Schoolhouse of Wonder COVID-19 Precautions: Fall and Winter 2021
Updated October 20, 2021
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by COVID-19 and the safety of our participants, staff, and community remains our top priority. Schoolhouse is committed to balancing the need to provide a safe environment with young people’s developmental needs to socialize, learn, and have fun.
We continue to follow the science and update how we move forward based upon guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), local health departments, the American Camp Association, and others.
We want to help answer your questions about how Schoolhouse can serve your family. Masks will be required, classic games have been adapted and new games created, and we’ll be enjoying our time exploring the forests and creeks while we stay physically distanced. Although we’ll miss high-fives, hiding behind a big tree together, or playing knee-coup, we are thrilled to be outside and be together again.
We are following all CDC guidance regarding travel. Please review our policy on travel and carefully review your travel plans prior to registering for camp, and be sure you leave ample time for self-quarantine after returning.
Below is a summary of how we are responding to COVID-19 thus far.
- All staff have received training to ensure they understand the safety requirements, protocols, and expectations to help ensure everyone in our programs and communities stays safe and prevents the spread of COVID-19.
- Staff and campers are required to wear masks when outdoors if not able to maintain proper physical distancing.
- Staff and campers, regardless of vaccination status, are still required to wear a mask
- when indoors (e.g. Mess Hall at Umstead, Photography Museum at West Point)
- when in crowded outdoor settings
- during outdoor activities that involve sustained close contact.
- All staff and campers will complete a Daily Health Screening for COVID-19.
- Our camp group sizes are limited to a maximum of 24 participants, although they are usually smaller.
- Camp groups will not be combined.
- Activities and games will avoid sustained close contact.
- Frequent hand-washing or sanitizing will be expected of campers and staff, including before eating.
- As has been the case, food and beverage sharing is not allowed at camp. Now with COVID-19, siblings are no longer allowed to share food or beverages.
- We will avoid crowded public areas of the park during peak use hours.
- We will minimize close contact during drop-off and pick-up.
We will continue to follow the guidance of public health experts to ensure that Schoolhouse follows up-to-date recommendations for health and safety.
Daily Health Screening for COVID-19
Daily staff and camper health screenings are important to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 at camp. Campers and staff who meet any of the criteria below will not be allowed at Schoolhouse of Wonder.
Before Camp: Parents are encouraged to be on the alert for signs of illness in their children and are required to keep them home if the answer is “Yes” to any of the health screening questions below.
Upon Arrival: Campers will remain in the vehicle until cleared by staff to exit the vehicle and join their camp group. Each morning we will ask the person dropping off the camper screening questions about health symptoms and physical distancing.
These questions are:
- Have you or any of the children you are dropping off been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days?
- Have you or any of the children you are dropping off had any of the following symptoms in the last 10 days?
- Fever (greater than 100.4) or repeated shaking with chills
- Sustained cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (unless from exercise)
- Muscle or body aches (unless from exercise)
- Headache (unless for a non-COVID reason such as too much noise)
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sustained sore throat (2 days or more)
- Sustained congestion or runny nose (2 days or more)
- Repeated nausea or vomiting
- Ongoing diarrhea (2 days or more)
- Have you or any of the children you are dropping off had close contact with a person with undiagnosed symptoms of COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Has any health department staff or health care provider been in contact with the person you are dropping off and advised them to quarantine?
- Have you traveled outside of North Carolina in the past 14 days?*
*Note: a “yes” to this question does not cause automatic exclusion from camp. It simply prompts further questions about vaccine status, testing, and self-quarantine. For more information, see our travel policy.
Staff will also make a visual inspection of the camper for subjective signs of illness such as flushed cheeks, fatigue, extreme fussiness, chills, shivering, sweating, achiness, headache, or not eating or drinking.
During Camp: We will use these procedures for any camper that exhibits new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 at camp:
- Camper will be removed from the group and moved to an isolated location under supervision.
- Staff will notify caregivers of the symptoms and the need for immediate pick up.
- Families are encouraged to coordinate decision making around the child’s care with family health care provider.
- In the case of a camper who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the child is assumed to have COVID-19 and cannot return to camp until the individual has met criteria for return.
- A camper who has exhibited symptoms that could be COVID-19 can return to camp if they have been symptom-free for 24-hours AND they have either a negative COVID-19 PCR test OR a medical professional’s note clearing them to return based on an alternative diagnosis.
After Camp: We request that families remain in contact with us post-camp. Please let us know if anyone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks after attending camp. If this is the case, we will notify all campers and staff who may have been in contact with the camper.
Absences from Camp: Please call the Camp Coordinator or the Schoolhouse office to report all absences from camp.
Before Camp: If a staff member self-identifies as having symptoms listed in the screening criteria above, they will contact their supervisor, not come to work, and follow procedures outlined in the table below.
During Camp: Staff exhibiting new or worsening symptoms of possible COVID-19 at camp should:
- Inform their supervisor and leave the camp group immediately
- Obtain a COVID-19 test
- Follow the recommendations of their healthcare provider
- Follow the protocol for returning to work
Schoolhouse of Wonder will follow the criteria set forth by NCDHHS in the ChildCareStrongNC Public Health Toolkit for the return of campers and staff to camp.
If there are indications that anyone with COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic) has attended camp, we will notify families immediately. If applicable, we will cancel the remainder of that camp and provide prorated refunds.
Schoolhouse will monitor local, state, and federal guidance to ensure that it is safe to continue programming, and to comply with all ordinances regarding group gatherings and safety practices to protect against COVID-19.