Posted by Jack Shitama ● Fri, Mar 13, 2020 @ 15:03 PM
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
We know you have questions and concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Here at Pecometh, we are closely monitoring the latest news about the outbreak and following the guidance of the CDC and the Maryland State Department of Health.
UPDATE as of May 17, 2020
In accordance with the two-part timeline announced at the beginning of May, the staff and board of Camp Pecometh have made the difficult decision to suspend day and overnight camp programs for the month of June.
Due to the amount of lead time required to prepare for summer camp, and because the state of Maryland has not yet given camps licenses or guidelines for opening, it is apparent to us that we will not be able to offer June programs as scheduled. However, at this time, we are keeping the window of opportunity open to the possibility of running a modified program schedule for the months of July and August.
A July opening assumes that the state of Maryland has moved to Stage 2 in its reopening plan. It will also mean summer camp will look quite different this year:
- Programming will be in cabin groups. Campers will be with the same group of 10 or less all week, with no mixing with other groups.
- Activities that increase the likelihood of community transmission will be eliminated. These include, but are not limited to: power and sail boating, splashdown, challenge course and off-site travel (field trips).
- All meals will be served in to-go boxes to limit contact with surfaces.
- To the extent that activities are done as a large group, cabin groups will be physically separated from one another. This includes, but is not limited to: meal times, campfires, music time, Galilean, and all-camp games.
- Campers will be asked isolate, to the extent possible, for two weeks prior to arrival at camp. We strongly suggest campers isolate for two weeks after camp to protect vulnerable family members.
- We will administer daily health screenings to monitor for any evidence of symptomatic cases. We will need assurance from families that we can expect prompt pick up if a camper exhibits symptoms or if we suspect a camper may have been exposed.
- We will be implementing new check-in and check-out procedures, cleaning protocols, and staff training in accordance with recommendations from the American Camp Association, the state of Maryland, and the Queen Anne's County Health Department.
We recognize that is this not camp as we know it. We believe that if we are to offer summer camp, we need to do everything possible to protect those involved and reduce transmission of COVID-19. That being said, we also know that we cannot provide an ironclad guarantee. Our decision will be made upon the best information available and with the safety of your camper in mind.
Registration is currently closed until we make our final decision about July and August camps on or around June 1st.
For more information, view our COVID-19 & Camp FAQ Page.
Retreat Groups and Programs
Retreat operations will remain closed at least until Stage 2 of Maryland's reopening plan. Guidance at that time will let us know if we can serve groups larger than 10, with appropriate cautions, and if we will be able to serve food to be consumed on site.
UPDATE as of May 1, 2020
Camp and Retreat operations remain closed in compliance with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's Executive Order.
Pecometh received its Paycheck Protection Program funding on April 27. We continue to keep year-round staff, as well as part-time staff whose only job is at Pecometh, on our payroll. This enables us to plan effectively for reopening, whenever that is safe and legal.
For the most part, office staff continue to work remotely. Essential facilities staff are practicing physical distancing and proper hygiene. All staff are required to wear a mask when on site.
Retreat Bookings and Pecometh Programs
We expect guidance from the State of Maryland on May 15 to help us determine when we will be able to re-open retreat facilities. It is possible that the guidance may require us to continue in wait-and-see mode. Regardless, we will be ready with practices and procedures in place to provide safe hospitality, whenever reopening guidelines permit.
Because of the amount of lead time required to prepare for summer camp, we have divided the decision timeline into two distinct parts:
We will make a decision as to whether we will run the first three weeks of camp (those that begin in June) on or about May 15. Should these sessions be cancelled, campers already registered for these weeks will be given priority in registering for later weeks. All affected families will be contacted directly with more information.
We will make a decision as to whether we will run sessions that begin July 5 and later on or about June 1.
Our planning includes preparation for potentially new operating procedures, based on Centers for Diseases Control, Maryland Dept. of Health and American Camp Association guidelines.
We continue to trust in God's guidance to make the best decisions possible for our guests, campers and staff, as well as for the long-term viability of this ministry.
UPDATE as of March 20, 2020
We are in regular communication with the local Department of Health and emergency response teams, and will adhere to the recommendations we are given to support the health of our guests, staff, volunteers, and community.
**All camp and retreat operations are closed until further notice, in compliance with the state of Maryland's COVID-19 mitigation efforts. We hope to reopen as soon as it is both legal and safe to do so.**
We are following recommended practices to keep our staff safe, and to help slow the spread of the virus.
- Pecometh office staff are currently practicing social distancing as recommended and are best available via email (view our Staff Directory) or the help chat on our website.
- Facilities staff who are still reporting to work are following recommended hygiene practices and limiting interaction with others.
Retreat Bookings and Pecometh Programs
All retreat operations are currently shut down through early May. Pecometh staff are reaching out to group leaders and program participants with further information.
Moving forward, know that we are:
- actively monitoring the situation and examining the recommendations of state officials regarding the future cancellation or rescheduling of events as needed.
- updating our cleaning and food service procedures to include the specific anti-viral recommendations of health experts.
- Pecometh Day and Volunteer Day are cancelled; please stay tuned for future opportunities to volunteer and gather at Pecometh once it is safe to do so.
At this time, Camp Pecometh is committed to preparing for the summer camp season as scheduled. We are closely monitoring the latest news about the outbreak and following the guidance of the CDC, the Maryland State Department of Health, and the American Camp Association (ACA).
- While no changes have been made to the program schedule as of yet, we will evaluate and adjust as needed based on current and future recommendations.
- We are reviewing and reexamining our procedures for check-in, our standard cleaning protocols, and our health and safety policies.
- Our goal is to communicate any changes that may affect you and your campers this summer as quickly and as clearly as possible.
We also understand that finances may be tricky at this time. As always, Pecometh believes that camp should be accessible to all, and we are committed to making camp affordable.
- We are actively evaluating our cancellation and refund policies as needed to serve our camper families.
- Until further notice, we are offering the option to register for camp without the usual $50 registration deposit, allowing you to secure your camper's spot without an initial financial commitment.
We're In This Together
As we seek to fulfill our mission of providing sanctuary for programming that promotes God-inspired, life-changing experiences, our foremost responsibility will always be the safety and welfare of our campers, guests and staff. With fervent faith, we look forward to welcoming you back to Pecometh in the future. Our prayers are with all who have been impacted by the the COVID-19 pandemic.P.S. Please remember to use excellent hygiene practices, including regular and thorough hand washing. For those familiar with our summer camp music, did you know that one verse and chorus of "Pharaoh, Pharaoh" is just over 20 seconds long?
More information on the Coronavirus is available from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus) and the Maryland Dept. of Health (https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx).
The Pecometh Team trusts that God will continue to provide in this difficult time. If you are financially able and feel called to support our ministries, please consider making an online donation.