BT COVID-19 Update

Our preparations for this summer have kept us excited and motivated in the Camp Office. It’s fun to think about what this summer can be for all of us. In the same breath, we are very mindful about building a summer experience that keeps our community safe, allowing us to maximize our time together at Camp.

 

We are prepared and currently planning to open BT Camps safely this summer (including Nursery Camp, Travel Camp and STEAM Camp), and we’ve begun to make some decisions about how to accomplish our goals. These updates are provided below. We will continue to refresh this page as new information becomes available and we plan to share with you in March our full COVID-19 Summer Plan. We recognize how important it is to give you this information as early as possible so that you can take the time to become comfortable with the procedures that we will be putting into place, all the while allowing things in the next few months to become clearer, both in the state of Maryland and in the country.

 

Below are some elements of how we will be creating a safe environment this summer. These components are derived from best practices of camps (both overnight and day camps) that operated in 2020, along with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the American Camp Association.

CHANGES AT BT CAMPS:

First and foremost, please know that all changes and updates are made in consultation with the American Camping Association, who works closely with the CDC, and also includes our medical team of nurses and doctors, some of whom have been actively involved in updates and changes at BT School, and all as a part of our camp committee, and all the while following established protocols.

 

As we said above, many changes and updates in our county, state and country continue to modify the way we act on a daily basis, and that keeps us from finalizing some of the details for the summer. However, we are able to tell you some of the bigger changes that we will have in place for the summer of 2021, which we are able to begin implementing and planning for immediately.

  • Sanitizing efforts

    We have purchased 20 portable handwashing stations which will be located throughout camp in key locations. These handwashing stations work with a foot pedal so there is no touching.

     

    Additionally, we will have hand sanitizer in every bunk (outside of the front door, inside of the front door, and in the bathrooms). We will have systems in place for the counselors and bunk groups to wash and sanitize upon entering, exiting and also as they are arriving and departing activity areas.
  • Buses

    We have several ideas in place to allow for safe and appropriate bussing. Most importantly, we know that it’s imperative for us to offer busses, and we will do everything we can to make that happen. This may include less children & staff on the bus or more centralized pick up locations. Regardless of what we do with bussing, we will most likely allow parents to drop off and pick up their child if they choose. We plan to have a final decision on all bussing no later than April 1, 2021.

  • Lunches

    We will no longer have the full camp eat lunch at one time….too many people crowded in to one space. Similar to schools, we will spread out the lunch times (11:30am – 12:30pm) and we will create more space in the lunch areas so we have appropriate social distancing, especially while eating. This is probably a change that will stay in place long after Covid has left us as it just makes more sense.

  • Pods

    A key measure of success throughout the pandemic for any in-person programming has been to establish stable environments where the same groups of people are around each other – while limiting or preventing the introduction of outsiders to that pod.

     

    For summer 2021, we are working on establishing “pods” throughout Camp. A pod would consist of a stable cohort that when possible, doesn’t change day-to-day. The exact makeup of our pods will be determined closer to the start of the summer, and initially may include more than one bunk. All campers and staff in a pod will have the ability to enjoy camp programming and to eat meals together.
  • Nursery/STEAM/Travel Camps

    We will have similar changes for these camps, which will include size of bunks to be smaller than normal, proper spacing for lunch time and nap time, and for our Travel Camp, a full set of policies and procedures, which will include how we will plan for appropriate daily travel on our buses.

MASK WEARING

BT Camps will fully comply with any mask wearing requirement or mandate from our Federal, State, or local governments. Prior to the start of camp, and on the first day, we will provide direction as to when masks are required according to the orders in effect.

 

In the event that there is a mask requirement or mandate, campers will not be required to wear masks in the following situations:

  • Campers and/or staff are outdoors and more than 10 feet apart from any other pod.
  • Campers and/or staff are seated while eating.
  • Campers and/or staff are swimming, or at the Lake.
  • Campers and /or staff are the only pod at an activity area.

PAYING FOR CAMP:

The pandemic has caused financial stress on so many of us. BT Camps, School and Synagogue are no exception. We remain committed to providing our families with the flexibility needed in making their Camp payments for next summer.

 

The first payment was due to be billed to you on the 18th of January (and the 18th of each month). Our new CampMinder system is now ready to facilitate these charges, which will officially be billed to you tomorrow (Thursday January 28th). Moving forward, you will see the charges on the 18th of each month until you are paid-in-full. If you need any additional updates or changes to your payment structure, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Although we expect to open for an incredible summer, we will provide our families with the option for a full refund if;

  1. You back out, for any reason, before April 1, 2021.
  2. Our program is modified in a significant way
  3. You are uncomfortable sending your camper(s), or
  4. If we cannot open at all.

Additionally, if you need financial assistance, please click on this link which gives you the details you’ll need to apply.

With our march towards summer 2021, we will continue to update you monthly, as our preparations continue to take shape and more information becomes available. As always, we are available to answer your questions or address your concerns. We can be reached at 410-517-3451 or you can email us at either sam@btcamps.org or if you need to reach Bryna, at bryna@btcamps.org.

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