2021 Shwayder Camp Family Guidelines for a Successful Summer

Over the last nine months we have been lucky to learn a lot from our camp colleagues, medical professionals, and licensing agencies to help guide our best practices for the 2021 summer. While we know that a lot may change between now and the end of May we wanted to provide some guidelines that families will be required to follow who choose to attend Shwayder Camp this summer. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in this effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for our campers and staff this summer.

Before Camp – 

We are going to ask both families and the camper to take extra safety measures a week or so ahead of the start of camp. We will define our expectations of this time period before camp in subsequent communication. This includes the camper as well as any person living in the house. Campers must also receive a negative PCR test result prior to the start date of the session. We will follow up with the exact timing of when this test should be received. The negative test result must be emailed to us prior to drop off. 

We expect no travel, no symptoms, and no exposures during the week prior to the first day of the session. If your camper or anyone in the house develops any symptom, is exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or participates in any travel, that will negate their ability to attend camp. For families who live outside of Colorado, we will follow up in more detail about what this means for you. We acknowledge this may present additional challenges. 

First Day of the Session – 

We anticipate that through our relationship with the Association of Independent Jewish Camps that we will have access to rapid COVID-19 tests. In this case, we will test every camper at drop off and require a negative test result to be allowed to come up to camp. Please allow for extra time at drop off in order for us to administer the tests for everyone. 

During Camp – 

We will be taking a number of safety measures to remain as safe as possible prior to camp and once everyone arrives at camp. In preparation for this summer, we have limited capacity based on age group.

The Bubble – We will be creating a bubble at camp. This means that once the staff arrives to camp, we will remain there for the duration of the summer. Time off will be taken in camp and visitors will not be allowed to enter camp. Our bubble will operate in pods and cohorts with varying levels of restrictions utilized when campers are with these groups. 

Pods – Your camper’s cabin group

Cohort – Your camper’s unit (the boys and girls cabin for each age group)

We will be using 3 non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as recommended by the CDC. These include wearing masks, socially distancing, and being outside. When your camper is in their pod, they will not be required to do any of the three NPIs. If campers are with their cohort, they will need to be doing two of the three NPIs. For example, if the unit is together, the campers will need to be outside wearing masks or they can be inside but will need to wear masks and be socially distancing at least 6 feet apart. If campers are with anyone not in their pod or cohort, they will need to use all three NPIs at one time. 

Meals will be served in shifts with the younger age groups eating first, then the older age groups so that we can limit the number of people in the dining hall at one time. This will allow the older campers to enjoy a later wake up (added bonus!). As always, we will have mandatory hand washing and sanitizing before and after each meal. 

Programs that have been done historically with all of camp together will be limited to outdoors with everyone wearing masks and socially distancing. And, only after seven days after arrival if no campers or staff members have presented symptoms. 

All staff, with the exception of a few very specialized activity leaders, will be assigned to specific pods. Staff will also follow the regulations for NPIs.

If there have been no symptoms, positive cases, or exposures, regulations may become more lenient 7-10 days into the session based on medical professional recommendations. 

What happens if a camper or staff member is experiencing symptoms – 

Same as in years past, we will have a medical professional on site at all times while we are in session. We will also be hiring additional support for the infirmary to ensure the smooth operation during the summer. 

Should a camper or staff member begin to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, they will be immediately isolated, quarantined, and tested for COVID-19 in the health center. A parent will be notified if a camper receives a COVID-19 test.

What happens if there is a positive case of COVID-19 at camp – 

We will promptly communicate with all parents/legal guardians via email if someone tests positive for COVID-19 while at camp. We will not release the name, condition, or specifics to protect the person’s confidentiality. We will let parents/legal guardians know if the person is in their camper’s pod.

The pod of the person who tests positive will be kept together and isolated from the rest of camp. All campers will be monitored daily via temperature checks and symptom checks. The cabin will continue programming with only those in the cabin group. Other campers will continue programing after a thorough sanitation of camp. If your child has tested positive for COVID-19, we will be in communication with you to coordinate pick up and next steps. 

We will continue to update these guidelines as we learn new information. We will be in touch over the next several months to ensure you are informed of any changes and receive more details. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate prioritizing our campers and staff members’ health and safety while balancing the ability to make camp feel as magical as ever. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


2021 Travel Protocols for Out-of-State Families

In consultation with our medical professionals and other camp professionals, we have identified ways in which we feel we can safely allow campers from outside of Colorado to get to camp without imposing travel restrictions that would inhibit a families ability to get to Denver. These travel protocols are outlined below.

As the situation regarding COVID-19 changes, we are ready to evaluate these protocols and update them as necessary. Please note that these travel protocols only apply to traveling to camp. Any other travel during the week prior to camp by a camper or family member will inhibit a camper’s ability to attend camp.

Flying into Denver from out-of-state for Drop off

If your camper is flying into Denver International Airport, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Flights should be scheduled to arrive between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on a non-stop flight on the first day of their session. If this is not possible, you must obtain authorization from the Camp office prior to purchasing your ticket so special arrangements can be made. Lunch will be provided upon arrival.

All travelers must obtain a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival. Results must be emailed to schafer@shwayder.com 24 hours prior to the first day of the session.

All travelers must wear an N95 mask and a face shield throughout the duration of their flight and all time spent in the airport. We ask that time inside the airport is as limited as possible.

All campers will be mailed bright, Shwayder Camp luggage tags to help easily and quickly identify luggage as it arrives. Someone will collect all camper luggage in order to minimize the amount of time Shwayder Campers and Staff spend inside the airport.

All campers who fly in on the first day of camp will go directly up to Shwayder Camp after receiving a negative COVID-19 rapid test. Parents and/or legal guardians must stay with their campers until the COVID-19 rapid test result is received. If a parent is unable to accompany a camper on a flight, the family must appoint a guardian to meet their camper at the airport and remain with them until after results of the COVID-19 rapid test are received. This appointed guardian will be required to follow the additional safety protocols outlined in the family guidelines for the week prior to the flight.

If a camper tests positive for COVID-19 while at camp, a parent or legal guardian will need to be able to pick up the camper within 24 hours.

Flights for out-of-state Campers should be scheduled to depart DIA between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m on the last day of the session. If you are not able to schedule a flight during this period you must obtain authorization from the Camp office prior to purchasing your tickets. A Shwayder staff member will accompany your camper to the airport and will remain with them until they board the plane if the flight is within our required time frame.

Driving into Denver from out-of-state for Drop off

Families that choose to drive in to Denver from out-of-state should take extra precautions to limit exposures.

If you are stopping along the way, please do not stay with family or friends. Please do not eat inside restaurants. Please choose lodging that adheres to the highest level of cleaning and sanitation standards.

All travelers must obtain a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival. Results must be emailed to schafer@shwayder.com 24 hours prior to the first day of the session.