Camp Webb Status Update
Updated: May 21, 2020
We know you’ve been waiting a long time to receive an update on the status of camp this summer. Information has been changing weekly in light of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve finally received the long-awaited guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Camp Association (ACA). It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you that we’ve made the decision to close our program this summer. All families currently enrolled will receive a full refund of the previous amount paid.
This decision is a multi-faceted one and cannot be pinpointed to one factor alone. Our decision to remain closed this summer, in the midst of Knox County showing good progress forward, is specific to Camp Webb’s complex program model and the newly released guidelines from the CDC and ACA.
Safety has been, and will always be, our number one priority. We have been hard at work on new procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of everyone on campus this summer. In addition to focusing on safety concerns and needed supplies, we took a long look at the logistical recommendations posted by the CDC and ACA. For our specific model of camp that offers a multitude of options and environments, we determined that the new operating protocols would not allow us to fulfill your, or our, expectations for your camper’s experience.
We are a large summer day camp that offers a diverse selection of active, hands-on activities that occur both indoors and outdoors. We are proud of the experience we offer our campers, the facilities they are able to enjoy on our campus, and the many staff that work as a team each summer to make camp successful (both from within the Webb School community and from the greater Knoxville area).
This year, in the midst of so many unknowns, we cannot run our program with full confidence that we are giving our campers the best experience of camp possible. It breaks our heart to close this summer, and we know this may be difficult news to share with your campers. We hope the following video will help explain this news to them…
At this time, we must proceed with what is best for our campers, our community as a whole, Webb School, and our Camp Webb family. In the weeks ahead, we will work diligently to process all refunds. Please be aware this process will take some time for us to complete. We thank you for your continued trust in Camp Webb, and we hope to see you for our 60th year of camp in 2021.
Director of Camp Webb
Link to CDC guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/summer-camps.html
Updated: May 15, 2020
We know you are feeling anxious to hear the status of camp this summer, and we are anxious to have an answer. We had expected to have updated official guidance in hand by now; from the state, CDC, or American Camp Association. Since those guidelines have not yet been released, we’ve had a delay in determining our next steps. We are currently in multiple discussions with different entities and will release more information soon.
We will be in touch with our camp families via e-mail in the days to come. We will also post all further public updates to this page, as they become available. As always, we thank you for choosing Camp Webb and for your trust, patience, and understanding during these trying times.
Updated: April 27, 2020
We are currently waiting for new guidelines to be released with COVID-19 specifics for summer camps and childcare facilities. The ACA (American Camp Association) is working alongside of the CDC to develop these camp-specific guidelines, and we expect to know more during the month of May. We’ll have a clear path forward when this information is in hand. For now, the CDC has advised camps to give themselves as much time as possible before making final decisions about the summer. The more time we allow for things to unfold, the better chance we have of being able to preserve the summer experience. Although we anticipate that camp will look different, we are choosing to keep the window of opportunity open.
We are moving forward with cautious optimism; however, we do expect much will change in the weeks to come as this situation evolves. Hopefully, developments will enable us to operate camp, as long as it meets our (and your) top priority – that it can be done in a safe and healthy manner, for both campers and staff. There are multiple questions we have to ask ourselves when beginning to consider the viability of each camp under the current conditions:
- Do current guidelines allow us to engage in this activity?
- Are any of our instructors in a high-risk category or currently immunocompromised?
- Will holding camp increase risks for instructors with family members who have sensitive health conditions?
- Is social distancing, as defined by the guidelines supplied by the health department and CDC, possible when campers engage in the activity?
- Do we have the adequate sanitation supplies to be safely operational?
After taking a look at the current guidelines for open childcare programs, evaluating the situation in Knox County, and speaking with the Webb administration, we have determined that it will be the safest course of action to delay the start of camp two weeks. The first day of camp will now be June 15. We have canceled or rescheduled all camps originally slotted for Weeks 1 & 2. Due to the lack of concrete information for Phase II in the county’s phased reopening, we will be making a decision 4 weeks ahead of the start of each camp week. Hopefully this will give your family enough time to adjust to a change in plan, should it occur.
Even though we feel overwhelming sadness, we’re confident that this is the best decision for the health and safety of our community. As we sit with the uncertainty about what the entire summer holds - we are by no means pausing our preparations. Our team has been mapping out a variety of contingency plans which include new fun never had before at Camp Webb! As long as we believe there is a viable path forward for the summer, we will continue to explore all options.
We are absolutely committed to adjusting and enhancing our protocols to maximize the well-being of our camp community for the remainder of the summer. Know that we are here to answer any questions you may have, and although we are not yet able to be in office, we will be available to you via the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail in the days to come. We are grateful for your trust, your partnership, your patience, and your support.
Updated: April 10, 2020
At this time, we are planning to continue Camp Webb summer 2020 as scheduled.
While it’s currently unknown what the federal and state guidelines will be for June and July, we are planning for multiple scenarios. We are hard at work revising health plans and operating procedures if camp is able to open as scheduled or with a modified calendar. Our decision will be based on national and local guidelines set by the CDC, Tennessee and Knox County Health Departments, and Webb School’s Administration.
Much like the rest of the world, we are constantly monitoring the situation and learning more as information becomes available. The situation is unprecedented and frequently changing, therefore the outlook in April could be drastically different by May or June. The physical safety and well-being of our campers and staff will always remain our number one priority.
With safety in mind, here are some precautions that have always been part of the standard operating procedures at Camp Webb:
- We wash our hands frequently throughout the day.
- We encourage the use of the hand sanitizer dispensers found in multiple locations on campus.
- Our nightly cleaning crew are tasked with cleaning and sanitizing our common use areas and surfaces.
- We consistently maintain an excellent rating on our health inspections for camp, pool, and cafeteria.
- Enforcing and modeling best health and hygiene habits will continue to be an essential topic of staff training.
We are working closely with our local health department and Webb School to share information, review best practices, and prepare for various contingencies. Our modified health plan is constantly evolving, but here are a few additions that we presently know will be included:
- Parents will be required to complete an additional form.
- Campers must be fever-free for 72 hours prior to arriving at camp.
- Before a camper starts a week at camp, they and their home environment must be free of COVID-19 for a minimum of 14 days.
- There will be screening criteria implemented based on the latest information and best practices.
- We will not allow campers who register a temperature over 99 degrees to remain at camp.
- We will be implementing additional training for all new procedures during our staff training program.
As a camp family, we naturally want to prioritize the emotional and social well-being of our campers as well. Never has the summer camp experience been more needed than it is right now. After months of social distancing, kids need a place they can run and play outside, socialize, escape their worries, and just have FUN! Camp is also a way to practice school-year skills such as taking turns, listening to instructions, teamwork, and having grit in the face of a challenge! Many of our staff have reached out to us in excitement about planning extra fun this summer. They are thoughtfully considering the well-being of the campers who will be in their care, and are ready to show up and swing into action.
Please rest assured that if local or national guidelines prohibit Camp Webb from operating this summer, or if we do not feel confident in providing a safe and healthy environment, we will refund all monies paid for 2020. Please visit our “Registration and Policies” page of our website for full details on amended refund policies unique to the current circumstances.
At Camp Webb, we value the human connections and personal growth that can come from the camp environment. These values keep us focused on the importance of making the right decision for our campers and staff. Thank you for your patience as we pause to determine our best course of action during this time of unknowns. As always, contact us if you have questions. Stay well, stay home and we hope to see you all this summer!