> Camp During COVID-19 - Copper Cannon Camp - FREE New Hampshire Summer Camp!

Camp During COVID-19

Copper Cannon Camp is pleased to announce that we will be opening for Summer 2023! While camp will look quite different, we are committed to serving our campers and families this year. Our dedicated staff team has been working hard to adapt programs and create protocols that meet the guidelines and recommendations laid out by the CDC, the State of New Hampshire, and the American Camp Association. While we know that there is no guarantee that our protocols will eliminate the risk of COVID-19, we will continue to adjust and mitigate those risks wherever possible.

In this section are extensive written answers to many of the questions we know you will have. This information will be continuously updated in the months leading up to camp. We appreciate your patience and cooperation in making sure our campers have a fun, safe summer.

We will be holding information sessions leading up to camp to keep you up to date on any changes in guidelines. View a recorded version of the most recent meeting here. You can access the video using the code vMmF4dTJ.

If your child has had COVID, they need to be done with their quarantine period prior to arriving at camp. You need to provide us with a note from your health care provider indicating the child had COVID.

If your child has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the time they arrive at camp, you must send a copy of their vaccination card to kgadapee@coppercannon.org. They will not have to undergo COVID-19 testing when they arrive at camp if they have been vaccinated, but they will still be required to follow all safety protocols, including social distancing and wearing a mask, while at camp.

We feel confident that our protocols will help prevent COVID coming to camp this summer. However, if a camper or staff member is diagnosed with COVID during the session, they will immediately be isolated and, per current state guidelines, must leave camp. Copper Cannon will have supervised isolation facilities to keep the individual safely at camp while waiting for a parent or legal guardian to arrive.

Yes, you will receive a notification by email. We will not identify the individual for privacy reasons, but we will tell you if your child is in their Cabin Group or Cohort.

We will follow New Hampshire and CDC guidelines and implement our pre-planned response. The person diagnosed with COVID would be isolated immediately and leave camp as soon as possible. In the meantime, their Cabin Group (including staff and campers) would be quarantined from the rest of the camp community. The Cabin Group will continue doing activities together during that time (similar to the first day of the session). The Cabin Group will stay separate from everyone else.  State guidelines require the individuals to be quarantined for 10 days. It is required you continue the quarantine upon their return home.

In addition to the general health paperwork required each year (health history, record of a recent physical, and immunization history), we will require completion of the following new forms:

  • Proof of negative PCR test from a reliable testing site, dated within five days of a camper’s arrival to Copper Cannon
  • Pre-Camp Health Screen & Quarantine Affidavit, which includes daily temperature & symptom monitoring for the seven days prior to arrival at camp. Your signature that all pre-camp quarantines were in place is required. Please see our Forms and Dates section for the required form.

All shared items and equipment (e.g., paddles, lifejackets, soccer balls, etc.) will be properly cleaned and disinfected between uses by Cabin Groups. Copper Cannon will use EPA approved cleaning solutions. Frequently touched surfaces and common spaces will be sanitized multiple times daily. Examples of frequently touched surfaces include tables, chairs, door handles, hand railings, light switches, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

For smaller shared items (such as markers, pens, etc.), each Cabin Group and/or Cohort will have their own set of materials. Campers will be asked to use hand sanitizer (in addition to washing hands whenever possible) prior to use of these items, and the items will be sanitized in bulk regularly.

Increased hand disinfectant protocols will be implemented for everyone on-site. Campers and staff will be expected to wash or sanitize hands before and after each of the following: activity periods, meal/snack times, restroom use, and coming into contact with high-touch items.  If a child is allergic to over-the-counter hand sanitizer, parents/guardians must provide the hand sanitizer used by their camper.

Bathhouses will be assigned to different cohorts and will only be used by that cohort.

Sharing of personal items is highly discouraged for both campers and staff.  Personal toiletries will be stored separately to reduce the risk of cross contamination. All campers and staff will be required to carry a personal water bottle throughout the day.

The decision to send your child to camp is a personal one and we recognize that this decision has become even more difficult during this time. If your child is at higher risk for infection, requires nebulizer treatments or the use of daily steroid and/or rescue inhalers for breathing difficulty, we recommend waiting until the summer of 2022 before sending your camper to Copper Cannon.

Please review the CDC’s recommendations on people who need to take extra precautions during this time. We are happy to talk through these concerns with you, however, your child’s primary care physician should be consulted if your child is at higher risk for medical complications and you are considering any residential camp this summer.

At this time, NH’s COVID guidelines for overnight camps require a pre-arrival quarantine of 10 days, a negative COVID test taken 5 days prior to arrival, a second negative COVID test taken on arrival at camp, and a third negative COVID test taken 5-7 days after arriving at camp if staying longer than 7 days. In accordance with current NH guidelines, Copper Cannon requires the following of campers:

  • The individual and anyone in their residence will need to quarantine to the greatest extent possible for 10 days prior to camp arrival. In particular, and regardless of local requirements in their home communities, individuals should minimize contact with anyone outside the immediate family/household, wear masks, and utilize physical distance out in the community. This means limiting, to the greatest extent possible, activities outside the residence, with the exception of essential activities (such as medical appointments).
  • 7 days prior to camp arrival, individuals must keep a record of any possible symptoms and conduct daily temperature checks for all members of the residence. Go to the Forms and Dates tab to download the Family Temperature Chart

 24 hours prior to arrival, we will ask the camper’s parent/guardian to sign an affidavit stating that the above pre-camp measures were followed. If a camper/family has not complied with these requirements, they will not be permitted to come to camp. For campers, this will mean being placed on a waitlist for a later session, if possible. 

According to current NH guidance, we will require three diagnostic PCRs (polymerase chain reaction tests, also known as molecular tests) for all staff and two for the campers. The first test needs done approximately 5 days before arrival at camp. We recommend that you consult with your primary care doctor to locate a PCR testing site. Lab test results from this pre-camp test must be scanned and e-mailed prior to arrival to camp. If you received results by email, the results must be forward to camp.  All emails are sent to kgadapee@coppercannon.org.  In addition, bring a copy of the results with you when you check-in at camp. Without proof of a negative PCR, NH guidelines will not permit us to allow you on camp.

A second PCR will be required upon arrival at camp to confirm the results of the pre-camp test and a third will be done around Day 7 for staff or campers staying longer than one week (i.e. CIT program). Tests will be conducted on site by trained health staff and processed at an off-site lab with whom we (and many other NH camps) have partnered.  

If your child has had COVID in the last 90 days, please send us a copy of the positive test results.

In addition to testing, cabin counselors will be conducting daily health screenings and temperature recordings of all staff and campers in their cohort throughout the duration of the session. Additional tests will be administered if a camper or staff exhibits COVID symptoms.

Should a pre-arrival test result come back positive, notify Copper Cannon Camp immediately.  Campers would need to withdraw from the upcoming session, but will have the opportunity to attend a session later in the summer, pending negative test results and space availability.

Upon arrival at Copper Cannon, everyone will be required to wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose, with limited and specific exceptions for certain times during the day (essentially, when eating, swimming, sleeping or showering). Gaiters, bandanas, loose-fitting (air gapped) or ill-fitting masks are not acceptable.

Our pre-camp packing guide will give details about how many masks to bring and what type of mask is required.

Each area of camp will have multiple “mask break” locations.  The locations are outdoors and physically distant from where others will be playing.  Anyone may use these areas to safely take off their mask for a few moments.  Campers must let a staff member know s/he will be taking a “Mask Break”.

A Cabin Group is considered the core unit at Copper Cannon. This includes the campers and staff who live in the cabin. Multiple Cabin Groups will combine to create a Cohort to allow for expanded social opportunities for campers.

While awaiting the results of the Arrival Day testing (an expected period of approximately 24 hours after drop-off), the camp schedule will focus on keeping Cabin Groups together and physically distanced from other Cabin Groups. During this period, staying in a Cabin Group will reduce the potential of exposure. Once the results of the on-site test are in, Cabin Groups will be able to combine into Cohorts. Cohorts and Cabin Groups will be able to relax masking procedures. Much of the camp day – such as activities, swim periods, and meals – will take place in Cohorts.

If your camper has attended before, they might notice that camp looks and feels different this summer. They may miss a favorite activity or have fewer bunkmates. Please talk to your camper about these likelihoods. Let them know that flexibility is key (and sometimes fun!), things will be different (and that’s ok!), and that we need their help to keep everyone healthy (listening to counselors is crucial!). Please also talk to your camper about social distancing and mask wearing and why it’s important.

Do not tell your child you will come and pick them up if they do not want to be at camp. This sets everybody up for failure. 

To reduce contact among campers and limit the sharing of spaces and equipment, our program activities will be modified. Camp staff are working hard to maintain a quality camp experience under these new circumstances. For example, we know we’ll be canoeing, making arts and crafts, and having campfires, but we may not be able to have a typical Friday All Camp Activity or Saturday shirt signing.  Activities that involve multiple people touching equipment at the same time, such as the High Ropes and Low Ropes courses may not occur or be modified. Please remember that this situation is rapidly evolving, and we will keep families informed of changes as the summer progresses. If you have questions or ideas, please email Katie at kgadapee@coppercannon.org.

At Copper Cannon, our team always keeps a close eye on the weather to limit any surprises. In the event of a few raindrops, camp goes on as scheduled (with raincoats and boots of course!). However, when inclement weather makes it unsafe to be outside, campers will take shelter in Cohort Groups in the various buildings on site or as Cabin Groups in their bunks.

We know this has been a challenging year for our campers. This is a time when Copper Cannon must make many modifications and ask campers to follow new camp rules that are unfamiliar to them. There will certainly be “bumps in the road” as campers become acclimated to being away from home with these new expectations. Our staff will, as always, use their extensive training and compassionate intervention skills to help campers succeed at camp. Given the increased risks to the health and safety of everyone in the camp community, there are certain behaviors that we will not be able to work through with campers this summer. These behaviors include:

  • Refusal to wear a mask covering both the mouth and nose when required and reminded
  • Refusal to participate in health screening, testing procedures, or quarantine requirements
  • Intentional spread of droplets including coughing/sneezing/spitting in the direction of or directly on others (this is a case of intentional acting out and is different from an accidental sneeze while unmasked, for example); and
  • Refusal to follow physical distancing and hand hygiene guidelines

Should a camper be unable to meet these expectations, they will be unable to remain at camp for the remainder of the session. An approved adult must pick up the camper within 3 hours of being notified of dismissal. As always, we will work with campers to help them understand the consequences of their choices and assist them in making good decisions. With health-related behavior violations, we will not give endless warnings or implement behavior plans.  Campers will be dismissed from camp. Health-related behaviors have very short timeframes for improvement. We want to be transparent with you about this because we will only be able to continue camp programming if we all work together to keep camp safe. If you feel that your child may struggle with any of the behavior expectations above, we encourage you to reach out to our Camp Director.

Copper Cannon Camp - FREE New Hampshire Summer Camp!