North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Why we’re still in pods and masking

One of the biggest questions that we are still hearing is why are we still in pods and why are we still wearing masks. Everyone has tested negative twice at camp and at least once beforehand and we are in a well contained bubble here on camp property. While I love that we are largely able to shelter the campers and staff alike from the news of the outside world, I continue to read the stories of outbreaks and record numbers around the country. And as I do my best to keep tabs on the latest news and science, I am reminded the importance of not only continuing to always prioritize the health and safety of the boys, but also that we are working to prepare our community for life after camp as well.

While we continue to have no cases of Covid-19 at camp, we are neither metaphorically nor literally out of the woods yet. By continuing to mask and distance, carry on our sanitation protocols, and remain in village pods, we are taking the steps necessary to limit the transmission of Covid-19 should it find a way into camp. There are food deliveries, too many packages, camping trips and even a few trips to the clinics and hospitals. While we have strong protocols in place to mitigate the risk in these instances, mitigation is not elimination. Though we’d love to play a game of All-Camp Capture the Flag instead of by village or let the whole staff play a big game of Speedball, I know that if Covid were to sneak into camp somehow I would be grateful that we continued to take steps to stop it from spreading.

One of the most impactful moments of the summer continues to be when one of the 12-year-old boys asked me in front of camp when the world would go back to normal. I didn’t know the answer then and I still don’t know it now. But I do know that our boys are going to go home at the end of the summer to a world that looks different. If they go to a store, a restaurant, or even if they have some in-person schooling, they’re going to be wearing masks. They’re going to be going into a world with re-opening plans, gating protocols, and two-week quarantines every time somebody in their class, their school, or on their team tests positive for Covid-19. While I’d love for everything just to be “normal” here at camp, there are 70,000 reminders a day now that life is not normal outside of our bubble and I am grateful for the sense of normalcy that we can still provide, even with pods and masks.

And man are we still having fun! Today we had  Challenge Games during their last period of the day, where one cabin challenges another cabin within their village to a camp activity. This could be anything from water volleyball to dodgeball to tennis to basketball and anything in between. Today, the J-Village took over the field house and the cabins took turns playing basketball against one another, while the I-Village took over the ball field to play a few games of tennis baseball simultaneously, gaga and 9-square-in-the-air. S2 challenged S4 to a game of basketball on our outdoor court and S1 challenged S3 to competitive sailing, which was perfect with today’s wind. I can’t think of a better way for the boys to adjust to whatever the new normal might look like.

Today’s Grace:

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

                            -Winston Churchill

Be seated.