Camp Fire River Bend | Camp Tannadoonah

Camp Tannadoonah 2020

Camp IS going to be different this year. Here are some of the details.


We want to share with you the changes that we are making, and be transparent about how those changes will affect your campers so that you can make an informed decision about whether they will attend camp this year. Please make sure to read all of this information carefully! We are doing everything we can to reduce risk, and we need your assistance to keep everyone at camp safe. 


Check In and Check Out

The guidelines from the ACA, State of Michigan, and CDC all recommend that we limit the number of people who have access to camp. For this reason, only campers and camp staff will be allowed beyond the parking lot on check in and check out days.

We will also have a staggered drop off window, and we will contact you to let you know when you should plan to arrive at camp. The check in time will still be from 2-4pm eastern time; some families will be asked to arrive between 2 and 3pm, other families between 3 and 4pm.

When you enter the parking lot, there will be several stations that you will visit. We will have a (1) station for taking campers' temperatures and asking a series of screening questions; a second (2) station for lice checks; a third (3) station for parents to drop off medications and talk with our nurse; and a fourth (4) station for you to unload your car and say goodbye to your campers.

Counselors will help them carry their stuff to the cabins and get their bunks set up. We understand that this may be difficult for campers who are nervous about staying at camp, and we encourage you to talk with your child in advance about how the check in process will work this year. 


Activity Schedules

One of the guidelines is that we keep campers in small "cohorts" or "households" and restrict mixing between these groups. For this reason, the scheduling of activities will be very different this year from our typical schedule. Campers will not receive individual schedules as they have in the past; instead, each cabin will participate in activities together throughout the day.

Every cabin will have at least one waterfront period per day. During that time, campers will be able to choose between swimming, fishing, or a boating activity (such as canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding). If your camper registered for waterskiing or wakeboarding, they have an assigned time to go to the waterfront for that activity.

We will use the activities that campers pre-selected to try to create a schedule for each cabin that covers as many campers' interests as we can. In some ways, this schedule format will give campers more choice and flexibility than we have had in the past. They will not have the same list of activities each day, and will get to try more things throughout the week. However, it also means that won't always get to go to their first choice of activities, as we work to balance the interests of all the campers in the cabin.


Cabin Assignments

Campers will be assigned to cabins by age and gender, just as they have in the past. However, we have had to reduce the capacity of some of our buildings to keep "cohorts" or "households" at approximately 10-12 campers per group. There will be 10-12 campers in each cabin, with 2-3 counselors.

We do our best to accommodate all bunk mate requests. We highly recommend that bunk mates are no more than 1 year apart in age. If your child requests to be with a friend who is younger, both campers will be placed with the younger group.


Meals and Food Service

All meals will be served cafeteria-style, instead of our usual family-style. In addition, we plan to eat outdoors at picnic tables as often as the weather will allow. Kitchen staff trained in food service safety will serve all the food campers. 

Cabin groups will eat together at assigned tables that do not change throughout the week. This is another way to reduce mixing of groups and spread of illness between groups. 


Cleaning and Sanitation

We have created all new cleaning and sanitation routines to ensure that surfaces all around camp are cleaned with bleach or sanitizing solution more frequently than in the past. Surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, program equipment, sink faucets, table tops, benches, and all other high-touch surfaces will be cleaned daily, or in some cases after each use. We have also purchased large quantities of hand sanitizer, and are installing additional hand washing stations. 


Health Monitoring

In addition to asking all campers, staff, and volunteers to log their temperature and any symptoms for 14 days prior to arrival at camp, we will implement daily checks of temperatures and symptoms for all campers, staff, and volunteers AT camp. We have hired a second nurse who will be at camp all summer, and she will be responsible for all COVID-related procedures and routines. 

All staff and volunteers are being tested for COVID prior to the start of Staff Training. We are not requiring all campers to be tested, because the guidelines from the American Camp Association and State of Michigan have not recommended testing for youth, and we have learned that many testing sites will not test minors. However, if you wish to have your camper tested prior to arrival, we would be happy to have a copy of those results to file with their health form.

In a typical summer, we have up to 150 campers each session of camp, and as many as 50 staff and volunteers. We generally have one RN on site each session, and often have nursing students or volunteers who assist the nurse for the week. This year, we will have only 80-100 campers each session, and around 25 staff and volunteers on site, but will have 2 camp nurses on site each week.

One of these nurses is Cyndi Weyers, an RN and Family Nurse Practitioner, who will be at camp all 5 sessions and will take the lead on all things related to COVID, including daily monitoring, evaluating any concerning symptoms, and overseeing sanitation procedures. Our regular camp nurse (who rotates each week) will handle the usual camp tasks, such as handing out routine medications, responding to minor injuries and illness, and referring any campers to Cyndi if they have concerns.


What You Can Do

How YOU help keep our campers & staff safe

We are requesting that you monitor your campers' temperature daily for 14 days leading up to their arrival at camp, and keep track of any potential symptoms they have during that time. You may do this by downloading and printing out the chart here, or by entering their temperature daily through a form online. If you choose the paper form, you will need to bring it with you to check in. 

The number one most important thing you can do to keep everyone safe is keep your camper at home if anyone in your household has symptoms of illness in the days leading up to camp. We cannot emphasize this enough! If your child or anyone else in your home is feeling unwell, please, please contact us and cancel their registration! We will issue full refunds to anyone who has to cancel due to illness.
You can also help by talking to your campers before camp about the measures we need to take to try to prevent illness at camp. In particular: 

  1. Explain the importance of hand washing.
  2. Discuss the symptoms of COVID-19 and how important it is to tell a staff member if they are feeling unwell during camp.
  3. Talk to them about the changes we are making at camp, and why they are needed to keep everyone healthy.
  4. Help them practice physical distancing. We know it's really hard to keep kids apart! Talk to your campers about the importance of keeping a "bubble" of space between themself and others at camp whenever possible.
  5. If your child wants to wear a mask, you may send one (or one per day!) with them. We are NOT requiring campers to wear masks, though staff will wear them whenever they are indoors with campers and unable to maintain physical distance, except when eating or sleeping.

Thank you for helping us reduce the risk of communicable illness at Camp Tannadoonah!

If you Decide to Cancel Your Registration

We request that you notify us by the end of the day on Monday, June 22nd, if you decide to cancel your camper's registration. To provide a great camp experience we need to purchase supplies, order food, and plan for staff, all of which requires an accurate number of registrations.

Cancellations that are received by Monday, June 22 are eligible for full refunds, including the deposit which is typically non-refundable. After the 22nd, we can issue a refund for any additional payments made, but will not be able to refund the the $100 deposit. Please submit cancellation requests by clicking the button below.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding camp this summer, please feel free to contact us by phone or email. 

Amber Grundy, CEO

Adam Lucassian, Camp Director

Learn More About Our Policies and the Guidelines We Are Referencing

Camp Tannadoonah's COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

American Camp Association Camp Operations Guide for 2020

Michigan Guidelines for Camps Operating in 2020

CDC Decision Tree for Summer Camps

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations