We work hard to ensure every detail is in place so that each camper has the time of their life... every single summer.
During summer 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic, there were more details than ever!
As we count down to Summer 2022, we continue to learn and pay close attention to trends in the community. As always, we will base our decisions for how camp will operate on the advice of our medical committee, best practices from the Ontario Camps Association and the Ministry of Health and what is best for our camp communtiy. No matter what, we want our families to know: all the important stuff – like being a place where teens discover their best selves – will be just the same as always!
This is how we kept the Solelim community safe and healthy in summer 2021:
1. GATHER THE BEST INFORMATION
We spoke with Sudbury Public Health, the Ontario Camps Association, camps who ran in 2020 and the doctors on our own Pandemic Planning Committee to determine how to operate camp in a healthy way. As much as we wanted fast answers, we prioritized getting to the right answers. We will continue to gather the best information and adjust to the evolving situation in preparation for Summer 2022.
2. LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS
As always, we are committed to running camp only if we can do so responsibly and safely. To determine the right approach, we are listening closely to healthcare experts on our Pandemic Planning Committee and in the community, as well as the relevant authorities to ensure we have the most accurate and current information.
Just like our wonderful camp staff, we pride ourselves on flexibility. We are diligently planning for different scenarios that next summer might bring, and will adjust accordingly as experts provide guidelines to operate camp in a healthy manner.
3. TOP NOTCH HEALTH TEAM
Every summer, we assemble an experienced, top-notch healthcare team. Last year, we hired a nurse to live on site 24.7. We've also partnered with Neomo Medical Clinics in Sudbury to provide doctor consultations as needed. All our healthcare staff are thoroughly trained on COVID-19 medical procedures and are equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment.
4. PRE-CAMP STAY-AT-HOME
We wanted to do everything we can to reduce the chances of COVID-19 entering camp. Campers and staff were asked to stay at home for 14 days before they came up to camp. International campers followed the Canadian Government’s screening, quarantining and testing guidelines.
Campers and staff were tested before camp and completed a health screening before boarding the buses.
5. CLOSED COMMUNITY
Camp operated as a "bubble," which means that we limited entrance and exit from camp to essential businesses and trips only.
Maintaining a bubble means that we were not able to host Visitors' Day on site this past summer. Day trips and other programs that typically happened offsite were reimagined on camp grounds.
At the start of camp, campers were organized into cohorts of 3-4 tents each. Cohorts were together for all meals and activities in order to limit potential transmission of COVID-19. Our schedule was more structured during this initial period, but campers were still able to choose activities based on their interests.
After two weeks, after additional testing, we were able to expand the size of our cohorts and resume running camp activities very similar to pre-pandemic times.
7. OUTDOOR PROGRAMMING, SOCIAL DISTANCING & MASKING
Last summer, we moved as much programming outdoors as possible. When in their own tent or doing activities outside with their cohorts, campers did not need to wear a mask or socially distance.
Campers in different cohorts were still able to hang out, as long as they maintained six feet of distance between them. Campers needed to wear a mask when social distancing wasn't possible and when using shared indoor spaces.
8. PERSONAL HYGIENE & SANITIZATION
Personal hygiene has always been an important part of camp. Camper and staff hand washing/sanitizing was a point of special emphasis in 2021.
We raised our sanitation standards to match and exceed recommendations from health care professionals. While our campers take pride in helping with the daily upkeep of camp, we also brought in outside cleaners to clean and disinfect high traffic areas of camp. Shared surfaces, indoor facilities and equipment will be cleaned more frequently than in previous summers.
9. QUICK RESPONSE PROTOCOL
Camp Solelim is always prepared to react swiftly if the need arises. We are experienced in preserving the health of our community, having effectively operated during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, and the Norovirus in the early 2000’s. We have established protocols to respond to the rapid changing nature of the pandemic.
10. THOROUGH COMMUNICATION
As always, we do our best to communicate with families in a thorough, accurate, and transparent manner. We recognize the importance of sharing the best information available as quickly as possible. Thoughtful, detailed communication is so important to keeping our community well-informed and highly-prepared.