2021 Playbook & Pre-Camp Plan

Latest Update: March 9, 2021

Much like your children, we are enthusiastically looking forward to a fun and healthy Summer 2021! As we work towards welcoming our campers and staff back to Pembroke, we are updating and evolving our plans for what camp will look like. We appreciate your ongoing patience as we navigate this effort to ensure it will be both safe and fun for your children.

For the most up-to-date information about this summer, please explore the information below. As is true with most things in this COVID-19 world, everything is subject to change. We will keep you in the loop and share information with you as we have it.

Coming in April: Town Halls for camp families

Many great questions have already been asked and we imagine there will be many more leading up to camp. We are planning Town Halls (via Zoom) in March and April for campers and parents so you can speak directly with us and ask specific questions.Watch for more information about how to log in, coming soon.

Camper Q&A Meetings:

Lower Camp (rising 2nd-5th graders) – March 23rd @5pm
Middle Camp (rising 6th-8th graders) – March 24th @5pm
Upper Camp (rising 9th-10th graders) – March 25th @5pm

Parent Q&A Meetings:

April 20th @8pm
April 25th @3pm

Choose a topic or just scroll down:

What MA says

What’s the latest state guidance on opening camp?
Learn more

Cohen Camps Plan

How we intend to create & protect the “camp bubble.”
Learn more

Get your camper ready

Pre-camp distancing, testing, transportation & drop-off.
See details


MA state guidance on opening camps

We are excited that overnight camps in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire will be able to open this summer!

Massachusetts update
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) decides if camps in MA can open and what rules every camp must follow. The Cohen Camps are still awaiting official guidance from both Massachusetts and New Hampshire on pre-camp quarantine, testing, and general health and safety requirements. At this writing, the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association (NHCDA) has submitted proposed revisions to last summer’s guidelines that are still subject to review and revision before they are made final. The Massachusetts Camping Association (MCA) has also submitted proposed guidelines and is waiting to hear back.


Cohen Camps Plan

The Cohen Camps are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for all three of our camp communities this summer.

Layered health & safety protocols
First and foremost, Camp Pembroke will adhere to the layered health and safety protocols referred to as Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs). The data shows that these are the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. NPIs we will implement include:

  • Cabin-based family groups
  • Mask wearing
  • Physical distancing
  • Hand washing
  • Being outdoors as much as possible
  • Improving ventilation of indoor spaces
  • Enhanced cleaning 

Our Medical Advisory Committee, experts in the field who know our camps, will counsel us on how best to manage the COVID-19 risk within our specific camp communities. Based on the committee’s advice and our comfort level to mitigate risk for our communities, we will update our protocols accordingly. As always, the health and safety of our campers and staff remains our first priority.

Two-of-Three Rule
This summer, campers and staff will adhere rigorously to multiple layers of NPIs (see previous item for more explanation): masks, outdoor activities, small groups, and social distancing. A simple way to navigate these layers is by using the “Two-of-Three Rule.” This rule specifies that when interacting with anyone from outside your own bunk or living space, people must adhere to at least two of these three factors:

  1. Masks
  2. Outdoors
  3. Social Distance
Creating the Camp Bubble
Camp has always metaphorically been called a bubble, a special “world apart.” This summer, we’ll make it a more physical bubble, too. So that we can operate as normally and safely as possible for everyone here, we’ll establish a closed environment in an attempt to limit exposure to COVID. Once the bubble forms, it will exist for the session.

Campers will not be allowed to leave the camp for appointments or family events (like weddings or graduations.) Please make any necessary routine medical appointments for your children before or after their time at camp. Campers who need to leave camp because of a medical emergency will do so with strict protocols in place to safeguard them and any staff member assigned to take them for medical consultation/treatment.

Staff who live with and interface regularly with campers will remain in the bubble from orientation through the end of camp. These staff will only be permitted to leave camp for medical emergencies and other limited individual exceptions. Strict protocol will be followed when outside camp and upon return. Since our staff will not be leaving camp, we will provide spaces, resources, and provisions for staff to relax and rejuvenate.

Each camp will have several local staff who live outside of camp, like maintenance and kitchen staff, who do not need to interface with campers or staff directly. Daily screenings before entering camp, maintaining distance from our campers and staff at all times, additional testing, and mask wearing will be strongly enforced.

Testing
All staff will be tested multiple times before campers arrive, and again after campers arrive.

Campers will be tested when they arrive at camp and during the first week. There are exceptions to that requirement for anyone who has had a positive PCR test within 90 days of arriving at camp; however, these exceptions may change as new information becomes available. We plan to test during camp and will share specifics of our plan in the weeks leading up to camp.

Vaccinations
We do not believe at this time that vaccinations will change our practices. We will apply all mitigation measures as planned and we will re-evaluate as new information arrives or if conditions change.


Get your camper ready

When it comes to keeping camp safe and healthy, the risks we take collectively matter most. We know how challenging these sacrifices have been this past year for all of us. In order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 being brought into camp, campers and their families must adhere to the following requirements:

For 10 days prior to camp
Pembroke campers and their families must remain vigilant and refrain from non-essential contact with people outside of their households and immediate family for the time period recommended by the CDC, currently ten days, prior to their arrival at camp. During this time:

We ask that other household members take appropriate social distancing and preventative measures to keep their campers healthy including, but not limited to:

  • Wearing a mask when near non-household members.
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from people outside the household.
  • Utilizing curbside store/restaurant services only.
  • Washing hands with soap and water frequently.

We also ask parents to monitor and document any possible COVID-like symptoms in discussion with your camper. In addition to providing an early warning of the virus, this process will also help campers build habits prior to their arrival so they know what to look for independently while they are at camp. We will continue to monitor for symptoms at camp.

Pre-camp testing
At this time, your camper will need to provide a negative result from a molecular COVID-19 test, commonly referred to as a PCR test, within 3-7 days before arriving at camp. This timing will be dictated by State of New Hampshire. As noted above, campers will also be tested when they arrive at camp and during the first week.

Transportation
Currently, New Hampshire requires quarantines for people arriving from certain states, but New Hampshire allows campers to travel directly to camp and not quarantine in NH if they can attest they quarantined for 10 days prior to traveling to camp. We believe that Massachusetts will have a similar exception but must wait for that guidance.

We understand that this makes it difficult for our Pembroke families to plan so we will try to get information out as soon as we know something. For families flying to camp to minimize exposure, we request when possible to fly into the airport closest to your child’s camp: Boston Logan (BOS). We may not be able to pick up campers at the airport as in the past, so parents may have to make alternative arrangements. Please contact camp to discuss flight arrangements BEFORE you purchase your tickets.

Arriving at camp
Arrival at camp this summer will be different than in the past since we will be required to perform PCR tests on all campers arriving, in addition to our usual checks.  We will set up an arrival schedule in order to limit the numbers of people arriving at one time so we can maintain proper physical distancing. This schedule will be provided as we get closer to camp. Adhering to the assigned schedule will be critical for everyone’s health.

This year, parents will not be allowed beyond the intake area during drop-off. Parents will drop their children off with their luggage at a designated intake spot, and promptly leave camp. Our staff will take luggage to cabins, and our counselors will help campers unpack, settle in, and begin to experience bunk life with new and old friends. We will schedule virtual meetings for parents and campers so you can meet your counselors prior to camp.


Questions? Specifics about your child?

Parents, if you would like to speak with a Co-Director, Head Counselor, or Health Center about your child, you will have that opportunity for that in the days leading up to camp. We will send out a way to sign-up for this as we get closer to Opening Day. As always, we are available to discuss your child and answer questions at any time.

We are truly excited that all three Cohen Camps will be able to open our doors this summer! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your ongoing partnership in preparing for this summer. Working together as a community we will make it a safe and fabulous summer for everyone.

Read the earlier version of this playbook