North Star Camp for Boys







Friday, May 15, 2020

Telemedicine at North Star


We know that you are anxious to know what the summer will look like, and we are too. We don’t have that answer yet, but over the past few weeks we’ve received many positive indicators while being faced with additional questions as well. We are incredibly grateful for your continued patience and support as we work to make sure that camp can happen safely this summer.

TELEMEDICINE:
We are excited to share that our brand new North Star Health Center is set up for telemedicine. With the help of Dr. Susan Sirota, a camp parent and volunteer camp doctor, we have established a partnership with PediaTrust, a highly respected group of Chicagoland pediatricians. These doctors were actually Andy’s pediatricians when he was a kid! We began working towards this goal last summer as part of our continuing commitment to take the best care of our boys. 

Through the Anytime Pediatrics platform, our Health Center staff will be able to request pediatrician visits for any of our campers who need care while at camp. Through these meetings and some very cool USB-diagnostic tools, the pediatricians will be able to assess the boys, advise care, and even write prescriptions where necessary.

Our Health Staff will continue to communicate with families as they have done every summer. If your child requires a doctor’s visit at camp, you will be notified prior to the appointment. Billing for Anytime Pediatric appointments will go directly through your insurance. If the insurance company does not cover the appointment, there will be a flat fee of $69 for the appointment. The North Star Health Staff will take care of the registration process for campers who use this service, even if you already have a created account from using this with your own primary care doctor. 

Of course, we will continue to have access to our local hospitals for emergency visits or any medical needs that aren’t conducive to virtual visits. The addition of telemedicine already made sense before the emergence of Covid-19, and it’s even more important now to minimize contact with the public.

To learn more about the Anytime Pediatrics program and their telemedicine offering, please watch their short video!  https://vimeo.com/402418381 We are very excited about this new partnership.

BILLING:
As today is May 15, we wanted to let everyone know that we are not processing payments on final invoices until we have made our final decisions about the summer.

FORMS:
Please continue to work on your camp forms! We want to make sure that we can go full speed ahead when we get the green light for this summer, and we need your forms to do just that.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Talking to the boys about camp


As we turn the calendar to May, I know that you and your boys are anxious to know what will happen with camp this summer. I am feeling it too. In hearing the campers’ questions, I wanted to communicate my thoughts for you to share with your sons.

Is camp going to happen?
We hope so, and we think there’s a good chance, but there are still many things outside of our control. Dan, Robyn and I know that a camp season filled with friendship, activity and the great outdoors would mean the world after these months of social distancing and isolation. That is why we are going to continue to fight for the opportunity to provide our boys with a safe, fun summer. We are mindful of the hurdles we must overcome in order to run camp this summer, but we don’t want to give up hope and we don’t have to at this time. 

Why don’t you know the answer yet?
There is still a lot of information that we need to make a good decision. The CDC has still not released its guidance for summer camps, and we expect that will come out in the next week. The American Camp Association has retained a
top public health firm which is set to provide camps with protocols for mitigating the risks of Covid-19, and that information should immediately follow the CDC guidance. And we are still working with the State of Wisconsin through the Governor's Office, statewide regulatory bodies, and our local health department to make sure we have permission to run camp and the community resources to do so safely.

When will you know the answer?
As soon as we have all that information from the outside experts, we will use it to guide our process for the summer. We have been working on in-depth plans for a wide variety of possibilities and will be ready to operationalize them in order to create the safest and most optimal camp experience.

But seriously, when will you tell us?
I can only ask for patience. I know other camps have canceled, but we feel that we owe it to our campers to take the time we need to make good, sound decisions based on the most current scientific data. If taking that extra time allows us to safely provide our boys with the empowering experience they deserve and need, then it will have been worth it.

What if I get Coronavirus at camp, or if somebody else does?
We will only open camp this summer if the expert guidance is that we can both medically care for campers with Covid-19 and continue to provide them with a positive experience at camp. There is a lot of research taking place to uncover why
children are less vulnerable to coronavirus, and we are tracking the data that shows that children generally present with mild symptoms. We are working with our own medical experts to ensure that our protocols at camp are strong and based on the latest scientific data.

Will camp be different this year?
Yes, absolutely. Coronavirus has caused us all to make changes in our lives and that will be true at camp as well. It may mean different schedules, dining procedures and alternative activities. But it will still be awesome. It will still include great friends, great counselors and fun activities in a beautiful outdoor setting. And I promise it will beat the pants off of playing Fortnite in the basement.

To reiterate:
1) We will only take campers or staff this summer if we are in a position to both adequately care for them and provide them a fantastic experience.
2) We will continue to live by our values, and always strive to do the right thing for the right reasons. 

I know I am asking for a lot of patience and flexibility. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t think it was important. I am so grateful for your trust and support and we will continue fighting for your boys.

Carry On,

-Andy

Friday, April 17, 2020

Covid-19 Update


First and foremost, I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe. The Coronavirus has impacted all of our lives in so many ways, and still we are left with many unanswered questions. In the face of this uncertainty, and with camp still over two months away, we continue to work towards what we believe can be an incredibly special summer for our boys.

Here are some things I do know for certain:
1) We will not take campers or staff this summer if we are not in a situation to both adequately care for them and provide them a fantastic experience.
2) We will continue to live by our values, and always strive to do the right thing for the right reasons.

We are working with the CDC and the ACA to develop protocols for handling Covid-19 at camp. We are in communication with the local and state health departments, the state legislature and the governor’s office here in Wisconsin. We are combing tirelessly through hypotheticals to ready necessary modifications to our programs and procedures. And we have a fantastic staff in place to take great care of our boys and create an unforgettable summer. Yet many pieces of the puzzle remain outside of our control.

With that, I want to thank you for the overwhelming support and ask for your continued patience. This month of social distancing and isolation has only reinforced the value of camp, and we owe it to our boys to take the time needed to gather good information to guide sound decisions. We will be in touch with updates whenever appropriate.

In the meantime, please feel free to reach out for anything at all. Whether you have questions about the summer, need support with these unique parenting challenges, or just need to talk to somebody outside of your house, you can call Robyn, Dan and myself anytime. Keep an eye out for social media contests and games, as well as other opportunities to stay in touch with friends and connect with camp. And don’t forget to get your forms done, so that when we get the green light for camp, we can focus all of our attention on creating an unforgettable 2020 summer.

Carry On,

-Andy