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HomeSummer 20212021-Specific FAQsFAQ: Programs & Sessions

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 Programs & Sessions

How many sessions will there be and which programs will run?

Starfish will offer two (2), 2-week sessions of camp in 2021. This provides adequate on-site testing time and reduces the number of campers coming and going from the property, which helps reduce the potential of spread in the camp community. We know this is disappointing news for our campers who enjoy 5-day and 19-day options, and we plan to return to our variety of session offerings in 2022.

Due to the reduced number of campers in each session, we will be offering the traditional “Navigators” programming for campers 6-14, and the traditional “Older Camper Program (OCP)” for campers 14-17. We will be unable to offer the “L.E.A.D.E.R.S.” program for older campers this summer.

We will also not be offering our trip-based Beachcombers program, or our transitional living skills TIDES program (whose participants typically travel off-site daily to grocery shop and build community-living skills). We plan to reopen all of these programs in 2022 and in the meantime are excited to be able to open camp and offer our core programming in 2021.

Are you enrolling the usual number of campers or are there limited spots this summer?

To meet group size requirements from the State of New Hampshire, while still allowing for what we consider to be our essential 1:1 staff-to-camper ratio, we have significantly reduced the number of people on-site at Starfish this summer. Typically, we host 60+ campers on-site each session across multiple programs (Navigators, teen programs, TIDES, etc.). This year, we will limit enrollment to 35 campers per session, which is approximately 7 cabins of campers. Additionally, the majority of our international staff will be unable to join us this summer due to travel and visa restrictions, so our staff team will be smaller and, for the most part, domestic.

Do returning campers from previous summers get priority in 2021?

Yes. Returning campers will be given the option to complete and submit their applications a short period of time prior to our opening up the process to all eligible campers. We are confident that there will be spaces for first-time campers in 2021.

Why don’t sessions start and end on weekends?

We’ve set our session dates very intentionally. One of the main considerations was ensuring we were not asking families to travel over weekends when New Hampshire is frequently busier with visitors during the summer season. This feels especially important in 2021 since July 4th falls on a weekend.

Will Starfish allow campers and staff from outside of NH? Outside of New England?

As of now, yes! At this time, COVID guidelines for overnight camps allow for out-of-state participants, which is reassuring. NH does have strict quarantine and testing requirements for out-of-state travelers, and those requirements change based on infection rates in the traveler’s home state. Campers and staff coming from areas with higher infection rates and/or areas which have less stringent public health measures in place than NH may be subject to restrictions that will require additional efforts prior to attendance at camp. We will continue to monitor this and update you as we learn more.

How will camper arrival work?

Full details will be included in your Ready For Camp Welcome Guide, which is distributed in early spring. Here are some of the main points:

As in past summers, campers will be assigned a specific window of time for arrival. In the past, these groups were assigned alphabetically and by new/returning status. In 2021, arrival windows will be staggered to ensure physical distance for Camper Groups and enough time for Arrival Testing requirements. If you have siblings in two different Camper Groups, we will work with you ahead of arrival to make a plan.

At this time, we expect that only campers and staff will be able to exit vehicles; others in the car will need to remain masked and in their seats. We strongly recommend that extra adults and all siblings remain at home during check-in. Children who do arrive with campers and who are not attending camp will not be allowed to exit the vehicle. The playground and field activities will be limited to campers only, and will be sanitized between drop-off blocks.

All required forms and documents, including health materials, will need to be uploaded to your MyCampMinder account prior to opening day. A member of our camp health team will review all documents and will call or video chat with you in the days prior to camp arrival to minimize the need for in-person check-ins at the field. Health staff will be available for physically distanced, masked, outdoor consultation if needed. Pre-packaged medications will be double-checked prior to your departure in case any adjustments need to be made. We will ask for everyone’s patience and understanding as we work to make arrival a safe and comfortable experience for all.

Will there still be a Visitors Day/End of Session Celebration on pick-up day?

Visitors day will feel very different this year. We will all greatly miss the usual camp tour and visiting time, cook-out lunch, sing-along, slideshow and the chants while we walk to the goodbye high-five tunnel at the field. We are certainly looking forward to returning to that awesome send-off in 2022. For now, campers will depart camp in the same fashion as arrival, in pre-assigned pick-up blocks to limit the number of people gathered at one time. You will be asked to stay in your vehicle. A staff member will check ID and help your camper load their belongings into the vehicle.

Typically when parents/guardians arrive on pick-up day, they participate in a Directors’ Briefing which covers information about successfully transitioning home from camp. In 2021, we will provide that information electronically prior to the end of the session. Each camper will go home with a USB drive containing the session slide show, as well as extra pictures of activities, bunks, and favorite places on camp so that they can share their experience with family and friends once home.

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