What to Expect This Summer

Updated 2/7/21.

Woodcock Nature Center is uniquely positioned to provide outdoor experiences for our children during what will be another unprecedented summer. While camp may look quite different, we are committed to serving our community through nature. Our dedicated staff continues to work hard to adapt our camp programs and create high-level protocols that meet the guidelines and recommendations laid out by the CDC, CT Office of Early Childhood and American Camp Association. While we know that there is no guarantee that our protocols will eliminate the risk of COVID-19, we will continue to adjust to mitigate risks wherever possible.


We cannot wait to share the outdoors with your child at Woodcock this summer!

 

Our Shared Commitment

We are committed to keeping your child and our staff safe at camp and we are counting on your partnership to help protect our staff, camp families and community. Please consider the behaviors of your family when not at camp and follow the guidelines provided by our state and local authorities this summer. Monitor the health of all family members and please understand any difficult decisions we may have to make regarding camp attendance.

Setting Expectations

If your camper has attended before, they might notice that camp looks a little different this summer: we may skip a favorite activity or friends may be missing from camp. Please talk to your camper! Let them know that flexibility is key (and sometimes fun!), things will be different (and that’s ok!), and that we need their help to keep everyone safe (listening to your counselors is crucial!). Please also talk to your camper about wearing masks properly and phsyical distancing and why it’s important.

Our Program

To reduce contact among campers and limit the sharing of spaces and equipment, our program activities have been modified. Camp staff continues to work hard to maintain a quality camp experience under these new circumstances. For example, we know we’ll be canoeing, stream scooping, and campfire cooking, but we may not be able to have a typical “lower dam day” or have all campers wading every day. We know that 3rd/4th will NOT be wading this summer but will still explore the streams and are encouraged to bring extra water shoes or rain boots. 5/6th and 7/8th will be wading and issued their own individual pair of waders for the week. Please know that we’ll be experimenting and making changes as the summer progresses, taking input from campers and counselors along the way.

 

Access to Camp

Our administrative offices and the nature center remain closed to the public all summer. Public use of the playground is prohibited during camp hours and access to the preserve will also be limited during camp hours.

 

Group Size & Distancing

We have limited camp this summer to those campers PreK-8. We feel that our staff will be able to provide a quality program while adhering to safety protocols with this age group, thereby limiting the risks for everyone. Camp groups will be limited to 4 groups of 12 campers (10 campers in PreK groups) with 2 dedicated counselors per group (46 campers total per week). Each group will have its own outdoor “home base” and will be kept socially distant (6ft.) from other groups at all times. Indoor time will be limited to bathroom use and weather emergencies. Children within each group will be kept physically distant whenever possible. Only our Director of First Aid will interact with all groups and only when medically necessary. Counselors and staff will not rotate among the groups.

 

Drop Off & Pick Up

Please see Drop Off & Pick Up.

 

Masks

All campers and staff are required to wear a mask throughout the day (please pack extra). Designated “mask breaks” will be taken throughout the day while practicing social distancing. Any camper without a mask will be provided with a disposable one.

Camp Cleanliness

High-touch surfaces and bathrooms will be disinfected multiple times per day per CDC guidelines. Shared items will be disinfected after use or designated for one group’s use only. Each group will have access to a designated hand sanitizer and its own water cooler for refilling water bottles. Group designated outdoor handwashing stations will also be available. Dedicated handwashing breaks will be scheduled throughout the day. Campers are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer to camp daily.

Equipment

To the extent possible, supplies and equipment will be designated for use by only one group or camper for the week. If you wish to send your child with their own net, life jacket, etc. you may do so (items must be left at camp all week). 5/6th and 7/8th will be wading and issued their own individual pair of waders for the week.

Personal Hygiene

Campers are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer to camp daily. Hand-washing is always a regular part of the camp day but will be increased this summer. Counselors will require campers to wash before and after sneezing or coughing, snack and lunch, after using the restroom, after touching animals, and throughout the day as necessary. Campers will keep their belongings separate and in their designated “home base” tent. No personal items or food are to be shared.

Lunch & Snack

Please send your child with food items that they can open and eat independently. The State requires all lunch boxes to be kept in cold storage. Each group’s lunch boxes will be kept in a separate cooler, with each lunchbox in its own compartment or plastic bag. We request that families clean and wash lunchboxes (inside and out) daily. We are a nut-free camp.

Illness at Camp

A designated indoor area will be reserved for any camper exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness. We reserve the right to send your camper home if there are any concerns related to COVID-19 or other contagious diseases. We ask that all caregivers plan to stay within a 30-mile radius of camp in case an emergency pickup is necessary. Should a camper or staff become ill with COVID-19 or report exposure, we will notify the CTDPH and the local health department and follow their guidance for quarantine or closure, as appropriate.

 

High-Risk Campers

The decision to send your child to camp is a personal one. We realize this decision has become even more difficult during the pandemic. If your child is at higher risk for infection or has other issues that may prevent them from complying with safety protocols, we recommend that you not send them to camp. Please review the CDC’s recommendations on people who need to take extra precautions during this time.

 

Medication

Any camper requiring medication at camp (for allergies and asthma or other conditions) must indicate this on medical forms. Medications will be accepted on the first day of camp and will be kept at camp for the week and returned at Friday drop-off. Read more about the required forms and waivers here.

Sunblock and Bug Spray

Bug sprays and sunscreen must be applied at home and not during drop-off. You may send your camper with their own bug spray and sunblock but they must be able to apply them independently and responsibly.

Health Forms & Waivers

All camp paperwork must be received by Woodcock no later than noon of the Thursday prior to the start of your camp week. No exceptions. Campers will not be admitted to camp without completed health forms and waivers. No paperwork can be accepted at pick-up or drop-off. Read more about the required forms and waivers here.

Weather

As always, we’ll be outside as much as possible. Indoor time will be limited to bathroom and emergency use only. We will be more likely to cancel a day of camp if the weather could force us to go inside for long periods of time or if heat index levels would make it unsafe for staff or campers to wear masks throughout the day. There will be no refunds for camp days canceled due to weather concerns. We will not be able to make up any camp days lost due to weather. Read our policies here.

 

Playground

Playground use will be more limited this summer. To reduce the potential for any viral transmission, each camp group will only use the playground on one designed day per week. This will allow for 24 hours between uses; stainless steel/high touch surfaces will also be cleaned. Inclement weather may prevent campers from utilizing the playground entirely.

Behavior

Good behavior is expected at camp. We reserve the right to remove any camper whose behavior may pose a danger to the health or safety of others. Setting expectations with your camper can make a big difference. Please refer to Setting Expectations above.

Scholarships

If your family is experiencing financial need, please complete our scholarship application and/or contact us at wnc@woodcocknaturecenter.org

Camp Shirts

We regret that we will not be able to provide summer camp t-shirts to campers this year. Unfortunately, all available financial resources are being directed toward meeting health and safety requirements.

 

Communications

We will keep in close contact with all registered families regarding any camp-related developments. Camp Director Sarah Breznen can be reached beginning June 21 and during camp hours at (203) 731-9832 or sbreznen@woodcocknaturecenter.org.

Our Advisors

Camp Doctor: Wendy Maki, MD (Pediatrician, ProHealth Physicians)

Medical Advisor & Board Member: Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS, FACP (Infectious Disease Specialist, Yale Medicine)

All protocols, procedures and policies are subject to change.

Woodcock Nature Center

56 Deer Run Road, Wilton, CT 06897

P (203) 762-7280

F (203) 834-0062

wnc@woodcocknaturecenter.org

Our mission is to connect people to the habitats, plants and animals of Southwestern CT through programs that build awareness, nurture understanding, and advance conservation. 

© Woodcock Nature Center 2019