COVID Q&A: Set Your Heart Free From COVID Concerns

With all the change to The Heart this summer in the name of keeping camp safe, it makes sense that we all have some questions. So, here are a few key COVID Q&A regarding camp practices this summer.

Are the “themes” still in place for field day?

Absolutely, themes for field day (90’s throwback), Carnival (Dia de los Muertos), Camp Christmas, Fourth of July (first term only), Jumanji (for Juniors), Valentine’s Day (second term only), Bonus Day (extra tribe spirit), all still apply.

Will there still be horseback & quadrille? 

Yes, campers will still be able to take horseback and even quadrille this summer.

War canoe still a-go?  

Now it’s going to look a little different, but war canoe will still happen for seniors and teens. Juniors will have the opportunity to take 2nd war canoe. War canoe will happen within households. For example, if there are two senior households, there will be two war canoe teams for each tribe. Same thing goes for teens. This means smaller boats and team sizes. The final race times for each boat will be averaged to find the overall war canoe winner.

What will Tribe Hill look like?  

Tribe Hill will sadly not be on the actual Hill. But don’t worry it’s still happening. Because we still want tribes to be able to be as one (as possible in this COVID condition), Tribe Hills will have to happen at some more spread out locations such as the Front Lawn and Opening Ceremonies. This way Pods can interact from a safe distance and our tribes can still be together.

How are meals going to work?  

We’ll be eating in shifts. Part of our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our camp means eating with less people in the Dining Hall and only eating with our Pods. Sophomores and Midgets will have meals earlier and Juniors, Seniors, and Teens will eat after that.

Will there be laundry service?

Yes, we will have laundry! Campers will have the opportunity to get their stinky socks washed once every week, just like normal.

With the way the pods will be rotating through their daily activities, will all campers in each pod be rotating through horseback this summer?

If a camper has opted out of horseback, she won’t have to take horseback when her Pod rotates to that Podrant (activity area). We have scheduled alternative classes for our campers who don’t want to dawn their riding boots, so no need to bring your helmet if you’re not in horseback!

Are Big/Lil Sisters still happening this summer?

Great question! We love the Big/Lil Sister tradition. It’s an amazing way to let our older campers mentor and get to know our younger campers. This summer Big/Lil Sisters will be more like pen-pals. Big sisters can send anything to their little sisters that can fit in a letter envelope (a letter, a cool leaf, a small drawing, a friendship bracelet).

How should we handle War Canoe gifts? 

We know how much war canoe and the sisterhood formed by it means to our campers. Unfortunately we aren’t allowing packages. If you want, campers can bring their gifts with them to drop-off, or consider making something (clipboards, water bottles, small sentimental items) to hand out to their team. Keep in mind only Seniors and Teens can participate in war canoe this summer and team sizes will be small! What’s more important than a physical gift is the thought put behind it.

Campers can’t get packages, but what about letters?

Although we’re not allowing packages, mail is still welcome! Letters from home are always special at camp. In order to keep the camp bubble as safe as possible, all outside mail will be kept in a hot, isolated spot (our mail room) for three days before being distributed.

Emails are also an option. All emails received before 11am will be delivered to the camper that day. Here’s a little more information about that!

In order to send email, you may purchase CampStamps. Click the “CampStamps” link at the top of the page to manage your CampStamps. You will also have the option of asking for a handwritten reply back. This service will cost an additional CampStamp once the email is sent to you. These emails come to your inbox just as soon as your camper turns them in to us. This process is not quite as simple as you might think! Because of our no-electronics policy, your campers hand write a response to you. Once it has been brought to the office, it is faxed to CampMinder using a system called MyFax. With the bar code printed on the side of the paper, the reply is delivered to your inbox!

As always, thank you so much for hangin’ in there with us. We have our own very long list of COVID Q&A but without the A’s! Hopefully this COVID Q&A eased some of your concerns. If not, please be sure to give us a call and we can have an individually tailored COVID Q&A!

About the Author

Rachel Pannell

Rachel is a rare fourth generation Heart girl. Her great-grandmother was the nurse for our first summer as Heart O’ the Hills Camp, and her grandmother and great aunt were campers, as were her mother and aunt. This fall she will be at UTSA as a marketing major. Rachel is a Jo Jones girl.

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