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.
- There are still “break-through” cases, and we want to help make sure that you are not one of them.
- There are other viruses out there that are not COVID. If you come in with one of those, we will probably have to rule out COVID by isolating you and your bunk while we test to see what you have.
- Many viruses present with COVID-like symptoms. Quarantining with your family not only keeps your immediate family safe, but also helps to safeguard our entire camp community against COVID and other viruses that may make their way into camp. Thank you in advance for doing your part to help keep our community healthy this summer.
- The FDA has approved under an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12-15. This adds to the EUA for teens and adults 16 and older. Vaccinations will provide an important tool to mitigate the risks of COVID at Camp this summer.
- Our URJ Camps Medical Advisory Team strongly encourages the families of all who are eligible to join our fully vaccinated staff. The higher our percentage of vaccinated individuals becomes, the better for the camp community.
- The ideal situation is to get both doses, three weeks apart, with the second dose administered two weeks before your session’s Opening Day. This will be easier for later-starting camps and for those campers arriving second session.
- If you cannot get the second shot, you are still protected two weeks after your first shot. The second dose can be given after camp.
- While vaccines are incredibly effective, they are not 100% effective.
- The camper community is also not 100% vaccinated. Of the 2-dose Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, some eligible campers have had two doses pre-camp, some have had one dose pre-camp, and some have chosen not to vaccinate.
- Because of the recent approval of the EUA, campers who have been vaccinated may not be fully immunized until partially through their camp session.
- To be careful, we will begin the summer with most activities taking place in a “pod”. These are like a “household” in which many masking and social distancing rules do not apply. As the summer moves along, and our testing program yields some answers, we hope to loosen our cohorts, mask policy, etc.
- Certain activities deemed to be “high risk” for disease spread will be limited to pods.
- Large group programs indoors will not take place or will happen under physical distancing conditions.
- The Medical Advisory Group is a team of five doctors who have experience or specialization in public health and infectious disease.
- They meet regularly to review and modify system policies.
- Each camp has a local Camp Medical Director in addition to the physicians and nurses serving on-site during the summer.
- During each session, all campers are expected to arrive on time and not leave the camp grounds for non-emergency or non-business-oriented reasons. There will not be any out-of-camp field trips for campers.
- If circumstances allow or the CDC recommendations change, we will review this policy.
- During Week One, we will follow State and Federal masking guidelines. We have been told to expect that all Summer Camp guidelines could change at any time prior to or during camp.
- Within Pods: Indoors no mask is needed. Outdoors no mask is needed.
- When more than 1 pod is present, we will either be outdoors and distanced or outdoors and masked.
- Your camp packing list has specified the number of disposable masks you will need for your session (we recommend 6 disposable masks per day). We do not recommend cloth masks due to issues of cleanliness and loss.
- Once we finish week 1 with no positive tests, we can reevaluate the masking policies.
- We have arranged with Northshore Clinical Laboratories to mail all our families a home test kit for each camper.
- Swab three days before camp.
- Send the samples via pre-paid FedEx to the lab.
- They will receive the next morning, run the test, and send the results to the Camp and you.
- There is no charge.
- If campers are leaving their parents at the airport and flying in, we will send you an Abbott Binax Now rapid antigen test for you to administer at home. It is authorized for home use. Take a photo of the negative test and upload to your CampInTouch account.
- If campers are flying in with you or are being picked up and brought to camp by friends or relatives, your camper can go through the regular Opening Day testing procedure.
Contact your camp in advance and bring the test results with you. After 90 days, if the camper is still in camp and if the camp is still in its testing week, the camper will pick up the same testing schedule as the camp.
- You will not be able to enter camp. We will give you the address of the local clinic or hospital that has the capacity to conduct a PCR test so that you can obtain a negative test and return to camp.
- If the PCR test confirms that your camper has COVID, we will try to make or find space for a later session.
- You will be notified by the camp by phone and asked to pick up your camper. We will forward the lab results of the test to you.
- All positive test results are reported to your state of residence.
- You will be notified by the camp by email.
- We will begin to test the other campers in the pod for a week.
- The pod will participate in a “shadow program.”
The vaccinated staff member will need to wear a mask during the week of quarantine and surveillance testing.
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.
Covid 19 Medical Advisory Team:
Medical Vaccination Requirements for Staff:
URJ Child Protection Policy: