We are so proud that the URJ Camping system is 15 camps strong across North America. Our shared commitment to health and safety remains at the forefront of everything we do, and we are grateful to our camper families for their patience as we navigate the safe reopening of all of our camps this summer. As we move into spring, we are encouraged by the ongoing updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as our remarkable team of doctors who are working with us to create universal medical protocols for this summer. Meet our Medical Advisory Team! With cautious optimism, we want to share some of the protocols being established. Please know this continues to be a work in progress, guided by science and with health and safety always our first priority.

VACCINATIONS 

All year-around and seasonal adult camp staff, visitors, and contractors on camp property, are REQUIRED to complete the COVID-19 vaccination series prior to entering camp and to provide proof of vaccination, in order to avoid posing a direct threat to the health and safety of our camp community members.

 

PRE-CAMP ISOLATION EXPECTATIONS

As you are aware, CDC guidance continues to evolve and change, sometimes daily! Please remember the CDC guidance is generally designed for an individual and their family and not the communal setting of a residential summer camp. Thus, our guidance may at times be slightly more restrictive out of an abundance of caution in protecting the health and safety of our communities.

 

For the 10 days preceding your camp session you need to quarantine and remain in your family COVID “bubble” only. This means you and your camper need to...

  • Avoid any indoor unmasked exposure outside immediate family, even to vaccinated people
  • Participate only in school, daycare, or camps that follow CDC guidance including universal masking, hand hygiene, spacing, small group cohorting and contact tracing
    • If above school, daycare, or camp experiences are discretionary, we will avoid scheduling them the week before camp to minimize exposure risk
  • Avoid all public gatherings of more than five people outside of your household
  • Avoid indoor restaurants
  • Avoid team sports
  • Avoid hosting overnight guests in your home who are not routine visitors/family in your home
  • Avoid staying overnight in someone else’s home who is not a frequent visitor/family in your home
  • Avoid travel outside of your home region
  • Avoid socializing outside of school and workplaces
  • Avoid businesses and locations that do not follow COVID health/safety guidelines

This means that you and your camper need to...

Minimally follow the most up-to-date CDC guidelines

  • Maintain six-foot separations from others in outdoor public spaces
  • Wear masks outside of your home
  • Practice diligent hand hygiene

 

TRANSPORTATION

  • Arrival by Car. It will be required that any camper(s) arriving by car show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel to camp. Campers who will be driven to camp will arrive within the prescribed timeframe and may only be accompanied by one parent or guardian. Upon arrival, the camper(s) will be administered a rapid COVID-19 test, and must remain in the car until the test comes back negative. Upon a negative test result, the camper will go through the check-in process, and will be acclimated into their pod. The parent or guardian will not be tested, and will be asked only to exit the car for a quick good-bye hug and kiss. Every person in the car should be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth throughout this process. Camp staff will ensure that all of your camper(s) belongings are transported to their camper cabin or housing pod, help them unpack and settle into camp.
  • Arrival by Plane*. It will be required that any camper(s) arriving by plane show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel to camp. Once the campers arrive at the airport, camp staff will meet them and will get a rapid test before being able to take transportation to camp. Appropriate social distancing must be maintained throughout. Each person should be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth throughout this process. Once at camp, the camper will go through the check-in process, and will be acclimated into their pod.. Camp staff will ensure that all of your camper(s) belongings are transported to their camper cabin or housing pod, help them unpack and settle into camp.

*Our Assistant Director, Ben Braunstein, will be in touch with information regarding arrival and departure times. Please do not buy plane tickets until you have the arrival and departure times from Ben so that we can properly greet and transport your camper both to and from camp. Ben will be reaching out with this information the week of April 12.

 

IN-CAMP TESTING

The URJ Camps’ medical protocols around COVID-19 for this summer are being developed by our Medical Advisory Board, a team deeply committed to and connected with our camping movement.

  • Testing for COVID-19 will be a key element of how we safely open and operate URJ camps this summer.  We will be using the following approaches, together, for maximal protection of our campers and staff.
  • Pre-Camp – All campers will be required to undergo PCR testing 3 days before camp, and the results must be available and negative before arrival.
  • Any PCR that is positive at that time will require at least 10 days of recovery before arrival, and the details of that recovery time will be determined by medical staff on a case-by-case basis.
  • Because PCR tests can remain positive for many weeks after recovery from COVID-19 infection, optional testing may also be performed 12-14 days before camp.  If this test is positive, the remaining days before camp will satisfy the time requirement before arrival, and repeat testing is unnecessary.  If this test is negative, repeat testing is still required 3 days before arrival.
  • Arrival – All campers will be tested at camp using Point-Of-Care (POC) antigen tests.  These have the very significant advantage over PCR in providing instant results, whereas PCR can take days to learn that somebody tested positive.
  • Ongoing Surveillance – All campers will be tested every 3 days on a rotating basis while at camp using POC tests. Instant results are critical to help camp isolate and quarantine any cases that might arise.  Although PCR tests are somewhat more sensitive, the delayed results render them less effective at promptly identifying and responding to cases.  Repeated testing with POC is considered a safer strategy overall, and one that we have adopted.

 

All of these protocols are being developed to ensure the safest summer possible for our campers, staff, and faculty. We are so looking forward to bringing our camp communities back together to celebrate in joyful Judaism. We believe that following these protocols will help ensure the safest complete summer experience possible. Thank you in advance for your partnership in making the magic of camp happen this summer. We will continue to be in touch with updates on a regular basis, and appreciate your flexibility as these guidelines may evolve as more information becomes available to us.

 

Helpful Links:

 

Covid 19 Medical Advisory Team:

https://reformjudaism.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/URJ%20Camps%20Medical%20Advisory%20Team%20FINAL.pdf

Medical Vaccination Requirements for Staff:

https://reformjudaism.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/MEDICAL%20-%20Vaccination%20Requirements.pdf