Buses in the summer of 2022 (updated 3/29/2022)
We are carefully watching the current state of COVID and relevant public health guidance to determine what camp will look like this summer. Our policies currently are based on last summer’s policies because some of the most relevant CDC guidance regarding quarantines and isolation hasn’t fundamentally changed our required response to COVID in camp.
If the CDC’s guidance changes between now and camp, we will revisit our approach and safety plan. To be sure, the plan will likely change between now and opening day, but we won’t know the details until closer to then because it depends so much on federal and state guidance.
Keeping the above in mind, here is our reasoning for not having buses: We’re currently planning to use a pod system for the first week of camp, just like we did last summer. Once we administer a COVID test on day 5 of camp, we’ll open up the pods to multiple bunks.
The pod system has an important goal: If a camper tests positive on day 5, then only their bunk will be impacted. Unfortunately, if we use buses on opening day, then kids from many different pods would be on each bus together. If a single camper on a bus tests positive on day 5, then it would have negative ripple effects across camp and could very well lead to countless kids across camp having to quarantine and/or isolate based on the current CDC guidance. Put simply, it could mean dozens of kids having to go home early, which we’re doing everything possible to avoid. Based on current CDC guidance for quarantine and isolation, we don’t have much latitude in this regard.
So why can’t we offer buses home? If we use buses on closing day, that will take staff members (bus counselors) out of the camp bubble. We need to ensure the integrity of our camp bubble throughout the summer. If staff members accompany campers on buses home after session one, that affects our session two campers. If they accompany campers on buses home after session two, that affects our post-camp retreat groups.
If between now and summer the COVID situation materially changes, then we’ll certainly revisit this policy. For example, if the next dominant strain becomes more transmissible and significantly milder, causing the CDC to change their current quarantine and isolation guidance, then we would certainly consider taking a different approach to bussing.
We also welcome campers who will be in the same bunk to arrange transportation to camp together.