Alpengirl COVID-19 Information
(Published April 2021)
We’re preparing to welcome your Alpengirl to camp this summer!
In order to create a camp environment that allows us to operate during the pandemic we have enhanced some of our normal practices and added new policies. Be aware that not everything at camp this summer will be exactly the same as in years past; we appreciate your understanding, trust and flexibility during summer 2021.
About This COVID-19 Web Page
We hope this COVID-19 web page will help you and your camper prepare for camp and assist you in gaining a better understanding what camp may be like this summer during the ongoing pandemic. The practices and policies outlined on this web page will be in place during summer 2021 and are based on the most recent recommendations.
PLEASE NOTE: Our practices and policies may change. If they do, we’ll update the information listed on this web page to adapt to current conditions. Please return to this page to check for updates prior to your camper’s arrival day.
Before You Register
- Read This COVID-19 Web Page
- Read All Registration Forms (Forms on Register page, step #3)
- Ask Questions
In addition, we highly suggest taking these steps before you register:
- Consult With Your Medical Provider. If a camper is at increased risk for complications related to COVID-19, we strongly recommend that you consult with your medical provider to assess your campers' risk to consider whether Alpengirl programs are appropriate for your camper at this time. See CDC resources discussing those at increased risk here.
- Understand Your Medical Insurance. All campers must have medical insurance. Note: Your personal medical insurance may not cover your camper’s medical expenses. Review your medical insurance to determine if coverage is appropriate, or if a supplemental medical policy may be necessary.
- Consider Trip and/or Travel Insurance. We highly recommend that parents consider purchasing trip and/or travel insurance from a third party vendor to cover some of the costs and/or losses incurred as a result of trip delay, cancellation, interruption, or early termination. This may include coverage for paid camp tuition or other fees, medical treatment or evacuation, or costs incurred from cancelled flights, lost baggage or other costs. The terms and conditions of coverage vary according to the insurance vendor.
- Create Travel Plans. Review the Alpengirl Travel Information web page and make travel plans and back-up travel plans. Back-up travel plans are more important for summer 2021 due to the uncertainty presented by the pandemic. For example, an airline could change its flight schedule at the last minute, or a camper may need to return home early from camp, leaving you scrambling for a last-minute flight at a higher price. It’s a GREAT year to opt to drive to and from camp, or to select a camp session with friends/family within driving distance of the camp location.
Before Arrival Day
- Quarantine for 7 days prior to camp arrival. During the 7 day quarantine, campers should interact only with their immediate family, and should not attend other camps, social gatherings (e.g. playdates, weddings, parties), mass gatherings (e.g. sporting events, concerts, parades), or be in places such as restaurants, fitness centers, or movie theaters. If there are necessary interactions in public (e.g. doctor appointments, travel to camp) campers and their families wear masks.
- Print and complete the Pre Camp Health Screening Form. This form is required for each camper and is used to monitor and document temperature and symptoms of communicable disease for 7 days prior to camp arrival; it will be handed to camp staff upon arrival during the health screening process.
- Receive the results of a PCR test within 72 hours of camp arrival. This test should be administered no more than 5 days prior to camp arrival. Regardless of vaccination status, campers are required to arrive to camp with documentation of a negative PCR test. Antibody and antigen tests will not be accepted; rapid tests must be PCR. Campers that have tested positive within 90 days of camp arrival will not be required to arrive with PCR test results but are required to provide documentation from a physician confirming the date of the positive diagnosis and allowing participation at camp. Campers that have tested positive more than 90 days before camp starts must arrive with documentation of a negative PCR test. Vault Health testing is one option for in-home PCR testing.
Immediately Before Arrival
- Take steps to limit exposure to coronavirus while traveling to camp. This includes frequent hand washing, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, maintaining a 6 ft distance between self and others, wearing a mask when in public, carrying and using hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to clean surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding dine-in restaurants during travel.
- Notify Alpengirl of any health changes. Parents must notify us if their camper’s health status changes after submission of a camper’s health forms and before arrival to camp.
Stay At Home Guidelines
- Campers MAY NOT ARRIVE to camp if they have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell), have in the past 14 days been in close contact with someone suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19, or have been suspected as confirmed or having COVID-19 in the past 14 days. (Read more about Alpengirl’s Stay At Home Guidelines).
Upon Camp Arrival
- Upon camp arrival, all campers and camp parents/guardians (and family members) are asked to wear a mask and maintain a 6 ft distance between themselves and others. Please attempt to reduce the number of people accompanying your camper.
- As soon as a camper arrives, and before the camper is allowed to participate at camp and join our cohort, each camper must pass a COVID-19 specific health screening with an Alpenguide. A parent/guardian arriving with a camper is asked to stay on site until the camper has passed this health screening and been accepted for camp participation. Campers arriving without a parent that do not pass the COVID-19 specific health screening will be isolated and parents will be contacted for pick-up within 24 hours (see Registration Terms and Conditions: NON OR LATE ARRIVAL OR EARLY DEPARTURE).
- The COVID-19 specific health screening on arrival will include:
- Collection and review of completed Pre Camp Health Screening Form (required document)
- Collection and verification of a negative PCR test result (required document)
- COVID-19 screening questions
- Once a camper passes the COVID-19 specific health screening, they are approved to join our cohort.
During The Adventure
Welcome to Camp!
In order to minimize the spread of communicable disease and exposure to COVID-19 at camp, we have enhanced our health, hygiene and wellness practices based on guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Camp Association (ACA), the Association of Camp Nursing (ACN), and relevant US government agencies (federal, state, and county level).
Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) are community mitigation strategies. They are actions, apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine, that individuals and groups can take to help slow the spread of illnesses like pandemic influenza (flu) and coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). NPIs are among the best ways of controlling the transmission of pandemic flu or COVID-19 when vaccines are not yet available for everyone.
Alpengirl will have the following NPIs in place at camp for summer 2021:
- Health Screening. We’ll have processes in place for health screening checks upon camper arrival and check-in and throughout our days together at camp. These health checks include asking questions about how campers are feeling and recent contact with anyone who is known or suspected to have COVID-19, checking for symptoms, and taking temperatures.
- Face Masks. Campers will bring their own cloth face masks to camp, and we will wash and dry them in rotation throughout camp as they are needed and used. There will be times when masks will be required, such as when driving in the van together, when our group is in a public space, if someone in the group is showing signs or symptoms of illness, when cooking or serving food, or anytime it is appropriate to conditions presented during camp (at staff’s sole discretion). Campers will wear masks properly when required.
- Hand Hygiene. We will increase frequency and staff monitoring of hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Staff will also teach and monitor proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the sharing of germs during camp.
- Cohorting. Our camp groups will not exceed 16 people, and for summer 2021 we have limited our camps located in Washington and Oregon to 11-12 people (9 campers and 2-3 staff). When we must interact with groups or people outside of our own cohort (for example, when we are with outfitters or when in campground restrooms), we will maintain physical distance and wear masks.
- Sanitizing. Campers will bring their own microfiber cleaning cloths and small spray bottles to camp (we’ll provide CDC approved disinfectant to fill the bottles), and will use them to regularly sanitize touchable surfaces such as shared group gear, van door handles, etc. Campers will not share personal objects (water bottles, personal gear, chap stick, etc.) and any shared items will be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
- Transportation. We will be wearing masks when in camp vehicles and we may keep the windows open while driving to increase ventilation. (Consequently, it may be harder to hear and the frequency of stops for Road-side-dance parties will have to increase:)
- Sleeping Arrangements. Campers will sleep arranged head-to-toe, with 3 people per 4-person tent, allowing for a 6 ft distance between camper heads at night. We'll leave the rain fly off if weather is good, or if the fly must remain on, we’ll increase ventilation by leaving windows open in order to maintain good air flow through the tent at night. Our normal tent mate rotations half way through camp may or may not happen (at Alpenguides’ discretion). We'll also encourage sleeping out under the stars on tarps when and where appropriate - a starry night slumber party!
- Physical Distancing. There will be times when physical distancing will be required, such as when campers first arrive to camp before everyone is checked-in, or if someone in our group is showing signs or symptoms of illness, or anytime it is appropriate to conditions presented during camp (at staff’s sole discretion).
- Cooking/Meals. As appropriate to conditions presented during camp and at staff’s sole discretion, cooking and meal presentation may be done by the staff without camper involvement. This would be a major divergence from our normal camp routine: usually camper cook groups participate in cooking and the Leader of the Day presents meals. We hope to keep that system in place for summer 2021, but we cannot guarantee it. Don’t worry, whatever happens, you’ll still get to wash your own dish kit ;)
IMPORTANT: For our NPIs to be effective, we need commitment and diligence from everyone in our group. Campers who, in our judgement, do not comply with these expectations may be dismissed from camp.
After The Adventure
Camp parents are required to report to Alpengirl if their camper shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or tests positive for COVID-19 within two weeks of leaving camp.
What happens if Alpengirl cancels a trip because of COVID-19? This is addressed in the COVID-19 EXCEPTION TO ALPENGIRL STANDARD PROVISION ABOVE section of the Terms of Registration:If Alpengirl must cancel your trip before it starts because of COVID-19, Alpengirl will provide you a full refund of payments you have made, less the non-refundable $600 deposit and credit/debit card processing fees.
What happens if my camper can’t join camp because of COVID-19? This is addressed in the NON OR LATE ARRIVAL OR EARLY DEPARTURE section of the Registration Terms: Alpengirl will not refund or reduce tuition if, for any reason (whether voluntary or involuntary), a camper does not attend, arrives late or leaves the program in progress (including but not limited to voluntary withdrawal, dismissal from the program, illness, injury or any other reason).
How can I protect my camp investment? This is addressed in the INSURANCE section of the Registration Terms: We highly recommend that parents consider purchasing trip and/or travel insurance to cover some of the costs and/or losses incurred as a result of trip or travel delay, cancellation, interruption or early termination. This may include coverage for paid program tuition or other fees, medical treatment or evacuation, or costs incurred from cancelled flights, lost baggage or other costs. The terms and conditions of coverage vary according to the insurance provider. Direct all questions regarding coverage to the insurance provider (whether for medical insurance or trip, travel and/or tuition protection insurance). A few questions to ask insurance providers: 1) Will a cancel for any reason (CFAR) or a standard policy cover cancellation due to "fear of travel"? 2) Will CFAR or a standard policy cover cancellation due to positive COVID test or exposure to someone who's sick or tested positive before camp starts? 3) Will CFAR or a standard policy cover cancellation if a camp cancels the trip?
What about COVID-19 testing and vaccination? Campers will arrive to camp with documentation of a negative PCR test received within 72 hours of arrival to camp (read information above.) Campers may also be tested upon arrival at camp and during camp. We are not expecting that campers will be vaccinated before their adventure with us, but our camp staff will be vaccinated prior to employment.
Will my camper get COVID-19 at camp? We cannot guarantee camper safety or a COVID-19-free environment at Alpengirl. It is a risk for everyone, and like other risks at camp, it can not be completely eliminated. Our endeavor is to manage the risks associated with our camp, including the risks of COVID-19, as best we can. Campers and parents are critical partners in this effort: please read Responsible Together: Alpengirl in COVID-19 – Our Disclosure and Camper/Parent Commitment.
What if my camper develops symptoms of COVID-19 during camp? Symptomatic campers will be isolated from the group (in a tent or other location separate from others. Camp staff will provide care, seek outside medical advice, and follow COVID-19 illness guidelines, which may include evacuation from the trip. If evacuated, course remoteness, short duration of trip and logistics make it unlikely (and not guaranteed) that your camper will be able to re- join the group. There is no base camp or facility available to care for campers that are not able stay on their trip. There is more about this in the 24 HOUR PICK-UP NOTICE section of the Registration Terms.
What precautions are in place for camp staff? Alpengirl camp staff will follow the same procedures and policies as campers regarding COVID-19, and will teach and model them for campers. Prior to arrival at staff training, camp staff will be vaccinated, quarantine for 7 days and complete the Pre Camp Screening Form and take a PCR test. At staff training, thorough review of all health, hygiene and wellness practices will prepare our staff to teach and monitor campers throughout the summer. Staff will continue to perform daily health check-ins throughout the summer. Staff will be following guidelines to limit exposure during days off, and will be aware of sick-leave and other employment policies.