Ajax Adventure Camp’s Response to Covid-19

Response to Coronavirus

Latest Update Below: May 26th, 2020  | For the most current information please call us at 970.718.6007

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Communication with Parents:

    1. A weekly email will be sent to parents with the latest information on our protocols and camp operations. This letter will include:
      1. Guidance to parents not to bring their camper to camp if: they or anyone in their household have recently had an illness with fever or a new cough. They should remain home for at least 10 days after illness onset and until 72 hours after fever is gone, without use of fever reducing medicine, and COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea) are improving.  Staff or campers who have a cough that is not a new onset cough (e.g. asthma, allergies, etc.), do not need to be excluded from camp.
      2. Information on how to report if their camper has contracted COVID-19 since attending camp.
      3. Pick-up and drop-off procedures.
      4. Our most up to date communicable disease management plan. i.e. hand washing, masks, social distancing, isolating, transportation. Etc.
    2. All parents will be required to sign an additional camp “Covid” waiver prior to their campers attending camp for the first day.

Drop-off/Pick-Up

    1. Campers will be dropped off and picked up curbside.
    2. Parents will stay in cars for the entire drop-off and pick-up process.
    3. The entire process will be contactless, parents will be able to complete the entire process in advance electronically.
    4. The check-in and accounting of campers will also be done electronically eliminating the need for any shared equipment.
    5. Campers will have temperatures checked prior to being admitted.  Temperatures will be recorded.  Temperatures can be checked at home by a parent and then documented upon arrival at camp.
    6. Campers will be screened for Covid-19 symptoms prior to being admitted to camp.

Screening Campers

    1. Staff will screen campers for the following symptoms at the beginning of each week of camp.  This screening will be done with a parent present.  Depending on the camper’s age, the questions may be directed to the parent.  If a camper displays or acknowledges any of the following symptoms then staff will instruct the family to consult a physician and follow Pitkin County’s guidelines for isolation and homecare.
      1. Check for fever via a temperature reading.
        1. Individuals with a fever greater than or equal to 100.4° F should not be allowed to enter.
      2. Ask if they have experienced COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell) in the last 10 days.
      3. Ask if they have been exposed to anyone known to have Covid-19 within the last 14 days.

Screening Employees

    1. Staff will be screened for the same symptoms listed for campers above.
    2. Staff will have their temperature checked daily prior to entering the workplace.
    3. If staff exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms they will not be able to come into work and will return home immediately. These employees will be required to consult a physician and follow Pitkin County’s guidelines for isolation and homecare.

Isolating sick individuals during camp

    1. If a camper or staff member develops a new cough (e.g., unrelated to a preexisting condition such as asthma or allergies), fever, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19 during the camp day/class session, we will isolate them away from others immediately and send them home as soon as possible.
    2. While waiting for a sick child to be picked up, a staff member will stay with the child in an area isolated from others. The caregiver will remain as far away as safely possible from the child (at least 6 feet), while remaining in the same area.

Guidelines for sick individuals returning to camp. 

Sick individuals may return to camp if:

    1. They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
    2. AND other symptoms have improved (for example: your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
    3. AND At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Group Sizes and Constancy

    1. All campers must enroll in a full week of camp to allow for consistent, stable groups.
    2. “Stable” groups means that the same campers, staff and vehicle will remain together for the entire week.
    3. Groups size will be limited to 10 campers unless state and county guidance changes.

Social Distancing

    1. Daily activities and curriculum will be amended to support physical distancing, striving to maintain at least 6 feet between individuals whenever possible.
    2. Campers and staff will maintain 6 feet distance in accordance with Pitkin County Guidance whenever possible.
    3. Counselors will prioritize the safety of campers and themselves over social distancing guidelines in the event of an emergency.

Face Masks

    1. Staff will wear face coverings as recommended by Pitkin County unless an emergency arises that requires them to remove them.
    2. Children above the age of three should wear a face covering unless:
      1. They have a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to breathe with a face covering
      2. They have a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
    3. Camp will have face coverings available for campers and staff that do not bring their own.

Transportation

    1. Vans will be used to transport campers and staff.
    2. Neither campers nor staff should travel with others outside their stable group.
    3. Stable groups will use the same van for the entirety of the week.
    4. Middle seats will remain unoccupied.
    5. Hand sanitizer will be offered upon entry to the vehicle.
    6. Whenever possible, members of the same household will sit in the same row.
    7. Loading will start at the back of the vehicle and move forward. Disembarking will be the opposite.
    8. Both campers and staff will be required to wear face coverings during transport.
    9. Air flow will be maximized during transport, including opening windows when possible.
    10. When re-entering the vehicle, passengers will sit in the same seat each time.
    11. When exiting, remove all belongings and discard all waste.
    12. All vehicle surfaces including seats, windows, head rests, handles, and railings will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day.
    13. A vehicle cleaning log will be kept.

Equipment usage/cleaning

    1. All equipment will be cleaned at the end of each use in accordance with CDC recommendations.
    2. Equipment will be limited to one person per use.

Handwashing

    1. Everyone will wash their hands upon arrival at camp.
    2. All persons in the camp should be advised and encouraged to wash their hands frequently (e.g., after using the restroom, before and after meals, after coming inside, after sneezing, blowing the nose, or coughing) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    3. Mobile hand washing stations will be available in every vehicle and on every activity. A pressurized sprayer, handsoap, paper towels and trash receptacles will be available in order to wash hands according to CDC guidelines.
    4. Except when eating, preparing, or serving food and after using the restroom, alcohol-based hand-sanitizing products (60 to 95%) may be used as an alternative to handwashing.=

Food Services

    1. All food service has been suspended for the entire 2020 summer.
    2. We will not be providing any snacks or lunch for campers and counselors.
    3. Everyone will bring their own food.
    4. Meals will be consumed outside in accordance with social distancing protocols.
    5. Campers and staff will wash hands with soap and water before and after eating lunch.

Update Below from April 19th, 2020

All of us here at Ajax Adventure Camp hope you and your family are healthy and finding fun ways to enjoy this unique time together.  We are reaching out with the good news that the government has given us the green light to have summer camp this year!  We have consulted with countless professionals and industry experts, and with some revised protocols emphasizing camper and family health, we will be providing awesome adventuring starting June 8th.  The Federal government has recently stated they plan to declare summer camp as an essential business.  We always knew that, but it’s nice to know the government agrees.

Summary of the information in this email:

  1. Health and safety protocols for the summer including the addition of 4 types of camp formats:
    1. Private groups: 5+ friends maintain their own groups, counselor(s), vehicle(s), and pickup locations anywhere in the Valley for each week.
    2. Family adventures: we will offer some family day trips to enable kids (and adults) to get outside but remain within their family unit.
    3. For regular camp, small groups will be separated by age without intermingling through the week.
    4. Restricted daily drop-in ability in order to maintain weekly groups.
  2. Opportunity to provide camp for children of healthcare workers.
  3. Ajax Online!  Online camp offered by our counselors until summer camp begins.
  4. The First Annual Ajax Adventurebowl!
One huge favor, please!

We really want to continue to be great employers in the Valley and maintain jobs for as many counselors as possible.  If you are thinking you would like to attend this summer, can you please send me a quick email reply?  No pressure to enroll immediately, although enrollment is open and we will have reduced capacity this year.  Having your feedback will help us plan properly and provide jobs for as many awesome counselors as we can!  Thank you!

Health and safety protocols:

We understand that although camp will be offered this summer, we are currently living in a world that cannot be risk-free without complete isolation.  We have enacted the following changes which will start in June and may relax as the summer progresses based upon health professionals’ advice and direction.

  • Forehead temperature checks: everyday, each camper and staff member will be checked for fever.  If your camper is sick, he/she will not be allowed out of your vehicle.
  • Week-enrollments:  Starting the week of June 8th, we will offer camp in week-long formats.  We want to limit the number of people everyone interacts with (the best way to reduce risk), so we will establish groups based upon age on Monday and newcomers will not be allowed to join throughout the week.  A counselor (or counselors) will be assigned to that group as well as a vehicle, all of which will not change throughout the week.
  • We will be disinfecting vehicles at the end of each day and deep cleaning after each group.
  • We kindly request that all campers bring their own lunch.  I realize this is a bit of a bummer, as we normally provide lunch at camp, but we feel that the health-risk increase is not something we are comfortable with.  In exchange, we will include one free full-day trip (such as horseback riding, rafting, day-camping, or zip-lining) in each week-long camp from which the group can choose what they would like.  Additionally, that allows us to help support another small business in the valley and help them stay afloat in what will likely be a very difficult financial summer for all recreation providers.
  • There will be hand sanitizers everywhere and we will maintain a very strict hand-washing policy.
  • No high fives this summer, but Ajax foot-fives are the new high five!
  • We will not be meeting in our normal basecamp room where all of camp interacts at the start and end of each day.  Rather, our plan is to meet with our separate groups outside around the middle school parking lot.  Drop-off will be a “drive-through” type where parents will not have to get out of their car.
  • The American Camp Association and the CDC will be revising recommendations for summer camps throughout May and we will be closely following that discussion to adopt any additional recommended policies.
Attendance Options:

Private Groups

  • Private Groups are an option if you have a group of 5+ for a week or more of camp.
  • We will assign (or you can request) counselor(s) to your group, allocate a vehicle and provide pickup/drop-off at place(s) of your choosing throughout the Valley.
  • You will be able to pick and choose your activities for the week as a group to maintain our normal Ajax variety!
  • We anticipate having a limited number of staff in June, so the sooner you are able to let us know your interest, the higher the likelihood we can fulfill your request.
  • Registration will be via normal camp punch passes (i.e. one week = 5 punch passes per camper).
  • To Book, please reserve your punch passes and CALL 970.718.6007 or EMAIL so we can plan logistics with your group.

Regular-Camp Groups

  • Again, at least for June, we will insist on week-enrollment, whereby we won’t have campers join groups midway through the week to maintain a closed group.
  • Drop-off will be “drive-through” style in the Aspen Middle school parking lot and we will assign the small groups based upon age and, if applicable, friend requests.
  • Groups will stay together for the week.  We feel this is a great way to still make friends and have fun together, but in a smaller, more controlled group fashion.
  • The groups will get to choose their activities for the week so they also can maintain the normal Ajax variety!
  • Registration will be via normal camp punch passes (i.e. one week = 5 punch passes per camper).
  • To Book, please reserve your punch passes and CALL 970.718.6007 or EMAIL so we know you are coming.

Family Adventures

  • For those families who really want to get their kids (and themselves) outside adventuring, but are uncomfortable breaking the family unit, we will offer limited family adventures.
  • Registration can be daily and will be via normal camp punch passes (i.e. each family member, including adults, will use one punch pass per day).
  • To Book, please reserve your punch passes and CALL 970.718.6007 or EMAIL so we can plan logistics with your family.

Restricted Drop-In Groups

  • For at least June, we will not accept campers who just show up the morning-of, given each camp week will take far more logistics planning with our protocol changes.
  • However, if we have staff and vehicles available, we may be able to safely create a separate drop-in group.
  • Please CALL 970.718.6007 or EMAIL so we can evaluate the feasibility of a ‘drop-in’ with you.

Helping Healthcare Workers
We plan to allocate as much of our funding as we can afford to help provide camp for children of healthcare workers.  If you know of anyone who could benefit from this, please let us know.  Also, if you would like to help sponsor a healthcare worker’s child and supplement our efforts, please let us know.  We would love to collaborate with you to show our appreciation for our local healthcare workers.
Ajax Online:

As some of you may know, I have been bringing camp to international kids for the past 6 years.  This year, we will not be traveling to work with any international children.  In an effort to still provide them with a camp experience, we developed a live online camp format that, perhaps surprisingly, has gone very well so far!  You can see the camp offerings we have developed thus far here:  https://ivycampsusa.com/online/

We have decided to open up those camp offerings to kids in the US and will create a US enrollment page soon (How cool would that be to go to camp with kids in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, etc?!).  Furthermore, and equally exciting, our Ajax staff is starting to develop Ajax Adventure Online offerings including arts a crafts, football trick plays, juggling/hoola hooping, ‘good-hearted camp pranks’, learn to fly fish, knot mountaineering, chess with chess masters, and more.  Registration for the online camps is not quite ready but we wanted to bring you the good news that in-person camp is ready to rock and roll this summer as quickly as we could.  Stay tuned and we will keep you posted regarding the online offerings.  If you are interested, let me know so I can get the counselors excited!
The First Annual Ajax Adventurebowl

In an effort to provide a free and exciting competition to everyone within the Ajax Adventure Camp family, we are introducing the first ever Ajax Adventurebowl from May 8th – May 10th.  We will provide you with more details as the competition date approaches, but meanwhile, you can create a team of between 1-6 people.  You can compete solo, with your family, friends, or whomever, as teamwork can be accomplished remotely.  You will have 72 hours to complete a list of Ajax challenges.  Points will be awarded depending on the difficulty of the challenge.  Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams.

From all of us within the Ajax Adventure Camp family, please say hello to your campers and give them an Ajax foot-five for us.  We hope we can provide a bright spot this summer for children in a world that is not only confusing, but changing on a daily basis.  We wish everyone good health and if there is anything we can do to help, do not hesitate to ask.

Best regards,

The Ajax Adventure Camp Director Team