Registration & Fees
Updated – July 2021
From the onset of the pandemic, the year-round Camp Chi team has been evaluating, planning, and preparing for Summer 2021. Creating and maintaining a healthy and safe environment for everyone has always been and remains our top priority. As we focus in on this coming summer and the complexities of COVID-19, we continue to learn, study and monitor guidance provided by local and state health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Camp Association (ACA), and trusted leaders of camps that operated last summer and those preparing for the upcoming summer.
As is the case every year, we are striving to improve every aspect of camp operations. COVID-19 requires additional attention in this area and a shift in processes and procedures for this summer. One key development is a COVID-19 Task Force comprised of medical experts, professionals with relevant experience and camp parents to help prepare for our 100th summer. In partnership with the COVID-19 Task Force, we are developing plans to help ensure camper safety and well-being at camp, including ways to mitigate the spread and establish necessary processes if cases do occur.
The response, recommendations and guidelines of our COVID-19 plans are subject to and will likely change as we learn more. As more data and research is available and related protocols established, this information will be updated.
We commit to keeping our families informed and will always be open and available for questions. Should you have questions, concerns or ideas on COVID-19 and summer 2021 or wish to discuss anything in this document further, please reach out to Jon Levin, Camp Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to be successful this summer, it is imperative everyone understands the following terms:
We are planning to run an unforgettable, safe, and celebratory 100th summer. To set everyone up for a successful summer, there are some key expectations we have agreed to:
Since our community is coming from many different places and from a wide variety of situations, and while we understand we cannot control behavior outside of camp, for everyone’s safety we are asking all families and staff to abide by the following requests.
Avoid large group gatherings, unnecessary outings, and visits with extended family and friends 10 days prior to camp. This does not mean campers need to quarantine. Instead, we are asking everyone to be highly aware of their surroundings and do their best to prevent encountering large groups of people or being in an uncontrolled environment. If campers or staff has special circumstances, we ask that they contact us beforehand, so we can help evaluate the situation and ensure any decisions made do not risk their attendance at camp.
Everyone must show proof of a negative nasal PCR COVID test, which tests for the presence of viral RNA by molecular testing, taken within 96 hours prior to departing for Camp Chi.
Based on the style, size and history of our program, we are planning a strategy of limited exposure for the camp community. To minimize exposure to our community and create a safe environment where everyone can have a joyful and successful camp experience, we have made the following adjustments to follow best practices, maintaining safety as the highest priority.
Our staff will also have different protocols to follow:
Masking is a key NPI that will be utilized at camp this summer. We will comply with any federal, state, or local mask mandate. In the event there is no mandate, we will still require masks to be worn at camp. Specific mask times and guidelines will be reviewed at camp. Masks will not need to be worn at the following times:
There are many kinds of masks on the market and every person has their own preference. We ask that everyone bring at least 14 LABELED reusable masks (detailed below) and 1 LABELED box(es) of disposable masks.
Masks must meet the following requirements:
We will launder used re-usable masks with camp laundry. We will provide each camper and staff member a small mesh bag they will put their masks in. That mesh bag will be put in their laundry bag prior to laundry going out. It will then be washed and dried with the rest of their clothes and returned a few days later.
We are partnering with Northshore Clinical Labs to provide nasal PCR tests at camp this summer. Campers will undergo testing on arrival day, about 5 days later, and a few days before departing camp. Parents/guardians will be notified if their camper tests positive, or if their camper’s pod is moved into isolation. Furthermore, if any person displays symptoms and our medical staff deem it necessary, we will administer a test.
We require everyone show proof of a negative nasal PCR test taken within 96 hours prior to arrival at camp. Our partners at Northshore Clinical Labs will be setting up private testing events for Chi campers before each session, but families may go anywhere for their pre-camp testing.
Daily screening, including monitoring of temperatures and symptoms, will take place for every camper and staff person in camp.
Individuals who test positive or exhibit symptoms will be immediately isolated for further examination and monitoring by our healthcare professionals. That person’s pod will go into an increased isolation protocol, including potentially moving into a temporary “isolation” village where they do not interact with their cohort, just the pod. Other than the individual with symptoms or a positive test, the rest of the pod will continue to have a normal camp experience, with activities and programs, but with a higher degree of separation from the rest of camp. Upon confirmation of tests, further action will be taken based on best practices from our medical team and consultation with appropriate authorities. A protocol for notifying parents will be in place and shared prior to summer.
If any camper tests positive and it is deemed medically necessary, they must be picked up from camp withing 24 hours of receiving notice. We recommend families make these contingencies prior to camp beginning, especially if the family is traveling or does not live within easy driving distance of camp.
Summer is meant to be spent outdoors and we intend to spend as much time outside as possible this summer. In light rain, regular activities will continue in their normal locations. If weather becomes unsafe or severe, programming will shift to indoor activities for pods. Pods will rotate from in-cabin or small indoor space activities to larger indoor spaces that can be shared with the cohort while wearing masks and keeping a proper social distance.
In the event of an emergency weather situation, safety procedures will override COVID-19 protocols when necessary.
Camp Chi uses a third-party vendor, Wolfoods, to operate food service at camp. The company operated at camps during the summer 2020. Their experiences and knowledge along with our own experience with Chi Family Getaway last summer will fuel a plan for safe meal service that provides some choice. While the variety of options we have had may be limited, we will create choices and provide for special dietary needs as we have always done.
This summer we will shift all our meals to a cafeteria style, which will allow us to optimize choice without sacrificing safety. Campers and staff will move through the line, indicating to the food service staff what they would like on their plates. The staff will portion it out for them, and they will receive their food at the end of the line. Meals will be eaten outdoors in the picnic grove and the new outdoor tents. When weather does not permit for picnic dining, we will use the tents and indoor dining to maintain distance between tables. The windows in the dining hall will remain open all summer to maximize airflow. We will continue to have multiple meal shifts.
For our 100th summer, we will be opening the brand new, state-of-the-art Atkins Family Health Center. With a much larger building, more flexible space, increased isolation rooms and space for staff, we will be able to better prepare to meet the needs of our camp community. With multiple entrances, the new Health Center will be able to maintain distance between those accessing the Health Center.
Our health care staff will establish and follow guidelines based on recommendations from the CDC, local authorities, and our COVID-19 Task Force. Systems and procedures will be set for all aspects of our health care practices.
Several changes will be in effect to increase sanitation and maintain safety related to limiting the spread of COVID-19. In addition to increased signage that illustrate best practices to mitigate the spread of the virus and clarify expectations, the camp community will see:
This year, transportation will work slightly differently on the way to camp and from camp. On the bus, both on the way to camp and on the way home, everyone will be required to wear a mask. As some campers may need a beverage or small snack to help with motion sickness, we are allowing only water bottles and small snacks. Campers may only remove their mask when eating or drinking.
We are offering our campers two options to get camp this year: being dropped off or riding the bus.
As we are beginning camp in the pod period, all transportation is being done by pod. That means campers will ride the bus with their pod and 1-2 other pods, and those being driven and dropped off will be assigned a drop off window for their cohort. On the Travel Information form, families will select either drop off or bussing (not a bus site as in years past).
Our transportation partners at Lamers Bus Lines are adhering to very strict cleaning and screening protocols. Each bus is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the end of each trip, and drivers go through a thorough health screening at the start of each shift.
Drop Off at Camp: As stated above, campers will be assigned a drop off window that corresponds to their cohort. Families with more than one camper can drop off both campers with their first camper, and that camper will be with staff in their cohort until the rest of their cohort/pod arrives on the bus.
Instead of pulling into camp, we are partnering with the Crystal Grand Music Theatre to use their parking lot as a staging area. Families will be asked to arrive there in their check-in window and a staff member will provide directions. Once families are sent into camp, the camper will undergo their first health screening, a nurse will collect any medications not sent through J Drugs, and their bags will be sorted and taken to their village. Family members are asked to stay in their car the entire time. A bathroom for families will not be available.
Bussing: For the way to camp, we are only using one bus site- Skokie (Old Orchard). We will assign pods to bus sites and times for departure. That means families are unable to request a specific site, as we need to keep pods together. Departure times will be staggered with 90 minutes between departures.
Upon arrival at the bus site, families will see clear signage directing them to the parking area. There will then be multiple stations where the following will occur:
Check-in & Screening– This is where families will check in, provide their proof of a negative COVID test from within 72 hours, and campers will undergo their first health screening. For campers who have medications that are not being processed through J Drugs (inhalers, injectables, etc.)– parents must drop off the medication and sign the medication log. Campers with rescue inhalers and Epipens should keep these emergency medications with them.
Luggage Loading & Bus Boarding– Camper will gather at their assigned bus and any excess baggage will be stowed under the bus. Once their entire pod is there, staff will provide campers with an antibacterial wipe and the pods will be directed to board, wipe down their areas, and sit accordingly.
Out of State Campers (Flights)– We are proud to serve campers from all over the country and world. As we are beginning camp in our pods, all transportation is being done by pod. Because we cannot transport campers from the airport by pod, we are not offering transportation to camp from the airport. Instead, we are asking families to either arrive a day early and bring their camper to the assigned bus site or arrange for a friend or family member to bring their camper to the assigned bus site. Families coming from outside of the Midwest will receive a specific email with detailed instructions.
By the end of our 4-week sessions, we hope to be out of the pod period and have a more traditional feel. With that in mind, we plan to allow for a more flexible method of transportation from camp, with multiple bus sites or the option to pick up.
Pickup: Like other years, families wishing to pick their campers up will be given a window to do so before buses depart. Families will be asked to stay in their cars, complete the necessary paperwork, and our staff will help load luggage and return medications when campers are reunited with their families. A bathroom for families will not be available. Camp will remain closed to visitors and families throughout the entire summers, so we are not able to offer tours this summer.
Bussing: At the end of our 4-week sessions, we plan to offer 4 bus sites families can choose from for the way home: Buffalo Grove (Buffalo Grove High School) , Northbrook (Northbrook Court), Skokie (Old Orchard), and Chicago (TBD). As some sites are bigger than others, the number of buses going to each site will vary. Campers will be assigned based on site selection to a bus with their cohort and possibly 1 other cohort.
We ask that only 1 adult per camper goes to the pickup site and arrive at least 30 minutes before buses are scheduled to arrive. Upon arrival, the parent/guardian picking up must check in at the clearly marked station to claim their pickup sticker. As in years past, bags will arrive before campers do and families are asked to claim their bags before getting their camper(s). The buses will be marked clearly, and families are asked to wait in the designated area, spaced out, until a staff member comes off the bus. The first thing the staff will do is empty the bays where sleeping bags, laundry bags, etc. are stowed. Then, the staff will return campers to their families. Families are asked to make sure they have all of their belongings and depart as quickly as possible.
O’Hare Airport: We are able to transport campers to O’Hare at the end of each session. Parents can either meet us at the airport or our staff can escort campers through security as unaccompanied minors if families have paid appropriate fees and notified the airlines accordingly.
For Summer 2021, we will not be offering specialty tracks for Try Chi. Instead, all campers will be in the traditional Try Chi program. However, as we build the schedule, we will guarantee that each camper will get a sampling of each track, Sports, Performing Arts and STEM, while experiencing the traditional Try Chi program. In addition to splashing in the cove, climbing to new heights on the ropes course, and cooking up a storm at outdoor cooking, campers will get to improve their skills through drills and games in sports, express themselves creatively in performing arts, and put their brains to work in STEM. As we always do, when we put campers into cabins, we will also match that cabin with a curated experience that is geared towards their preferences.
The cleanliness and safety of our facilities is something in which we take great pride. Our facilities team works tirelessly to maintain camp and keep everything running smoothly. In addition to our standard cleaning procedures, the facilities team will partner with the program team to ensure our 600 acres are safe for the camp community. New protocols for summer 2021 include: