by Pine Cove Posted Mar 18, 2020
The safety of our campers and staff has always been our number one priority. If you have questions about how Pine Cove keeps camp clean, sanitized, and healthy, you’ve come to the right place! Check out some of the measures we take to ensure everyone stays well so we can keep things Christ-centered, others-focused, and seriously fun!
A key way to prevent the spread of illness is stopping it from even entering camp. We ask all parents to contact us before they bring their child to camp if in the last two weeks they have run a fever, shown other illness symptoms, or traveled out of the country or in high-COVID-19 areas. We know that COVID-19 symptoms are milder in children than adults, so we have low tolerance for allowing campers in with any kind of COVID-19 symptoms. But don’t worry! We’ll work with parents to find a better time for their child to come so they do not infect other campers.
Handwashing seems basic because, well, it is! We take this seriously as the number one recommendation from the CDC for infection control. But it can be a struggle to get some campers to wash their hands thoroughly and for the recommended twenty seconds. So we make it fun! Every dining hall has handwashing stations built right outside the door and each cabin makes a stop before meals. At our day camps, we have a bathroom stop on the way to a meal to get hands washed. While washing hands, staff are doing cheers, singing songs, and monitoring to make sure all campers are washing their hands thoroughly and for a long enough period. No quick-rinse-with-just-water-and-I’m-done handwashing here!
Hand sanitizer is available at every meal table and passed around to each camper as part of a sanitize cheer. We also have hand sanitizer in each building, including cabins, and at our activity class locations. Sanitizing our hands (and staying hydrated!) have always been important parts of our camp culture. Check out this fun video that the Pine Cove Ranch made during Summer 2019 to remind our campers and staff how important it is to be hydrated and sanitized—and to have fun while doing it!
Every camp’s health center has always been staffed with a screened and emergency-trained RN on site 24/7. Each region also has an on-site clinic to quickly take care of medical needs beyond the camp health center. At day camps, the church provides a volunteer nurse with similar qualifications. Campers or staff whose symptoms include a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea have monitored quarantine areas to prevent the spread of illness. In some instances, we will send campers home rather than risk them infecting other campers at camp. The big picture: skilled staffers are keeping an eye out for any kind of illness that could spread at camp.
In our clinics and health care areas, all areas are cleaned and disinfected after each person has used them. Our dining halls and other public areas are properly sanitized after every meal. We’re sanitizing all the high-touch surfaces—things like tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches. In cabins, high-touch surfaces are sanitized daily. If we had a sick camper in a cabin—like late-night vomiting or fever—that cabin is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized as soon as possible. At the end of every week, a deep clean of camp is performed before the next week of camp.
Training our staff and our campers is super important. We train our staff on how to properly sanitize, wash hands, and how to monitor campers to prevent behaviors that spread illness. For our campers we emphasize covering mouths when sneezing or coughing, avoiding unnecessary physical contact, and not sharing bathroom products.
Our talented medical team is just as amazing as our college staff. Led by our Chief Medical Director Dr. Scott Lawrence, we have a team of full-time physicians, PAs, nurse practitioners, and RNs on staff year-round. Their focus is on making the summer medical experience as safe and smooth as possible. This team is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and making adjustments to care as needed.
For updates on COVID-19 and our response, please read this blog.