Message to our Camp Olympia Families
July 11, 2020
Dear Camp Families,
We finished our Term 2 today with an O-mazing group of campers. The last two weeks of camp were filled with fun, friends, and laughter… the way summer camp should be.
We learned late this afternoon that two of our campers tested positive for COVID after leaving camp. As a result, we decided to test all of our staff on site as well. Three of our counselors tested positive for the COVID antibodies this evening. We have sent an email to the families of those cabins directly affected, but we wanted all of our camp families to be aware.
For months, we have worked to develop and implement a health and safety plan so we could give children the best summer camp experience possible. We feel that the benefits summer camp provides is needed now more than ever; however, the health and safety of our campers and staff is always our top priority. With all of the many steps we have taken to create a protective bubble around camp, COVID still found its way in. Plus, with the number of cases in Texas continuing to escalate, the risks continue to increase.
As a result, it is with incredibly heavy hearts that we have decided to close the remaining camp terms for 2020.
We appreciate all of the support and encouragement that our camper families have given us. We are incredibly proud of our counselors who worked tirelessly (with masks on) to provide the best experience for our campers. The memories from this summer will not be forgotten.
We know your campers will be heartbroken at this news. We are heartbroken too, as we were looking forward to sharing camp with them.
We ask for patience as we work with each of our Term 3, 4 & 5 families on refunds and rollover options. We will be in touch with you soon.
Thank you again for your continued support. We pray for a safe rest of the summer and start to school for all of our families. We hope to see all of you in 2021.
Cody Mauldin, Michelle Mauldin, & Debbie Stubblefield – Camp Directors
June 15, 2020
It definitely feels like summer around here, and we couldn’t be happier! Yesterday, we welcomed our leadership staff back to camp as we prepare for our Counselor Training School and Opening Day with our campers! It has been a long journey this spring to get to this point. We are so appreciative of the opportunity that we have to make a positive impact on the lives of children this summer, and we thank each of you for your support of camp and our mission.
We have continued to evaluate the various aspects of our camp program from opening day to closing day and from mealtimes to activity times to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 plan for the health and safety of our campers and staff. We’ve continued to monitor the guidelines from Governor Abbott’s office, the CDC, and the American Camping Association, and we have updated our plans accordingly. We remain in close contact with other camps in Texas as well to continue to work through best practices with this ever-changing situation.
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REVIEW OUR UPDATED COVID-19 PLAN FOR SUMMER 2020, as changes and additions have been made since our original plan was introduced on May 1, 2020. Most notably, we have changed our COVID-19 testing procedures from a 2-step test to a 1-step test. We no longer will be requiring an at-home sputum (spit/saliva) test prior to arrival to camp. Instead, upon arrival to camp, we will require finger prick COVID antibody testing in addition to our thorough health screening. We also ask that you monitor your camper’s health, including checking your camper’s temperature, as well as practice safe social distancing in the week leading up to your camper’s opening day of camp. Our updated plan also provides more details on the preventative steps we are taking prior to campers’ arrival as well as updates to our cleaning procedures, which is headed up by our COVID Prevention Coordinator.
As you read through our Updated COVID-19 Plan, as always, contact us with any questions you may have. Approximately a week prior to the start of your term, you will receive your camper’s cabin assignment if we have received all forms and payment. Also, we will send out Opening Day Reminders along with your requested arrival window. Again, we appreciate all of your support and patience through this new process.
We look forward to opening camp’s gates and kicking off our 53rd summer with your family!
The Camp O Staff
May 1, 2020
Our hearts go out to those of you who have been directly impacted by COVID-19, and we offer our sincerest gratitude to those of you who are healthcare workers, first responders and essential service providers for courageously risking yourselves to help others.
This Spring has been a challenging time for all, filled with uncertainty and changes to our way of life. Here at camp, we had a busy spring booked with many school groups and retreats, in addition to all of our plans leading up to what appeared to be our biggest summer ever. While COVID-19 abruptly halted our ability to host schools and retreats at camp in March, it has NOT stopped us from continuing to plan for a summer filled with activity, friendships and smiles. While we recognize that this summer will be different and changes must be implemented, we are HOPEFUL that government restrictions will be lifted and Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations will allow for summer camp to happen.
Please be assured that the health and safety of our campers and staff is our top priority. For weeks, we have been working diligently to develop a COVID-19 health and safety plan, examining every area of camp from arrival to departure. We have sought direction from leading medical resources, state and national camping leaders, as well as guidance from the CDC and Department of State Health Services in development of this plan.
We have determined that the only way that we can responsibly open our gates and run camp this summer is to require COVID-19 testing of all campers and staff members prior to entry into camp. Additionally, we will be implementing many safety precautions including new opening and closing day procedures, daily temperature checks, and more stringent cleaning practices, just to name a few.
Even with testing and enhanced health and safety procedures, when should we open camp? Due to current government restrictions and CDC recommendations, plus our desire to continue to see the COVID-19 curve continue to flatten, we have decided that the earliest we can open camp this summer is June 28th. Please know this decision has been extremely difficult, but we feel it is the right thing to do. Not only does cancelling a portion of our summer have a devastating financial impact on camp, we are heartbroken at the realization that many of our campers may not be able to attend Summer 2020.
With our new Opening Day date of June 28th, we have restructured our summer terms to include three 2-week terms plus a 1-week term added at the end of summer in hopes of allowing as many of our campers to attend as possible.
NEW 2020 CAMP OLYMPIA TERM DATES:
Term 2/2B/CLP 2: June 28 – July 11 (two weeks)
Term 3/3B/CLP 3: July 12 – July 25 (two weeks)
Term 4: July 26 – August 8 (two weeks)
Term 5: August 9 – August 15 (new one-week term available to all ages)
Our new term dates will affect campers in Term 1, SPARK 1, and SPARK 2 most severely as those terms are being cancelled. We are incredibly sad about this, but we are hopeful that you (and your friends) can move into one of our other terms where availability exists. We still will be offering our Camp Leadership Program (CLP); however, both CLP terms will be modified into two weeks, while still including the Colorado experience and lifeguarding. The dates for Term 2, 2B & 3 have been adjusted, with Term 2 and Term 3 being shortened from three weeks to two weeks. Term 3B & 4 campers do not have any changes to their term.
PLEASE VISIT OUR COVID-19 PLAN DETAILS PAGE on our website to learn more about our plans for Summer 2020 and how it impacts your family. The webpage addresses many questions regarding how to change terms, refund options, new safety procedures and policy changes. Additionally, it provides a link to your Parent Account, where we have created a CAMP PLANS FORM that we REQUEST BE COMPLETED for EACH CAMPER by May 12th to confirm your camper’s summer camp plans.
We expect that many of you will have additional questions and concerns beyond what our website addresses. Please direct any questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org and thank you in advance for your patience in our response time during this challenging period.
We continue to pray for the opportunity to have camp this summer. We whole-heartedly believe that kids need camp now more than ever for their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. We are going to continue planning for an O-mazing Summer 2020. We can’t wait to hear the cheering and laughter once again.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support, and we look forward to seeing your response to our CAMP PLANS FORM soon.
The Camp Olympia Staff
April 1, 2020
We hope you and your family are doing well and staying healthy. We wanted to send another update on our plans for our 2020 “Out of Sight” summer. Our year-round staff of kitchen, maintenance and office are all working hard each day to prepare for summer camp. We are using proper social distancing and getting many projects done around the grounds of camp.
As you know, these are unprecedented times for our country. It’s especially tough for camps, who make most of their yearly income over these next few months. We know these are trying times to not have definitive answers on daily life as well as future plans. Many of you have questions about the status of this upcoming summer.
Currently we are 2 months away from the first day of camp. Things are changing so quickly and as a result we do not have a definite answer at this time if we can follow camp’s original 2020 dates as planned. We hope and pray the near future will show that keeping camp open is possible. We are planning and preparing for it each day as we believe camp is needed now more than ever (not only for our children but for parents too)!. As all of you know, we are in contact with the CDC, state and local health officials, camps in our community and around the country for the best “camp solutions”. It is our hope that definitive tests will become available, so everyone will be able to come to camp virus free. We are committed to following all guidelines set forth by the CDC and will only open if we feel it is the right thing to do for our campers and staff.
We do believe in order to make the best decision, more time is needed as the information changes every day. In doing so, we have set our deadline at May 1st. We hope that will be the last possible date to make a decision for our Term 1, SPARK 1, Term 2 or possibly the entire summer. Our May 1st tuition payment deadline will be pushed back to May 15th. Of course if we can make a decision sooner, we will let you know right away as we know this greatly affects your summer plans.
If you are wondering what you should do right now, we are asking all of you to be patient and wait to hear from us. We are currently working on options if we are unable to open some or all the camp terms this summer. Please pray for our nation and the world as we all work through this one day at a time.
Again, we appreciate your patience and understanding during this crisis as well as your continued support. We are so blessed to do work at a place that impacts so many people in such a positive way. We look forward to running, playing and laughing TOGETHER on the grounds of Camp Olympia with you soon!
Thank you, God Bless and stay safe,
The Camp Olympia Staff
March 18, 2020
The health and safety of our campers, staff members, and retreat guests are of the upmost importance to us here at Camp Olympia. The COVID-19 virus continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation so we can have the best plan in place as summer approaches.
At this time, there are still many unknowns surrounding this virus. Some experts think that as temperatures warm up as we approach summer that, like the flu, the COVID-19’s impact may lessen. We are hopeful that this will be the case. We will continue to learn everything we can, follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and apply the best practices set forth by the preeminent camping resources such as the American Camping Association. Currently, due to CDC recommendations, we have closed our facility for retreats and events through May 9, 2020 to practice social distancing ourselves.
We will be vigilant in our efforts to keep Camp Olympia a secure location for summer camp, and we ask you, our camp parents, to help partner with us in these efforts.
Be attentive to your camper’s health prior to bringing them to camp.
- If your camper is exhibiting any flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, body aches, etc.), please seek medical attention and postpone your arrival date to camp. We do not want anyone who is feeling sick to come to camp.
- In 2009, we dealt with the H1N1 “swine flu” virus and have plans in place to deal with contagious diseases, however, “an ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure.” Please do not send your camper to camp with symptoms of any contagious illness.
- Campers with respiratory problems or immune compromising conditions should seek medical approval prior to attending camp.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If your camper has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within 14 days of opening day, please contact camp to reschedule your camper’s session.
Please help us reinforce good hygiene habits.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before and after eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer. (Note that there are many hand sanitizer stations around camp)
On Opening Day, we will take temperatures and have medical screenings for our campers and staff. We also will take temperatures regularly during the camper session and, as our standard policy, attend to and separate any campers with a fever.
- We may revise our existing screening procedures as best practices change in the months to come. Our goal is to keep our camp community healthy.
Once again, we will continue to monitor the situation closely, follow CDC guidelines, and keep you updated with any changes to our camp plan. We are grateful for your support and understanding as we navigate this uncertain time together. We still are planning for an O-mazing summer.
The Camp Olympia Staff