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HomeSummer 20212021-Specific FAQsFAQ: Health & Safety

Camp Starfish is pleased to announce that we will be opening for Summer 2021! While camp will look quite different, we are committed to serving our campers and families in Rindge this year. Our dedicated staff team, in partnership with medical professionals, has been working hard to adapt programs and create protocols that meet the guidelines and recommendations laid out by the CDC, the State of New Hampshire, and the American Camp Association. While we know that there is no guarantee that our protocols will eliminate the risk of COVID-19, we will continue to adjust and mitigate those risks wherever possible.

In this section are extensive written answers to many of the questions we know you will have. This information will be continuously updated in the months leading up to camp. If this isn't your first visit to this page, you can review the Update Log below to see what has changed since your last read-through. Please use the menu at left to access all the questions and answers. 

We appreciate your partnership with us as we all work to ensure a healthy and safe Starfish Summer 2021!

2021 Health & Safety

What happens if my child tests positive for COVID while at camp? If I’m on staff, what happens if I test positive?

We feel confident that our protocols will help prevent COVID coming to camp this summer. However, if a camper or staff member is diagnosed with COVID during the session, they will immediately be isolated and, per current state guidelines, have to leave camp. This presents a number of challenges, most notably for campers and staff traveling from considerable distance. Starfish will have supervised isolation facilities to keep the individual safely at camp for as long as it takes for a parent or legal guardian to arrive (in the case of campers) or to make safe arrangements for staff.

Will Starfish be creating a closed-campus “bubble” this summer?

Yes. We plan to create a COVID-free bubble using a combination of testing and quarantining. From the time of our first staff arrival through our last staff departure, our campus will be open ONLY to current campers and staff. With very few exceptions, campers and staff inside the bubble will not leave until they depart camp for good. No site tours or visitors will be allowed, with exceptions of course for health personnel, fire/ambulance if necessary (hopefully not!), etc., and those individuals will be required to follow masking and distancing protocols. Crescent Beach will be closed to town programming in 2021.

How will you get food and supply deliveries and mail into the “Bubble?”

To minimize individuals coming into the bubble unless absolutely necessary, Starfish plans to hire an individual to drop off and pick up mail, shop for supplies, and run essential errands. This individual will not come onto camp, but will unload into specific isolation zones at the two entrances to camp where any necessary disinfecting and/or quarantining of items can take place. We are working with our vendors to review the process by which we get essential deliveries like food and fuel and to implement procedures that minimize the need for delivery drivers to get out of their vehicles while on camp. Should it be unavoidable, they will be required to mask and distance as with any other essential visitor.

What additional training will staff receive surrounding COVID and health protocols?

We are in the process of designing an extensive COVID-specific training that includes, but is not limited to: how COVID-19 is spread and prevention techniques including handwashing, masking, distancing, cohorting, cleaning and disinfection. In addition, our Health Team will be trained on testing, symptom screening, contact tracing, management of suspected cases of COVID, appropriate PPE, precautions, quarantining and communication protocols for positive screening and tests.

How will cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and high-touch items be done?

All shared items and equipment (e.g., kayak paddles, lifejackets, tennis rackets, etc.) will be properly cleaned and disinfected between use by Cabin Groups and/or Cohorts as appropriate, using EPA approved cleaning solutions. Frequently touched surfaces and common spaces will be sanitized multiple times daily. Examples of frequently touched surfaces include tables, chairs, door handles, hand railings, light switches, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Special attention will be given to equipment and structures that many people utilize, such as playground equipment. We are making programmatic changes that will limit the number and groups of people using this equipment at any one time, and will disinfect between groups.

For smaller shared items (such as paintbrushes or legos), each Cabin Group and/or Cohort (as appropriate) will have their own set of materials. Campers will be asked to use hand sanitizer (in addition to washing hands whenever possible) prior to use of these items, and the items will be sanitized in bulk regularly.

What personal hygiene considerations will be expected?

Increased hand disinfectant protocols will be implemented for everyone on-site, including increased hand washing locations and sanitizing stations. Campers and staff will be expected to wash or sanitize hands before and after each of the following: activity periods, meal/snack times, using the restroom, and coming into contact with high-touch items. Campers must be willing to use hand sanitizer as hand-washing stations with running water (restrooms) are limited in some areas of camp.

In the village washhouses, some sinks/toilet stalls/showers will be closed to maintain six feet of distance between each person. When campers are showering or completing the wake-up/bed-time routine, one Cabin Group will use the washhouse at a time and the facility will be sanitized between Cabin Groups.

Sharing of personal items is highly discouraged for both campers and staff, and personal toiletries will be stored separately to reduce the risk of cross contamination. All campers and staff will be required to carry a personal water bottle with them throughout the day. Water bottles will be refilled at meals and additionally during the day as needed. Water fountains on camp will not be available to reduce the spread of germs. Hydration Stations on camp (large refillable water jugs with disposable cups) may be available if we are able to source foot-pedal operated spout kits for the jugs.

What additional Health Forms and documentation will be required this year?

In addition to the general health paperwork we require each year (health history, record of a recent physical, and immunization history), we will also require completion of the following new forms:

1. Proof of negative PCR test dated within five days of a camper’s arrival to Starfish

2. Pre-Camp Health Screen & Quarantine Affidavit, which includes daily temperature & symptom monitoring for the seven days prior to arrival at camp and your signature that all pre-camp quarantines were in place as required. This form will be available via your CampMinder Account beginning in May.

What happens if my child tests positive for COVID while at camp? If I’m on staff, what happens if I test positive?

We feel confident that our protocols will help prevent COVID coming to camp this summer. However, if a camper or staff member is diagnosed with COVID during the session, they will immediately be isolated and, per current state guidelines, have to leave camp. This presents a number of challenges, most notably for campers and staff traveling from considerable distance. Starfish will have supervised isolation facilities to keep the individual safely at camp for as long as it takes for a parent or legal guardian to arrive (in the case of campers) or to make safe arrangements for staff.

What is the plan for the entire Starfish camp community if there is a positive COVID test during camp?

We will follow New Hampshire and CDC guidelines and implement our pre-planned response. The person diagnosed with COVID would be isolated immediately and leave camp as soon as possible. In the meantime, their Cabin Group (including staff and campers) would be quarantined from the rest of the camp community until COVID tests could be administered to the group. The Cabin Group could continue doing activities together during that time (similar to the first day of the session), but would need to stay separate from everyone else. How long the group needs to quarantine will depend on a number of factors, including when in the session the individual tested positive, and of course the results of each individual’s PCR tests following the potential exposure.

Will parents of campers be informed if someone at camp contracts COVID during the summer?

Yes, you will receive a notification by email. We will not identify the individual by name for privacy reasons, but we will tell you if your child is in their Cabin Group or Cohort.

Will parents of staff be informed if someone at camp contracts COVID during the summer?

All staff, regardless of age, will be notified via memo and direct announcement, and staff 18+ may choose to share that information with their parents if they wish. It is not legal or appropriate for Starfish to directly communicate with parents of staff unless it is specifically allowed, in writing, by the staff member. Of course, if staff wish to have a director speak with their parent, we are always willing to do so for COVID-related or any other reason.

Minor staff will be asked to notify their parents from the camp office phone, so that a Starfish director can be immediately available to answer questions/concerns if necessary.

Please note, it is not typical that we have any minors on staff at Starfish. However, in 2021 this could happen, as we are seeking domestic (US) staff to work in the kitchen and provide extra lifeguard coverage at the waterfront, both roles that are usually filled by international 18+ staff. At no time will minor staff be independently responsible for campers, nor will they count towards our policy of “Having Eyes” which states that a minimum of two staff must be present with campers at any time.

My child is high-risk due to a certain medical condition. Should they come to Starfish in 2021?

The decision to send your child to camp is a personal one and we recognize that this decision has become even more difficult during this time. If your child is at higher risk for infection, requires nebulizer treatments or the use of daily steroid and/or rescue inhalers for breathing difficulty, we recommend waiting until the summer of 2022 before sending your camper to Starfish.

Please also review the CDC’s recommendations on people who need to take extra precautions during this time. We are happy to talk through these concerns with you, however, your child’s primary care physician should be consulted if your child is at higher risk for medical complications and you are considering any residential camp this summer.

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