NBTSC and COVID-19
May 24, 2022
If you’ve registered for NBTSC this year, please carefully follow the guidelines in our May 20 email (“Important details re NBTSC 2022 & COVID-19”). Thanks! We’re so excited to gather together with you soon!
February 21, 2022
Dear NBTSC Community,
As we’re preparing for our 2022 season, there are still a lot of big unknowns regarding what the pandemic could look like, come August and September. We very much hope to host NBTSC in all of its traditionally boisterous, connective, affectionate glory. We also want to be good citizens and protect the safety of our campers, staff, and the families and communities to which we all return after camp. And we want everyone to enjoy good health and plentiful energy during the time we are privileged to share together. Our orientation to COVID-19, therefore, requires flexibility and cooperation amongst all our community.
The short takeaway is this: if you register for NBTSC this year, you must be flexible and willing to adapt to what is needed. This is likely to include not only basics like uploading a copy of your vaccine card, but also things like testing just prior to camp (or even during camp), taking utmost care to avoid exposure during travel, and—if needed—being prepared to mask, distance, etc. at specific times and locations during your session.
Here’s a little more about our tentative plans and perspectives for this year, as of February:
- We intend to run both of our traditional sessions, in Oregon and in Vermont. We recognize that the pandemic could serve up a new development, or variant, that makes the prospect of NBTSC feel too dangerous or difficult (or even questionably legal) and that would lead us to cancel one or both sessions. But we’re confident enough to proceed with registration and other preparations. As always, if we do need to cancel a session we will offer to return all tuition—but we are unable to cover additional expenses such as reimbursing for airfare. CampDoc, our registration partner, offers a protection plan that you may want to purchase for greater security. (See our refund policy for more details.)
- Depending on the status of the pandemic prior to each session, we may also require all staff and campers to present either a negative covid test or documentation of recent recovery from an infection. We can’t admit people known to be currently infected; nor can we offer refunds to such individuals. (Please plan to carefully avoid exposure prior to your session, especially during travel. This may be the year to consider driving, or carpooling with other campers, rather than flying or taking the train or bus.)
- We are hopeful that masks, distancing, and other major precautions will not be needed during our 2022 sessions. But it’s possible we’ll need to adapt, and if so it will be important that everyone present is willing to do their part. Everyone needs to bring their own N95 masks (or whatever type of mask they prefer) in case there are times masking is needed.
- We expect to implement several not-so-invasive covid precautions. (More sanitizer bottles in more places, more frequent sanitizing of public surfaces, more outdoor activities, more outdoor tables so more people have the option of eating outside, stuff like that.) During past sessions we’ve typically offered optional communal sleeping spaces (in addition to cabin beds assigned to each camper)–now it’s likely that for part or all of each session, communal sleeping will be outdoors only.
- What if you’re not vaccinated? We’re sorry, but based on our understanding of the current science and the immense responsibility we take on by convening a group of (typically) over 100 people who interact intensely and physically, our plan at this time is to accept vaccinated campers (and staff) only. (If you’d like us to consider a medical exemption, contact us and we will review your request individually based on additional information and communication between your family, our staff, our site managers, and your healthcare provider/s.) If the covid situation evolves in such a way that our site managers, our session staff, and our cohort of registered campers and their parents are willing to include unvaccinated campers, it’s possible our policy could change before camp time. That will depend on what summer brings, and we don’t know now.
- Over the next few months we will continue to adapt and refine our plans. As always, we take our cues largely from the CDC and state health departments. Campers who are registered for 2022 (and their parents) will receive our detailed updates via email, starting mid-May for Oregon campers, mid-June for Vermont campers. We may or may not post updates here on this page.
We’re still a little nervous about all the unknowns, but we’re also so, so excited to gather together with you this summer and fall.
Signing off with love and anticipation,
Your NBTSC admin team ~ Grace Llewellyn, Evan Wright, Maya Toccata, & Margie Sanderson