COVID-19 FAQ & Updates

If you have a question, please email your questions to mail@goldarrowcamp.com.

August 11, 2022

Due to the short duration of Mini Camp 1 and Mini Camp 2, any camper who tests positive for COVID while at camp will need to be picked up by a parent or designated guardian within 24 hours.

COVID Update:

Session 1: 20 Campers (out of 318) tested positive for COVID in the final days of the session or upon returning home.

Session 2: 13 Campers (out of 335) tested positive for COVID and isolated at home or at camp. 

Session 3: 14 Campers (out of 329) test positive for COVID and isolated at home or at camp.

Session 4: 3 Campers (out of 321) tested positive for COVID and isolated at camp.

When can my camper come to camp?

If your camper has symptoms and tests positive for COVID before camp:

Day 0 is the first day your camper had COVID symptoms.

Day 0-5: Stay at home

Day 6: Come to camp, stay masked if still tests positive; unmasked if negative.

Days 6-10 (at camp): If no symptoms and tests negative, no mask needed (other than when required for all campers). 

Days 6-10 (at camp): If still tests positive, continue to mask/sleep outside until tests negative. Option to retest daily at camp.

Day 0Can come to camp (Day 6)
8/8/20228/14/2022 (Sunday)
8/9/20228/15/2022 (Monday)
8/10/20228/16/2022 (Tuesday)
8/11/20228/17/2022 (Wednesday)
8/12/20228/18/2022 (Thursday)
8/13/20228/19/2022 (Friday)
8/14/20228/20/2022 (Saturday)
8/15/20228/21/2022 (Sunday)
8/16/20228/22/2022 (Monday)
8/17/20228/23/2022 (Tuesday)
8/18/20228/24/2022 (Wednesday)
8/19/20228/25/2022 (Thursday)
8/20/20228/26/2022 (Friday)

If your camper tests positive for COVID with no symptoms, retest daily. When negative, the camper can come to camp and needs to mask until Day 6 (see chart above) Use the positive test date as Day 0.

July 29, 2022

When can my camper come to Session 4?

If your camper has symptoms and tests positive for COVID before camp:

Day 0 is the first day your camper had COVID symptoms.

Day 0-5: Stay at home

Day 6: Come to camp, stay masked if still tests positive; unmasked if negative.

Days 6-10 (at camp): If no symptoms and tests negative, no mask needed (other than when required for all campers). 

Days 6-10 (at camp): If still tests positive, continue to mask/sleep outside until tests negative. Option to retest daily at camp.

Day 0Can come to camp (Day 6)
7/25/20227/31/2022 (Sunday)
7/26/20228/1/2022 (Monday)
7/27/20228/2/2022 (Tuesday)
7/28/20228/3/2022 (Wednesday)
7/29/20228/4/2022 (Thursday)
7/30/20228/5/2022 (Friday)
7/31/20228/6/2022 (Saturday)

If your camper tests positive for COVID with no symptoms, retest daily. When negative, the camper can come to camp and needs to mask until Day 6 (see chart above) Use the positive test date as Day 0.

July 16, 2022

When can my camper come to Session 3?

If your camper has symptoms and tests positive for COVID before camp:

Day 0 is the first day your camper had COVID symptoms.

Day 0-5: Stay at home

Day 6: Come to camp, stay masked if still tests positive; unmasked if negative.

Days 6-10 (at camp): If no symptoms and tests negative, no mask needed (other than when required for all campers). 

Days 6-10 (at camp): If still tests positive, continue to mask/sleep outside until tests negative. Option to retest daily at camp.

Day 0Can come to camp (Day 6)
7/12/20227/18/2022 (Monday)
7/13/20227/19/2022 (Tuesday)
7/14/20227/20/2022 (Wednesday)
7/15/20227/21/2022 (Thursday)
7/16/20227/22/2022 (Friday)
7/17/20227/23/2022 (Saturday)
7/18/20227/24/2022 (Sunday)

If your camper tests positive for COVID with no symptoms, retest daily. When negative, camper can come to camp and needs to mask until Day 6 (see chart above) Use positive test date as Day 0.

 

July 13, 2022

Session 2 Camp Doctor Heather “Bluey” Silverberg and Audrey “Sunshine” Monke talk about COVID and summer camp.

Dear GAC Families,

We want to give you an update about our experience this summer with the new, highly contagious COVID variant. You can listen to Sunshine and current camp doctor Heather “Bluey” Silverberg talk about summer camp and COVID in this episode of the Sunshine Parenting podcast.

While managing COVID is a challenge and has required extra work from our medical, leadership, and counseling staff, we have concluded that the benefits of camp to our campers’ social development and mental health greatly outweigh the risks of contracting COVID. 

As you may have heard, currently there is community spread in California, and that includes at GAC. Our COVID cases thus far:
Session 1: 20 Campers (out of 318) tested positive for COVID in the final days of the session or upon returning home.

Session 2: 13 Campers (out of 335) tested positive for COVID and isolated at home or at camp. 

Campers with COVID have been medically stable and have typically had 2-5 days of mild symptoms. Symptoms include sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, or fatigue. Very few campers are presenting with fevers. The virus is so prevalent in our state that it is impossible to determine where they contracted it. 

As we plan for future sessions, we are adjusting our protocols to allow for campers with mild symptoms or who are positive for COVID to isolate at camp with other campers and return to regular activities as soon as symptoms abate and our doctor clears them to return to their group. We continue to cohort campers with their cabin for most activities. At camp, we have set up “COVID Village”, where campers are able to get extra rest and interact with each other while they recuperate. If our numbers of ill campers continue to stay as low as they have thus far, we will continue to allow campers to recover at camp. If numbers increase, we will need parents to pick up ill campers. 

While we will continue to follow recommended protocols and do our best to mitigate the spread of COVID and other illnesses by isolating anyone who we know is ill with symptoms suspicious for COVID, we know from our experience thus far this summer that we will not be able to identify every case. Tests to detect the virus are imperfect, infected but asymptomatic individuals shed the virus, and this variant is the most contagious one yet. Fortunately, young people have been shown to shed less virus than adults, they have milder cases, they have much lower rates of “long Covid”, and recover faster and with fewer complications than adults. While this variant is more contagious, it also appears to be more mild than previous variants. 

Despite our rigorous testing protocols and preparations, we anticipate that campers may be exposed during their stay with us. We recommend you allow for flexibility in your post-camp plans to accommodate this possibility.

As we have communicated before, we urge you to help us by following common sense practices to avoid becoming infected with COVID in the days prior to your child arriving at camp. 

These practices include:

– Avoiding gatherings, especially ones in poorly-ventilated indoor spaces 

– Avoid travel, especially air travel. If traveling by plane, please have everyone in your party wear a mask

– Wear a mask when within 6 feet of people who are not members of your household 

Following our pre-camp testing protocols

If your camper is traveling to camp on one of our buses, please remind them to wear a mask (KN 95 or N95 recommended) covering their nose and mouth for the entire trip and to wait to eat until we get to our lunch stop. The bus ride to camp is one of the most important times to protect campers from exposure.

Masking will continue to be required during all transportation in buses and vans, as well as on our dining porch when campers are in close proximity to other cabin groups. We ask that you send your camper with at least 15 masks to use at camp.

If you haven’t already done so, we recommend that you purchase camp tuition insurance (follow this link for the Standard Plan”). This is especially helpful if your camper tests positive for COVID at home and is unable to join us on their scheduled start date. 

Each family needs to assess the risk of sending their child to camp this summer given the highly contagious COVID variant that is currently circulating. If you have zero tolerance for risk of COVID exposure, overnight summer camp is not a good choice this summer. Sending your child to camp presents a higher risk of them contracting COVID than keeping them isolated at home. Set up a call with us if you would like to discuss options for postponing your child’s attendance to next summer.

We know how important camp is to your children, and that COVID has impacted them as individuals and has impacted your family and community, and we think it is in their best interest to come to GAC this summer. We believe the experiences, friendships and lessons learned at GAC help develop resilience and personal strengths that counter the ill effects of the pandemic, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure they have a great experience. 

Thank you for sharing your campers with us!

May 31, 2022

Yes. All campers and staff need to follow our testing protocol.

The one exception is for campers who have a documented case of COVID in the past 60 days. In that case, the PCR and antigen tests will not be required. For campers who had cases of COVID more than 60 days prior to camp, we are requiring both the PCR and antigen tests. Although most protocols you may have read allow for a 90-day test exemption following infection, our health consultant says the possibility of reinfection during the 60-90 day window is magnitudes higher than a child continuing to test positive 60-90 days after their infection.
We will not be able to offer refunds for days of camp missed due to COVID illness (positive test and/or symptomatic). We strongly recommend families purchase tuition insurance so that your camp tuition can be refunded for any camp days missed due to COVID or other illnesses that prevent camp attendance. If you did not purchase insurance when you registered your child for camp, you can still purchase the “Standard Plan,” ($210 for a two-week session) which covers your child’s tuition if they are unable to attend or they miss any days of camp due to COVID. If you have the insurance, in the event that your child tests positive for COVID before or during their camp stay, you will be eligible for a refund of camp tuition for the days of camp missed.
In the 7-10 days before your child’s camp session:
-Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces & crowds.
-Wear a mask indoors in public areas.
-Avoid unnecessary travel in the week prior to camp. If you are planning a family trip right before camp, we suggest you reschedule or postpone your child’s camp session.
While the majority of our camp population will be vaccinated (all staff, Junior Counselors, and a very high percentage of campers), we are not able to guarantee placement in groups with all vaccinated campers. You may send an email requesting placement in a cabin with vaccinated campers, but that is a request we cannot guarantee.
For 2022, we are keeping the same vaccination requirements we had for 2021. While we strongly encourage COVID vaccination for all of our campers, we are not requiring the vaccine for our campers younger than 16. All camp staff and Junior Counselors are required to be fully vaccinated. Our decision is based on a review of information from government sources and our own team of medical experts. We understand that one aspect of the children’s vaccine that some parents are not comfortable with is its “Emergency Use Authorization” label. To that end, in recent news, the State of California has now postponed the vaccine requirement for schools until 2023. Additionally, in recent weeks, guidelines for post-exposure isolation have been relaxed by the California Department of Public Health in that asymptomatic individuals with COVID exposure do not need to be isolated, regardless of vaccination status. Isolation of exposed, unvaccinated campers would have been an onerous requirement, and was one reason we considered having a fully vaccinated community earlier in the year.
Our goal is to utilize masking as little as possible this summer. Activities at camp take place outdoors, an environment which has been associated with less COVID transmission. Unless conditions change that would indicate otherwise, we will, generally, not require masks when at camp. As stated, an exception to this will be on the buses traveling to camp, which are enclosed areas where campers are in close proximity for a long period of time with up to 50 other campers. Another time masks may be required is while walking on the dining porch, where exposed food is present and masks serve as a deterrent to facial touching. Final determination about masking requirements will be made before each session begins. Regardless of our masking policies, campers may still wear a mask outside or anywhere, any time they wish. As with any personal choice, we will continue to encourage our camp community to be kind and accepting to those who have different opinions or requirements to feel comfortable. Negative comments about masking choices will not be tolerated.

April 26, 2022

Making sure camp is safe and healthy for our campers is our top priority. Our goal continues to be offering a camp program that is as close to normal, pre-pandemic, operations as possible.

We’ve put many hours of research and discussion into our decisions regarding health protocols for this summer. Our health plan is based on guidance from our local health department, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and our team of medical consultants. Given the unpredictability of the COVID virus and variants, this plan is subject to change.

With camp right around the corner, our time and focus are on the important tasks of getting our summer staff trained and our facilities ready to deliver the fun, friendship, and growth our campers look forward to at GAC. 

We will provide more details prior to your child’s session, but here are some key aspects of our 2022 plan for a healthy summer:

SEND HEALTHY CAMPERS TO CAMP

As has always been the case, we rely on parents to ensure that campers are healthy before they travel to camp. With a community of close to 500 people who live and play in a small community, there are many contagious illnesses (including COVID, lice, strep throat, flu, norovirus, and more) that we want to keep out of our community.  

We ask that you make common-sense decisions and limit potential COVID exposures in the week prior to your child’s arrival. We will require each family to complete a health check verifying that your child is currently healthy and has not recently been exposed to any contagious individuals.

We will continue to do a thorough health check of all campers arriving at camp or at the bus stops prior to departure.

COVID VACCINATION

For 2022, we are keeping the same vaccination requirements we had for 2021. While we strongly encourage COVID vaccination for all of our campers, we are not requiring the vaccine for our campers younger than 16. All camp staff and Junior Counselors are required to be fully vaccinated. 

COVID TESTING

All campers must provide results of a negative PCR COVID-19 test prior to camp. We will be partnering with a testing company that you may use for at-home testing.

POSITIVE COVID TEST RESULTS

While at camp, any camper who becomes ill with COVID will be isolated from other campers immediately and will need to be picked up from camp within 24 hours. The camper may return to camp after five days if symptoms have abated and they have a negative COVID antigen test. Following the most recent exposure guidelines from CDPH, cabin mates and other exposed individuals will continue with camp unless they are symptomatic and test positive for COVID.

MASKING

Our goal is to utilize masking as little as possible this summer. As of now, masks will be required on buses to camp.  Another location where masks may be required is on the dining porch.

We love our camp community, and we are grateful for your patience and support as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of residential summer camp in the time of COVID.

VACCINATION DETAILS

For 2022, we are keeping the same vaccination requirements we had for 2021. While we strongly encourage COVID vaccination for all of our campers, we are not requiring the vaccine for our campers younger than 16. All camp staff and Junior Counselors are required to be fully vaccinated. 

Our decision is based on a review of information from government sources and our own team of medical experts. We understand that one aspect of the children’s vaccine that some parents are not comfortable with is its “Emergency Use Authorization” label. To that end, in recent news, the State of California has now postponed the vaccine requirement for schools until 2023.  Additionally, in recent weeks, guidelines for post-exposure isolation have been relaxed by the California Department of Public Health in that asymptomatic individuals with COVID exposure do not need to be isolated, regardless of vaccination status.  Isolation of exposed, unvaccinated campers would have been an onerous requirement, and was one reason we considered having a fully vaccinated community earlier in the year. 

MASKING DETAILS

Our goal is to utilize masking as little as possible this summer. As of now, masks will be required on buses to camp.  Another location where masks may be required is on the dining porch.

Activities at camp take place outdoors, an environment which has been associated with less COVID transmission. Unless conditions change that would indicate otherwise, we will, generally, not require masks when at camp.  As stated, an exception to this will be on the buses traveling to camp, which are enclosed areas where campers are in close proximity for a long period of time. The only other time masks may be required is while walking on the dining porch, where exposed food is present and masks serve as a deterrent to facial touching. Final determination about masking requirements will be made before each session begins.

Regardless of our masking policies, campers can still wear a mask outside or anywhere, any time they wish.  As with any personal choice, we will continue to encourage our camp community to be kind and accepting to those who have different opinions or requirements to feel comfortable. Negative comments about masking choices will not be tolerated.

TESTING DETAILS

Campers must provide results of a negative PCR COVID-19 test before arrival at camp or bus stop regardless of vaccination status. This test must be taken within 3 days prior to arrival (Thursday for sessions that start on Sunday). All expenses incurred from testing will be the responsibility of the families. To provide you with a convenient option, we will be partnering with a testing company that will utilize a mail-in system with a sample that is collected at home. 

If your child has COVID between now and the beginning of their camp session, we recommend getting their illness documented in writing by a lab, as in some rare cases, a PCR test can be positive several weeks after an active infection.  We will work with families to evaluate instances of positive tests following an active infection, but will require validation for camp attendance.

Gold Arrow Camp is participating in the CDPH’s rapid antigen testing program. Testing will occur at camp for symptomatic campers and staff, and supplemental testing may be done at a level dependent on the current prevalence of COVID in the community. We are still evaluating options for asymptomatic testing protocols at camp, and these could change session to session.