Covid Questions

[Update 4-21-2021]  Based on current recommendations by healthcare experts, the quarantine period is set at 7 days (as opposed to 7 to 10 days) with a PCR test 5 days prior to arrival at camp and a second test on the day of arrival.  The camp is working with a mobile lab for the second test, which will be a rapid test giving results in 30 minutes.  We are determining the logistics for the location, such as whether it will be performed in Truckee or at Camp.  The mobile lab test will cost $99, which parents will pay at the time of the test.  The California Department of Public Health has still not released its guidelines for overnight summer camps, so our anticipated procedures are subject to change to comply with the guidelines.  The most recent estimate as to when the guidelines will be released is the end of April.  As a result, we are extending our no-refund deadline to May 7.

[Update 3-12-2021]  On March 11, 2021, the California Department of Public Health announced, "Beginning June 1, overnight sleepaway camps will be allowed to resume with modifications in the Red, Orange and Yellow tiers."  The State did not describe the "modifications" that it will require.  As of March 11, 2021, the Sierra County Health Department (which regulates our summer camp), reported that the county has had a total of 100 cases, all of whom have recovered, with zero (0) current cases.  We anticipate that once the State details the "modifications," then we will be required to submit a plan of operation complying with those modifications to the Sierra County Health Department, which will then have to approve our plan.

[Updated 2-19-21]. This page is intended to answer many of the questions you may have regarding how Covid-19 may impact Camp operations during the summer of 2021.  We’ll update this page as needed, so please check back.

Will our child be required to get a Covid test or to get vaccinated before attending Camp?  We will not require campers to be vaccinated before attending Camp, as it seems unlikely that there will be a vaccine available for most camp-aged children.  If that changes, or you have a 16 or 17 year-old with access to a vaccine approved for that age group, we would highly encourage your child to get vaccinated. We will, however, require everyone who is not vaccinated to provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.

What happens if Camp is not permitted to open in 2021?  You will get a full refund.

What happens if our child gets Covid or tests positive before arriving at Camp?  Your child will not be permitted to attend Camp.  If we have space available later after they test negative, you may move your reservation.  If there is no space available, then there is no refund.  Your best course of action to protect against this possibility is to purchase tuition insurance.  It can protect your investment in Camp for more risks than Covid, such as other illnesses and injuries.  Every year, we get the inevitable and unfortunate call from a parent who opted not to purchase tuition insurance and then asks for a refund close to the start of camp when their child gets sick or injured.  Although we do typically have a short wait list for some sessions, the reality is that when someone is put on a wait list they most often make alternative plans so families are rarely in a position to take advantage of a last-minute cancellation.  You can find out more about camp tuition insurance here, but this is just one provider and you are free to shop for tuition insurance from any provider.  Typically, you can purchase tuition insurance up to the date your tuition becomes non-refundable, which is May 1, but not after. 

What steps will the Camp take to reduce the risk that our child will contract Covid at Camp?  We will follow CDC recommendations and guidelines established by the State of California and our county health department.  The guidelines at the state and local level are still in flux and so we do not have perfect clarity.  However, the CDC and the American Camp Association in consultation with health experts and the CDC have published guidelines, an earlier version of which was followed successfully by the hundreds of summer camps who were permitted to operate in 2020.  We anticipate some version of these guidelines will ultimately be approved for us to follow.  So, subject to the guidelines ultimately approved and the most current recommendations, we anticipate the Camp will implement the following steps or something closely approximating them:

* All campers must have a negative PCR test (or approved alternative) taken within 72 hours of arrival.  There will likely be periodic temperature checks for some period of time.

* Campers must quarantine for 7-10 days before arrival at Camp.  We’ll offer a specific number based on the guidance as your child’s session approaches and intend to give you a minimum of 30 days’ notice. During this quarantine, your child must avoid contact with people outside your family, avoid indoor dining, and may not use public transit.  Campers who live farther than driving distance from Camp may take public transit, such as a plane, to within driving distance of Camp but then must quarantine for 7-10 days before driving the final leg to Camp.

* The Camp is not currently planning to provide bus transportation to Camp.

* Check-In will be conducted while you are in your car.  Campers will exit your car but non-campers must stay in the car.  In-person camp tours will not be offered.  Further instructions will follow closer to the start of camp.

* Campers will likely be organized into “Family Groups” for activities.  The size of family groups will depend on the guidance the Camp receives and could be as small as a single cabin, though a larger group seems more likely.  We note that the CDC has recently concluded that in-person learning in classrooms can be conducted safely when following their protocols.  We believe family groups approximately the size of a class is the most likely scenario.  Family groups will eat together and participate in activities together. 

* Some activities may be altered or not offered depending on the guidance.

* Use of approved masks will be required for any interaction with people outside a family group and may be required within a family group. (Currently, the recommendation is a well-fitting, two-layered mask.)

* Enhanced sanitation, including cleaning and handwashing.

We believe Shaffer’s High Sierra Camp is well positioned to provide a fun, healthful way for children and youth to be outdoors and with camp friends because:

* Participants are tested, screened, and then isolated within a protective bubble;

* Activities are out of doors;

* Meals are eaten out of doors;

* Sleeping is done in well-ventilated tents out of doors; and

* The Camp is committed to following the best advice applicable to its circumstances

Please check back at this page, which we'll update when new guidance is provided.