North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Summer 2021 Update

Happy Valentine’s Day! We love our North Star family so much, and we are so grateful that you have chosen to be a part of it.
So much has unfolded since this time last year, and now we sit four months away from the Summer of 2021. While we’re still living in the yellow-light world we discussed so much last spring, we enter this spring confident that we will provide a safe and fantastic experience for our campers this summer. The plan that we put in place last year continues to guide us, yet we know there are still many questions about what this summer will look like. With that in mind, though everything is subject to change, here is where things stand today:

Two 4-Week Sessions
One of the hardest things about last summer was knowing that over 150 of our own campers were not able to attend camp under the circumstances. Camp is always critical, and it feels as important as ever given what we’ve faced throughout the pandemic. It is with that in mind that we continue to work towards two 4-week sessions, so that we can give as many boys as possible a summer at North Star. After last year’s great 7-week session, we have more 8-week campers than we’ve had in a long time, and we are excited to provide an incredible 8-weeks at camp so that the boys can be active, spend time with their friends, be outdoors, and gain the social and emotional intelligence that we work to teach at camp. 

No Parents Visiting Weekend
While we know how much you love visiting your children and seeing camp in action, and while we love being able to share the Northwoods with you, inviting outside visitors into our camp bubble is simply not a risk I’m willing to take. Our goal is to minimize outside exposure to the greatest extent possible, and so it will not be possible to invite in the hundreds of visitors we customarily have. Just like last year, we will replace visiting weekend virtually for 8-week campers.

Quarantine Prior to Camp
We will require a quarantine period prior to camp. While we cannot guarantee that COVID-19 will not come into camp, we owe it to each other to do everything that we can to work to keep COVID-19 out. During the period leading up to camp, we will ask that campers have no indoor interactions with anyone outside of their household. We will also ask that members of the household take all reasonable precautions to support this effort. Last year, that time period was 14-days, though in conjunction with testing, it is likely that this year we will be able to shorten that period.
There are many more details still to come on this, including how to handle school within that window, but we know that we will be asking families to monitor for symptoms, complete contact tracing forms, and acquire a negative PCR test immediately before camp. The quarantine time at home is incredibly important to mitigate the risk that a camper brings COVID-19 to camp, so we expect everyone to adhere to our requirements closely. Failure to adhere specifically puts your son’s cabin at risk. If you do not believe that your family will be able to comply with these restrictions, please contact us immediately.
Small Group Cohorting at the beginning of each session
Because COVID-19 may come into camp even with the best pre-camp precautions, the best way for us to contain the spread is to once again require a cabin-based cohorting at the start of each session. Thanks to improvements in testing and updated information, we are again likely to be able to shorten the timing from last year, and are hopeful that we can limit that initial phase to 7-10 days maximum.
8-week campers will need to re-pod at the start of 2nd session. While the 8-week campers will likely have cleared all COVID-19 hurdles by the end of the first session, welcoming all of our second session campers to camp means we’ll need everyone to re-enter our first phase of cohorting to ensure our “camp bubble” is intact and we can stop the spread of COVID-19 if it enters camp at session changeover. 

More Activity Choices during initial cabin-based cohort time
We have learned a lot since last spring about COVID-19, and with more time and information, we have plans in place to allow the boys to have more choice over their activities. It will still be slightly more restrictive than the usual freedom they have during the summer, but boys will have elective periods and will be able to participate in instructional activities of their choosing during this time. 

Travel to Camp
We are still ironing out details about transportation procedures including locations and transportation methods. We are working on a comprehensive strategy to combine transportation with the latest testing methods to make camp travel as safe as possible and as convenient as we can make it within those confines. For now, we simply ask for your patience and understanding while we put the best plans in place, and we will have more information for you shortly so that you can plan accordingly.

Much will change between now and the start of camp. It hit a low of -38 degrees this week, so good thing there’s still lots of time before the summer! We promise to stay on top of the latest developments to work towards an incredible Summer of 2021. As always, please reach out to us directly if you have any specific questions.