Over the last three summers, 4-H Camp Shankitunk has pivoted and transitioned at each turn of the pandemic, striving to balance the seriousness of the pandemic with the joy and benefits of the camp experience. We, like many camps across the globe, have closely followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health guidelines from strict prevention to mitigation and containment, endeavoring to protect the campers, families, staff and volunteers in our camp community from serious illness.
On May 11, 2023, the US declared the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency signifying an end to certain federal policies and data collection. However, coronavirus remains a public health priority and one of a multitude of respiratory viruses that may be present at camp this year.
The safety and health of our camp community is the highest priority at 4-H Camp Shankitunk. We will continue to use a variety of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to mitigate/prevent the spread of communicable disease within the camp setting. A layered approach provides stronger protection because no one strategy is 100% effective. For summer 2023, these layers will include:
Prior To Arrival:
• Encouraging vaccination for campers, staff and volunteers (though not required)
• Encouraging pre-arrival testing (though not required)
• Requesting campers stay home if they are sick
• Conducting a health check screening at the start of each session. Campers who present with illness will not be permitted to stay. Where possible, registrations will be rescheduled to another available week.
• Providing testing resources as needed
• Continue reduced facility capacity (for spacing at mealtimes)
• Maximizing outdoor programming areas,
• Promoting good respiratory etiquette,
• Discouraging sharing of personal items between individuals,
• Daily screening/symptom observations,
• Cleaning and sanitizing shared spaces regularly,
• Encouraging/Supporting masking in mixed groups (Masking will not be required unless an outbreak occurs. We understand and support an individual’s personal preference should they wish to wear a mask. We will have masks available throughout camp.)
If/when respiratory diseases become present and appear to be spreading in camp, extra measures may be instituted, including masking and diagnostic testing (if an individual is exhibiting signs or symptoms of illness). Please Note: 4-H Camp Shankitunk does not have the capacity to quarantine multiple individuals for extended periods of time. Campers who test positive for Covid-19 or other communicable diseases will be isolated in the Health Center and must be picked up as soon as possible upon notification to the family. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
These requirements and recommendations are subject to change based on guidance from our local Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), as well as COVID-19 Community Levels as defined by the CDC.
We wish all of you a safe, happy, and healthy summer and look forward to having you join us at 4-H Camp Shankitunk this season.
The Administrative Team at 4-H Camp Shankitunk