COVID Update – 4/27/2020

Dear Catalina Sea Camp Families,

I hope you are all continuing to stay healthy, safe, and as connected as possible during this super-challenging time.

While perhaps expected, I know, like for many of you, the announcement of school being suspended for the year carried an emotional weight for me…both as a parent, and as camp Director…that we still have a long way to go before we can resume our normal routines. I know that it maybe also raised the question for a lot of you, “What about summer camp?”

The short answer is, we still don’t know the status of camp yet. Decisions regarding the safe operation of overnight camps this summer rest first with state health authorities and then with local departments of health. Camps were told last week that these decisions will begin to be made over the next four to six weeks.

Our amazing team of camp leaders are problem-solvers by nature. From challenging social dynamics among campers to facilities issues to poor ocean conditions, we’re used to being able to dive in and help find solutions. This spring has presented one of the biggest challenges we’ve all ever faced. We want to be able to offer answers, and the coronavirus pandemic is requiring us to do something we’ve often urged parents to do: Be patient and trust the experts.

I wanted to share directly with you a message camps received from the American Camp Association, our accrediting body, this week:

“The CDC is currently developing specific guidance for day and overnight camps and has connected with ACA to engage them around their work. In addition, ACA is also working with independent experts in public health, epidemiology, infectious disease medicine, and organizational design to provide educational resources for camps to assist them in meeting the guidance required by CDC. This CDC guidance specific to running camp is expected to be in place by no later than the end of April. ACA resources will follow very soon after that, as they need to take the full CDC guidance into account.”

We are still moving forward with all of our preparations for this summer, and we will be ready to go when we are able. We are aiming for a final decision date in mid-to-late May. The health and safety of our entire camp community will be the single most important factor in whatever we decide.

It has been comforting, amidst the uncertainty, that all camps, are united in how we will be approaching decisions about summer programming. Here is a link for some parent resources from ACA: ACA Resources for Parents. While I recognize how hard it is for all of us, and our kids especially, to live with so much uncertainty, it’s still just too soon to have a decision about camp for this summer.

In the meantime, even with the distance between us, camp is still here. Keep an eye on your emails and our social media (Sea Camp InstagramCIMI Science Instagram) for some camp energy for  and you to enjoy. We hosted a successful Sea Camp Social on Saturday and had over 400 campers log in to say hello. On Saturday May 9th we will be hosting a Talent Show, a wonderful tradition in our 3-week program.  Check our social media for more details. 

Our amazing dive director Peach wanted me to share this as well:  Free Online Prepared Diver Course:  We are excited to offer the Divers Alert Network’s (DAN’s) Prepared Diver Course to our camp families.  The online course is a great choice for those excited to learn to dive and an awesome refresher for seasoned divers!  The multimedia learning program details proper diving behaviors and safe diving procedures.  To access the course, let us know the email address you would like to use for login by emailing Peach, the Dive Director, at ashley@cimi.org.  Once enrolled, you will receive an email from DAN with a link to register for the course and get started!  

I hope that the next time I am communicating with you we have a more concrete idea of summer.  For now, stay safe and healthy, and know that we will continue to stay in touch as more information becomes available.

Paul “Butterkup” Kupferman

Summer Operations Director

catalinaseacamp.org

paul@catalinaseacamp.org

(909) 625-6194

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