Since 1967, Pine Cove has existed to be used by God to transform the lives of people for His purposes and His glory. This purpose is no different in 2020. Thus, in order to prepare for effective ministry this summer, Pine Cove is taking measures, both operationally and medically, to conduct camp safely in response to COVID-19.
First and foremost, we will rely on expert guidance for COVID-19 provided by state government and health professionals, including the CDC, with the goal of providing a safe and fun environment for campers and staff. We will be following all guidelines released May 18 by the Texas Governor’s appointed strike-force for overnight youth camp operators. We also understand that every family is being impacted differently by this pandemic and that you as a parent know what is best for your child. In our desire to serve you well, our cancellation policy for summer 2020 has been removed and the decision to send your child to camp in 2020 is yours.
According to the Texas Governor’s Health Protocol for youth camp families, campers returning from an overnight camp should minimize in-person contact with any person 65 years of age or older, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, for a period of 14 days. This includes maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet of separation from those individuals, wearing a face covering or mask, and avoiding sharing utensils or other common objects with those individuals.
As parents, we want you to understand the rigorous efforts Pine Cove is taking toward protecting the health of your child. We are prepared for and have the ability to implement the following measures.
Join Misty Pace, one of Pine Cove’s Registered Nurses (and a camper mom!), as she talks through some of the steps we’re taking to ensure the health and safety of our campers and staff.
If you would like to talk with one of our nurses, please let us know which camp your child is attending and email us at email@example.com.
As we partner with the state, we are taking face coverings seriously, but it shouldn’t impact their camp experience at all. Your camper will receive a cool runners-style neoprene face covering they can easily pull up over their nose and mouth whenever necessary, just like their counselor! This is what wearing masks looks like at camp for campers 10 years and older:
We are going to continue having a great, seriously fun time at camp!
• To help campers stay physically distant in 2020, campers will be part of a small group, called a cohort. A cohort consists of two “buddy cabins,” not to exceed 16 campers, with whom campers will do all their activities, including club, meals, theme nights, and Bible studies. Cohorts do not mix with other cohorts.
• Large group, indoor interactions such as closing celebrations, indoor theme nights, and Club will be held in accordance with government guidelines for the number of people who can safely be together in an indoor space. These events may be moved outdoors and coordinated to have smaller groups as well as appropriate social distancing between groups.
• Campers and staff will have face coverings as needed .
• Mealtimes will be divided into appropriately-sized groups per meal to maintain spacing, and all camp meals will be served individually, not family style.
• Camper bunks will follow the guidelines that are required by Texas youth camping laws.
Pine Cove has made an investment in electrostatic sprayers that are highly effective in destroying viruses, including COVID-19, and are currently being used in hospitals, daycares, and on commercial airplanes. Alongside our already rigorous sanitation procedures, they will be used throughout the week to spray cabins, kitchens, pools, barns, ropes sheds, boats, and more with an organic liquid disinfectant approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Watch this video to learn more about why these sprayers are so effective.
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!
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.
Every youth camp’s health center has always been staffed with a screened and experienced RN on site 24/7 and clinical services capable of providing labs and x-rays, suturing, splinting, administering oral and IV medications, and monitoring patients who are sick. Our East Texas and Central Texas regions also have an on-site clinic to quickly take care of medical needs beyond the camp health center. In some instances, we will send campers home rather than risk them infecting other campers at camp. At day camps, the church provides a volunteer nurse with similar qualifications.