Camper Safety

Camper Safety at Belknap

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At Belknap, we believe that campers can flourish in a natural setting that offers structured and unstructured opportunities for growth and learning. Belknap leaders nurture and inspire campers, offering supervision and instruction, but also appropriate freedom to choose program activities and pursue interests. For example, at Belknap each camper has the opportunity to select the daily program he likes and does not travel with his cabin from activity to activity. Thus, every camper must be comfortable getting from one place in camp to another without accompaniment from another camper or staff person.

Even with Belknap’s emphasis on activity choice and self-motivation for campers, however, the health and well-being of your child is our highest priority each summer.

Belknap leaders are prepared and trained to care for campers in a variety of settings—from the cabin, to activity periods, to off-camp excursions or camping trips. Specific qualifications and certifications are required for leaders who instruct specialized activities (such as riflery or waterskiing), or who lead campers on trips away from Belknap (such as hiking trips or overnight canoeing or sailing trips).

All leaders and staff participate in a one-week leader training prior to the arrival of campers. This includes training on homesickness, bullying, camper health and hygiene, and cabin management. All Leaders are trained in First Aid and many leaders have certifications such as CPR and lifeguarding or Wilderness First Aid. Leader and staff training also includes substantial attention to topics around child sexual abuse prevention—including appropriate boundaries with campers, supervision, and sexual abuse reporting. Belknap makes use of nationally recognized programs—such as Praesidium and Darkness to Light/Stewards of Children —to help with training of staff and audits of policies regarding sexual abuse prevention. Belknap prides itself on being a place where we openly discuss the importance of camper safety at all levels. For more information, please see the March 19, 2019 Letter to our Community.

Belknap has a fully staffed Health Center with a registered nurse on staff at all times. Stephanie Kassels, Belknap’s co-director, is also a registered and practicing nurse practitioner. Belknap is 7 miles from Huggins Hospital, a non-profit community hospital in Wolfeboro with a range of inpatient and outpatient services.

Belknap is accredited through the American Camp Association (ACA) and licensed by the State of New Hampshire. The ACA works with accredited summer camps such as Belknap on key aspects of camp operation, program quality, and the health and safety of campers and staff. The ACA collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation to promote growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

Belknap leaders and Staff offer their support and guidance to each camper throughout the summer as they grow and learn under the pines. Please contact Seth or Steph, the co-directors, to learn more about camper safety at Belknap.

Live Camp Updates with the Directors

Register for a session below to learn more about the 2021 season. Get your questions answered.

Director Q&A:

New Camper Orientation (New Camper Families only please! Session is for Campers and Adults)

Pre-Arrival Requirements

The following link has mandatory pre-camp requirements. Additional details will be provided related to pre-camp symptom monitoring and pre-camp testing in May.

Pre-Camp Requirements as of 4/13/21

Packing for Camp

Click here to view and download the most up-to-date list of items to pack for camp (Updated on February 24th, 2021).

If any changes to the list occur prior to the start of camp, a new list and updates will be posted here.

Please note the following:

  • No Laundry - To minimize handling of camper clothes and equipment, Belknap will NOT be offering laundry for sessions that are 1 or 2 weeks. We will provide laundry for 4-week campers.
  • Mask type requirements are outlined as of the current CDC guidance.
  • Water bottles with strap or carrying device are required. Water fountains will be closed to minimize transmission of COVID. Instead, campers will be asked to carry their water bottles to program periods. Water bottle fill stations are located throughout camp.
  • Medications – Belknap is using PackMyRx to help pre-pack medications for camp. Please click here for information and instructions. Please ensure you complete this process at least 30 days prior to your session. Late fees apply.
  • No care packages. Please send letters only.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Belknap is planning coordinated efforts to minimize exposure and risk on these high traffic days. Families will be made aware of exact pick-up and drop off times and procedures for campers and guardians. Information will be posted here as it becomes available. Please note the following:

  • All campers are required to have a negative COVID PCR test complete 3-5 days prior to arrival. Documentation of a negative test will be required upon arrival at camp. Belknap will be providing more information about completing this step soon.
  • Additionally, Belknap will be completing a PCR test for each camper onsite on check-in day. This is separate than the pre-camp testing. Information about this testing will be provided soon.
  • Belknap has not posted check-in times yet. Thank you for your patience. Belknap plans on coordinated efforts to minimize exposure and risk on these high traffic days. Belknap is working through the final discussion on testing and timing which will dictate the drop off process. Families will be made aware of exact drop off times soon.
  • Reminder - Late arrivals will NOT be accepted on to campus because of the testing procedures and COVID protocols. Also please note if the camper needs to depart early from camp for a pre-planned event or unforeseen circumstance, they will be unable to return back to camp no matter what day it is within the session.
  • Pick-up times are tentatively planned for 9am-11am for 2-week sessions and 9-10am for 1-week sessions. More information to come soon on the process.
  • The Camp Store will be closed on check-in days. Camp Store will be open online before your camper’s session and you will be able to access and get camp clothing and equipment sent to you ahead of time.

Camp Life During COVID

Belknap’s mission remains unchanged. Belknap is working on modifications to the property/facilities and program in 2021 to enhance safety and still preserve the core principles of Belknap life. The pictures below will be updated as we make changes around camp.

  • Cabin Fans
  • Hand Washing Station
  • Screen Doors
  • Water Bottle Fill Stations
  • Cabin Fans

    Fans installed on cabin to improve airflow.

  • Hand Washing Station

    Outdoor hand-washing stations installed around camp.

  • Screen Doors

    Screen doors on every cabin will improve the airflow in living quarters.

  • Water Bottle Fill Stations

    Camp is removing the water bubblers and installing 30 of these bottle fill stations all over camp

Masks

Masks for campers and staff will be a part of Belknap’s plan for preventing introduction and spread of virus at Camp. Belknap will be providing more information at a later date about type and number of masks to pack for camp. Please note that campers and staff will be unmasked for sleeping, eating, showering and swimming.

COVID Testing

Camp Belknap plans to use COVID testing as a part of our 2021 plan for entry and admittance to camp, diagnostic (symptoms) and ongoing monitoring, The timing, type of testing, and logistics are being reviewed and will be announced as decisions are made. Types of tests and criteria for their use are continuing to evolve and we want to ensure that we are implementing best practices.

Response to Positive Test

Working with Belknap’s medical advisory group, we are developing a detailed plan for the potential of a symptomatic individual and/or positive test at camp. This plan will include isolation, quarantine, contact tracing, and care of campers/staff.

Visitors

Permission is required to visit camp during the non-summer months/“off season.” Please click below for detailed information on visiting camp. When camp is in session, for the safety of our campers and staff, visitors will be strictly limited. Updated information regarding this policy will be provided here.

Visit Information

Belknap Pledge

We are developing a pledge to ensure compliance and a clear focus on keeping ourselves and each other safe. More to come on this!