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May 28 / 2020

JKR 2020 Communicable Disease Safety Plan

We are planning an amazing summer of camp ministry at John Knox Ranch. Camp will look a bit different this summer. Our goal is to create the same loving, accepting community through outdoor fun and adventure while keeping your kids safe. The Covid19 Pandemic creates a unique situation that calls for community response. The safety of camp this summer depends on a partnership between camp staff and camp families. What happens outside of camp is just as important as what happens within it.

Covid19 is spread from person to person through contact that is close enough to share droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, speaking, and breathing. Covid19 may also be spread by touching objects where contaminated droplets have landed. Infected persons with mild or even no symptoms can spread the virus.

We have developed the following Summer 2020 Safety Plan based on mandatory guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Camp Association (ACA), the YMCA, and Texas Department of State Health Services. Our plan is based on the information and guidance that we have today. It is subject to change based on changes in the guidance. We will not hesitate to cancel camps at any point if we feel we can no longer run summer camp safely.

John Knox Ranch is well suited to meet these guidelines

  • The safety guidelines call for camps to segment campers into small groups that do their activities together as a group throughout the session. JKR has been using this family unit structure as the foundation of our camping program since 1963!
  • The CDC makes it clear that outdoor activities are much less risky than indoor activities. We have the best outdoor space of any camp anywhere and our campers love being outside!
  • Months ago, we proactively reduced our resident camp session limit from 85 to 50 campers and our day camp session limit from 30 to 20 campers. This will allow us to create more distance between camper groups and decrease the group sizes.
  • We have hired additional summer staff to help with the need for increased cleaning and disbursement of campers.
  • We have cancelled our trip and travel camp to Colorado and our partner day camp in San Antonio
  • We proactively pushed our start date back 3 weeks.

Your cancellation options will remain the same throughout the summer

If at any point you feel this is not the right summer for your camper or you feel you are unable to fulfill the family portion outlined in this safety plan, you can:

Even if your child shows symptoms at the initial screening at check-in and cannot attend camp that session, you will still have all of these options. To make any changes to your registration, please email office manager, Lori Bruns jkroffice[at] as soon as you have made a decision.

Before Summer Camp Starts:

Self-Screening. Is camp the right choice for my family this year?

For some of our camp families, this is not the year to send your child to summer camp. Below is a list of conditions (from the CDC) that put individuals or their families at a higher risk. If your camper meets any of these conditions or will be returning home after camp to live with someone who meets any of these conditions, please either do not send them to camp this year or consult with your family physician about summer camp and their specific situation.

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have a serious heart condition
  • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.
  • People with severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with Lyme disease
  • People 65 years of age or older

Mandatory Pre-Camp Screening

All families will be required to monitor their child(ren) for the 14 days before your camp session and conduct pre-screening activities including:

  • Taking and recording your child(ren)'s temperature for 14 days prior to their respective session
  • Self-screening for the presence of symptoms (fever of 100.4° or greater, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, nausea, loss of taste smell, sore throat, vomiting, etc.) within two weeks of arrival.

You must record the daily temperatures and complete the "Pre-Camp Health Screening" form developed by the Association of Camp Nurses for 14 days prior to the first day of your child's session. You must present this completed form when you arrive at camp for drop off. To ensure the safety of everyone, campers without this form completed will not be admitted to camp.

If your child has a fever or illness within this 14-day pre-camp time frame, please contact our office ASAP to evaluate the best options for everyone's health and wellness.

Check-In Procedures

In order to limit large gatherings and exposure to our cabins, our Check-In process will be different this summer.

  • Campers and parents will be given drop off times depending on what cabin group they are in in order to stagger the number of people on site at once
  • We recommend only one guardian bring the camper to drop off
  • Parents are to stay in their cars during drop off
  • All campers must turn in their completed Pre-Camp Health Screening form
  • Each camper family will go through a screening process with a temperature check and general questions about the camper's health with our health care manager.
  • All staff will be required to wear protective masks during check-in
  • We recommend that the designated parent or guardian wear a protective mask during check-in
  • Please pack medications separate from the camper belongings, as our health manager or health assistant will take medications during this check-in. Please remember that all medications must be in their original bottle or box and be prescribed specifically to the individual child.
During Summer Camp

  • Our Health Care Manager will conduct daily health screenings and temperature checks of each camper.
  • If a camper has a fever of over 100.4 degrees F or exhibits other symptoms associated with Covid19, that camper will be immediately quarantined in the Health Care Center and sent home within 8 hours.
  • If a camper is sent home, testing resources will be given to camper parents and we encourage parents to follow up with JKR regarding any updates. Updates about positive Covid19 cases will be shared with all camper parents in the same session.
  • Every cabin and bathroom will be rigorously cleaned by our staff and campers according to our disinfectant protocol set by the CDC and ACA (American Camp Association). Our cleaning procedures include daily checklists that are monitored for accountability by our leadership staff.
  • Bathrooms will be sanitized and disinfected with increased frequency throughout the day for the health and care of our campers and staff members.
  • Hand washing stations and hand sanitizers will be available and must be used after all activities.
  • Proper signage will be posted throughout camp i.e. handwashing technique, proper sneezing technique. Campers and staff will be trained on proper handwashing, sneezing, coughing, etc.
  • Social Distancing at Camp - The CDC and ACA have recommended "family groups" to stay together during activities and programming. JKR has been operating on this guideline for years as we keep our counselors and campers together for activities throughout the day.
  • All campers and staff will sleep head to toe and be properly distanced in cabins
  • Cabin groups (family units) will be kept separate to the best of our capabilities
  • No visitors are permitted on campgrounds without special permission from the director
  • All program will take place outdoors whenever possible including arts and crafts, evening program, and chaplain time

Day Camp
  • Day Camp and Resident Camp will be kept separate as much as possible with separate meal times, staff, activities, and locations.
  • Check-in and pick-up will take place at 9am in the cedar trees next to the meeting house.
  • We encourage only one parent/guardian to bring the child and request that they wear a mask
  • Guardians will not be allowed to enter the Meeting House
  • We will monitor the number of new Covid19 cases in Comal and Hays Counties throughout the summer and close day camp if the local case number spikes.

Food and Meals

  • We will continue to make the homemade meals your kids love but serving the meals will look different this year.
  • All meals will be served cafeteria style by qualified staff wearing protective masks and gloves
  • All kitchen staff must wear protective masks and gloves
  • Day camp will eat lunch an hour earlier than resident camp
  • All plates, cups, and utensils will be disposable
  • Cabin groups will need to sit at least 6 ft apart from other cabins during meals

Mail while at Camp

John Knox Ranch is working to reduce the amount of contact that comes into our facility based on CDC and ACA guidelines. For this reason, all mail will be limited to emails for the summer of 2020. This mail limitation includes care packages and letters on opening day. You will not be allowed to leave care packages for your child at check-in as we have in years past.

We know eliminating cards and care packages is a big bummer. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work to keep our campers and staff healthy.

Summer Staff

We are extremely blessed to have a group of dedicated servant-leaders that are focused on the mission of JKR. Our summer staff will stay on-site during their breaks in between sessions for the health and care of our program, in order to limit possibilities of community spread.

All resident camp staff are required to arrive and quarantine for 14 days before our first campers arrive. Day Camp staff are required to complete the Pre-Camp Screening Form.

Pick-Up and Post Camp Requirements

  • We recommend that campers are limited to one person picking them up at a time and guardians should wear face masks.
  • Campers will pack and remove their belongings from the cabin, guardians will not be allowed in cabins. We ask that reunions stay in the vehicle to respect social distancing during this time.
  • Pick up times will be staggered in order to limit the number of people on site at one time. Campers who have siblings will be allowed to check-out together with the earliest pick-up time.
  • All bunks and cabins will be sanitized after campers have left
  • Campers must be quarantined at home for two weeks after camp in order to prevent any possible spreading of the virus

Safety Partnership between Camp and Families

The safety of camp this summer depends on a partnership between camp staff and camp families. Below is a summary of Camp Family responsibilities.

  • Determine if camp this summer is right for your child and your family
  • Conduct 2 week Pre-Camp Screening before your camper's session and bring completed form to check-in. If you do not bring this completed form with you to check-in, your camper may not stay for their session.
  • Read and sign our CoronaVirus Camp Participant Waiver. The waiver is linked here for you to review. You need to sign it electronically through the registration portal in UltraCamp.
  • Ensure that all forms, including your vaccination shot record, are uploaded to the camp registration portal in UltraCamp. You will need to log in to the registration portal and sign this form electronically.
  • Package all medicine in a clear zip lock bag and keep separate from luggage to be prepared to meet with the health care provider at check-in.
  • Follow all recommendations for check-in and pick-up and wear a face mask.
  • Read this "Healthy Camp Begins at Home" Document put out by the American Camp Association
  • Campers must be quarantined at home for two weeks after camp in order to prevent any possible spreading of the virus
If you are unable to meet these requirements for any reason, please do not send your child to camp at JKR this summer. We love you and we will see you next year.

If camp is right for your camper and your family this year, please review our safety plan carefully and register ASAP to reserve your spot. Remember, spots are limited because we lowered our per session limit to 50 resident campers and 20 day campers. please register here.

Summer Camp 2020 is here. See the details.