The staff has been working tirelessly to make this camp experience fun and safe for your child. It will not look like a regular year at camp, however we are hoping that we can provide your child with outdoor time and socialization and some sense of normalcy.
Tom Denney Nature Camp will be adhering to the guidelines from the State of Massachusetts and the Nashoba Board of Health who grants us our camp license. Below are listed the COVID special camp procedures for this year. Please be patient as this is an extraordinary year for us all, and remember that we are doing our best for your child.
IMPORTANT!!! Bring the TDNC COVID Health Screening document to camp every day and a pen so you can sign it in front of us. (it is available on the website under documents on the left).
The state and Board of Health guidelines ask that you do not carpool as that increases exposure to COVID. If you feel you must carpool, then please have everyone wear masks in the car and have any parent who will not be at drop off ask their camper the questions ahead of time and sign the form. No camper will be allowed at camp without the signed form each day. We are still required to verbally ask the questions every day, so please bear with us as this will take some time.
IMPORTANT!!! Please watch the weather and join REMIND.
You MUST join for every week that your child is attending.
Once you have signed up, text your child(ren)’s names so we can confirm enrollment. This must be done for each week.
If we need you to pick up your camper due to weather, we will be using Remind which is a way to notify you through your cell phone. It is MANDATORY that you sign up for this, especially in the time of COVID. This system will keep your personal information private, yet allow you to receive up-to-date information. You can use this to ask questions, but only if you have questions about a text that has just been sent. Any other questions must be asked via the camp email.
Text @tomdenneyn to 81010 if your camper is attending WEEK 4 and then text your child's name.
Text @842bcf to 81010 if your camper is attending WEEK 5 and then text your child's name.
Where: The camp is held at the Bowers Springs conservation area in Bolton, MA (Route 117/Main Street in Bolton to Harvard Road to Flanagan Road on the left and go to the end and there is a parking lot on the left, GPS: 40 Flanagan Road). This is town-owned conservation land that we are privileged to be allowed to use.
Drop Off: Bring attached screening form every day. At 9:00AM staff will begin walking up the line and asking the screening questions and cars will be directed into the parking lot. If you are there before 9:00AM, then please stay in your car lined up along the right side of Flanagan Road until you are directed into the parking lot. Other cars may pass you, but they are walkers or staff. There is a confidential staff meeting until 9:00AM so we will not be able to check-in or watch your child. Please wear a mask and sign your child in to camp in the morning with one of the two counselors standing at the parking lot entrance, and then proceed to the chain to let them out of the car.
Pick Up: Monday-Thursday at 3:00PM, please line up on Flanagan Road as you did for drop-off and we will signal you in to the parking lot and bring the campers to your car. Please wear a mask.
On Friday at 2:00PM, please pick up your camper following the same instructions. The staff will then put together a video of the camper’s performances for you to watch later (we usually invite families and friends to camp, but this year that is not allowed).
If your child is not coming to camp: Before 7:45am email email@example.com or call the camp phone 978-429-3004; after 7:45am call the Camp Director ONLY then or when your child is at camp. All other communications, please email the camp.
What to wear/bring in a backpack every day:
· Mask that fits and will stay on and is labeled.
· Hand sanitizer/antibacterial wipes that are labeled.
· Sneakers are required for footwear. We recommend old ones because they may get dirty. No open-toed shoes are allowed! Trust us; your child does not want to wear them running around in the woods.
· Water – lots and filled with ice on hot days.
· Snacks and Lunch. If bringing a hot dog, then make sure to bring two and also have a back-up non-cooking lunch in case there is no campfire or the food falls in it. Campfires are weather-dependent.
· Small trash bag for personal garbage since we are on conservation land and it is a carry in/carry out policy.
· Sunscreen and insect repellent.
· Swimsuit & towel if in Eco Adventures every day, and if in Tom Denney, then see below.
· Crocs or something like them are allowed for campers who intend to swim since it is easier to wear them than socks and sneakers on wet feet to walk back from the waterfront. This is the only time they are allowed (otherwise it is sneakers). No open-toed shoes are allowed (no flip flops, slides, etc.).
· Extra socks and hat with brim are some things campers like to bring.
· Raingear and warm clothes if necessary due to weather.
· Lifejackets: Feel free to bring your own with you name on it if it is U.S. Coast Guard approved and fits properly.
A few notes:
· Backpacks: label everything and bring a big enough pack to fit it all and it closes, since this year due to COVID we cannot help the campers with their backpacks, so they will have to manage that themselves. Don’t have them bring anything they also have to carry their backpacks to and from camp, and
· Portable Toilets and changing areas are available.
· Food sharing will not be allowed due to possible food allergies of campers.
· Friday Hike Day: no swimming, no camp fire lunch and campers carry their packs on the hike, so pack lightly and do not bring suit/towel or food that needs to be cooked. Pick-up is at 2:00pm and we will be posting a video later of the performances for you to see.
· Weather: we will have to cancel if there is heavy or prolonged rain this summer (which we normally do not do) or other bad weather as we are an outdoor camp and do not have enough room in the tent to gather for long periods of time with a large group with the current COVID safety guidelines. We are hoping to possibly have some mini virtual aspects of camp if we have to cancel on-site camp due to a full day of weather.
Swim Test Monday:
Tom Denney: If you think you want to swim during free choice (other options are running games or arts & crafts) ANY day Monday – Thursday, then you must take a swim test on Monday. It will be age-appropriate. Everyone who wants to swim must take the test per Board of Health rules. You will be allowed to swim if you do not pass the test, but you must wear a lifejacket.
Eco Adventures: A swim test will be given first thing Monday morning, so wear your swim suit to camp and bring clothes to change into after. Everyone will take this test even if they took it last year, even if they are on a swim team, etc. We are required to do this by the Board of Health. The campers will be required to show a strong swimming stroke for 150 feet, tread water for 30 seconds and then swim 150 feet. If your child fails the swim test, then they will still be allowed to participate in the water activities as long as they wear a life jacket (either provided by you that is US Coast Guard certified or camp). Let us know if your child is feeling nervous or you already know they will not pass and we can work with you to make them feel comfortable and avoid embarrassment.
Eco Adventures Thursday Night Time Activities Information:
Thursday night we plan to allow the Eco campers to stay at camp until 11:00pm for night time activities. Goldfish crackers and pizza and s’mores will be provided, or you can bring your own food. Please bring plenty of water for the day/night. If there is a forecast of rain or thunderstorms for that evening, the night time activities may be moved to another night.
Required/Recommended to bring:
· Extra water besides what normally bring for day at camp
· Food if you want to bring your own
· Flashlight/head lamp
· Bug spray
· Warm clothes, extra clothes because can get cool at night and for bugs
· Cell phones are allowed but to be brought at your own risk for emergency use only and will be kept in the camper's backpack and only be allowed to be taken out with permission from the counselors. We recommend you program all your emergency contact numbers into the phone, including non-parent ones.
· The Bolton Conservation Trust and Tom Denney Nature Camp take no responsibility for anything brought to the camp.
· Camp will look a little different than normal. We can’t promise we will do all of our regular activities and games, however we hope to provide a place where kids can be outside and interact with each other, and also give the parents a break.
Videoed Camper Performances:
With the COVID regulations, we are not allowed to invite parents/guardians to camp on Friday afternoons as usual to see the camper’s performances. We have created a TDNC Friends & Families private Facebook Group so families can view performances/skits/songs and camp photos online. It is a private Facebook page. There is a link to join if you would like. Official communications continue to be done via email. The new Facebook group is meant to complement that with images and will allow families who join to communicate with each other. Here is the link to join (optional):
Virtual Camp when weather or other concerns:
In an effort to continuously serve members during the pandemic, Tom Denney Nature Camp is providing distance-based camp experiences through which camp staff will facilitate program activities through Zoom if camp cannot be held due to weather or other concerns. In order to access this platform, your camper will need a device (computer, smartphone, etc.) and internet service. Please speak to us ahead of time if that creates difficulty for your child to access the TDNC experience.
Zoom provides an opportunity to deliver video and chat-based experiences to members via any device. Please be aware that Zoom collects information about its users and has its own privacy terms and conditions to which members must adhere. Please review Zoom’s privacy terms and conditions carefully before registering your camper: http://zoom.us/terms and http://zoom.us/privacy.
In order to participate in distance-based camp experiences, you will need to provide the following:
- A computer, cell phone, or tablet with access to the Internet.
- If possible, please have one device per camper if they are in different groups at camp. If not possible, let us know whose group they would like to join.
- A quiet space at home in which members can participate in distance-based experiences under the supervision of an adult.
- Proper attire is to be worn by all campers to foster an environment conducive to the camp experience. No offensive clothing will be allowed. (Dress like we are actually at camp!).
- To register for Zoom, you will need to provide some customer data, including but not limited to: your email address and first and last name (for more information, see https://zoom.us/privacy).
- For privacy purposes, please make your child’s Zoom display name their first name and last initial (e.g. Ally B.).
We will use Zoom for the following anticipated program activities: video conferencing, songs, stories, performance practicing, fitness activities, and other camp related activities.
Our commitment to keeping the young people we serve safe is always our number one priority. Tom Denney Nature Camp will actively monitor camper activity on Zoom and will make every effort to protect camper information and experience during virtual camp.
Further, all activities online must comply with Tom Denney Nature Camp’s safety policies, including the Prohibition of 1:1 Contact Policy, which requires all video conferences to be supervised by a minimum of two staff members. We will also be recording all sessions solely for safety purposes, and therefore will not be posting these sessions online or using them for any other reason.
Please reach out to us via email with any questions or concerns you may have about virtual camp.
Virtual camp is optional, so feel free to not join us if you are not comfortable doing so.
Please feel free to contact the Bolton Conservation Trust office at firstname.lastname@example.org (the best way to reach us) or 978-429-3004 (voice mail only) with any questions.
We look forward to another fun-filled summer!
Tom Denney Nature Camp
- There will be staff training for COVID guidelines.
- Campers/staff will have a health check each day. Anyone answering yes to any of the questions will not be allowed at camp. Campers/staff will be monitored for symptoms of COVID.
- If campers/staff show symptoms of COVID, they will be isolated and dismissed from camp, and areas and items will be disinfected.
- Please stay in your car along the right side of Flanagan Road for Drop-off and Pick-up until directed into the parking lot. The same person is encouraged to drop-off/pick-up each day. It is encouraged to not carpool. Parents will stay in their car and wear masks while talking to staff/giving medicine/signing papers. Please be patient with the process as it will take longer than usual.
- Monday morning each parent will be given a pen to use to sign the health check each morning and also sign-out their camper at the end of each day.
- Parents are not allowed at camp.
- Campers/staff are required to bring masks to camp with their names on them and wear them whenever they are within 6 feet of each other. Masks may be taken off to eat and for mask breaks and other activities, and will be spaced 6 feet away from each other.
- Hand sanitizer/disinfectant wipes will be required to be brought by campers/staff and have their names on them, and will be reminded to use them often.
- Surfaces such as potties and activity objects will be sanitized frequently and before/after activities.
- We are a carry in/carry out camp so campers/staff will bring in their own food and take out their own trash. We have a no food sharing policy. The exception to food will be Thursdays when the Eco Adventures campers stay after camp (e.g. pizza will be ordered instead of the usual cookout food, and snacks and dessert will be given using gloves).
- Campers/staff must bring enough water for each day. There is emergency water collected from the approved Emerson School source that will be kept at the staff station.
- Groups will be comprised of 12 people or fewer. Groups will stay 12 feet away from each other.
- There will be a campfire for lunch (weather permitting) Monday-Thursday for campers (TD&EA)/staff.
- Campers/staff should wear clothes/shoes that can get dirty/stain from nature/disinfectant/sanitizers/etc.
- Swimming will be available during free choice time with swimmers not wearing masks and with 6 feet spacing. Swimming is not mandatory. Other choices are games and arts & crafts. Eco Adventures campers will kayak with the same rules. Campers must be able to fully change themselves as staff will not be able to help.
- Lifejackets (for swimming/kayaking) will be assigned to a camper for the week or you may bring your own as long as it is U.S. Coast Guard approved.
- Thursday for Eco Adventures will not be an overnight, however the campers are invited to stay at camp until 10:00pm.
- Friday Pick-up for Tom Denney and Eco Adventures campers will be at 2:00pm. Families will not be invited to camp as usual. Instead, a video of the Friday performances will be posted online later.
- If there is thunder/lightning, then camp will not be held. If there is prolonged heavy rain/downpours, then camp may not be held. If there is light rain, then camp will be held and we will make use of the tents for eating, etc. If campers are at home for a length of time during the camp day, then we are hoping to have some mini interactive virtual sessions available for fun.
- Everything must be labeled (e.g. water bottle, backpack, mask, hand sanitizer, clothes, etc.)
- A poster of guidelines will be placed in the Bowers Springs bulletin board.
Tom Denney Nature Camp
COVID-19 Health Check for Campers & Staff
Camper/Staff Name: ________________________________________ Week ________________________
• The health and safety of our campers and staff is always our first concern. We are closely following official COVID-19 recommendations provided by the State of Massachusetts.
• To help create a safer environment, it is our expectation that you will arrive for your camp day without any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 and that you will not have been in close contact with anyone who has those symptoms.
• We are providing you with a series of questions that health agencies have said that we should all be asking ourselves every day in order to promote public safety during this pandemic. Please use these questions to self-screen at home prior to arriving at camp.
• Although the questions below are related to COVID-19, as always, if you are not feeling well you should stay home and call camp to report the absence.
• If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then we are sorry, but you will not be allowed at camp.
• Individuals who decline to complete the pre-screening questionnaire will not be permitted at camp.
Today or in the past 24 hours, have you or any household members had any of the following symptoms?
- Fever (temperature of 100.0°F or above), felt feverish, or had chills?
- Sore throat?
- Difficulty breathing?
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)?
- New loss of smell/taste?
- New muscle aches?
- Any other signs of illness?
In the past 14 days, have you had close contact with a person known to be infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Hand sanitizer must be brought/used once campers exit the car/before entering camp. Mask/HS has name on it.
Below is information we are required to send you from the Board of Health who issues our camp license. Parents/Guardians may request copies of background check, health care and discipline policies as well as procedures for filing grievances.
First Aid / Administration of Medication Procedures
First aid may only be applied by those authorized to do so at camp. In the event that a camper is injured around the area of Camp Circle, they may be brought to the first aid table with two staff/CITs or with a buddy depending on sight lines. If the camper is injured further from Camp Circle, the first aid staff should be notified via walkie and will either go to treat the injury or let the group know they can send up the camper with two staff/CITs. For extreme injuries, walkie “I need _____” (name of a first aid staff member). Do not alert other campers of the severity and distract them from any first aid that may need to be rendered. On the hike, first aid staff will be carrying the medications and first aid materials as well and the same system applies.
The administration of medications shall be under the professional oversight of the health care consultant. The health care consultant shall acknowledge in writing a list of all medications administered at the camp. Medication prescribed for campers brought from home shall only be administered if it is from the original container, and there is written permission from the parent/guardian.
Emergency Medical Care Procedures
The nearest staff member will take charge of the situation, providing care for which he/she is certified until the arrival of the Camp Health Supervisor or a qualified staff member who will then take charge.
If deemed necessary, First Aid measures will be used by certified staff, as detailed in the Red Cross Standard First Aid Manual, as per the camp’s standing orders. First Aid supplies shall be readily available wherever the health care consultant deems necessary and shall be part of the written orders required by 105 CMR 430.159(A). First aid kits shall meet American National Standards Institute Z308.1-2015 requirements including, at a minimum, one Class B Kit and one or more Class A kits, as necessary. Parents will be notified of what was administered.
If necessary, CPR will be administered by certified staff as detailed in the American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer Manual.
Emergency personnel shall be contacted immediately (numbers are posted at camp). Camper will be taken to emergency room of nearest hospital. Parent/ guardian shall be contacted as soon as possible or emergency person if parent is unreachable.
First Aid kit shall be maintained by the health supervisor or a qualified staff member and kept at the camp base and shall include non-perfumed soap, sterile gauze squares, compresses, adhesive tape, bandage scissors, triangular and rolled bandages, a mask with a one-way valve, and tweezers, a cold pack, and barrier protection gloves, preferably non-latex.
An injury Report shall be completed on a form prescribed by the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health by the health supervisor or a qualified staff member for each fatality or serious injury as a result of which a camper or staff person is sent home, is brought to the hospital or physician’s office and where a positive diagnosis is made. A copy of each injury report shall be sent to the Mass. Dept. of Public Health and the Board of Health as soon as possible, but not later than seven calendar days within the occurrence of the injury.
Mildly Ill Camper/Staff Procedures
Mildly ill campers/staff will be treated by the health supervisor or a qualified staff member using the standing orders established by the Camp Health Care Consultant. They will remain with a staff member until they feel better or it is decided that they should be sent home. Attempts will then be made to contact parents/guardians or emergency contacts, and arrangements made to meet up with them at a convenient location as early as possible during the course of the day.
Infection Control Procedures
Any camper/staff suspected of an infectious disease will be isolated from the group and his parent/guardian or emergency contact contacted. The Camp Health Care Consultant will also be contacted if necessary. Each case of a communicable disease occurring at camp will be reported to the board of health as per CMR 430.157. The child shall be isolated at a location suitably separated from the regular active camp areas as to ensure both quiet to the patient and safety to other persons. The space shall be suitably equipped, including ventilation of fresh air. An isolated child shall be provided with adequate adult supervision and the camp shall notify parents or guardians as soon as possible if their child is isolated.
In addition, information regarding meningococcal disease and immunization shall be provided annually to the parent or legal guardian of each camper in accordance with CMR 430.157.
Each suspected case of food poisoning or unusual prevalence of any illness in which fever, rash, sore throat, vomiting, or jaundice is a prominent symptom will be reported immediately to the board of health and to the Mass. Dept. of Public Health as per CMR 430.158.
There will be a section for campers with food allergies to eat separately unless their parents/guardians indicate that they do not have to sit there.
Meningococcal Disease and Camp Attendees: Commonly Asked Questions
What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is caused by infection with bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. These bacteria can infect the tissue (the “meninges”) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis, or they may infect the blood or other organs of the body. Symptoms of meningococcal disease can include fever, severe and constant headache, stiff neck or neck pain, nausea and vomiting, and rash. In the US, about 350-550 people get meningococcal disease each year and 10-15% die despite receiving antibiotic treatment. Of those who survive, about 10-20% may lose limbs, become hard of hearing or deaf, have problems with their nervous system, including long term neurologic problems, or have seizures or strokes.
How is meningococcal disease spread?
These bacteria are passed from person-to-person through saliva (spit). You must be in close contact with an infected person’s saliva in order for the bacteria to spread. Close contact includes activities such as kissing, sharing water bottles, sharing eating/drinking utensils or sharing cigarettes with someone who is infected; or being within 3-6 feet of someone who is infected and is coughing and sneezing.
Who is most at risk for getting meningococcal disease?
People who travel to certain parts of the world where the disease is very common, microbiologists, people with HIV infection and those exposed to meningococcal disease during an outbreak are at risk for meningococcal disease. Children and adults with damaged or removed spleens or persistent complement component deficiency (an inherited immune disorder) are at risk. Adolescents, and people who live in certain settings such as college freshmen living in dormitories and military recruits are at greater risk of disease from some of the serotypes.
Are camp attendees at increased risk for meningococcal disease?
Children attending day or residential camps are not considered to be at an increased risk for meningococcal disease because of their participation.
Is there a vaccine against meningococcal disease?
Yes, there are 2 different meningococcal vaccines. Quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra and Menveo) protects against 4 serotypes (A, C, W and Y) of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal serogroup B vaccine (Bexsero and Trumenba) protects against serogroup B meningococcal disease, for age 10 and older.
Should my child or adolescent receive meningococcal vaccine?
That depends. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra and Menveo) is routinely recommended at age 11-12 years with a booster at age 16. In addition, this vaccine may be recommended for children with certain high-risk health conditions, such as those described above. Otherwise, meningococcal vaccine is not recommended for attendance at camps.
Meningococcal serogroup B vaccine (Bexsero and Trumenba) is recommended for people with certain relatively rare high-risk health conditions (examples: persons with a damaged spleen or whose spleen has been removed, those with persistent complement component deficiency (an inherited disorder), and people who may have been exposed during an outbreak). Adolescents and young adults (16 through 23 years of age) who do not have high risk conditions may be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age, to provide short term protection for most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. Parents of adolescents and children who are at higher risk of infection, because of certain medical conditions or other circumstances, should discuss vaccination with their child’s healthcare provider
How can I protect my child or adolescent from getting meningococcal disease?
The best protection against meningococcal disease and many other infectious diseases is thorough and frequent handwashing, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Individuals should:
- wash their hands often, especially after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food (hands should be washed with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel or rub may be used if hands are not visibly dirty);
- cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and discard the tissue in a trash can; or if they don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve.
- not share food, drinks or eating utensils with other people, especially if they are ill.
- contact their healthcare provider immediately if they have symptoms of meningitis.
If your child is exposed to someone with meningococcal disease, antibiotics may be recommended to keep your child from getting sick.
You can obtain more information about meningococcal disease or vaccination from your healthcare provider, your local Board of Health (listed in the phone book under government), or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at (617) 983-6800 or on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/dph.
We encourage you to share this information with your child as appropriate.