We are all looking forward to hearing more camp songs this summer, and seeing many of our friends back at camp. The tractors are ready, and the ropes course inspected – things are coming together and now all we need is YOU!
We have been asked what differences can be expected compared to past summers. The following is a list of things you can expect from Easterseals Wisconsin (ESW) Summer Camps:
COVID-19 RelatedWe will be performing a rapid NASAL (NOT nasal pharyngeal that goes far up your nose) Covid test on EVERY CAMPER upon arrival and departure at camp. We will be performing these rapid tests on staff/AmeriCorps members and volunteers periodically throughout the weeks as well. This is to ensure everyone who participates in our camp programs has not come in contact with COVID-19 before or during their stay with us. Please note, if you have a positive test upon arrival, at any time during your stay at camp, or if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, stuffy nose, etc.) that are not eliminated within 3 hours of taking an allergy remedy, you will be sent home. We will be checking temperatures of all campers and staff/AmeriCorps members at each meal throughout the week.
Check-InCheck-in time will be at 1:00 pm on Sunday afternoons (same as previous years), but it will look quite different than previous summers. You will be greeted by someone to take your name and then take the Covid rapid test. You WILL NOT be able to go into any of the buildings (this includes sleeping areas to set up your bed while you wait). The test takes about 15 minutes for results, and we request that you stay in your car or wait at one of the picnic tables that has been set up as a waiting area. When the weather allows, we will hold check-in outside. You will be checking in with both an office staff and a nurse to take care of everything at once. Please be sure to have your paperwork, payment, medications, and anything else that needs to be turned in ready at that time. Once you have checked in and are paired with your counselor (or another staff member to take you to your room), caregivers/parents can pass along any information that is needed to be sure we know everything you need to have a great stay. Once this is done and you feel comfortable, it will be time to say goodbye! Staff/AmeriCorps members will go with their campers to the sleeping areas to get settled (after belongings have been sprayed to disinfect), and parents/caregivers will leave.
Programs & TripsWe are doing our best to keep all the things you love about camp in our camp schedules! The pool will be open, ropes course and climbing tower will be ready, and all of the crafts, songs, and dances we all love will be available!
- There will be some changes to the schedules, however. For example: Respite Camp has typically taken every camper and staff/AmeriCorps member to the pool on Sunday evening and every afternoon throughout the week. To accommodate appropriate numbers for safe distancing, not everyone will be swimming at the same time. There may be a sign-up sheet, or smaller groups scheduled throughout the day.
- We still plan to offer “trips”, but we won’t be offering all the trips we have in the past. THERE WILL BE NO TOWN TRIPS this summer. We know it is a popular outing, but we do not want to put our campers and staff/AmeriCorps members at risk while spending time with the public in downtown Wisconsin Dells. You can still plan on fishing, pontoon boat rides, high ropes/zipline, climbing tower/zipline, and camping as trip choices. We ARE planning to take a morning boat ride with the Upper Dells Boat Tours, but it will not be on Friday mornings. It will be on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on their schedule each week.
MealtimesAll meals will be plated and delivered to your table while you are at camp, not served “family style” as they have been in the past. There will be very little left out to “take as you need” to reduce contact of utensils and reduce contamination. For example, there will not be a salad bar, but you can request a salad. Milk will be delivered to your table in individual cartons. Alternatives to the meal being served will be available (cereal for example), will be available in the kitchen, but not set out for meals – you will just need to ask!
Trading Post/Camp StoreWe will be offering Trading Post again, it may not be at the same time as it has been in the past, but it will be open for those treats everyone looks forward to! We will have a camp store with t-shirts, pillow cases, etc. available on check-in and check-out days, as well as may be open during the week for campers to purchase souvenirs.
MasksWe are requiring all staff/AmeriCorps members to wear masks while at camp, as well as campers who are able to wear them. Understanding that some campers may find it overstimulating or are not physically able to wear them, the directors have taken great care to register with everyone’s health and safety in mind by limiting the number of campers who will not wear a mask so they can be placed in different cabins or rooms with others who will wear masks. We are hoping that there will be times for “mask breaks” when outside and at safe distances. You will not be expected to wear your mask when you sleep – we are operating at half capacity so that every other bed is used, safely spacing everyone for a good night’s sleep.
Medications/Nurse StationAs of right now, we are planning to pass medications at the windows before mealtimes and bedtime as we have in the past. As the summer approaches and our nurse team arrives at camp, this may change – we are all ready to change as needed to keep everyone safe while being efficient and accurate with your care! It is our goal to contact each camper one to two weeks before your session to discuss any medical issues, medications, and answer any questions you may have.
Visitors on CampVisitors will be kept to a very minimum this summer. We don’t know where everyone has been, and want to keep you safe! Even our ESW office staff members are being asked to record their temperatures and prepare for camp just as you do.
Check-OutYou will be able to sign up for your check-out time on Friday while you are checking in on Sunday. Check-out will begin at 10:00 am and run through 1:00 pm. It is our goal to control traffic and the number of people on camp, so please be mindful and arrive at the time you choose. You will sign out with the director and nurse, and your camper will meet you at the check-out station with their things. You will have time to chat with their counselor(s), and ask any questions you may have about their week.
In an effort to keep you updated on all things ESW Summer Camp, we will be holding some Facebook Live events where the directors and nurses will be online to answer any questions you may have! Please join us Tuesday, May 18th from 6:00-7:00 pm and Friday, May 21 from 12:30-1:30 pm to ask any questions that have been on your mind (or just to say hi!).
Please understand that we will be updating our procedures and policies in real time – we follow the CDC and county guidelines closely and will adjust how we operate accordingly. As always, feel free to contact us via phone or email at any time – your health and safety is our #1 priority, but having FUN is close behind at #1.5!
We can’t wait to see you!
Counting the days,
Your Easterseals Wisconsin Camp Team
Alex Peters – Camp Wawbeek Camp Director: firstname.lastname@example.org 608-254-8319
Jamie Lloyd – Respite Camp Director: email@example.com 608-254-2502
Sarah Hubert, RN – Director of Summer Nursing: firstname.lastname@example.org 608-254-2502
Carissa Peterson – Vice President, Camp and Respite Services: email@example.com 608-237-1575