COVID-19 Update: April 08, 2021
Hey MMR Family!
GREAT NEWS! Provided the COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates continue as predicted by the Governor’s office in California…
Our state is set to open as of June 15, 2021!
Our first group of camper’s for Session A arrive June 13th. The good news is that Resident Camps are included on California’s BluePrint and we will be able to operate even before the state opens on the 15th, albeit it may be with a few more precautions in place.
California Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Ghaly, said in his briefing that those sectors included in the state’s reopening blueprint (which include resident camps like MMR) will be allowed to “return to usual operations in compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements and with common sense public health policies in place, such as required masking, testing and with vaccinations encouraged.”
We are still waiting for the specific guidelines for sleep away camps, which were promised to California camps by March 31, 2021. Those state guidelines may never come; however, our operational plan will still be subject to approval from our county health department.
We will continue to be required to follow health department guidelines regarding:
- Travel precautions
We understand that for some of you, specific policies may impact your decision to join our camp family this summer. We are sorry that we don’t have complete answers at this time. We appreciate your continued patience and trust in us as we plan for various contingencies.
Here is what we can say for sure at this time:
- We WILL be offering bus transportation from the Reno-Tahoe Int’l Airport. We do not know specific scheduling times, capacity, or cost. Stay tuned and make flexible flight and travel arrangements.
- There WILL be COVID-19 testing requirements for all campers. We are researching various options at this time. Stay tuned.
- Campers and staff WILL be wearing masks in those instances where distancing from other cabin groups cannot be maintained.
- We WILL be asking each camp family to utilize common sense precautions in the time before traveling to and arriving at camp in order to keep our entire community safe.
If you have questions about your specific situation or would like to postpone your child’s camp attendance to next summer (2022), please reach out to Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again for your continued patience and support.
We’re confident that we will have a safe, healthy, fun and meaningful summer at MMR in 2021. Summer 2021 really can’t come fast enough!
March 2021 Update:
We’ve received some very exciting news over the past week. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has included sleepaway camps in the businesses that are permitted to open (with COVID restrictions) this summer in counties that are in red, orange, or yellow tiers . The Director of CDPH has also told a group of camp leaders that we can expect guidelines by the end of this month.
We cannot thank each of you enough for your continued support during such uncertain times. At this time, all of the anticipated changes below are tentative until we receive more guidance from California. As always, the health and safety of our camp family is of the utmost importance to us, and we believe this means holistic health (mental, social, physical) and so remain committed to doing all that we can to provide a program that addresses the needs of our campers this summer.
Based on the existing guidance for resident camps in other states, as well as the American Camping Association (ACA) Field Guide, the following are some anticipated changes that may be implemented at MMR in 2021:
CAMP at MMR 2021
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SOME ANTICIPATED CHANGES TO OUR PROGRAM
Enrollment will be limited, allowing for smaller cabin groups and more space for distancing during meal times and group activities.
- If CDPH precautions require a further reduced capacity before the start of camp, spots will be “first in, last out” based on date of enrollment.
Staff + Pre-Camp
All staff will partake in testing and quarantining prior to camper arrival. All staff will arrive 10-12 days prior to session start date for a longer training period.
- Camp staff are now eligible to receive a vaccine, and we will do our best to encourage staff to be vaccinated.
All campers will participate in a 14 day health screening prior to their session’s opening day. This tracks temperature and symptoms to ensure all campers are feeling well and have no visible signs of illness.
- All campers are additionally encouraged to restrict their behavior for 5-10 days prior to camp arrival (limit commercial travel and indoor gatherings).
It is likely that campers will be required to obtain a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival at camp.
At this time we are not offering escorted flights.
We may be limited in the travel we can accept for incoming campers. All are encouraged to make flexible travel plans and avoid commercial travel if possible (airlines, etc.).
- We may be able to offer a shuttle bus from the Reno-Tahoe Intl. Airport to MMR, but cannot guarantee that at this time.
Preferred travel: Drop-off at camp.
- Drop-off and pick-up will be scheduled and staggered. All campers will be screened prior to entering camp property.
- Only campers are allowed to leave their car.
- * Parents or an approved guardian may be required to accompany their camper to drop-off in the event the screening disqualifies the camper from participating.
You are encouraged to book flexible travel options so the timing of arrival can align with the schedule.
- Please note that domestic and international air travel may have additional requirements (testing, quarantine, etc.) and restrictions that are the responsibility of each individual to be aware of and plan accordingly. MMR cannot accommodate the pre-session quarantine of any campers.
Cabin groups will function as “bubbles” for the duration of the camp session. These will remain the same for wide-game activities, meal times, and other all-camp events, and possibly all day-time activities.
- We hope to allow some inter-bubble mingling during day-time activities (with masks and physical distancing) but cannot guarantee at this time.
We will not be offering out trips this summer in an effort to maintain our community’s safety and limit our possibility of exposure.
- We hope to maintain a similar level of freedom with regards to choosing activities; however, this may be restricted and limited.
- We are planning to run all on-site activities except film photography.
Staff days off will not include interaction with the general public.
Housing + Meals
Sleeping and housing arrangements may be modified to mitigate risk.
Meals times will be in cabin bubbles seated outside, distanced, and staggered.
Health + Wellness
Daily screenings (temperature check, symptom survey) will be conducted for the entire camp family to ensure all members are asymptomatic.
Approved masks or face coverings are likely to be worn in any setting in which physical distancing outside of one’s bubble is impossible (and may include all times except swimming, eating, and sleeping).
Proper hand washing and hygiene practices are to be observed by all camp family members, with poster and decal reminders posted around the camp property.
Any camper or staff with COVID symptoms will be quarantined and tested. Campers with a positive test result will be sent home as soon as possible. Staff with a positive test will remain quarantined until deemed safe by medical staff. Cabins of campers or staff who have been exposed will isolate and be tested and may be sent home.
- Campers sent home due to illness or Covid-19 protocols are not entitled to a refund.
Mountain Meadow Ranch, as well as most residential summer camps, are especially well-suited for many of the current recommendations. All activities take place outdoors, meals can be served outside, warm summer weather allows the option for great air ventilation in cabins, and cabin groups easily form bubbles.
We again thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate this season. We are excited to work toward offering a program that meets the needs of our campers. So many of us have felt isolated, afraid, anxious, and uncertain this past year and we are committed to doing what we do best:
- providing a safe environment for our campers
- giving them the opportunity to connect with others
- get outside and explore
- experience adventure
- and grow as full humans
As always, we are here for you to answer any questions and talk with you about how we came to our current tentative plans. Anna, who leads our Parent Hotline in-session and handles Parent Communication year-round, is available to you by email and, as always, our office line (NOW 530-310-9281) is open to you.
We will update this page frequently moving forward as guidelines are released and we get a better idea of what operating this summer looks like. Check back regularly!
We can’t wait for Summer 2021!
We remain confident and committed to offering our program, albeit may be with some changes. We are all chomping at the bit to know exactly what those changes are, but we must continue to employ our well-exercised patience muscle.
We are in the research phase as we review the American Camping Associations Covid-19 guidelines, utilize the experience and resources of fellow camps and camping professionals throughout the West Coast and country, and review the existing policies and protocols in place for other industries (such as hotels, restaurants, and schools). As we go, we are applying and implementing the findings for a number of different scenarios and plans for next summer.
We remain committed to:
- The health and safety of our entire camp family.
- Providing community, support, and camaraderie to our camp family in whatever capacity possible.
- Living out Aj Ypekanbe, “Serve All,” in all that we do. We will continue to serve each other above ourselves by living out our core values: inclusivity, empathy, stewardship, integrity, authenticity, and mindfulness.
For those that love advocacy and being the squeaky wheel, you’re invited to join in the #SaveNextSummer campaign created by fellow camp professionals. As states and counties throughout the country release Covid-19 guidelines for residential camps, California has yet to do so. These guidelines are essential to our opening and running camp in 2021!!
What you can do:
- Find your representatives.
You can find them by putting your address
- Write your representative a letter or an email.
If you aren’t sure what to say, here are some handy templates. Just go to the links and copy the text. Then paste it into a word processor. The parts in red need to be personalized so that you can tell YOUR story. Then print it out and send it (or email it!) using the contact info you found in Step 1.
- Share your story
Post a story, photo, tiktok, whatever you want using the hashtag #SaveNextSummer so that we can make sure as many people as possible know about our campaign!
For information regarding the national movement to save next summer:
For information regarding California:
Updated May 26th
Dear Camp Family,
With heavy hearts we share the sad reality that due to Covid-19 we will be unable to operate as usual for Summer 2020. The summer camp experience that we all know and love is now postponed until Summer 2021. This decision has come from many hours of research, meetings, and conversations with fellow Summer Camp professionals and our local Health Department.
We remain committed to:
The health and safety of our entire camp family.
Providing community, support, and camaraderie to our camp family in whatever capacity possible.
Living out Aj Ypekanbe, “Serve All,” in all that we do. We will continue to serve each other above ourselves by living out our core values: inclusivity, empathy, stewardship, integrity, authenticity, and mindfulness.
We are getting creative in our brainstorming for what we possibly can do this summer! We can’t emphasize enough the importance of your voice in guiding our steps as we dream and plan (all within the parameters of local health department regulations, of course). Please take a few moments to fill out this short and simple survey.
Help us make 2020 great! Fill out this short survey
We are immensely grateful to each and every one of you that has made this business one full of joy and life.
We will miss you all, the ones we know and the ones we didn’t get to. We will miss many things this summer… The wonderful sounds of kids playing. All the beautiful campers and staff. The intense, fullness and immenseness of life lived abundantly. The songs sung around the campfire and beneath the stars, surrounded by the towering pines. The buzz at mealtimes. The peanut butter jelly table. The Birthday Song and subsequent huckage. “What time is snack time?” Lazy afternoons by the Lagoon. “Story time is OPEN!” The Overnight and the growth and camaraderie that happens there. The gift of watching the camp family come together and learn to love and lift each other up by living Aj Ypekanbe, “Serve All.” This is the heart song that we, the Ellena family, and many others, have sung every summer since 1956 & it will be sung again – Summer 2021, we look forward to you!
We hope each of you, new or veteran, will consider rolling over your enrollment with us so that you can continue to take part in the magic!
Session A: Sunday June 13 — Friday June 25
Session B: Sunday June 27 — Friday July 9
Session C: Sunday July 11 — Friday July 23
Session D: Sunday July 25 — Friday August 6
* Please make note that these dates are subject to change before relevant school districts announce their 2020-2021 dates.
We are here for you. In addition to our full-time Office Line, Anna will open our Summer Only Parent Line from 1pm-5pm, Monday-Thursday, starting May 13th until May 28th. This is available for anyone – parent, camper, or alumni – that wants to ask a question about our decision or what’s next, share a good memory or word of encouragement, or simply process.
Office: (530) 257-4419
Parent Line: (530) 310-9215
Updated April 15
- Extending our April 1st cancellation policy until May 1st, meaning cancellations will incur a $200 fee rather than the full $500
- In the event that MMR does continue yet you feel uncomfortable sending your camper for Summer 2020:
- Any tuition and deposit paid will be rolled over to Summer 2021.*
- In the event that MMR does not continue as usual for Summer 2020:
- We will provide information regarding refunds at that time.
March 12, 2020
Dear Mountain Meadow Parent:
We have been watching the news and monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely. We recognize the WHO’s change in declaring COVID-19 a pandemic and international recommendations for social distancing. We continue to closely monitor the situation and public health recommendations and will plan and communicate any actions accordingly.
The safety of campers and staff at MMR is paramount. As of right now we are going to continue to operate for Summer 2020.
The social distancing recommendations from the State of California, the CDC, and WHO have been set for the next 8 weeks (or close to), which means there is hope things will improve around early to mid-May. With hope in our hearts, we are going to move ahead as scheduled and will continue to monitor and update you as necessary.
- Washing our hands thoroughly (under water for more than 15 seconds) is always the best and most effective preventative measure.
- Remind your kids to keep their hands off their face! Pathogens enter our body through the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Until we know more, we would suggest restricting any travel outside of your area until the federal recommendations for social distancing are changed.
- What we should do if we develop cold symptoms (runny nose, fever, mild cough):
- Call your doctor (avoid going in unless requested) to talk through your symptoms and their recommendation for next steps.
- Don’t forget there are other illnesses out there.
- If fevers are high see your doctor to rule out influenza
- If you have a red sore throat with or without fever or an upset stomach see your doctor to rule out strep.
What’s a pandemic?
A “pandemic” disease sounds much scarier than a mere “outbreak.” but it’s important to remember that “pandemic” refers to how many parts of the world are dealing with an elevated rate of the disease — and says nothing about how serious that disease is.
Why does it matter that something is called a pandemic?
Pandemics must be battled, at the international level, significantly differently than epidemics. Where there’s a pandemic, we are all in the fight together and there are essentially no “sidelines.” In other words, stopping the spread is unlikely but slowing the spread to prevent healthcare system overload (referred to as “flatten the curve”) and unnecessary harm is possible and something we all play a part in. This is why measures like social distancing and hygiene etiquette are so important.
What we are doing:
MMR Directors have had a number of meetings regarding our existing healthcare protocol and decided to implement the following changes in response to COVID-19:
> Pre-session ‘Recent Health and Travel History Form is required before arriving at camp (made available 2 weeks prior to session start date).
> Health screening on opening day will include fever check and more thorough education on proper hand washing and cleanliness practices
> Increased monitoring of shared items while at camp
> Increased training and monitoring in health and cleanliness protocols (in the kitchen, healthcare center, cabins, activity areas, public areas, etc.)
> Increased hand sanitizer stations at various activities
What YOU can do:
- Engage your children and educate them on COVID-19 and proper cleanliness and sickness habits to develop before sending them to camp. We should all be increasing our awareness of face touching and hand washing.
- Hand washing, proper cough etiquette, etc.
- Remain calm, your campers are looking to you for cues on how to respond. It is of the utmost importance that as adults, we maintain a calm and collected mindset as we respond to the developments. Hysteria is not the answer, it will only prove to increase anxiety and inhibit our ability to respond appropriately.
- Comply with the recommendations for social distancing. Only go out socially when necessary, and if you do, be mindful of proximity to others and your hygiene. Even if you and your littles are not at high risk, you may come into contact with someone who is. This is more than a “me” issue and requires consideration for the greater “we.”
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
Coronaviruses are typically seasonal and so we can hope that by the time weather warms and the regular flu season ends, this virus will burn itself out, too. Until then we try to control spread and take care of each other.
We recognize that our children are deeply important to us all, and that the current status of social distancing with many aspects of regular life “paused” it is a natural response to feel fear and concern over what that means for the future. We encourage all of us to remain diligent in where we go for information regarding COVID-19 and that we are maintaining a clear and level head as we respond.
As mentioned, we are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with Health Department and CDC recommendations to keep MMR a safe space for our camp family.
Please do not hesitate to call or email us to answer any further questions you may have. The CDC and WHO provide more detailed coronavirus information on their websites and your personal physician is a valuable resource for specific medical questions you may have.
Rest assured we will keep you updated with any changes.
Mountain Meadow Ranch Directors