Dear Camp Backcountry families-
Through this unprecedented time, the health and safety of all of our campers, camp families, and staff remains our top priority.
We are confident from our experience last summer that we can make the summer of 2021 our best summer yet, while maintaining safety in these circumstances. Last summer we had over 800 campers call our Base Camp home for all or part of the summer. Sure, we did temp checks and wore masks. But, our staff and campers rallied to make the summer was one for the memory books for other reasons. We greeted old friends, made new friends, explored the woods, built forts, caught grasshoppers, rode horses, laughed--those deep belly laughs, tie dyed t-shirts, journeyed to the Fairy Forest, played water games, and had four Backcountry Bigfoot sightings.
Perhaps now more than ever before, we recognize the importance of human connection. At Camp Backcountry, we thrive among the connections our camp culture naturally creates. Connections to nature, connections to animals, connections to one’s self, and—perhaps most important right now—connections to each other.
We provide a space to safely be around others, to laugh with them, to play with them, to share stories with them, and to learn from them. Our staff provides the much yearned for structure in a camper’s day. Our high school LITs provide a shoulder to lean on and much needed comedy relief. We believe this camp connection is what each and every one of us needs right now.
We would like to invite you to join our Camp Backcountry community this summer. Below you can find more information on our 2021 summer plans for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that plans may change due to ever changing circumstances and changing guidelines, but we want to share as much information as we are able to with you.
Group Sizes: Campers will spend most of the day split into cohorts of only 10 campers.
Physical Distancing: We will ensure all campers, staff, and families follow our physical distancing guidelines. Throughout the camp day, campers will be kept engaged in games and activities that do not require close contact with others. This is easy ... there is no shortage of space in the wild!
Masks: Campers, LITs, and staff will be required to wear a non-medical mask for much of the camp day. Staff will let campers know when it is okay to remove their masks, such as during meals or when doing activities that are socially distanced. Please arrive at camp with your mask on. Parents, as well as any sibling over the age of 3, will be required to wear a non-medical mask during drop-off and pick-up. Masks must be supplied by the camper's family. Masks must fit properly and must stay up over the campers mouth and nose, even when active and moving around.
Equipment Use: All supplies are disinfected at the end of the camp day. Supplies that must be shared will be disinfected between campers.
Common Areas: The picnic tables at Base Camp and the Horse Corrals have been removed to avoid groups mingling there and to lessen surfaces being shared between campers. We have plenty of natural and shaded places to play and rest out in the wild!
Indoor Classroom: Use of our indoor classroom will be limited to emergencies including severe weather. When indoors, campers and staff will be required to keep their masks on at all times and social distancing will be followed. The classroom will be disinfected after each use. Camp days may be subject to short notice cancellation, a late start, or an early end time due to weather in order to avoid having campers gathered together indoors for an extended period of time.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up: When arriving for drop-off or pick-up, please wait behind the next open cone to ensure social distancing. Drop-off runs from 9:00-9:30 a.m. and pick-up from 3:30-4:00 p.m. We encourage parents to utilize our entire 30-minute drop-off and pick-up windows to lessen the number of people on-site at any one time. Drop-off, especially on Monday mornings, may take a bit longer than usual due to necessary COVID-19 changes. Please allow for extra time when dropping off. If you need an earlier drop-off option, you may register for Before Care.
Health Checks: Health checks will be done for each camper every day during check-in.
Sickness Policy: A camper with any signs or symptoms of any sickness will not be allowed to stay at camp. We ask that you do not send your camper to camp if they have signs or symptoms of any sickness including, but not limited to: sore throat, cough, congestion, runny nose, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, body aches, shortness of breath, or unusual fatigue. If a camper becomes ill during the camp day, they will be isolated and will be required to be picked up immediately (within 30 minutes) from camp. We will provide you with a transferable credit should your camper not be able to attend camp due to sickness.
Hand Washing: All campers and staff will be required to properly wash their hands with soap and water: when arriving at camp, before and after lunch and snacks, and after using the restroom. Because of the nature of Camp Backcountry, there may be times it is necessary to use hand sanitizer instead of soap and water.
Relaxed Cancellation Policy: We recognize that this entire situation is full of uncertainty and worry. To help alleviate any additional stress, we are relaxing our refund policy so that you can sign up for camp without any worry. Under these circumstances, we will be accepting refund requests, so long as they are made more than three weeks prior to the start of the particular camp session. Should you need to cancel less than three weeks prior to a session, we will issue you a transferable credit that can be used towards any other Camp Backcountry session.
Affected / Cancelled Camp Backcountry programs: We have had to cancel the following programs in the summer of 2021 based upon our ability, or lack thereof, to properly follow all the procedures listed above: Expedition Camps, High Adventure Camps, Camp Shuttle to and from the Southridge Recreation Center, Before and After Care for Horse Camp (all other Before and After Care programs remain unaffected).
Please reach out to us if your family needs anything or you have any questions or concerns! Our team is working to mold another amazing summer around these circumstances and we can't wait to see your camper back at Camp Backcountry soon! In the meantime, stay healthy and stay wild!
AnnaKate Hein | Email
Camp Backcountry Director