Summer 2021

To Our Amazing Horseshoe Families,

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome campers back for 2021!

There is nothing more important than the trust you have placed in us, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. The health and safety of the Horseshoe Family has always been and will always be the number one priority for us.

With your support, we are looking forward to a safe, healthy and happy summer. We are back and better than ever! While we can’t guarantee a Covid free summer, we are certainly going to try. Regardless, we will be prepared to handle anything that comes our way.

This plan is written to reflect what Camp would look like if it were to open today. We are regularly updating this document to reflect any changes made to policies and best practice recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As our entire camp community will not be vaccinated this summer, our protocols will remain in place regardless of vaccine status, including the 7 day pre-summer low risk behaviors and testing.

Ensuring the healthiest start to Summer 2021 will require a partnership between Camp Horseshoe and our families, campers, and staff. If you do your part before camp, we will do ours during camp.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility. We can’t wait for June 21st, it’s going to be an amazing summer! As always, please let us know if you have any questions. Communication is a vital part of our relationship with you and your son.

Hail to the Forest!
Fran and Jordan

Summer 2021 Health & Safety Updates

What are the pre-arrival health & safety expectations?

All campers and staff, regardless of vaccination status, must participate in only low-risk behaviors for 7 days prior to their arrival at Camp. Low Risk is outlined in the risk chart as #1-3. During the 7 days prior to camp, campers and staff should limit contact to members of the household only. This includes no day camps, team sports, travel teams, after school activities, end of school gatherings, events, pool parties, good-bye dinners, garage get-togethers, etc.

Remember that the goal is to have everyone be able to participate in camp. These low-risk behaviors will help ensure that your camper will likely have a negative PCR test before arriving at Camp AND will also have a negative PCR test when we test at Camp.

You are our partners in risk mitigation. We are pleading with our camp families to help us create our safe haven. Your actions have a direct impact on our camp community.

How will my son(s) get to camp?

The buses will leave on Monday, June 21st (1st session) and Sunday, July 18th (2nd session) from Niles North High School in Skokie, IL. We will be staggering the departure times by age group in order to lessen the number of people at the bus stop.

Only campers will be allowed out of the cars, please give your son a big hug before heading to the buses. We will email more specific information as camp gets closer.

Please pack your son a nut free lunch with a drink. We will stop and eat in a safe location on the way to camp.

For campers flying to Minneapolis, We will meet the boys at the airport and take them to a safe location for lunch provided by camp.

Regardless of vaccination status, campers will wear masks while traveling to camp.

What about testing?

One of the most important components of running a camp during a pandemic is your son’s modified pre-camp behaviors for 7 days prior to camp (only low risk activities #1-3). We also require a negative COVID PCR test prior to your son’s departure for camp, regardless of vaccination status.

Test #1: Pre-Arrival PCR Test
Test #2: Camper PCR Test Day 3
Test #3: Camper PCR Test Day 6

For campers taking the bus to camp, we have SHIELD Illinois testing set up for your son the day prior to his departure. All testing will be done between 8am-12pm at Northbrook Court in Northbrook, IL. We will email more specific instructions as camp gets closer.

For campers flying to Minneapolis, all campers flying to Minneapolis are required to show proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours of flight departure. Please email us the negative test results when you receive them.

We will also test throughout the summer as needed. We have the ability to run rapid antigen COVID-19 tests at camp as well as provide RT PCR testing with results within 24 hours.

How will camp cohorts work? What about Masks?

Cohorting is one of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus in community settings. We will start off in small pods which will be expanded to larger groups based on test results and consultation with our medical team. It is our goal to function as one camp as soon as possible. All meals will be outside in our tent this summer and cabins will sit together.

Stage 1:

  • One or two bunks will travel together.
  • Masks will be required at all times except when eating or in their cabin.
  • Big and Little Brothers will be able to tour camp with masks.
  • Normal outdoor camp activities will take place with masks.
  • On Day 3, all campers regardless of vaccination status will be PCR tested.

Stage 2:

  • Cohorts will expand to the entire Division.
  • Masks will only be required when not in Division.
  • On Day 6, all campers regardless of vaccination status will be PCR tested.

Stage 3:

  • One camp!
  • Masks may be required when the entire camp is together.

Moving from stage to stage will be dependent on test results and guidance from our medical team. While we hope to always move forward, there may be times when we feel it is important to take additional precautions. The health and safety of our campers and staff will drive all of our decisions. Our goal is always to become one camp community.

Should I send masks to camp with my son?

Please pack your son 50 disposable masks for four week campers and 100 for full session campers.

Will Horseshoe be a “bubble” this summer?

While we are at camp, we always feel like we are in a “bubble”! This summer, we really are! In order to minimize the risk of the virus entering our community, we are creating a “bubble” to l allow us to limit who comes in and out of camp. To ensure we keep this intact, personal visitors will not be permitted this summer. This year’s staff time off will be organized and coordinated by Camp to limit interaction with the public.

We will NOT be able to accommodate any late arrivals to camp. All campers must arrive at camp on the first day of their enrolled session.

What if my son tests positive for COVID-19 before or at camp?

If your son tests positive before camp, he (along with any camp siblings) would be unable to come to camp until he isolates at home for 7-10 days, show proof of a negative PCR test and be cleared by his pediatrician and the camp doctor before he returns to camp.

If your son tests positive during the camp session, he will be isolated and we will ask him to be picked up from camp within 24-36 hours. Although we are confident we could care for your son, we believe it’s best for your son not to be at camp for the duration of his quarantine.

Remember, what happens at camp is completely dependent on what you do as parents with your son(s) prior to camp.

What if someone in my son’s cohort tests positive?

During a quarantine triggered by a positive case of COVID-19, Camp will administer daily screening for everyone in the “impacted” cohort and keep the cohort separate from the rest of the Camp. Those campers and staff would quarantine and participate in activities and meals as a group for 7-10 days. Contact tracing will help identify others who may need to be tested.

Who will be part of the Health Center Team?

We will have three RN’s on our health care team, as well as an EMT. We also are very excited to announce our partnership with PediaTrust, a highly respected group of Chicago area pediatricians to provide telemedicine. Our Health Center team will be able to access pediatrician visits for our campers who need care while at camp. The pediatricians will be able to assess the boys, advise care, and even write prescriptions where necessary. More detailed information to follow in the coming weeks.

Will there be out of camp trips this summer? Should I send spending money?

Yes! Our trips out of camp this summer will be wilderness trips in order to limit campers and staff interaction with the public. Instead of our typical trip days, we will be having new, fun theme days in camp.

You do not need to send your son any spending money this summer. We will provide everything they need.

The only exception is for Ranger campers (current 8-10th grade) as they may be allowed to order late night food.

COVID-19 Guiding Principles