COVID-19 Protocols for Summer Programs

Health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic remains a moving target. While we still do not know what state the pandemic will be in come June, we expect that it will still be a part of our lives in some respect. Any of this information may change, and we will do our best to keep it updated. We would need to see a marked change in our current situation to significantly alter these policies.

 

Philosophy 
Based on extensive guidance from the American Camping Association (ACA), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH), Belmont Day School uses multiple levels of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) that provide proactive protection against the continued spread of COVID-19 on campus. These include mask rules, cohorting practices, and intelligent program design. These strategies have been effective at preventing the transmission of COVID-19 at BDS, where we have been doing in-person education since September 2020.

Masks
Our primary NPI involves wearing masks in the high-risk areas at camp. For us, that means any time we are inside. According to the CDC and DPH, the risk of transmission during outdoor activities is near zero. Currently, our policy is that masks are required indoors, and are optional outdoors. Currently, the town of Belmont has an indoor mask mandate that requires we stay masked indoors until it is lifted. If that mandate is lifted, we would need to see a notable shift in caseload and recommendations from the CDC in order to change our internal policy.

Cohorting
Cohorting is in many ways a natural part of camp—each camp group has a unique schedule that sees very little overlap with other groups. Other than the pool, electives, and free blocks where counselors from different groups may plan a joint activity, there is little mixing throughout the day. Cross-cohorting between camp groups is encouraged to take place outside and is limited indoors to spaces that can accommodate appropriate space between groups, such as our gyms and performing arts space. 

Distancing
We still ask that campers follow basic distancing guidelines and courtesy when indoors. This means 3 feet between campers and, when possible, staff.

Vaccination
Available data tells us that the best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. We highly recommend that all families vaccinate themselves and their children whenever they are able to. At this time, we are not requiring vaccination for entry to camp. As we get towards summer, there may be changes in vaccination policy either at the school and state level as the vaccine becomes FDA approved.

Testing/Other Illnesses
We do not run a summer testing program. Instead, if your child is experiencing COVID-like symptoms, we ask that you get that child tested for COVID-19. To return to camp, your child should have a negative PCR test result and be free of symptoms. Please, do not send a sick child to camp sick even if they do not have COVID-19.
 

Safety, discovery, and community

Our health and safety protocols are designed to protect our campers, staff, and families.