In these unusual circumstances, we have created a new safer alternative to our usual summer programming. This summer, we are pairing our earth educators with cohorts of 12 or fewer students. These smaller groups will be similar to our regular summer camp programming and follow our core curriculum. Counselors will be with them during the three week period and their cohorts will remain stable throughout the entirety of camp.
In order to join you must:
Be sheltering in place & not participating in other group childcare or activities
Be able to commit to being in the camp session for at least 3 weeks
Have a camper who is willing to wear a mask during camp when 6 ft distancing is not possible
If this works for you please register here. Space in these programs is very limited.
Please contact us directly if you have any questions/concerns about any of the above requirements.
How many children can attend a summer camp?
Childcare, summer camp and sports camp operations must be carried out in stable groups consisting of 12 or fewer children, which means that the same 12 or fewer children must remain in the same group each day and for at least 3 consecutive weeks. Children from the same family or household unit must be included in the same group, to the greatest extent possible.
Can my child attend simultaneous summer camps or sports camps?
Children may not attend more than one childcare establishment, summer camp, or sports camp simultaneously. This means that if any child is attending any childcare establishment, summer camp, or sports camp, that child may not enroll in another unless or until they have permanently stopped attending the first.
What if I have multiple children in my household who want to attend different summer camps or sports camps?
Parents from the same family or household unit should seriously consider enrolling their children in the same summer or sports camp, and children from the same family or household unit who do attend the same camp should be included in the same group within that camp to the greatest extent possible. However, it is not required that children from the same family or household unit attend the same camp.
Do children need to wear masks at sports camp or summer camp? Are masks mandatory or recommended for physical activity?
Children under 12 are not required to wear cloth face coverings. Children over the age of 2 should wear cloth face coverings when not actively engaged in physical activity to reduce the risk for transmission only if the parent and provider determine they can reliably wear, remove, and handle masks following CDC guidance throughout the day. Children under 12 wearing a cloth face covering shall be actively monitored by Personnel at all times.
Does summer camp, sports camp and or childcare Personnel need to wear masks or face coverings while teaching?
Generally, yes. The guidance requires the business to ensure that all Personnel comply with the SSP requirements and adhere to all requirements of the Facial Coverings Order and the Social Distancing Protocol as required by the Shelter in Place Order.
Are we able to hold outdoor group activities? Can we run outdoor classes for our students?
Yes. It is encouraged that summer camps, sports camps and childcare do as many activities outdoors as possible; create outdoor activities where you can provide wider spacing opportunities. Sports with shared equipment or physical contact, like soccer, basketball, baseballs, softball, and tennis, can only be played within the same stable group of 12. Participants from one Sports Camp may not compete or play against participants in another Sports Camp. All equipment used by participants or Personnel must be sanitized daily at minimum.
Will you ensure social distancing of 6 feet as the recommended distance for physical activity?
Facilities and Personnel must follow all existing guidelines to prevent the spread of infection, such as social distancing when it is feasible in a childcare setting.
Can multiple childcare groups, summer camps or sports camps operate in the same facility at the same time?
If more than one group of children is at one facility, each group must be in separate rooms or spaces that cannot be accessed by children or adults outside the stable group. Facilities with exceptionally large rooms (e.g. indoor gymnasiums or sports fields) may divide those rooms into more than one space for children by erecting temporary walls or dividers that keep stable groups of children entirely separate from other groups located within the same larger space.
What are the guidelines/best practices my summer camp must adopt to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for our patrons?
Facilities and Personnel must follow all existing guidelines to prevent the spread of infection, such as social distancing when it is feasible in a childcare setting, more intensive infection control measures – such as health screenings, more frequent handwashing, and surface cleaning. Including:
• Take every child’s temperature at the beginning of each day, and take a specific child’s temperature any time there is a concern that child may have a fever. Upon entering room require children and adults to wash hands. Repeat throughout the day as necessary.
• Teach and reinforce washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes among children and staff.
• Teach and reinforce mandatory use of cloth face coverings among all staff.
• Staff should be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently. Information should be provided to all staff on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
• Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep products away from children.
• Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety or health risk (e.g., allowing pollens in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) risk to children using the facility.
• Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
• Sanitize the sink and toilet handles before and after each child’s use.
• Teach children to use a tissue when using the handle to flush the toilet.
• Wash hands for 20 seconds and use paper towels (or single use cloth towels) to dry hands thoroughly.
How should parents/guardians safely drop off children for summer camps and childcare?
At Terra Marin School Campus: To maintain physical distancing, arrival and dismissal times will be staggered. Parents/guardians should also avoid carpooling to and from the Summer Camp and Sports Camp - unless they are in the same cohort.
At Earth Discovery Camps: For students ages 5-11, we will actually be receiving children from your car - so parents will not even need to get out of the vehicle. Children's temperatures will be taken upon exit from the car, and if the temperature is above 100.4 degrees, they will be asked to get back in the car. For students aged 3-5, parents may walk their children to their camps. Parents, please honor the 6 foot social distancing guidelines.
What should the facility provide to ensure safe sign-in and sign-out for parents/guardians?
The facility should ensure hand sanitizer or handwashing facilities are provided before and after families sign in and out. Instead of having parents sign in or out, our counselors will sign your children in and out.
How can summer camps, childcare facilities and sports camp have a safe snack/meal time for children?
All families will send meals and snacks from home.
Are parents allowed to watch the class (at a distance)?
No, at this time parents and other spectators and visitors are not allowed at childcare establishments, summer camps or sports camps. Parents/Guardians shall drop off and pick up children at staggered times to prevent congregating of any groups of parents/guardians.
What is your refund policy?
If you register for one of our three week sessions and something arises, or you need to cancel, you must let us know 7 days prior to the Monday your session begins (four days prior) for a 50% refund, or a 100% credit for future programs.
What if someone in a household of a camper gets COVID-19?
That child will not be able to attend camp for 10 days after the onset of symptoms from the child or family member. Please bring in a negative test to return. Extra precautions will be taken to clean all areas of camp, and all families will be notified immediately. No refund will be processed for any child attending that session (whether they are a member of the household with the diagnosis or not).
Who Musk Wear Masks?
We have investigated these new guidelines outlined by Governor Newsom several times as we wanted to make sure we were following the exact rules as they were outlined by the CDC and the Marin Health & Human Services. We use the Marin County Health & Human Services (and call their COVID-19 hotline often) as our guide to what we need to be doing as a camp in Marin to stay as safe as possible. I have been on the phone twice with the Marin County of Health & Human Services to ask if kids under 12 while in a camp needed to wear a mask (instigated by Newsom’s announcement about masks). Both times they told me, even with the new guidelines outlined by Newsom, the answer was no - not if they are in a camp setting and in a cohort that is following the Summer Camp guidelines.
One part of this reasoning, I believe, is because we have created cohorts within our camp. We have 12 or fewer students, two counselors and the sessions must be three weeks in length. These are special guidelines that were outlined for camps that chose to operate this summer and we are following these rules strictly. It is my understanding that they created the idea of the cohort to replicate what is considered a “family or household” while the kids are together. So when the the California Department of Public Health guidelines make statements around mask wearing, when you see “family or household” it is the same as a camp cohort. The CDPH states:
People Who Are Exempt From Wearing a Mask:
"Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others." When it says “with household members” - the cohort is considered as such.
Although currently we are not requiring that campers under 12 years of are to wear masks at all times, several do and when the children pass a member of another cohort on a trail for example (a member outside their household), the children are asked to mask up as they pass. We do this for their safety as well as ours.
Like I said above, we do have many children wearing masks during camp, but we do have to be careful about the oxygen flow as camp can be filled with running, hiking and other very active experiences. We need to be aware that wearing a mask can cause lightheadedness and other negative side effects especially in the heat. We are trying to balance all of this while at the same time having as much fun as we can!!:-)
However, with all of that said I truly appreciate your email and want you to know how seriously we take the safety of our campers and counselors. We are following the guidelines as set out by our county and have been very diligent about keeping up with the frequent and often nuanced changes — not an easy task! I would like to touch base with our Safety Task Manager once again on this issue to see if I can get more information and guidance on your question and if we need to change something, we will.
Thank you for your patience - We will update this periodically.