What does a Bubble at Billings look like:
In order to create a modified bubble at Billings we need to limit who comes in and out of camp and minimize the chances of COVID-19 getting in. This means there will be limited ability for trips out of camp for both campers and staff. Visitors will not be allowed. Our drop-off/pick-up routine will have to change as well for the same reasons, more on this later.
The hope is if we can create a secure bubble, after the first 7-10 days, camp can carry on relatively unchanged, of course with extreme caution.
What about masks?
On arrival day, every single person will be masked 100% of the time. At this point in time we expect to wear masks for the first 7-10 days of the session, masks will likely need to be worn in/out of cabins, though in a modified manner and not while sleeping.
Once our second round of testing comes back negative, mask rules may be relaxed, but to what degree, we must wait and see. After the first 7-10 days, with all negative tests, there may be no need to wear masks.
First 7-10 days in the bubble:
The goal is for camp to operate roughly the same as it normally does with most of the same variety of activities and programs. Obviously, some favorites will not be doable (sorry Capture the Flag fans…) and masks will need to be worn much as they are in schools. Fortunately, most of our activities will be outdoors and will allow for more time with masks off than at schools.
Our hope is if everyone has tested negative at the end of the first week camp should be able to return to relatively normal camp activities.
Along with our normal Dining Hall we have rented a tent that will be put up on our Middle Tennis Courts that will act as a second dining hall. While chanting, singing, and table smacking may look a bit different, the meals and family-style will remain largely the same.
Within our Billings Bubble, each cabin will act as a Pod. These groups will stay together throughout the first 7-10 days in order for us to properly contact trace and while campers will be able to interact with other campers, proximity will be limited.
Until the first two negative tests come back, in cabins campers must keep their masks on, though they will not be required to while sleeping.
Nursing/Health care at camp:
We’ve been thankful to have the excellent advice of a number of healthcare professionals in helping us design our plan, including medical doctors and hospital nurses. Along with bringing back all of the AMAZING nursing staff of years past, we’re also in the process of hiring additional nurses as monitoring the pandemic requires. We are renovating our Infirmary t0 enhance our ability to care for campers in this very unique summer. We hope to optimize ventilation and create more isolation space. Our nurses will be equipped with PPE and will be key to modeling safe practices for our staff. On-site PCR testing will be available. Any camper or staff who displays symptoms of COVID will be isolated from their cabin and tested immediately. The cabin in question will need to be restricted until results are known. Temperatures will be taken every morning.
Although hand sanitizing at camp is not something new, we’ll be making it more readily available to every camper in all cabins and main areas of camp. Our staff will be trained in thoroughly disinfecting bathrooms/showers and will be responsible for doing so EACH DAY.
We have designed our summer to include a few days of intense disinfection/sanitizing between our two sessions to ensure as limited contamination as possible.
Quarantining and Precamp compliance:
While camp will do everything in our power to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus, we rely on our families to do everything in their power to limit their own exposure before they arrive. Camp Billings is committed to full compliance with regard to Vermont’s COVID guidelines. As of this writing, we are requiring PROOF of a negative COVID test within 7 days of arrival at camp. We will keep our families updated on any further regulations required by the state, or you can follow guidelines posted on Vermont’s Department of Health website.
Arrival procedure and travel from out of state:
Our Registration day will need to be changed from what you may be used to: Each camper will be assigned a specific arrival time. Proof of recent negative test will be required (within 7 days prior to arrival). Campers will be tested upon arrival via PCR (spit) testing, Finally, campers/their belongings will be escorted by staff to their cabins. We will not permit any parents or other family members in the cabins.
We are still waiting on guidance from the State of Vermont Board of Health regarding quarantine rules for those traveling from out of state, including air travel and we will update you as soon as we are given notice.
Testing at camp:
At this time, upon arrival Campers will be tested via PCR (spit) testing and we plan to test again after 3 and 7 days. Additional testing will be performed on anyone showing symptoms of COVID. Any camper testing positive will be cared for in our infirmary until their parents are notified to pick up their child. The decision to allow the camper to return will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Parent Expectations before arrival and beyond the registration process
- Follow the quarantine guidelines put forth by the Vermont Department of Health before arrival.
- Have your camper tested within 7 days of arrival — MAKE SURE YOUR TEST IS READY BY ARRIVAL DAY!
- Provide your camper with plenty of masks and personal hand sanitizer (we’ll have backups if needed)
- Stay alert to updates by reading/responding to camp emails and checking the website.
- Any questions about registration can be directed to Marianne St-Laurent
- Any questions about operating/plans can be directed to the directors, Sean and Anne