Preparing for a Happy and Healthy Camp Season
2020 Summer Success
Last summer at Maplewood was a huge success with zero COVID cases during our 9 weeks of camp.
While protecting our community required some adjustments, we were inspired to see the joy camp provided to campers and counselors this summer. Camp was a much-needed reprieve from being stuck at home without normal activities and social connections.
Please find our step-by-step plan below.
ENVISIONING ANOTHER SAFE SUMMER
With camp approaching in a matter of months, we expect COVID precautions to still be part of each day. We have been speaking with contacts at the Local and State Health Department and the American Camp Association to determine how best to prepare for camp this summer. As recommendations are released, we will continue making informed decisions about camp and communicate with families about what to expect.
EXPERIENCED MEDICAL TEAM
Every summer, we assemble an experienced medical team. We hire 2 nurses to work on-site for each session, with at least one nurse on duty throughout the camp day. Additionally, Dr. Jeffrey Smith MD, acts as the supervising physician for the camp. This year, all of our medical staff will be thoroughly trained on COVID-19 medical procedures and equipped with the appropriate PPE.
Maplewood is prepared to react swiftly if the need arises. In the event that someone does fall ill at camp this summer, we have established procedures that will allow us the time to determine the best response.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING
Diligent cleaning protocols have been implemented and will be adhered to by all staff members and our maintenance team to ensure the safety of everyone at Maplewood. Our maintenance team is already prepping the camp for the arrival of campers and staff. During camp we will increase the frequency with which we perform deep cleanings of shared surfaces. We have also hired extra maintenance teams throughout the day and a professional cleaning crew at night.
In addition to our new HVAC system in the main building, we recently installed air purifying devices called iWave-C to further enhance air quality when children and staff are indoors.
While personal hygiene has always been an important part of camp, it will be a point of special emphasis this year. Maplewood will utilize a comprehensive daily health check for all campers and staff. There will also be additional handwashing stations throughout camp, and counselors will be prepared to model best hygiene practices.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND MASKS
We will again modify certain elements of our camp program to maintain physical distancing between campers and groups in 2021. Like last season, campers and staff will stay with their assigned group throughout the day and not interact with other groups. Our talented counselors will build on last year's success with innovative, COVID-friendly games and activities.
In addition, we will implement specific masking protocols. Counselors and campers will need to wear masks during indoor activities and when physical distancing is not possible. Last summer we observed that campers were not deterred from playing, cheering, and thriving at camp while wearing a mask!
There will be no visitors during the summer, and we will limit entrance into the property to essential business only. We will adjust the way we do drop-off and pick-up each day to minimize interactions between groups.
As always, Maplewood strives to communicate with parents in a thorough, accurate, and transparent manner. We recognize the importance of sharing the best information available as quickly as possible. This coming summer, we aspire to be better than ever; thoughtful, detailed communication is more important than ever in keeping our community well-informed and highly-prepared.
If you have any questions about our approach to COVID-19 and summer camp, please give us a call (508-238-2387) or send us an email.
First, we want to thank all our camp families for your patience and support as we plan for the summer of 2021. Last summer was a huge success with ZERO COVID cases during our 9 weeks of camp. When we ended our successful 2020 season, we were extremely hopeful that come season 2021, we would be on the other side of COVID. Although things seem to be heading in the right direction, unfortunately, COVID is still part of our lives.
As we continue to plan for the summer, we do so with the safety and health of our campers and staff in mind. We are very fortunate to be part of the American Camping Association. They have worked with Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. to develop a “Field guide for camps on implementation of CDC guidance.” This guide helps to form Maplewood’s policies and continues to evolve. In addition, our plans will encompass best practices and MA COVID guidelines. We will keep you informed of any changes/updates to our programs and policies as we receive any new information from American Camping, the CDC, and the State.
We know you are wondering how a Maplewood summer will look and feel for your child(ren). Based on what we know to be true today, and to ensure the health and safety of campers and staff, we have made the following modifications for Summer 2021. We kindly request that you please read this letter in its entirety.
Bus Transportation: We are still working with our transportation company and will have more information about busing in the next couple of months. What we do know is that due to physical distancing guidelines, the number of children per bus will be significantly reduced. Therefore, our plan is to offer centralized pick-up and drop-off locations and to stagger the morning and afternoon arrival and departure times. Ultimately, parent drop-off and pick-up will provide the safest and most efficient mode of transportation.
Before and After Care Program: We are still awaiting guidance but are hopeful we will be able to offer an extended day program. Based on the current guidelines limiting the mixing of groups, we may have fewer available spots in this program.
Changes to Minimum Camper Age: Due to the current physical distancing guidelines, we must change the minimum camper age for this summer to campers who will turn four by the time they attend camp. We will greatly miss our youngest campers this summer and look forward to having them back with us for the summer of 2022.
Changes to Sessions and Weekly Options: To minimize the mixing of groups and ensure the overall safety and health of our campers and staff, we will only offer 5-day programs this summer. Likewise, for the above-mentioned reasons, each camper will attend for a full day with no 1/2 day offerings. In addition, campers will have to enroll for two consecutive weeks at a time.
In order to keep uniformity in the sessions, we will not be offering our 3-week sessions. If your child is currently enrolled for a 3-week session, you will have the option of changing to a 2 or 4-week session.
Group Structure: We anticipate that some age groups will be mixed ages as well as co-ed. For example, one of our groups may be comprised of 1st & 2nd-grade boys and girls. As we work on fine-tuning enrollments and group sizes, we will have a better idea of what the structure of each age group will look like.
CIT Program: We are currently enrolling campers who are entering 8th/9th-grade in our Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program. In a non-COVID summer, CIT’s are placed with younger groups in the morning and begin to learn what it is like to work with groups of children and staff. To keep campers and staff safe, we will not be able to run this program in the traditional way. That said, the CIT staff will work with the CIT’s on team building and developing leadership and communication skills. CIT’s will also participate in all our wonderful activities and most importantly make those essential social connections with their peers.
Camp Re-Imagined with Physical Distancing: Camp brings up memories of large group celebrations and communal games. As you know, we have all needed to change our habits when it comes to interacting with those outside of our families. Like last summer, we are planning for groups to be physically distanced from one another this camp season. We understand this is not what campers were used to prior to 2020. Fortunately, the feedback we received from camp families at the end of last summer was overwhelmingly positive. In other words, keeping our groups separated from one another out of necessity ended up bringing new joys and a sense of group cohesiveness that worked well for campers and counselors alike. With this being said, we anticipate that some parents may have concerns about their child’s ability to thrive under this new camp structure. We are asking all parents and guardians to answer the following questions before committing to camp this year:
We are creating a wonderful schedule for our campers this year. We have listed some of our activities below. We are confident that Maplewood’s programming will be top-notch, but camp will have a different “feel” this year compared to past years. In light of this, we are encouraging families to consider these changes and make sure that it will be a good fit for your child]
The Same Outstanding Counselors & Lots of Amazing Activities
For the past 56 summers, Maplewood has been known for its outstanding staff and diverse programming. In that respect, this summer will be no different but, to ensure camper and staff safety, some time-honored Maplewood activities and events will be on “sabbatical” for 2021. We have had our “thinking caps” on for months and we are excited to say that our daily group schedules are action-packed. Here is a sneak peek of some of the activities our campers will be able to enjoy this summer:
Important Health & Safety Enhancement
Since September we have been successfully running school year programs including preschool, kindergarten, and remote learning. As we did last summer and continue to do during the school year, we will rely on guidance from federal, state, and local authorities. We will be going above and beyond in having our facilities cleaned and sanitized throughout the day and all equipment will be sanitized and disinfected after each activity. The American Camping Association has retained Environmental Health & Engineering to create a field guide that provides us with the most up-to-date information on how to keep our campers and staff safe while at camp. Utilizing this field guide, we have developed the following procedures:
Important Registration Information
Summer Camp is currently scheduled to begin on June 28th. To meet the needs of our Maplewood families, we kindly request that you finalize your summer dates as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding your child’s summer schedule, please email Sue at Summercamp@maplewoodyearround.com
We thank you for your understanding and patience as we work towards providing your child a Maplewood summer filled with fun and friendship!!!
Wishing you all the best of health,
Sue and Lee
On February 11th, the CDC updated the Transportation Guidelines and lifted the capacity limitation and physical distancing requirements that had previously been in place. The goal is to make bus transportation as safe as possible. Please note that the CDC is still recommending that the best practice is to drive your child(ren) or carpool with others in the same cohort unless the bus is an absolute necessity.
Listed below are the health and safety practices that will be in place for all campers and staff who ride the bus to and from camp:
Listed below are the bus stops and times by town. Please note that times are estimated and may change due to traffic conditions, weather, or road construction. Campers will be assigned to the bus stop closest to their home. In order to maintain the right balance of children on each bus, we are not able to be as flexible as we have in the past regarding changing buses and bus stops.
For purposes of planning your summer schedule, the buses will arrive at camp in the morning between 9:05 and 9:20. This is similar to a normal summer. In the afternoon, the buses will depart camp at 3:40. This is a little earlier than a normal summer as we need to coordinate the parent car pick-up in the afternoon. If for any reason you feel that your child will not thrive under the above-mentioned CDC guidelines, you may want to consider parent drop-off and pick-up or extended day as an alternative to bus transportation.
The window for parent drop-off in the morning is 8:40-9:00 and pick-up in the afternoon is 3:45-4:00.
Our extended day program provides activities for campers in the morning from 7:30-9:00 and in the afternoon from 4:00-6:00.
For bus stop details and times click here.
Our administrative staff and teachers worked hard to prepare the early childhood curriculum for the school year. First, we want our community to know that unless mandated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, our preschool will be full-time, in-person classes for the upcoming school year. If a virtual teaching model is required by the State, our teachers are fully prepared to go online. Below you will find details of what the preschool experience will look like for your child and your family. As we have mentioned in past correspondence, the Governor and his advisory committee could alter dates and/or guidelines if deemed necessary.
3-Day Program - 2.9 to 3 years (turning 3 on or before 12/1/2020)
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday - 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Preschool Pricing: September 2020 - June 2021 $4,295 with a $200 deposit
9 payments: $455 ( the deposit of $200 is applied)
Classroom Structure, Physical Distancing, and Masks
Teachers and preschoolers will remain with their assigned class (“pod”) throughout the day for the duration of the school year.
In the interest of ensuring the highest level of safety for our teachers and students, we will only be offering a 3-day program (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays) for children aged 2.9 years and older. We needed to make this adjustment to put our best practices in place during this phase of the Governor’s reopening plan. We invite families who have signed up for the 2-day program to enroll in our 3-day preschool.
We can’t predict the trajectory of in-person learning for the school year due to COVID-19. However, by starting our school year with a robust, in-person, curriculum, we believe we are maximizing the play-based learning environment for children of early childhood age.
OPEN ENROLLMENT CLASS OF 2021/2022
Maplewood will be accepting applications for the upcoming school year on
Sunday, November 29th at 9 am. A direct link to the application will be provided that morning.
If you would like more detailed information or set up a tour email us or call 508-238-2387
In addition to our new HVAC system we just installed an air purifying device called iWave-C on each of the HVAC units in the main building to create a healthier environment without producing any harmful byproducts. This advanced technology significantly reduces a wide variety of pathogens in the breathing zone and on hard non-porous surfaces. Independent lab testing has shown that this device is also effective against COVID-19.
Please see the links below:
The outdoors in winter is enjoyed most when you are dressed properly. It is also safer. Remember: there is no bad weather, just bad clothing. In winter, the best idea is to stay warm and dry. Being too hot makes you sweat, creating moisture. When it is cold outside, being damp is uncomfortable and can be a danger as you will lose body heat more quickly.
Here are a few things to think about when going outside in cold weather here at Maplewood.
Be aware of the weather and pack accordingly.
When the temperature is just above or just below freezing, the chance that you will get wet from snow or freezing rain increases. This is because the air holds more moisture at the freezing point than when the temperature is very cold. When it is very cold it is easier to stay dry. Take a minute to check the weather forecast. Is there precipitation expected? Snow, freezing rain? What is the humidity and temperature? Will the weather be changing while you are out? The weather often changes during the day and we want your child to be able to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
Dress in three layers!
Layers allow you to be more flexible in changing weather conditions. Layers create an air space between the skin and the cold and this space is what insulates best. Layers are also looser, allowing for better blood circulation which helps to maintain body temperature.
It is also a good idea to attach tabs to zippers so they can be opened and closed without exposing the hand.
Layering also applies to hands and feet.
Scarf, hat, and sunglasses
Your head and neck are major sources of heat loss. A hat and a scarf are a must in cold weather. If you are worried about your child wearing a scarf, try a tube scarf. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from light reflecting off the snow.
Pack an extra set!
It is always a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes, socks, and shoes. If these items get wet your child would be more comfortable enjoying the rest of their day in dry clothing and shoes.
We understand that this is a lot to pack and a lot to keep track of. We will do our best to keep your child's belongings organized but please label everything with your child's first and last name.