the parking lot in the morning
- Pick-up and check-out from the parking lot in the afternoon
- Come pick up your child if they develop a fever or other symptoms.
- Participate in the camper presentations Friday afternoon through Zoom.
- Provide transportation for Rocketry and Quadcopter campers
- Ask enough questions so that you are comfortable making your decision to attend or delay.
SMILE will provide everything else that your child needs.