Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is closed as part of Penn State’s efforts to maintain public health and safety in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. For questions about cancellations, program changes, or virtual delivery due to the coronavirus pandemic, please contact us at ShaversCreek@psu.edu. For the latest updates and information, visit: virusinfo.psu.edu.

COVID-19 and Camp

Shaver’s Creek is working hard to ensure the best health practices are set for everyone’s safety. Due to evolving circumstances, the following health and safety stipulations are subject to change. Please check back frequently to stay up to date.

For general information regarding youth programs at Penn State, please visit the Office of Ethics and Compliance Information for Parents page.

In an effort to advance the Shaver’s Creek mission amidst this COVID-19 health crisis, and in accordance with all University health and safety stipulations concerning Youth Programs, the following plan was constructed to keep everyone involved with summer camp as safe as possible. Programming is set to begin the third week in June 2021; however, we recognize the dynamic nature of this current COVID-19 pandemic scenario and we will be prepared to pivot if necessary — cancelling, postponing, or offering alternative plans — should those actions be necessary, closer to the June 2021 date.

General summer camp practices

Camp is a community and we are so glad to have you as part of it. To help keep our community as safe as possible, it is highly recommended that each family do the following:

  • get a COVID test within three days prior to the first day of camp and receive a negative result
  • limit travel (especially out of state) within two weeks before camp
  • limit contact with people beyond your household during the week of camp

These practices made a difference in the success of summer camps in 2020 and we thank you for doing all you can to help protect the health of all campers in our community!

All practices listed below are in accordance with the Pennsylvania State University policies regarding COVID-19, and requirements from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the American Camp Association (ACA) guidelines that govern camps across the country with COVID-19 specifics (titled “Field Book” as referenced throughout this document).

  • Each camper and camper’s parent/guardian are responsible for knowing and following all material contained in this document. Anyone posing a safety concern will need to leave the premises.
  • During pick-up and drop-off all people will wear masks once exiting their cars.
  • Program will primarily take place outdoors, utilizing covered outdoor spaces or large indoor spaces during inclement weather.
  • Physical distancing will be maintained when indoors, and as often as possible outdoors.
  • Masks will be worn by all people when a 6-foot distance outdoors cannot be maintained and indoors at all times.
  • Campers and staff will be organized into the smallest groups possible and the cohort model (keeping the same people together) will drive daily logistics.
  • Total program participants and staff at Shaver’s Creek will be limited to 141, broken up into 10 different trail groups.
  • Staff will consist of SCEC Summer Camp staff who have completed their “Return to Work” paperwork and seasonal staff that have completed all of the required readings and trainings in advance.

Participant requirements prior to program

  • Registration completed online in advance containing waivers and updated language is required.
  • A 14-day pre-screening is required for each participant in the 14 days before arrival to camp.
  • Daily health screenings will be completed each morning by each participant and will be verbally verified then noted on the sign-in form.
  • Participants must provide their own masks.
  • Masks must be worn by each person if physical distancing (a distance of at least 6 feet) outdoors cannot be maintained. (This is accordance with the ACA Field Guide- view section “10.0 INTERIM GUIDANCE ON PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) PLAN FOR CAMP STAFF” page 3 under “CAMP STAFF What to Wear”)
  • All materials used will be disinfected after each use.
  • Participants will wash or sanitize their hands after arriving at camp, before and after eating, before leaving camp and any time during the day when recommended by the CDC or ACA.
  • Participants who may be at high-risk for COVID-19 are urged to communicate with their physician to decide if this experience is a good for them at this time.
  • Anyone who is feeling sick or has been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, must stay home until the requirements [set by the University or other authorities] to participate have been met.

Practices maintained by staff

  • Prior to training, staff will read over the documents and policies as outlined by PSU, the ACA, and state/local authorities.
  • A 14-day pre-screening is required for each staff member in the 14 days before arrival to training.
  • Daily health screenings will be completed each morning by each staff member and noted on the sign-in form.
  • Soap and hand sanitizer will be given to each staff member for use as needed; sanitizer will consist of at least 60% alcohol. Opportunities to refill all staff bottles will exist at the main building.
  • Staff will wash or sanitize their hands after arriving at camp, before and after eating, before leaving camp and any time during the day when recommended by the CDC or ACA.
  • Gloves will be made available to staff during the program for handling materials returned that have not yet been disinfected.
  • If anyone is feeling sick or has been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, then they will stay home until the requirements [set by the University or other authorities] to participate have been met.

Monitoring

  • Daily: staff and volunteers will sign off as to their current health conditions; anyone feeling sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home.
  • If University or state restrictions change such that the delivery of on-site program is no longer able to be conducted, program will be cancelled or suspended based on what is required.
  • If there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 from a participant after having been on-site for program…
    • Measures of disinfecting materials and spaces will take place in accordance with the University protocols and in addition we will consult the ACA Field Book (see section “6.0 INTERN GUIDANCE ON CLEANING AND DISINFECTION” Response and Management of Case(s) or Probable Case(s) page 5)
    • Staff and volunteers will monitor themselves and may be asked to self-quarantine.
    • Program participants will be notified via contact tracing documentation.
    • Program offerings beyond that date may be suspended or cancelled.

On-site (Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center) program plan

All General Program Practices will be adhered to. In addition, the following site-specific guidelines will be followed.

Space limitations and considerations:

  • During pick-up and drop-off all people will wear masks if exiting their cars.
  • Sign-in and sign-out will take place while drivers remain in their cars. A staff member will greet arriving people and share directions on how to proceed.
  • The same person is encouraged to pick-up and drop off the same campers each day, if possible.
  • People who are at high-risk are encouraged to not pick-up or drop-off campers.
  • Morning and afternoon “circle” times will be modified so that at most two groups come together, while maintaining physical distancing, to participate in program.

Facilities

  • Bathrooms will receive cleanings including wipe downs of all handles, sink surfaces, toilet seats, and soap dispensers twice a day. They will be deep cleaned (swept, mopped, hosed down, restocking of supplies, and all handles/surfaces scrubbed) once a week during non-program time.
  • Outdoor furniture will be disinfected with an approved cleaning spray twice a day.
  • There will be at least two Maintenance workers on-site at all times during the program day to clean any areas in need to more frequent cleaning.
  • Age-appropriate signage regarding symptoms of COVID-19, hand-washing, buildings that are closed, and safe practices regarding COVID-19 are posted in all applicable locations.

Off-site program plan

All General Program Practices will be adhered to. In addition, the following guidelines will be followed.

Transportation

All transportation related requirements listed in the ACA Field Book in section 9.2 will be adhered to. Additionally, these are in-line with bussing policies enacted by local school districts in the Fall of 2020.

  • Raystown Transit will provide the bussing for camp. The cleaning and disinfection policies outlined below will be done by their staff. The additional program elements listed below will be implemented by SCEC staff.
    • 1 person will occupy one seat (unless they live in the same household then must sit together).
    • Both the seat behind the bus driver and seats in between riders will be left open.
    • People will load from the back of the bus forward and unload in the reverse order.
    • Tape will label the assigned seating so the same person rides in the same seat each time.
    • Masks are required while on the bus.
    • High-touch spots are disinfected between each run.
    • High-touch and all other areas are disinfected at the end of each day.
  • FLEET vehicles will be used to transport campers occasionally. The cleaning and disinfection will take place via SCEC staff while wearing all appropriate PPE.
    • People will load from the back of the van forward with driver outside of vehicle until it is loaded.
    • Tape will label the assigned seating so the same person rides in the same seat each time.
    • Masks are required while in the van.
    • High-touch spots and seats are disinfected between each run.

Space limitations and considerations:

  • Programming at Whipple Dam will take place this year; everyone will wash their hands in accordance with guidelines and transportation will follow those specifications outlined above.
  • Off-site program locations will be coordinated with to ensure the same level of cleaning and disinfection procedures are being followed.