Coronavirus and Camp
Last updated: July 7, 2020
We are living in challenging and unprecedented times. Given the speed at which new information becomes available, and the seriousness of the situation, we will endeavour to provide updates on this page. Please check back.
For more information, please click on the COVID 19 FAQ below.
While campers are in their cabin groups, they will not need to wear a mask, however they may need to briefly don one while they visit some of our “shared services staff” like the camp nurse. Our Cabin Leading staff who are directly responsible for their supervision will not be wearing one unless it is a time of higher interaction (such as registration at the beginning of a camp session) but all other program and support staff such as session leaders, kitchen crew, camp pastors, etc., will all be wearing masks any time they are interacting with campers within 6 feet.
If your camper will feel more comfortable wearing a community mask while they are here, we are happy to accommodate that – however we are not allowed to regulate that other kids in a cabin group will have to wear them in the presence of your child.
This is subject to change as per provincial regulations and instructions.
Like all of us, we are learning as we go. However in the midst of a lot of information, we are choosing to listen to recommendations from a few of voices. Specifically:
- Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Health & Early Childhood Education
- Canadian Camping Association and the American Camping Association
We hear and read things all the time that seem new or novel – some seem very credible and are even true. However we are looking to these sources to tell us how to safely run great camping programs this summer. Some may look at our protocols and say “That’s a bit over the top” or “I just read on facebook that the virus can only live on surfaces for 8 minutes” or similar. While those are valuable opinions from valuable people, we are focusing in on the opinions of the leaders that are above us and waiting for them to provide further guidance.
Let’s just be honest, we are all in uncertain times. However, Green Hill is committed to providing programs that are safe – full stop. Our staff team carefully evaluated whether there was any way to run an overnight camp program that was both safe and fun, and the short answer is, we can take some very intentional steps to ensure our campers have the best of experiences. Here are a few highlights:
Smaller group sizes. Normally all the kids of a similar age range that are at the camp are put into big programs together – but pursuant to the guidance and recommendations we have received from the Government of New Brunswick’s department of health, that will not be the case this year. We will instead have groups of up to 15 campers that will remain together for activities, meals, etc. based upon smaller cabin groups that will stay together. There will be dedicated staff with minimal changes to these groups to ensure we keep these communities small. Campers will not be permitted to leave mid-program for recreational activities such as ball games, dance practices, or other minor interruptions if they wish to continue – all to keep our camper community safe and healthy.
Regular screening. There will be multiple times a day where staff and campers will be checked for a fever and asked specific questions about their physical health. This will all be tracked and made available for parents upon request. This information will be collected as discreetly and non-intrusively as possible while keeping camp going. We have “beefed up” our online medical forms to help flag potential issues and vulnerable populations, and are committed to delivering, 100% of the best experiences possible.
Hyper-Hygiene. Camp is a spot where many kids learn and develop independence regarding things like brushing their teeth – and this summer we are adding infrastructure to accommodate more hand washing, less sharing of resources, and more consistent practices around sanitizing our facility. Green Hill has long prided itself on meeting or exceeding best practices across the country in this manner, but this year we will be adding even more to it.
This will require a few things from our camper families:
- Honesty. Please help us help all our families and let us know if there is any reason to suspect your camper may be ill. We are committed to working through to responsible solutions.
- Prepare your camper. This summer will be a little bit different in every way. Seasoned repeat campers will have a slightly different flow to everything to adjust to – give them a heads up and remind them of what makes camp great – it’s not things like jumping in line for tacos with 100 other people, but the one on one friendships that can last a lifetime, or the thrill of learning a new skill. None of that will change.
- Start good habits early. The first few times a camper washes their hands for a full 20 seconds, it can seem like it takes forever – start those habits at home now so our team can focus on the fun instead of holding back the entire group waiting for one guest who just wants to slap some soap on their hands and be done in 0.8 seconds. Teach them songs to sing or patterns to follow every time they wash their hands.
We will be posting our operational plan here in the days to come – if you have specific concerns, contact our office – we would be happy to chat with you.
Green Hill continues to operate and implement under a strict sanitization schedule to ensure all staff and guests are safe. In addition to this, we continue to work with provincial officials and the New Brunswick Camping Association to ensure that all protocols and plans will meet or exceed any expectations put in place by the department of health. As more information is made available, we will continue to update our information here.
If you have an event or retreat scheduled at Green Hill beyond this summer, you are welcome to contact us as usual in regards to the details for your retreat. We are committed to help you discover if we can run your retreat in a safe and enjoyable way.
Prior to the restrictions placed on group gatherings, we have industry leading protocols around the cleaning and disinfecting of the camp facilities. Since restrictions have been put in place, we introduced increased hand washing protocols for all on site. We are also enforcing a strict screening process for everyone who comes on site – staff, campers, and necessary guests.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
- Have Hope. We at Green Hill are still hopeful that we will be able to open our doors to campers and guests again soon. We continue to plan for Summer 2020 and to take registrations for all summer camp programs.
- Be Patient. We don’t know what the future is going to hold or how long large gatherings will be banned. If you wanted to make a trip out to campit can wait, please wait. Give yourself and us the gift of time.
- Pray. “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s People.” (Eph. 6:18) There are many things we can “be alert” to in our world right now; in fact, you are probably being bombarded with news alerts. Turn alerts into prayers. “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” (Ps. 55:22) Take a moment now to turn this COVID-19 alert into a prayer for Green Hill Lake Camp.
- Be Generous. Be generous with whatever God has entrusted to you. Whether finances, food, time to talk, toilet paper, whatever! Please have a community mindset; bless your neighbour, encourage and support one another. If your family happens to have financial stability in these economically trying times; support your local church, local businesses, ministries like Green Hill Lake Camp and others who have had significant costs and revenue losses due to cancellations. Every little bit helps.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
With staff who reside on site and here at the lake, we are maintaining reduced office hours. If you need to contact someone, feel free to head to our Contact Us page.
Green Hill is happy to be a part of a small group of overnight camps that can run this summer. That being said, the loss of our spring and early summer bookings has been crippling to our finances – please consider helping us make up some of the lost revenue by donating.
For more information regarding recent directives, consult with the NB Department of Health. For more information about Green Hill’s policies regarding keeping our guests healthy, our operational plan is available for viewing here.
To see the nuts and bolts of our operational plan, it is available for reading here: