Alpengirl COVID-19 Information
We’re preparing to welcome you to camp this summer!
We hope that this COVID-19 page will help you gain a better understanding of what camp may be like with us this summer, and that providing this information will allow you to register with confidence for camp with us during the ongoing pandemic.
Before You Register
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 some 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 as we move forward toward summer 2021.
It is important to note that we have updated all of our camp forms for summer 2021 and have added this web page to specifically address COVID-19.
Please, before you make the decision to register, take these (3) IMPORTANT steps:
- Read This COVID-19 Web Page. Campers and camp parents are asked to review this web page before registering. This web page will be updated as new information and guidelines are available; we highly recommend checking this page again prior to starting camp.
- Read All Registration Forms. There are 9 different registration forms that campers/parents are required to submit as a part of the registration process. Please read each of these forms prior to registering for camp: Registration Terms, Risks & Release, Supplemental COVID Addendum, Responsible Together Commitment, Health History, Health Recommendation, Travel, Getting to Know YOU, Getting to Know HER
- Ask Questions. If there is anything that is unclear or if you have any questions, please call or email us anytime, we are happy to answer your questions.
In addition, we highly suggest that you consider 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, your 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 for driving to and from camp, or to select a camp session with friends/family within driving distance of the camp location.
Before Your Adventure
NOTE: This web page is meant to give an overview of the practices and policies that MAY be in place during summer 2021, based what we know now. These can and will change as we approach camp start dates, and we’ll be updating the information listed here to adapt to current conditions. We will also notify our registered camp families directly with the final practices and policies that will be in place during summer 2021 to support our goal to avoid COVID-19 at camp.
Prior to starting camp with Alpengirl, campers may be required to take certain precautions such as:
- Taking steps to limit exposure to coronavirus for 14 days prior to their trip, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Monitoring and documenting temperature and symptoms of communicable disease for 14 days prior to arrival.
- Taking steps to limit exposure to coronavirus while traveling to camp, including 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 they come in contact with, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding dine-in restaurants during travel.
Prior to starting camp, campers may also be required to adhere to the following:
- Campers will NOT TRAVEL 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).
- Parents must notify us if their camper’s health status changes after submission of a camper’s health forms and before arrival to camp.
During Your Adventure
Welcome to Camp - You’ve Arrived!
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.
Alpengirl may 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 will 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, 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 14 people, and for summer 2021 we have limited our camps located in Washington and Oregon to 10 people (8 campers and 2 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.
- Ventilation. 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:) Campers will sleep arranged head-to-toe, with 3 people per 4-person tent, allowing for a 6 ft distance between campers 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. 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 our campers and staff. Campers who, in our judgement, do not comply with these expectations may be dismissed from camp.
After Your 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 Registration Terms: 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 I 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? Testing may have a place in our COVID-19 practices and policies at some point, but is not included at this time. We may require campers to be tested prior to camp arrival, or campers may be tested upon arrival, or there may not be a test requirement for campers. We will not have a firm decision about this for quite some time. However, if you are registering for camp with us in 2021, you should be aware of the possibilities around testing and camp. We are not counting on vaccine availability for campers before summer 2021.
Will I 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 I develop symptoms of COVID-19 during camp? You will be isolated from the group ( in a tent or other location separate from others), and camp staff will provide you with care and will seek outside medical advice and follow COVID-19 illness guidelines, which may include evacuating you from the trip. If you are evacuated, course remoteness, short duration of trip and logistics make it unlikely (and not guaranteed) that you will be able to re- join your 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. Staff will quarantine, self-monitor for signs/symptoms of illness, and document their health for 14 days prior to staff training. 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 may be tested for COVID-19 at staff training if possible, and 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.