ACA's Board Chair and President/CEO Update

April 15

 

Dear Friends,

This is a hard week for all of us.

But this is also the week when Lucia shared her fears with her counselor, John reconnected with the camp community of his childhood, Xavier played The Name Game, and Sonia stood up for herself in a Zoom campfire.

In a situation that feels out of control, camp offers comfort and a sense of belonging. Thank you for continuing to be a flashlight for so many during this dark time.

The Critical Question

As we find our way out of the darkness, the critical question for many of us has been “when should I make a decision about my camp strategy this summer?”

Indeed, helping you answer that question drives every choice the ACA will make for the foreseeable future.

The answer to that question is complex and evolving daily. We all recognize that we must put the safety of our campers and staff first, and that we need expert scientific guidance to help drive the decision-making process.

In short, our mission is to identify and offer the right information, tools, and resources to help you determine if and how camp can happen for you this year.

Awaiting CDC Guidance


Tracking CDC’s 2020 Camp Strategy

ACA has had the opportunity to connect with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they develop COVID-19 guidance for day and overnight camps for this summer. The CDC’s guidance will help state public health authorities and camp directors with their summer decisions, as well as utilize best practices in health management, community management, and camp operations.

 

Note Initial CDC Advice to Camps

The CDC advises camps to give themselves as much time as possible before making final decisions about the summer. That’s because you’ll need to use the upcoming CDC point of view in your decision-making process. Rest assured we will keep you closely informed about when the CDC will release their guidance.

 

Monitor Likely Variables for Camp

If you have time to wait to review the CDC guidance, expect that you’ll need to align with developments such as rapid virus testing, antibody testing, and changes in community spread.

The Way Forward

We are pleased to announce an alliance that will help all of us develop a path to move forward:

Creating an Expert-Backed Game Plan

ACA is engaging an independent team of public health experts, pediatricians, epidemiologists, and camp health experts to develop educational and operational resources for camps to assist them in adhering to CDC COVID-19 guidance. Expect to receive:

  • Best practices on how to be effective public health partners right now
  • Educational resources for day and overnight camps to use in planning for the summer, including health considerations around program, facilities, transportation, equipment, health centers, and critical supplies
  • Field Guides that summarize the ultimate release of CDC guidance

Taken together, the coming CDC guidance and educational resources will help you to make a knowledgeable, informed decision.

Early Signals for Camp in 2020


Evaluate Online Pivots Now

ACA recognizes the need for some camps to pivot to virtual camp programming for part or all of this summer. To support this, we have launched online virtual program resources for camps looking to provide safe, quality virtual programming this summer.
 

Considering Shortened or Virtual Seasons

Many camps are planning for shortened seasons. Some have very short time horizons; some serve medically vulnerable campers and staff who are at a heightened risk right now, and some are located on school campuses that cannot host programs this year. If you need to reinvent your program, we are here to help.

Every camp is unique, and ACA is here to support you as you work through the individual considerations of your programs in your decision-making.

Take the time to carefully consider your options, utilize our resources, and make the best decisions you can as stewards of your camp communities.

Whether virtual or in person, children will need camp this summer more than ever in whatever forms we can provide it.

Together, we will each find a way to be good public health partners and care appropriately for those who need us the most. ACA is here for you, as we plan for this summer and countless more. 

Warmly,

Scott Brody's signature
Scott Brody
Chair, ACA Board of Directors
Tom Rosenberg's signature
Tom Rosenberg
ACA President/CEO