What to Expect 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 and mask-wearing.
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 when needed and physical distancing and why it’s important.
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. Our 3/4th, 5/6th and 7/8th groups 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.
Group Size & Distancing
We have limited camp this summer to those campers in PreK-8th grade. 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 emergencies. Children within each group will be kept physically distant whenever possible.
Drop Off & Pick Up
Please read our Drop Off & Pick Up procedure. Due to limited staff, we do not offer before or aftercare for campers. We cannot accept early drop-offs or late pick-ups. We understand schedules can be challenging and recommend carpooling with other camp families.
Please read our Mask Policy.
High-touch surfaces and bathrooms will be disinfected throughout the 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.
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). Each camper will be issued their own individual scooping net for the week. 3/4th, 5/6th and 7/8th will be wading and canoeing and issued their own individual pair of waders and life jackets for the week.
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, before and 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
Distancing from peers and counselors will continue to be encouraged and children will always be distanced when seated and eating. 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. We request that families clean and wash lunchboxes (inside and out) daily. We are a nut-free camp. Pack a lunch with the environment in min with these Lunch Packing Tips from our friends at Wilton Go Green.
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.
Quarantine & Covid Exposure
Woodcock Nature Center follows COVID guidance from the Wilton Health Department, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Office of Early Childhood, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If your child has been exposed to COVID through other settings (school, other programs, other social events) and is in quarantine, your child is not permitted to attend our programs until the mandated quarantine period is complete. Please follow state guidance on the length of the quarantine period. If you choose to stop quarantine after day 7 after receiving a negative PCR test result (with the PCR test occurring on day 5 or later), you must provide documentation of the negative test result to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your child tests positive for COVID please do not attend any Woodcock programs. Notify us at email@example.com immediately if your child tested positive after attending one of our programs. If there is a potential COVID-exposure at Woodcock you will be notified as soon as possible via email. Woodcock is required to notify the Wilton Health Department of all COVID cases and provide the names of all potentially exposed individuals. Further communication related to any quarantine periods or testing will be at the direction of the Health Department.
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.
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, inspected for proper packaging and expiration dates, and will be kept at camp for the week and returned at Friday drop-off. Children will not be admitted to camp without their prescribed medication or if their medication is expired. 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 & Indoor Time
As always, we’ll be outside as much as possible. Time inside our buildings will be limited to bathroom and emergency use only. Time in our ventilated "home base" tents will be limited but is utilized for certain activities such as opening/closing meetings, crafts, animal meet-greets, and during snack, lunch and light rain. We are more likely to cancel a day of camp if the weather could force us to shelter for long periods of time or if there are high heat index levels. 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 the weather. Read our policies here.
Campers will wash their hands before and after using the playground. Inclement weather may prevent campers from utilizing the playground entirely.
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.
Ticks, mosquitoes and poison ivy at camp
Please click here for State of Connecticut and Woodcock specific information regarding ticks, mosquitoes and poison ivy at camp.
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. Visit our Bonfire store to purchase an array of Woodcock wear.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camp Doctor: Meredith Renda, MD (Doctors' Pediatric)
Medical Advisor & Board Member: Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS, FACP (Infectious Disease Specialist, Yale Medicine)
All protocols, procedures and policies are subject to change.