COVID-19 Information for Parents and Families

For many months, our Camp Barney professional team has been carefully and strategically designing our 2021 summer season.

Every year, our attention to the details includes our focus on facility renovations and new features throughout our 540 acres, program innovations, assembling the best of the best staff, creating major systems such as healthcare, transportation, food service, housing, technology, supplies and equipment, security and risk management, and preparing in every way to mentor and care for every camper.

COVID-19 continues to play a central role in every aspect of our preparations for this summer.  As always, our simultaneous focus and efforts are to create the most meaningful and exciting experiences at Camp Barney and to prioritize the health and safety of every camper and staff member in our CBM community.

Ensuring the healthiest start to Summer 2021 will require a partnership between Camp Barney and our families, campers, and staff. We will ask that every family and every staff member sign our “brit” (covenant) prior to arrival in order to keep our Camp Barney community safe.

COVID-19 FAQ for Parents and Families

  • WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION OF CAMP BARNEY’S PLANNING PROCESS?

    1. We will be guided by and work in conjunction with our partners to develop CBM protocols

     

    American Camp Association (ACA)

    Georgia Department of Health

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC)

     

    Camp Barney Medintz Medical staff and advisors:

     

    Drew Rosenthal, MD. Boca Raton, Florida

    Dina Linfoot, MD. Savannah, Georgia

    David Askenazi, MD. Birmingham, Alabama

    Jordana Heaven, MD. Atlanta, Georgia

    Nelly Mizrahi Retter. MD, Atlanta, Georgia

    Steven Frank, MD. Houston, Texas

    Billy Lapidus, MD.  Birmingham, Alabama

     

    Belinda Assin, RN. Head Nurse. Atlanta, Georgia

    Jessica Blatt, RN. Head Nurse. Atlanta, Georgia

    Rachel Swerdlin, RN. Head Nurse. Atlanta, Georgia

     

    1. Kids Need Camp

    After so many months of our campers (and CBM staff) being connected to laptops and devices, we all need camp and the opportunity to play, learn, grow, experience, and be connected to each other again!

    1. Camp Can Adapt

    Taking into account all required and recommended health and safety protocols and guidelines, we will consider every aspect of our operation and re-imagine, when necessary, to create adaptations which enable CBM to be optimally healthy and safe. At the same time we will continue to focus on exhilarating adventures, building connections to our global Jewish community, gaining knowledge and comfort in the great outdoors, forming and strengthening lifelong friendships, and helping every child feel included, accomplished, and loved. We will continue to capture our ‘signature’ Camp Barney traditions and culture, ‘ruach’ (spirit) and joy of being together at camp!

  • WHAT CORE ASSUMPTIONS HAS CAMP BARNEY MADE IN IT’S PLANNING PROCESS?

    1. Vaccines will not be widely available for children.

    While trials are now beginning for teens, medical experts tell us that vaccines may not be available specifically for young camper-age children by summer 2021.  We’re actively monitoring vaccines for adults and we’ll make recommendations for staff if a vaccine is accessible prior to camp.

    1. Testing will be readily available.

    We will be operating under the assumption that testing (molecular PCR, rapid antigen and rapid PCR) will be readily available prior to and during camp. We will share more specifics of our testing plan in the coming months.

    1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be present in our communities and at Camp.

    We must operate under the assumption that COVID-19 will be present in communities we serve and in our camp community. Our goal is to minimize cases and mitigate spread by developing the proper protocols for pre-camp and during camp testing, screening, cohort-based living, non-pharmaceutical interventions (masking, social distancing, hand washing/sanitizing, outdoor activities, etc.), quarantining, and managing any cases if/when they occur.

  • WHAT ARE PRE-ARRIVAL HEALTH AND SAFETY EXPECTATIONS?

    1. For 14 days prior to arrival/the first day of your camp session at CBM, campers and staff members will be asked to follow CDC recommended behaviors including proper hygiene, good handwashing, ample rest, good nutrition, appropriate face masks covering mouth and nose when around others beyond your household, and daily monitoring and reporting of health and any/all COVID-19 symptoms.
    2. 2-3 days prior to arrival/the first day of your camp session, campers and staff members will be required to have one molecular PCR test with a negative result.
      • We ask that campers and staff members quarantine at home – avoiding contact with anyone not in your household – for 3 days before your molecular PCR test through the first day of your Camp session. The health and safety of our Camp community is a partnership with all of our CBM families and staff. Please help us to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our camp community by observing our recommendations prior to camp.
    3. Campers and staff members who receive a positive test several days prior to arrival should contact us immediately and NOT board a plane or plan to travel to camp.
    4. In addition to the requirements above, all staff members will be required to arrive at CBM for a designated number of days prior to campers to quarantine, take a PCR test, and receive a negative result. More information will be shared with our staff members in the Spring.

  • TRAVEL: WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS?

    Camp Barney families will have two options for arrival and departure from camp in 2021, which are different from past summers.

    We will not be offering chartered buses this year from Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, or elsewhere, or permit families to drive onto the CBM campus. We will have coach buses available to return campers to Birmingham and Charlotte.

    THE TWO TRAVEL OPTIONS ARE:

    Driving

    1. Drive in your private vehicle from your home to a location in Cleveland, Georgia approximately 4 miles from CBM. The location will likely be one of the White County schools, where we will conduct first day screening before campers board coach buses for the 4 mile drive to CBM. Luggage drop off will also occur at this location.
    2. Families driving to Cleveland, Georgia in your private vehicle should include only your family. Please do not carpool with members of other families.
    3. Families will receive easy and clear directions for this 1 hour and 20-minute drive from metro-Atlanta. Directions will also be easy and clear for:
      • Your assigned drop-off time.
      • Luggage drop-off.
      • Parking/remaining in your car for pre-camp screening.
      • Goodbyes and departure!
      • CBM will have coach buses frequently shuttling campers and staff by age/grade groups for the four-mile journey to Camp Barney.
      • On all coach buses from Cleveland, Georgia, adult chaperones will guide campers to wear masks and to sit one per row to enable proper physical distancing.

    Flying

    Campers will fly with parent or group chaperones to and from their home city via Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport. For flights with 8 or more campers, we will seek (and reimburse flight expenses for) a chaperone to supervise and escort the campers. Families with campers on a flight with fewer than 8 campers will be required to have an adult fly with their camper and escort them through the airport. We will identify our predetermined flight from your home city.

    Upon arrival in Atlanta, parents/chaperones will escort campers from the gate to our CBM coach buses. As campers depart through the airport on the final day of the session, parents/chaperones will escort them from our CBM coach buses, through check-in, and to their gates.

    CBM chaperones will supervise campers on the coach buses. They will guide campers to wear masks and sit one per row to enable proper physical distancing.

    Additional information about air travel and luggage to and from CBM will be provided soon.

  • WILL WE BE IN “COHORTS” AT CAMP?

    Campers will be in cabin cohorts (groups) upon arrival at camp, formed (as always) after reviewing the information and bunkmate requests you’ll provide to us on the Confidential Camper Questionnaire forms.  These online forms will be on your CBM dashboard in late February.

    Each cohort will participate in activities together, eat together, and share common spaces. Approximately 7-10 days after arrival, if/when deemed safe by our medical staff, 4-week campers may interact closely with others of similar ages and grades. Note: JIT, SIT/Gesher and Chalutzim campers will form cohorts based upon guidance from our team of medical professionals. We will provide more information soon to parents of campers in these units.  1 and 2-week campers should expect to remain in their cabin cohort for their entire session.

  • WILL CAMPERS AND STAFF NEED TO WEAR A MASK AT CAMP?

    Appropriate masks will likely be necessary, particularly “masking when mixing” with different cohorts.  We will continue to work closely with our partners and CBM Medical staff and advisors to monitor all guidelines pertaining to cohorts and masking. We will keep you updated if changes can safely be made to our policy of “masking when mixing.” We will not wear masks when cabin cohorts are in their cabins, while eating meals, or in lake/pool activities. Masks will be worn for anyone leaving camp for camp-related business or to visit an off-site health care facility (i.e.  urgent care or medical appointment for an x-ray, throat culture, etc.)

  • WHAT ARE THE HEALTH PROTOCOLS THAT WILL BE IN PLACE THIS SUMMER?

    1. All campers and staff will take a COVID-19 test within the first week of arrival. Our Medical staff and advisors will determine in the coming months if subsequent on-site COVID-19 tests at Camp will be required for all campers and staff.
    2. All campers and staff members will have routine symptom and temperature checks. If anyone presents symptoms of COVID-19, a COVID-19 test will be administered. Testing will also occur, per our Medical staff, for close contacts of anyone who tests positive.
    3. A separate, comfortable isolation space is being created for those who test positive for COVID-19 while we make plans for their return home. The rest of their cohort will be closely monitored as a quarantine unit while continuing to engage in modified camp activities.
    4. We will provide updates to families who have a child on-site at Camp Barney should anyone  receive a positive COVID-19 test.
    5. Appropriate masks will be worn by all campers and staff members as described above.
    6. Hand-sanitizing dispensers will be positioned “everywhere” throughout camp, as well as on every table in our dining hall. Campers and staff members will be guided to wash hands frequently throughout the day.
    7. A dedicated group of housekeeping staff will sanitize bathrooms at least twice per day and all other high-contact surfaces throughout each day. Gen Eon disinfectant foggers will be used to further sanitize surfaces and spaces all around camp.
    8. Virtually all cabins, activity areas, and dining spaces are fully ventilated. HEPA air filtration systems are being installed in each camp building that has central AC – i.e. our Marcus Health Center, kitchens, staff lounge, adult housing, and other systems will be provided for other air-conditioned buildings as appropriate.
    9. Cabin group sizes will have a limited capacity per guidelines. Campers will also be sleeping “nose to toes” to create further distancing inside cabins and tents.
    10. We will incorporate common non-pharmaceutical interventions at Camp when and where appropriate – i.e.  masking, social distancing, washing/hand sanitizing, coughing/sneezing into a tissue or one’s elbow, being outdoors as much as possible.

  • WHAT IS THE CAMP BARNEY BUBBLE?

    We will operate a virtually closed community as part of our commitment and plan to keep everyone safe.  Guest staff and parents/guardians will not be permitted to enter our community this summer.  We will follow protocols for any ‘in and out’ moments – i.e.  off-site medical visits, staff who live off-site (facility staff, housekeeping), staff employed after the beginning of our first session (medical staff, office staff and 2nd session staff), etc.  Staff will arrive early, be tested, and will remain in our camp community during their time off.

    The American Camp Association currently advises overnight camps against off-site trips. At this time, we will not be offering off-site trips.  We will continue to monitor these guidelines pertaining to trips (where separation from the public is feasible) and provide updates as we approach our summer season.

  • WHAT ELSE MIGHT LOOK OR BE DIFFERENT AT CBM THIS SUMMER?

    1. During the initial weeks of each session and perhaps beyond, large campwide gatherings will not occur per guidelines from the ACA, CDC, and State of Georgia. Therefore, we are planning for shifts for meals in our dining hall, Shabbat services in our Zaban Chapel and for performances in the Chippie Amphitheater to enable appropriate distancing.
    2. We’re excited about offering so many of the amazing activities that are typically provided every summer at Camp Barney (and even some brand new ones)! All activities are continually being evaluated and in the coming months we will determine exactly which ones we can safely offer this summer.
    3. Beyond shifts in our dining hall, our typical “family style” meals will be served differently this summer. Our quality and variety of “nutritious and delicious” meals, snacks, canteen and milkline cookies will remain the same and likely even better with our new food service company! We will still pursue kosher, top quality and fresh ingredients, offer plentiful quantities and vegetarian options, and provide tasty special dietary alternatives as required for all campers and staff. We will not be offering salad bars and buffets during meals. A variety of cereals, fresh salads, PB&J and many other healthy options will still be offered.

  • HOW WILL THE MARCUS HEALTH CENTER WORK THIS SUMMER?

    Every summer, our Marcus Health Center team of doctors and nurses provide expert care to all campers and staff. We will, as always, be a modern and professional, welcoming, and caring place to distribute meds as needed, treat minor health issues, and triage other medical issues. All of our Medical staff will have all necessary PPE.

    All on-site COVID-19 testing will occur in an appropriate and separate space adjacent to our Marcus Health Center, designed to safely accommodate our campers and staff.

  • WILL THERE BE MENTAL, EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL HEALTH SUPPORT AT CAMP?

    Every summer, our staff works hard to acclimate campers to the experience of being away from home and comfortably immersing them into our environment of exciting but different ‘faces and places,’ routines and adventures from what they’re familiar with elsewhere.

    Our CBM “Camper Care” team of professional therapists on our staff will be on-site all summer to provide support to campers and staff and partner with parents to facilitate a successful and happy summer at Camp Barney!

    All of us have lived through much disruption this past year, and our team of experts is prepared and ready for related challenges that might present at camp.  We also know that kids need camp and they’re ready to relax, have fun, disconnect from devices, connect with new and old friends, exhale and experience the magic of “Our Summer Place!”

  • WHAT WILL REMAIN ‘THE SAME’ AT CAMP BARNEY THIS SUMMER?

    In so many ways, Camp Barney will look and feel as it always has!

    CBM has been “Our Summer Place” for 59 summer seasons and we will continue to provide a healthy & safe, warm & welcoming, meaningful & exciting experience for each camper.

    We will enable kids to discover ‘the magic’ of camp through very cool adventures. We will continue to be a vibrant and welcoming culturally Jewish community.  We will continue living with and experiencing Camp with awesome new & old friends, learning & laughing, singing & playing in our spectacular Blue Ridge mountain environment intentionally designed to nurture & inspire every child!