Camp Hanover – Summer 2021 COVID-19 Information

Updated June 9, 2021 | 12:45am

Our relationship with you is built on trust. You trust Camp Hanover to keep your kids, your family, all of our campers, volunteers, and staff healthy and safe. The Camp Hanover Board of Directors and the staff take this responsibility seriously. With this in mind, looking ahead to Summer 2021, we have a very exciting announcement to make:

Should the current health data support safe operation, we plan to offer overnight summer camps and day camps in 2021.

Summer Camp operations will be guided by the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Camp Association (ACA), and by the requirements put in place by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). The protocols and Best Practices detailed below give a general idea of how Camp Hanover will operate this summer and are subject to change. We continue to monitor this very fluid situation and make updates regularly. A full overview of our current COVID Mitigation Plan is available as a pdf.

What You Can Expect This Summer

If you’ve been to Camp Hanover before, things may look different than a typical summer. However, that special camp feeling you get when you are here, the one that makes memories that last a lifetime, will be as strong as ever. We’re committed to keeping the Camp Hanover experience as consistent and magical as possible.

Small Groups – By Any Other Name

“Cohorts.”

“Pods.”

“Household Units.”

Everybody's talking about them.  It's what the experts recommend for the current reality.

Guess what? Those are just fancy ways of saying, “Small Groups.”

And we love it. Because that's what we do. It's one of the things that sets us apart from other summer camps. The Camp Hanover experience is built on the small group model. It's what we've been doing since 1957, and it's what we still do today.  Campers will be in small groups of 10 to 12 campers with two dedicated camp counselors. They'll stay together for their meals and activities throughout the week, moving together from place to place as a group. As a precaution, we do plan to limit the total number of campers and small groups on site at any one time this summer. Reducing capacity in this way allows us to limit exposure and account for reliable contact tracing. We will also observe strict physical distancing between campers, staff, and camper groups as guided by the current recommendations of the CDC and VDH in effect while summer camp is in session.

Some Things Will be Different

If you’re a returning camper, you’ll notice, we have modified the number of different types of camp sessions offered this summer to allow families to have more flexibility, and plan their summers more easily.

As always, you'll get to experience classic Camp Hanover activities campers have grown to love, such as Archery, Arts & Crafts, Bible Study, Campfires, Canoeing, Campfire Cooking, Climbing Wall, CORCLs, Nature Hikes, Stand Up Paddleboards, The Mudslide, Worship and more!

Activities which in the past required campers to use the same equipment or share supplies will either be modified to use single-use items or will have a process in place to sanitize items between each use.

Large group activities where the entire population of camp gathers in one place will look different this summer, and be modified so that campers can participate while socially distanced.

Even More Time Outdoors

Many of our campers' favorite activities take place outside. This summer, we will go even further, and hold activities outdoors whenever possible, including meals. In the event that an outdoor activity must be moved indoors (in the case of severe weather, extreme heat, etc.), every effort will be made to maintain safe distancing between groups and ensure that campers and staff are wearing masks.

Fewer Campers On Site at One Time

We plan to limiting our overall capacity, in terms of the number of campers, and camper groups, that will be at camp at any one time. This allows us to use camp facilities, activity areas and recreation equipment in ways to better meet the protocols for contact tracing, distancing, food service, and enhanced cleaning required by the VA Department of Health for the operation of overnight summer camps.

Instead of running at our normal full capacity with 10 to 12 small groups of overnight campers every week, this summer we plan to have only six groups of overnight campers each week. One Wingers group, one Juniors group, two Middlers groups (a 1-week group and 2-week group), one Seniors group, and a Pathfinders group. Knowing that there can be a wide range of developmental characteristics between younger elementary school age children and older elementary school age children (Wingers), we are offering a session for rising 2-3rd graders, and a session for rising 3rd and 4th graders, on alternating weeks.

Camp Session Length for Wingers

Typically, we offer 2-night, 3-night, and week-long camps for our youngest campers, Wingers. This summer we are only offering week-long sessions for this age group, and week-long and two-week-long sessions for other age groups. By doing this, we reduce the number of people coming and going in the middle of the week. This helps cut down on the interactions between people outside the Camp Hanover “bubble” and the campers and staff who are at camp.

Masks

The CDC and Virginia Department of Health recommend mask wearing as a Best Practice for summer camps where the camper population is not fully vaccinated. Because a vaccine is not yet available for children under twelve who will be attending Camp Hanover this summer, we will require campers and staff to wear masks when interacting with other camper groups and in certain other situations.

All campers are required to wear masks when inside buildings with other campers who are not in their own camper group.

Overnight Campers in a camper group will not be required to wear masks when with just their own group.

Day Campers will wear masks within their own group during most camp activities. Masks will not be worn during aquatic activities (like swimming or boating), while eating meals, while doing activities that require strenuous exertion (such as field games involving running), or during times when it is excessively hot. Masks will be worn when activities for activities taking place indoors, during sedentary activities (such as arts and crafts and bible study), during low exertion activities (such as archery and some field games), and when travelling from place to place around camp or going on simple hikes that are not overly strenuous. Counselors will encourage frequent “mask breaks” throughout the day.

We will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC, ACA and VDH and share any updates with you prior to your arrival at summer camp.

Meals and Dining

We plan to eat all of our meals outdoors, except in cases of severe weather. When it becomes necessary to move indoors, we plan to maintain strict distancing between camper groups, and limit the number of people in any one dining location, by serving meals in shifts or using multiple locations. And, our world-famous, homemade, freshly baked rolls are still on the menu. If you've never had them before, you are in for a treat!

Cleaning Procedures

Cleaning procedures will reflect guidelines provided by the American Camping Association, CDC and the Forward Virginia guidelines for safe opening of summer camps. These procedures will be used heavily throughout camp especially focusing on shared spaces and high touch surfaces.

Health Screenings and Vaccination

Procedures will include pre-camp and arrival screenings, daily health monitoring of campers and staff, and post-camp follow up. Camper Arrival and Departures will be modified to limit contact and interactions, and maintain safe social distancing between staff, campers, and those dropping off or picking up their campers.

A negative COVID test will be required to participate in Overnight Camp. We have engaged with two Health Services Providers to provide each overnight camp participant with a pre-arrival Telemedicine screening, a PCR Test (molecular) to be administered at home and submitted to a lab within 7 days prior to arrival at camp, and a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival at camp.

The at-home PCR test will be administered by Zebra Medical Solutions. It is a saliva test, where you spit into a small bottle. Approximately two weeks prior to your child's time at camp, you will receive an email with a link to arrange for the delivery of your test kit. You will return the test kit to a FedEx drop off location by the Thursday before the date your child is scheduled to arrive at camp.

The upon-arrival test will be administered by Diligent Urgent Care. It is a nasal swab test where the swab is inserted approximately a half-inch into the nostril. It is NOT a nasopharyngeal swab test. A telemedicine visit is required to arrange for the test to be administered at camp. An email with a link to arrange for your child's telemedicine will be sent to you. The telemedicine visit can be scheduled any time before your child's arrival.

Participants in Day Camp will not be tested.

Camp Staff will be tested weekly.

Knowing that vaccination can be a deeply personal decision, we strongly encourage all staff and campers to get vaccinated if and when a vaccine becomes available for you.

Before You Come To Camp

Coming to camp this summer is a commitment. For the safety of everyone involved, we’re asking you to partner with us by limiting your camper’s and your family’s contacts for two weeks prior to your camp session. This means not organizing play dates or traveling with those outside of your immediate household.

One More Thing…

Scheduling your summer activities can be stressful enough without having to worry about how unforeseen circumstances could impact your finances and your carefully planned calendar. If summer camp is not able to happen as planned, if you need to switch to another camp session or cancel your registration before a session begins, or if you decide you need to keep your child at home this summer, we’ve got your back. Camp Hanover offers a no-hassle, 100% full refund of summer camp fees.

If you need to switch things around, call our office at (804) 779-2811 and we'll help you find another session that your camper might be able to attend. If we can't find another session that works for you, you'll get a full refund.

If you need to cancel your registration altogether, it's important that you contact us before the start date of your camp session. When your child fails to show up for a camp session he or she is scheduled for without letting us know ahead of time, the other campers in your child's group and the activities that may have been planned for them can be affected as well. Please help us out by calling ahead. And thanks for being considerate of the other campers!

Refunds for campers who fail to show up on the start date of a camp session without prior notice are considered only on a case-by-case basis. Similarly, refunds for early departure from a camp session due to illness, a camper violation of a policy (for example, possession of tobacco while at camp) or for reasons of personal choice (for example, homesickness) are considered on a case-by-case basis.