HVC's Enduring and Resilient Community

Plans are in place for a healthy summer at HVC. We are actively preparing, consulting state guidelines, CDC and American Camp Association reports, speaking with medical personnel, etc. Relevant messages will come to you regularly and please check details here.

While we do know that there will be some necessary modifications here this summer (see below.) Here's what will remain deeply consistent: Camper and parent enthusiasm for what HVC offers! This independent, creative outdoor time is needed now more than ever. Children succeed and grow at HVC because they are safely exploring out of their comfort zone, because they make new friends and find new role models, because they make independent choices, find their voices, take pride in their new community, and are recognized and known as their true selves in a creative loving space. This is  the gift you have given your children and it fills us with excitement about a meaningful future at HVC.

Meg and Peter

Coronavirus FAQ

WILL YOU HAVE EXPECTATIONS OF PARENTS?
First off, we'll be happy to respond to any and all concerns you express... And yes, we will count on you to play a part in supporting community health here. Please read on about pre-camp testing and "quarantining," and remember to pack masks and other items as noted here.

PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE PRE-CAMP QUARANTINE...

  • BOTTOM LINE: We have many health measures in place, but cannot control pre-camp exposure. As such we are requiring, for a 10-day period, that you...
    • Avoid all unmasked interactions outside of your household, and
    • Minimize masked interactions to the lowest tolerable level.
  • HVC will expect families to complete a daily log including temperature and COVID screening questions.
  • This does not mean you must be confined to your home for 10 days. We understand families must function and that it's important to participate in school, conscientious day camps and safe aspects of family life.
  • It does mean this: Use common sense and skip all risky events like weddings, family gatherings, indoor playdates and sleepovers, restaurants and movies, youth sports outside of school, etc. that are not essential during that time...
    • Regardless of local rules that might permit this activity, and
    • Regardless of your vaccination status.
  • Safe travel to HVC is permitted during this period. Maine's recommendations for incoming visitors may be less stringent. Our policies keep in mind the unique nature of the 24/7 camp environment.
  • Your decisions affect an entire community:
    • You do not want to be the parent whose choices mean that your child misses camp.
    • You do not want to be the family that is responsible for an outbreak at camp.
    • All adults and members of the teen programs here will be asked to sign a "community contract" confirming all of the above.
WHAT ARE YOUR TESTING PROTOCOLS?

Upon arrival children will receive a PcR test, and then an additional PcR test on day 4 of camp. 

Pre-camp, each child is required to get a negative PcR test as close to 72 hours prior to your arrival to camp. Please read on...

  • If you have no test or if this test is positive, camper enrollment will be cancelled and there will be no refund. Solutions...
    ...Get an earlier test, 14 days prior to camp. If this earlier test is positive, enter a true quarantine and then come to camp. If the earlier test is negative, use the same care you would have as part of our quarantine plan and then test again 3-5 days prior.
    ...Purchase tuition insurance. Details here.
  • If your child has been fully vaccinated, do not test. Proof of vaccine required.
  • If your child has been “half” vaccinated, you must test.
  • If your child has had covid 90 days OR LESS prior to camp, no test is needed. Please provide physician’s written confirmation of infection.
  • If your child has had covid 90 days OR MORE prior to camp, you must test.

WHAT IS HVC THINKING ABOUT VACCINES?

  • If your camper is eligible to receive a vaccination, go for it!  This clearly aids herd immunity in your world and ours.
  • Note camper's vaccination status on your online covid form.
  • Make sure that no "second shot" is needed while at camp.
  • Note that when it comes to the layers of protections we have in place (masking policies, handwashing, etc.) state guidelines and our own ethic of equity dictate that day-to-day distinctions will not be made on the basis of vaccination status.
  • Staff will be encouraged to vaccinate and will operate under similar rules. (All our summer commuters are vaccinated.)

HOW ELSE WILL MY CAMPER STAY HEALTHY?  
Following guidance and common sense, we expect to do the following and more:

  • Articulate in-camp policies such as masks, social distancing, smaller groups, etc.
  • Increase the number of large covered outdoor spaces so that more activity – including many meals - can take place outside.
  • Maintain hand-washing procedures before and after activities, meals, etc..
  • Cancel, with sadness, parent visitation as noted below.

Staff hiring and training will be another key to our success of course. And lastly, we have confidence in our campers, who have shown themselves to be resilient and committed to community health measures at home over the past year.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A CAMPER FALLS ILL?
Much as with other contagious illnesses, a child will be separated and supervised. If covid is confirmed, going home to convalesce for a required period is one possibility, depending on symptoms, distance to home, etc.

PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE HEALTH LODGE AT HVC...
Here's full info. We're delighted with the perspective and experience that will be brought to HVC by our three in-house RN’s and commuters in 2021. And the Health Lodge itself has a new entrance created to accept those with covid-like symptoms, separate from the bump-bruise-bug-bite crowd.

...AND THE DINING HALL?
Our longtime dining hall managers have been in discussion with health authorities and others since August. We do expect more meals to be served and enjoyed outdoors. And rather than campers serving themselves, this will be done by staff. HVC's amazing salad bar may be replaced by a variety of prepared salads with the same amazing variety of fresh ingredients. Overall, food quality will not change from its renowned levels.

HOW WILL YOU APPROACH STAFF HIRING AND TRAINING?
With the same professional standards as in the past 32 years. Additionally, interviews will intensify and - beyond the search for mature, child-centered individuals - will examine candidates' commitment to self-care and willingness to make sacrifices.

Staff training will include prep for new routines and a look at the mental health implications of the pandemic on children and adults. Staff will have ample off-time as always, and will understand that most of it will be spent on our 350 acres. And we're excited to welcome back a small group of former HVC Program Directors, four of whom are now camp parents, who will provide extra support to campers and staff.

MAY I VISIT MY CAMPER?
Sadly, no, as state regs, common sense and CDC guidance have us limiting access to camp except for brief drop-off and pick-up windows. Our blog will provide daily camp updates and campers will be encouraged to send you snail mail as always.

WHAT TEACHING PROGRAMS WILL BE AFFECTED?
Out-of-camp trips will only take place to isolated destinations... Culinary arts classes may focus on outdoor cooking rather than traditional recipes... All other HVC instructional and recreational activities will proceed with proper precautions. For example, in land and water sports where masks may be impractical, distancing will support camper health.

WHAT ABOUT "ALL CAMP" ACTIVITIES?
In the past, we have often created smaller groups within camp such as "younger half" and "older half" in order to create calmer and more age-appropriate programming. The frequency of this practice may increase.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT FINANCES?
Sure... This page addresses limited tuition insurance options, and also explains the refund policies camp now has in place. Note that "full refunds" are not available, as tuition deposits and other payments are used all winter to pay for overhead and summer prep. We fully expect the planning now in place to support a successful and robust camp season.

CAN I HAVE A "TRAVEL" UPDATE?
Briefly and then please consult the travel pages...

  • To HVC: There will be no buses. We'll plan on limited airport pickups and assigned arrival times for car arrivals so that health intake can be smoothly organized.
  • From HVC to home: Timed car arrivals to manage the influx of vehicles, limited airport trips and a space-limited bus trip to Portchester, NY.

HOW ARE THINGS IN MAINE?
We're doing OK, thanks. Our small - and busy! - winter staff is functioning comfortably and safely in separate office spaces. The outdoor crew is prepping for summer. And all of us benefit greatly from the open space at HVC and in the surrounding area.

Helpful Links

Take a look at health planning as we anticipate Summer '21.

Read frequently asked questions

How to help children with their experience of loss. We've been speaking with professionals about this and have acquired some suggestions for you.

Please contact us with your thoughts and questions.

Online Programs - Winter 2020-21

We will continue to connect with children on Instagram youtube, and Facebook.  Off-season contact will include...

  • Weekly discussion of social issues
  • Occasional suggestions for outdoor and creative activities
  • Some HVC silliness of course!
I think the hardest thing about the pandemic for him was not getting to go to HVC. It's his favorite place in the world and he can't wait to be there.
- HVC Parent

HVC will be a very welcome respite for him where he feels like he can do things that he enjoys, and it feeds his soul.
- HVC Parent

Making a glass paperweight

They are EXTREMELY excited about camp! They've been re-watching the camp DVDs for the past several days and talking about camp a ton!
- HVC Parent