Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic some things will look different at Camp Metigoshe this summer – but our staff has been working diligently to make sure that your camp experience will remain a familiar, fun and faith-filled time! Contained below is an overview containing many of the modifications we have made to Camp Metigoshe programming for the summer of 2020. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but it provides a strong basis for understanding what will look different this year. Of course, one thing that won’t change is our commitment to providing Adventure Anchored in Christ in the safest and healthiest environment possible!
- Sarah Bull (outreach director) and Rev. Jon Halvorson (executive director) are serving as the COVID-19 program and protocol planning & implementation team.
- Our staff is being trained to implement a wide variety of health and safety enhancements for the camp season. Sarah and Jon have spent countless hours reviewing CDC, North Dakota State Dept. of Health, and American Camp Association (ACA) recommendations and guidance documents. We have also been in regular conversation with Larry Knight (our First District Health representative), RN Lynn Johnson (our camp nurse) and Dr. Brian Selland (our camp physician).
- A wide variety of enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols are being put into place for the summer. Examples include: staff will have sanitizer with them at all times and will be trained to clean each area when finished using it; all buildings will have either soap/water or hand sanitizer available.
- Before coming to camp, we will ask you to screen your camper’s health – including a daily temperature check – for 14 days. A form will be emailed for you to use, please bring it to check-in. If you forget the form, a modified version will be available.
- Each camper will have a daily temperature check while at camp.
- Check-in at the start of the week will be “vehicle-based,” with all registration and health checks done as camper families make their way through the camp loop. Family members will be allowed to get out of their cars to help unload camper luggage and say goodbye. Campers will meet their counselors and cabin mates in our “Flagyard” area; families will not be able to visit cabins this year.
- There will not be a “public” closing program this year. Those who come to pick up campers at check-out will be asked to remain with their vehicles in designated pick-up areas and camp staff will bring campers out to you in that area.
- The camp Trading Post will NOT have clothing and merchandise available to purchase. All camp merchandise will be pre-ordered online in the coming weeks (watch for a separate email) and will be ready for your camper when they arrive at camp. A second, “end of summer,” order option will be available which would then be shipped to your home.
- If you have placed funds “on account” for Trading Post as part of your registration, those funds will be available to use during the online pre-order sale. If not used, they will be returned to you at the end of your week at camp.
- Day-to-day programming will look very familiar, but much more of the camp program will be done in small-group settings (2 cabins with ~10 campers and 2 staff). Frequently, “programs” (all Trailblazers, or all Family Campers, etc.) will do things together with appropriate physical distancing. Programs will almost never overlap with another program this year.
- Cabins will be housed at half-capacity with one camper/bunk.
- Meals will be eaten in shifts, by program – with time enough between to ensure appropriate sanitation.
- There are times during the week when our camp staff will be REQUIRED to wear face masks. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that your child comes with cloth face coverings (over-ear masks, bandanas, and neck gaiters are all acceptable options).
- We will have Camp Metigoshe bandanas available for $5 at check-in.
- Mask use is recommended when indoors if/when physical distancing is not possible. Likewise, it is recommended for certain outdoor activities.
- During every year, much of camp programming takes place outdoors. For 2020, it is recommended that as much programming as possible be outside – so we are well prepared for this!
- We will only sing while outdoors this summer. Morning Koiny worship and Campfire will therefore be outdoors as much as possible. On days when we cannot be outside, worship will be modified and we won’t be able to sing at those times.
- If your camper has any pre-existing medical conditions, please seek advice from your primary care physician for a recommendation on whether or not you should attend Camp in 2020. This is especially important for Grandparent campers over the age of 65 based on CDC recommendations.
- We are holding ourselves to the highest standards in an effort to create as safe a camp environment as possible. At the same time, it is important to recognize that in spite of our greatest efforts we cannot guarantee that your child will not be exposed to COVID-19 while at Camp Metigoshe.
I know this is a lot of information to digest. Again, don’t hesitate to contact Jon or Sarah with any questions or concerns – our contact information is listed below. We hope that you are still looking forward to spending time with us at Camp Metigoshe this summer. If you determine that time at camp just isn’t the right choice for this summer, we understand. We remain committed to keeping all camp registration deposits and fees 100% refundable throughout the 2020 season.
Finally, throughout June (and all summer long) there will be a wide variety of online camp activities for your family to participate in: daily worship opportunities; First Word fun and scripture; interactive SWAT Bible studies; and so much more at metigosheministries.com/virtual-camp/ for details.
Anchored in Christ,
Rev. Jon Halvorson Sarah Bull
Executive Director Outreach Director