Registration & Fees
From the onset of the pandemic, the full-time Camp Chi team has been evaluating, planning, and preparing for camp within the COVID pandemic. After being forced to cancel our 2020 Summer, we were able to create a meaningful family program for campers, alumni and families alike. Camp Chi was able to run a safe, successful, and COVID-free summer in 2021 in large part due to following very stringent policies, relying heavily on masking and distancing, and making significant changes to the programs at camp.
Creating and maintaining a healthy and safe environment for everyone has always been and remains our top priority. As we look ahead to Summer 2022 and the always evolving 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 colleagues and leaders at similar camps.
As is the case every year, we are striving to improve every aspect of camp operations. Many aspects of our 2021 experiences showed us that some policies worked, while other aspects of our protocols are being reviewed and updated. We have reestablished our COVID-19 Task Force comprised of medical experts, professionals with relevant experience and camp parents to help prepare for our 101st 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.
Along with our updated vaccination policy below, we have prepared a number of NPIs, or Nonpharmaceutical Interventions, to prevent the occurrence and spread of COVID. Examples of NPIs are masking, handwashing, and distancing.
The response, recommendations and guidelines of our COVID-19 plans are subject to and will likely change as more research is done and further recommendations are released. 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 2022 or wish to discuss anything in this document further, please reach out to Jon Levin, Camp Director, at email@example.com.
We are planning to run an unforgettable, safe, and celebratory 101st 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 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.
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.
Masking is a key NPI that we will be utilizing 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 at times when a person is in an indoor space with a group of people who are not in that village. 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 recommend everyone bring at least 2 dozen disposable masks, preferably N95 or KN95 style.
Masks must meet the following requirements:
Anyone choosing to bring reusable masks will be able to send them out with the weekly laundry for cleaning.
We are partnering with Northshore Clinical Labs to provide nasal PCR tests at camp this summer. Campers will undergo testing on arrival day, a few days later, and a few days before departing camp. Parents/guardians will be notified if their camper tests positive, or if their camper’s cabin is moved into isolation. We will have PCR and rapid tests on hand in the health center if any person displays symptoms and our medical staff deem it necessary to administer a test.
We require everyone show proof of a negative nasal PCR test taken within 72 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.
More details on how testing will work will be released prior to camp.
In the months closer to the start of camp, we will be hosting Town Halls for a wide range of stakeholders to explain the details of summer 2022 plans and related modifications and procedures.
During the summer, we will communicate with families if their camper shows symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, or if your camper is exposed to someone who tests positive. Please note, we are required to notify state and local health officials if there are positive cases; we assure you that we will maintain privacy and will only disclose personal information when necessary.
During camp, there will be visual reminders of ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Upon arrival, COVID-19 protocols and procedures will be reviewed in detail with campers in an age-appropriate way.
Should your camper be considered high risk, it is imperative that you communicate with camp so we can properly plan and accommodate their needs.
Daily symptom screenings 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.
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. If we have multiple villages in an indoor space, we will require masking and encourage distancing.
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 single biggest hurdle for our food service will likely continue to be supply chain issues. 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.
We will once again have meals cafeteria style this summer, which will allow us to optimize choice without sacrificing safety. Meals will be eaten both in the dining hall and wings, as well as outdoors in the picnic grove and under the tents. We will continue to have multiple meal shifts.
Our nurses, doctors and interns will continue to operate the new, state-of-the-art Atkins Family Health Center. The larger building allows us to have more isolation space for those displaying symptoms and awaiting test results. The new building has multiple entrances/exits which allows us to be strategic, separating those coming for medication and those needing general medical care. Our health care staff will establish and follow guidelines based on recommendations from the CDC, local authorities, our camp doctors, and our COVID-19 Task Force. Systems and procedures will be set for all aspects of our health care practices.
In addition to increased signage that illustrate best practices to mitigate the spread of the virus and clarify expectations, the camp community continue to see:
One COVID change we found worth keeping was our bus plan. 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 three options to get camp this year: being dropped off, riding the bus, or taking a flight to Chicago O’Hare or Dane County Regional Airport.
Bussing: We will only utilize one central bus site for departure to camp. Campers will be bussed with their cabin and others in their village. Similar to last summer, we will have multiple departures to camp, with roughly 90 minutes between departures. Campers will ride the bus with their cabinmates and others in their village, and those being driven and dropped off will be assigned a drop off window for their cohort.
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.
Upon arrival at the bus site, families will see clear signage directing them to the parking area. There will then be multiple stations where families will check in, provide their proof of a negative COVID test from within 72 hours, drop off any approved medications not sent through Pack My Rx, and campers will undergo their first health screening. Campers will then be directed to their assigned bus.
Drop Off at Camp: As stated above, campers will be assigned a drop off window that corresponds to their village. Families with more than one camper can drop off both campers with their first camper, and that camper will be with staff in their village until the rest of their village 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 approved medications not sent through Pack My Rx, 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.
Travel Information Form: On the Travel Information form, families will select either drop off, flight or bussing. This form is not yet available but will be soon.
Out of State Campers (Flights)– We are proud to serve campers from all over the country and world. This year we are proud to be able to once again offer airport pickup for campers coming from outside of the Midwest. Families who live in applicable areas will get an email in the Spring with more details and instructions.
At the end of our sessions, we will utilize a similar travel plan as we have in the past.
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 (Glenbrook North High School), Skokie (Old Orchard Mall), and Chicago (DePaul College Prep). 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 village. Villages may be mixed depending on numbers.
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 one at a time. If an adult does not have an authorized pickup sticker, they will not be permitted to receive a camper. Families are asked to make sure they have all of their belongings before departing the bus site.
Dane County Regional & O’Hare Airports: As we have done in the past, we will transport campers taking flights to either Chicago O’Hare or Dane County Regional Airport (Madison). If a camper is flying as an unaccompanied minor and families have paid the applicable fees, we can escort the camper to their gate. If a camper is old enough to not be an unaccompanied minor, and families choose to not utilize that service, we will escort them to security, but we will not be able to go through security.
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. Protocols for summer 2022 include:
All SITs and Full Summer campers will leave at the end of Session 1 and return on the Sunday with Session 2. This will allow them to rest, our staff a chance to recharge, and our facilities an opportunity to be thoroughly cleaned.