February 9, 2021
Dear Kohut Family,
We hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and happy, making the most of this unusual time and looking forward to your child’s summer at Kamp. We are VERY excited for Kohut 2021 and remain grateful for your continued support as we plan for a wonderful summer together.
We are writing to you today as the first in a series of informational letters detailing our COVID-19 safety preparations for summer 2021. As we have mentioned before, we are and will continue to closely follow the science and to consult with Dr. Laura Blaisdell on appropriate planning and actions needed for a safe and fun summer.
Throughout the many things we know and have learned, there is not one magic bullet which will prevent COVID-19 at Kamp. Rather, we will be engaging multiple layers of Non-pharmacological Interventions (“NPI’s”) to prevent COVID from coming to and mitigate spread at Kamp. To use a metaphor, we like to think of each NPI as a layer of swiss cheese. While each layer provides some benefits, it has limitations; yet by stacking multiple layers of cheese on top of each other, the holes overlap and close and we are increasing the probability of mitigating risk. To continue framing these plans, we have outlined some of these layers below.
Universal Language: Between news coverage, social media and word of mouth, there have been many words/terms used ambiguously. To do the right job, we have made a concerted effort to use the right words. We want to be clear, and to make sure we all understand the terminology. As defined by Dr. Blaisdell, here are some key ones:
- Shelter at Home – Sheltering/remaining at home after receiving a COVID-19 test and prior to traveling to camp.
- Quarantine – is a 7 to 14 days period for people who have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. Exposure to a confirmed case would require quarantining at Kamp. People in quarantine will continue with activities and with camp programming, but separately from other non-exposed campers and staff.
- Isolation – is a 10 day period for people who have received a positive COVID-19 test.
- Cohort – refers to the group in which campers and staff are directly connected and can move among one another without masks or physical distancing.
- We will be utilizing a phased approach to our camp organization and program. Cohorts (families) will start on day 1 as cabin mates and counselors. As the health of camp allows, we plan on increasing the number of people per family.
- Cohorting does not mean families will not be able to interact with one another. Rather, it means that when they do, we will take special care to layer the appropriate NPIs.
- Being safe at Kamp begins with being safe at home. Leading up to arrival at Kamp, we will ask that you take certain precautions. These will include daily symptom screenings and a documented negative PCR test, followed by sheltering at home prior to travel to Kamp. It is also critically important that your family incorporates low-risk behaviors. This includes wearing a mask any time you are out of your home, keeping physical distance, hand sanitizing, etc. It is also very important to limit gatherings. More of these expectations will be outlined in coming correspondences.
- Testing will be utilized as one NPI layer. We will ask you to produce a negative PCR test taken 5-7 days prior to arrival. In addition, we will facilitate tests once at Kamp and in intervals as directed by Dr. Blaisdell, and as needed throughout the summer. More about testing will be covered in detail in future letters.
As the weeks and months progress, we will continue sharing our plans and expectations directly with you as we are aware you have and will have many questions. We will also continue to adapt based on guidance issued by the National and State of Maine Centers for Disease Control. The American Camp Association is another great resource for camps and families, and we encourage you to visit their website for more information.
We know you have questions, and we are here to help! We may not have all of the answers yet, but as your partner in this, we will continue to work together and toward a safe and outstanding Summer 2021. Thank you again for sharing your children with us.
Lisa, Dan and your Kohut Team