HVC's Enduring and Resilient Community

So much hard work went into a healthy successful 2021 camp season. We consulted state guidelines, CDC and American Camp Association reports, spoke with medical personnel, etc. Most significantly, staff, campers and parents "bought into" the many measures required so that HVC could flourish under new circumstances. Many thanks to all of you!

While we made modifications the past summer, here's what remained deeply consistent: Camper and parent enthusiasm for what HVC  has long offered! This independent, creative outdoor time is needed now more than ever. Children succeed and grow at HVC because they are safely exploring outside 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

A retrospective look at policies in place during the 2021 summer. As needed, some elements of these policies will be available going forward...

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 pre-camp health measures and remember to pack masks and other items as noted here.

WHAT IS HVC THINKING ABOUT VACCINES?

  • 2022 update: HVC will require all eligible campers to be 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?
2022 Update: No visitation was allowed in 2021. Visits will be limited in 2021 depending on current health conditions.  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... All other HVC instructional and recreational activities will proceed with proper precautions. In 2021, indoor classes required masks while outdoor activities did not.

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.

PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE PRE-CAMP HEALTH REQUIREMENTS...
This info is for 2021.
In early 2022, we will establish routines for next summer.

  • 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?
This info is for 2021. In early 2022, we will establish routines for next summer. 

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.

HOW ARE THINGS IN MAINE?
We're doing OK, thanks. Our small - and busy! - winter staff has been functioning comfortably and safely. Now that we are vaccinated, things are a lot simpler and our outdoor crew is busy getting the place ready for all of you. The wide open spaces here have been a blessing in all seasons.

Helpful Links

Take a look at general health planning.

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 2021-22

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

This year is extra sweet after the past 16 months... HVC will forever be a part of their childhoods. We are so grateful to provide them this…and more grateful for everything you all stand for at HVC and for what you have given our sons.
- HVC Parent

Making a glass paperweight

Thank you for taking measures to keep the campers safe. Beyond that, we could not be happier with our daughter’s experience, the art she brought home, and the stories we are hearing daily about life at HVC.
- HVC Parent