Camp Taskforce Updates
Our 2021 Camp Taskforce is made up of an intentional cross-section of volunteer leaders and staff. We have been meeting to facilitate the multiple discussions needed around guidance and/or potential alterations to offering safe summer camp programs at Camp C.S. Klaus this year while we continue to navigate a COVID-19 environment.
BSA National has shared the following COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy:
NORTHEAST IOWA COUNCIL GUIDELINES
The Northeast Iowa Council’s Camp Taskforce is made up of an intentional cross-section of volunteer leaders and staff who met to facilitate the discussions around the Communicable Virus Mitigation Plan for Camp C.S. Klaus. These discussions and the below guidance are above and beyond the typical BSA safety protocols such as:
- Youth Protection
- Adult leaders required to be registered members of the BSA before arriving to camp
- The Guide to Safe Scouting
- The National Camp Accreditation Program
Unit leaders and parents will continue to provide the primary youth supervision role and are vital to ensuring youth safety at any event, especially summer camping programs. It is important to understand that attending camp is your choice. As a parent or leader, it is your choice for your child or you to attend summer camp.
The idea behind behavioral quarantine is to self-assess your personal risk 10-14 days before attending a summer camp. Are you doing self-assessed temperature or wellness checks? Are you minimizing contact with others ahead of attending camp? After camp, do you have a direct route home, are you being intentional to self-quarantine from high-risk individuals? This individual commitment is key to keeping yourself and your fellow campers safe.
BSA Health and Medical Forms:
Just like a typical year, all Scouts and leaders are required to have the appropriate BSA Annual Health and Medical Records parts A, B, and C completed ahead of attending Scouting functions. Scouts and leaders with any pre-existing conditions or personal concerns about their safety should consult with their physician about the risks associated with attending camp.
Unit leaders and parents are asked to use this checklist ahead of attending any summer camping program to assist in identifying potential COVID-19 cases before event participation.
Unit leaders and parents should consider the following recommendations while traveling to camp: wearing a facemask while inside vehicles, supply hand sanitizer and encourage frequent use, and limiting the amount of stops when traveling. It would also be advantageous to coordinate campers who already have shared exposure within one vehicle such as siblings or family members, and neighbors or close friends.
Camp C.S. Klaus will utilize infrared thermometers to scan for elevated temperatures as needed. If a camper is thought to have a potential COVID-19 exposure and found to have an elevated temperature (or other accompanying COVID-19 symptoms), supervised isolation will be provided until travel arrangements can be made for that individual to go home. If that camper is a BSA leader who is required to meet the minimum adult leadership requirements, the unit will need to supply an additional BSA registered leader to comply with Youth Protection policies. As with a typical year, if a camper reports feeling ill for any reason, they should visit with the Camp Medic for further evaluation and the appropriate unit leader and/or parent will be notified.
Multiple Troops Assigned to One Campsite:
In cases where more than one troop is assigned to one campsite, the Council Service Center, in conjunction with the Camp Director, will connect those respective leaders as early as possible so they can make any arrangements.
Scouts BSA Resident Camp Tenting:
Troops have already navigated tent arrangements that meet comfort levels of their families and Scouts. As with any typical year at summer camp, canvas tents on platforms and cots will be provided and troop leadership has the discretion to make their troop’s tenting arrangements. Troop leadership may consider having siblings, neighbors, or close friends share a tent. If a Scout does require tenting alone, unit leadership should be intentional on the placement of that tent so that Scout feels safe and comfortable.
Cub Scout Overnight Tenting:
Each Scout is required to have a parent/adult partner for the Cub Scout Overnight event. Just like a typical year that pair would tent together.
Webelos Resident Camp Tenting:
Unit leaders should be intentional when making carpooling and tent arrangements. Assign those who may already have close interactions, such as family/siblings/neighbors/close friends, to tent together. It is not recommended that a Webelos youth tents by themselves.
This year, Camp C.S. Klaus welcomes the use of personal tents if needed. However, please recognize that many campsites have uneven geography which makes setting up a personal tent on the ground less appealing. Please see your campsite counselor to get a “No Flames in Tents” tag for your personal tent which is required by BSA Camp Accreditation standards.
Camp Program Model
The current summer camp program model will run typical to what Scouts and Leaders are used to from previous years. Each Area Director has a “sanitation plan” that is appropriate for their area. Special attention will be paid to areas where chemicals could damage equipment such as climbing or shooting sports.
Scouts and Leaders will be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entry to the Dining Hall. They will also be asked to follow the current mask guidelines while in the Dining Hall. To provide flexibility for all comfort levels, table options will be provided on the deck and outside. The Camp Cook will follow all current food safety practices and make any necessary changes.
Scouts and Leaders will be asked to self-regulate a set number of people inside the Trading Post at any given time to allow for social distancing and a good customer experience. Additional options to streamline services, such as outdoor tables with common high sales items during high sales times, is being discussed.
We will follow the current mask practices that our local communities and government is utilizing. Anyone who prefers to wear a mask at anytime will be welcome to do so.
All visitors are asked to take the self-assessed Pre-Event Medical Screening before traveling to camp. Upon entry to camp, visitors are asked to sign in/out at the Camp Office. Visitors are expected to follow all Camp and BSA Policies and Procedures. If a visitor comes down with COVID-19 shortly after their visit to camp, they should notify the Council Service Center by calling 563.556.4343 for contact tracing, appropriate notifications, and a BSA Incident Report (required for all COVID-19 exposures) can be filed.
Family Night (including OA Programs)
All visitors are asked to take the self-assessed Pre-Event Medical Screening before traveling to camp. Families can participate in the camp dining hall service or choose to bring their own food. Space to enjoy a meal will be available at the dining hall, on the deck or at picnic tables throughout camp. Visitors are expected to follow all Camp and BSA Policies and Procedures. Families should plan for additional time as the entry to camp may take longer than normal. If a visitor comes down with COVID-19 shortly after their visit to camp, they should notify the Council Service Center at 563.556.4343 for contact tracing, appropriate notifications, and a BSA Incident Report (required for all COVID-19 exposures) can be filed.
Camp Klaus will follow its typical protocol on when to utilize storm shelters. Social distancing is not an option while utilizing a storm shelter, however the severe weather risk will take precedent. The current mask policy will be utilized. If any youth or adult self-assess as a higher risk individual, they should make sure the medic is aware upon their check-in to camp. The medic’s office can be used as a storm shelter for those individuals if they are able to safely get to that location during a weather emergency.
Updates on the “What to Bring to Camp” List
- Camp Chair
- Hand Sanitizer
What happens if a camper starts to feel ill while at camp?
As soon as the camper notices any symptoms of feeling ill, the camper should put on their mask, notify the unit leader, and head straight to the camp medic. The camp medic will assess the situation and:
- Monitor the camper
- If urgent care is needed, the Camp Medic will see to the appropriate next steps.
- If non-urgent care is needed, the Camp Medic will:
- Ensure the unit leader is aware of the situation and seek their input
- Determine the next best steps which may involve
- Additional monitoring, or
- Calling the youth’s parents to come pick up their Scout
- COVID-19 tests will not be provided or administered at Camp C.S. Klaus
- If a Camper is sent home due to feeling ill, and if they start to feel better, and if they have obtained a negative COVID-19 test, they are welcome to return to camp.
- If the Camper who is sent home due to feeling ill is an adult needed for the Unit to have two-deep leadership, the unit will need to provide another BSA Registered Leader to continue to follow BSA two-deep leadership policies.
- IMPORTANT: Any COVID-19 incident or other serious incidents must be reported immediately to the Council Scout Executive. Incident Report Tool
- If there is a COVID-19 incident at Camp C.S. Klaus, the following e-mail will be sent to any Unit Camp Contact (typically the Scoutmaster, but not always). It is their responsibility to share this message with the families of any Scout who may have been exposed:
SUBJECT LINE: Potential Exposure to COVID-19
As you know, the safety of our Scouts, staff members, and volunteers is our top priority. That’s why I’m reaching out, out of an abundance of caution, to inform you that an individual at Camp C.S. Klaus’ BSA Resident Camp on date has since tested positive for COVID-19.
The individual became symptomatic on the date, was tested that same day, and learned of the positive result today, date – which is also when we were contacted. Due to privacy concerns, I am not able to disclose the name of this individual.
Our COVID-19 prevention measures in place at the event helped mitigate risk, and we do/do not believe the infected individual had close contact, as defined by the CDC, with any participant at the event. We are making you aware of the potential exposure out of an abundance of caution, and so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your family.
All attendees should carefully monitor for symptoms. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. If you develop symptoms, please take them seriously and promptly contact your healthcare provider.
Please also alert me if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. This will enable us to notify individuals you may have been in contact with so they can take appropriate measures.
Thank you for your participation in Scouting and for your help protecting the health and safety of our families, friends, and communities. Feel free to reach out to me if you have a question or concern.
Yours in Scouting,
Scout Executive, CEO