Valley Trails Summer Camp
VALLEY TRAILS SUMMER CAMP
TARZANA, CALIFORNIA - DAY CAMP
Hear from parents
What changes did you make to operate either to your program or your camper capacity?
We operated for 8 weeks, offering 5-day per week sessions (we eliminated our flexible scheduling), and maintained consistent groups of no more than 11 campers. We performed daily COVID screenings, required weekly disclosures, went through gallons of hand sanitizer.
We did eliminate our bus transportation, field trips, our rock wall, and our lake program. Other than those modifications, we successfully adapted all of our programs to a COVID safe model and experience.
We used to say if you went home dirty, you had a great day fo camp, well this summer, we washed our hands so much, this was not the case.
How did you deal with COVID exposures?
We had one positive case this summer. The camper was exposed outside of camp, but did attend one day after the exposure. We quarantined the entire group and exposed leaders for 14 days, and they were able to return to camp with no signs or symptoms. The camper that did test positive did not return to camp as their session had completed, however they would have been required to bring a negative test result in order to return.
How well did it work?
Our families were our greatest tool for operating safely. Campers who in the past that may have been sent to camp with a sore throat or the sniffles were kept at home. Our camp families knew that each action had potential repercussions and helped to ensure that camp was safe. We were completely transparent with EVERYTHING COVID related. Through this, we gained even more trust than a typical summer, and truly partnered with our parents.
What was the impact on campers?
This was exactly “what the doctor ordered.” Our campers received a full camp experience, but they were simply happy to be at camp, with their friends and group leaders. We saw campers coming in the beginning of summer scared, anxious, and needing a re-boot in socializing. After 2 days of being a “kid” again at camp, they were back to normal. Not only did we save their summer, but we saved them. Reflecting on this past summer, this was definitely our most important summer that we ever operated, creating a safe, “normal” environment for our camper and our staff.
It was a difficult decision to make for us to send the kids to camp due to the dangers of possible exposure to COVID as their grandparents are always in and out of our house since my husband and I both work and need their help with the kids. We just did not want to put anyone's health in danger. At the same time, we had seen how badly virtual learning had effected our older son's psychological well being and felt camp might be therapeutic.
Adrian's mood swings, overall sadness and irritability that had taken over his personality over the last several months of being away from school and learning virtually started disappearing within the first few days of him attending camp.
Your hard work in safely operating the camp during COVID times made every single one of you turn into role models for the children. As we are finishing another summer with you, we would like to wish you health and strength as all of you continue on to your fall endeavors. Our family is looking forward to spending another summer with Valley Trails and all of its wonderful crew again next year.