Summer Camp finds success staying Coronavirus free

Pamlico County Camp able to welcome back kids for residential summer camp
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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PAMLICO COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The Summer season is winding down and while many activities were forced to cancel because of the coronavirus, one local summer camp was able to hold eight weeks of camp without a positive case.

Camp Don Lee
Camp Don Lee(witn)

Camp Don Lee has welcomed back hundreds of campers over the last eight weeks for their residental summer camps. But reopening didn’t come without its challenges.

Camp Director Kate Metts says it was a big decision and a huge undertaking to find a way to safely open back up to kids.

“There were lots of challenges and plenty of times we thought this might not work, we definitely stepped out on faith using the guidance that was offered by the CDC and the American Camp Association, the State of North Carolina, and our local health departments,” said Metts.

Leaders at the camp say they made significant changes to how they operate, including reducing capacity by half. They also asked those attending the camp to isolate for 14 days before their arrival and to monitor their temperature at home.

COVID-19 also impacted the way check-in at camp was handled. “They do a 14 day pre-screen, we take a temperature check, we measure their blood oxygen ask them about any symptoms ask about any family members with COVID and go over our policies,” said Metts.

They also asked family members to stay in the car while dropping off their camper and face coverings were required.

When it came to their time at camp, kids were placed into groups of 8 boys and 8 girls and two counselors for the boys and girls made up one unit. Each unit stays together and is not allowed to interact with each other.

Face coverings were also required any time campers were indoors and camp officials say they did everything they could to stay outside as much as possible.

Another big part of their success according to Metts was getting her staff on board with stay at the camp for the entire summer.

Metts says, “A lot of other camps that had issues and that did operate, much of the source of the virus was staff. So having them dedicated and willing to stay on property even on their time off for 8-9 weeks was nothing short of incredible, but I do believe that contributed greatly to our success.”

The eight weeks of summer camp will wrap up at Camp Don Lee on Sunday morning.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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