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HomeSummer 20212021-Specific FAQsFAQ: Cohorts, Masks & Distancing

Camp Starfish is pleased to announce that we will be opening for Summer 2021! While camp will look quite different, we are committed to serving our campers and families in Rindge this year. Our dedicated staff team, in partnership with medical professionals, 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. If this isn't your first visit to this page, you can review the Update Log below to see what has changed since your last read-through. Please use the menu at left to access all the questions and answers. 

We appreciate your partnership with us as we all work to ensure a healthy and safe Starfish Summer 2021!

Cohorts, Masking & Social Distancing

What should I know about masks at camp?

A recent study presented at the American Camp Association National Conference showed conclusively that masks are the first and best defense against COVID at camp. Upon arrival at Starfish, 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. During the course of the session, testing results and a tight bubble may enable mask restrictions to be loosened during additional parts of the day. For examples of our intended masking plan, see this chart:

Our pre-camp packing guide will give details about how many masks to bring and what kind. We recognize that our campers require clear, visual, and repeated reminders about when masks are required and we are in the process of creating extensive signage indicating mask requirements across camp.

Each area of camp will have multiple “mask break” locations which are outdoors and physically distant from where others will be playing, but still in direct sight of at least two staff members at all times. Anyone may use these areas to safely take off their mask for a few moments.

What is the difference between a Cabin Group and a Cohort?

A Cabin Group is considered the core unit at Starfish. In guidelines, you may see this referred to as the “household.” This includes the campers who live in the cabin, the staff who live in the cabin, and at least one Administrator (leadership staff) who is “attached” to the Cabin Group. Multiple Cabin Groups will combine to create a Cohort to allow for expanded social opportunities for campers.

How will testing results affect the experience of Cabin Groups and Cohorts around camp?

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 in the scenario that an individual test comes back positive. Returning campers will note that this will feel like the “Jamboree Day” that happens once per session in regular summers. Campers and staff in the Cabin Group will wear masks (except when eating, sleeping, or swimming) during this entry period.

Once we have the results of the on-site test, Cabin Groups will be able to combine into Cohorts and when with either their Cabin Group or their Cohort, will be able to relax masking procedures. Much of the camp day – such as activities, swim periods, and meals - will take place in Cohorts.

What will you do to help campers remember to physically distance (remain 6 feet apart)?

We recognize that this will be difficult for many campers to remember. We will have plenty of visual signage, and will place spacing markers on benches, surfaces, and floors. Staff will give proactive verbal reminders throughout the day using “Starfish language” (i.e., telling kids what they can do, instead of what they can’t do). We also have some simple, fun physical props (like pool noodles, jump ropes, and hula hoops) to help campers who have difficulty with perception of where their body is in space (or for anyone who wants them!).

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