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SUMMER 2020 UPDATE
Ursa Major has had to suspend our summer 2020 programs due to the current Health Officer Order. We are hopeful that we will be able to provide some camp programs later in the summer, but for now, we are taking a pause. Read more below.
WHAT WE KNOW TODAY
may 29, 2020
Can summer camps operate in Napa County?
As of Thursday, May 28, 2020, Napa County's Operating Facts in Stage 2 state:
Will Ursa Major consider resuming camp for summer 2020?
The short answer is YES. We will consider resuming camp for summer 2020. The longer answer is more of a maybe - we have to ensure that three things are possible in order to operate this summer:
Ursa Major will only operate if it is safe and benificial to our community. But how do you know if operation is safe?
We have extensive guidelines and recommendations from the American Camp Association, the CDC and we are awaiting guidance from the State of California. The ACA guidelines along are over 80 pages. We encourage your to take a look at these protocols to learn more about how we would have to operate, if we chose to do so:
IF you are able to operate, when might that be?
We can't give an answer, for sure, especially since we do not know if we will resume at all. HOWEVER, we can imagine that if we were to resume, we would start up again in July.
A LETTER TO OUR CAMP COMMUNITY
may 19, 2020
With the heaviest of hearts, Liz and I are writing to let you know that Ursa Major is suspending our programs for this summer. Having talked to so many of you over the past few weeks, I feel how deeply you and your child(ren) were hanging on to hope for summer camp to be a bright spot in your 2020. Liz and I know what an impact the Ursa Major experience could’ve been for your campers (and for you, as a parent!) this summer, and we are deeply sorry that we won’t be able to deliver that for you. This is a sad and hard email for us to send, but it was an easy decision to make for the safety of your family and our staff.
We committed to having camp this summer if we were allowed to do so and only if Ursa Major could be the safest summer program for your child. For several weeks, we have been waiting for guidelines, regulations and protocols from the Napa County Department of Public Health, American Camp Association, CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, and we have worked hard behind the scenes in countless conversations to find out as much as we could. We needed that guidance to ensure that we could operate Ursa Major this summer as safely as possible. While we are experts in camp, we are not experts in public health; without their guidance, we can not ensure a safe summer for our campers, staff and families.
I know how disappointing this is to you and your campers. Our whole team will miss being a part of the incredible Ursa Major family we get to welcome each summer. We’re continuing to work closely with the Napa Parks & Recreation Department to explore possibilities for later in the summer. If the Napa County Health Department allows us to and we feel like we can safely do so, we’ll partner with Napa Parks & Rec to offer programming to our community when we’re able to in July or August.
Your registration for this summer will automatically roll over to 2021. We’ll add $10 per camper, per day, to your credit, which will come in handy for the next time you join us! This can also be used for programs prior to 2021, should we be allowed to offer any, and it will never expire.
If you are unable to use your credit in 2021, you can request a refund of some or all of this year’s tuition. Full refunds will be subject to a $75 per child cancellation fee to cover processing fees and administrative costs. Refunds may be requested at any time, but will not be processed until 2021. Camp Ursa Major is a small, family-owned business. Unlike many camps, we’re totally focused on camp and have year-round payroll and expenses to make camp happen. This is part of what makes Ursa Major great, but is also what makes the current situation financially challenging for us. By keeping all of your tuition with us a credit, you help ensure the long-term future of Ursa Major.
Today, we start the countdown to Summer Camp 2021, and we’ll continue to be here for you throughout the year, for anything you might need. If you have questions, ideas, or just want to say hi, give us a call.
Deeply, truly, all our best,
Andy & Liz Kimmelman
PS - You and your child have been feeling lots of disappointment this year, and I know this is yet another thing to add to the list. Our friend Dr. Tina Payne Bryson put together a great, short video about helping your kids deal with missing out on camp this summer. I hope it’s helpful to you.
How do I sign up for camp?
Just click the "Sign Up Today!" button above to access our online application.
How do I sign up for XTRA Camp, your extended care?
Just click on the “Sign Up Today!” button above, and use the same online application.
What if I need to change my schedule, after I’ve enrolled?
BEFORE May 1, you may make as many changes to your schedule as you like, at no additional charge. AFTER May 1, a fee might incur depending on the number of requests made. All reschedules are subject to availability.
What if my child is absent during the summer?
Please contact us no later than 10:00am that day. Feel free to call us at 707-595-0472 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I request for my child to be in a group with their friend?
A camper may request one friend in his/her grade and group. Friend requests are not guaranteed, but every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate requests. In order for the friend request to be considered, the parents of both friends must request each other on the application. We do not offer refunds or credits if friend requests are unable to be accommodated.
What if we need to cancel? Will I get a refund?
No refunds will be offered after May 1. If a dismissal or withdrawal occurs after May 1, for any reason, we will hold the balance of tuition as a credit for future Camp Ursa Major services expiring on the last day of camp the following summer.
How are the campers grouped together?
Campers are organized by grade level in co-ed groups of up to 16 campers each day. Each group has two counselors.
Who are your counselors?
Our counselors are some of the best and brightest in the youth-development field. New counselors go through an extremely selective screening process, including multiple interviews, references and background checks. Then, we spend five days training our counselors on how to manage their group, instruct our activities, and create an incredible camp experience, plus additional training in CPR, first aid, lifeguarding, and more.
What does a typical day look like?
After morning arrival, campers meet up with their groups and counselors at our morning assembly, Shenanigan City. Between 10:00 and 3:15, groups go to five different activities each day. The groups go to every activity we offer at least once or twice a week. Groups go swimming twice a week and our oldest group (rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders) participate in service learning and camping trips on alternating weeks.
How does drop off and pick up work?
Normal drop off times are between 9:00-9:45 and pick up times are between 3:30-4:00pm. Campers are dropped off in front of the large playground structure across from the parking lot in a carpool-style line (parents do not need to exit the vehicle). Campers are then checked in for attendance by our director and meet up with a counselor who will help them with their gear. If for whatever reason you need to accompany your child into camp, please park and walk on over to base camp. In the afternoon, all campers are grouped together and are attending our PM Shenanigan City. In order for a camper to be dismissed from camp, an approved pick up person (must be listed in the application), will come, show ID to the assistant director, sign the attendance sheet, and then their child will be released to them.
When will I receive information about camp for this summer?
Prior to your camper’s first day, you will receive a confirmation email, a detailed welcome packet, and an invite to the new parent orientation (if this is your child’s first summer at camp). Then, every week, families receive a newsletter with special information about the activities for the week ahead.
What about XTRA Camp? How does that work?
XTRA Camp is extended care offered to families who need to drop off early or pick up later. AM XTRA Camp is from 8:00-9:00 and PM XTRA Camp is from 4:00-5:00. There is an additional charge for this extended care and it can be purchased as just morning or afternoon, or both.
What if I need to pick my child up from camp?
You can pick your child up early, without notice, any day. If you do know ahead of time that you need to pick up your child early, please inform our director when you know so we can be sure to have your camper ready to go when you arrive. Stop by the office to sign them out. If a non-guardian adult is picking the child up, they must be authorized to do so in writing.
What should my child bring each day?
A backpack containing a swimsuit, towel, lunch, reusable water bottle, hat (if you would like) and sunscreen (if you would like). PLEASE LABEL ALL OF YOUR CHILD’S BELONGINGS. Items do get lost at camp, but we make our best effort to return them to your child, and labeling every single item helps with this task. Please do not send toys, electronics (including phones, iPods, etc.), or personal sports equipment. Drugs, alcohol, weapons and pets are also not allowed at camp.
Can I send my child with an iPod or phone?
The camp day at Camp Ursa Major is 100% unplugged, including arrival and dismissal. Please do not send electronics of any kind with your child to camp. If you need to contact your child for any reason, please call 707-595-0472.
What should my child wear to camp?
A day at camp is active, fun, and sometimes dirty. Please send your child in comfortable clothes that can get dirty. Closed-toed shoes are a must, like sneakers / tennis shoes. Sandals, Crocs, or any other shoes with open parts are not allowed at camp. Please remember that while it can be cool in the mornings, it heats up in the afternoons – layers are a good idea.
What about lunch?
You will need to pack a lunch for your child. We do not provide refrigeration or microwaves.
Can I visit camp?
Absolutely! You are welcome to visit your child at camp any day between 10:00 am and 2:30 pm (this timeframe helps you avoid our arrival/dismissal process). Please stop by the office so we can help you locate your child. We strongly discourage visiting during your child’s first few days of camp, especially for new and younger campers, as your presence at camp may make it more difficult for them to transition to the daily routine.
My child takes medicine / has allergies / has other special medical needs. How do you handle this?
We require you to complete a health history form prior to your child starting camp, which allows us to share information about healthcare needs with your child’s counselor. All of our counselors are trained in first aid and CPR, and we provide additional training (for instance, Epi-Pen administration) as needed.
If your child requires medicine to be administered during the camp day, please send the medicine to camp in the original labeled prescription container along with specific directions for administration. Please give the medication to the director on your child’s first day.
What if my child is ill or becomes injured?
If your child has a fever, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea, please keep them home to recover for 24 hours. If your child becomes ill at camp or sustains an injury requiring more than basic first aid, we will notify you immediately. All of our staff are trained to treat minor injuries, and carry the appropriate first aid supplies with them throughout camp.
What if my child doesn’t like camp?
Camp is a very different environment than school or home, and our counselors are the best at building a community, creating new friendships, and making every child’s experience a great one. However, some campers simply take longer to transition to the new environment. If your child is struggling with this, please notify the director as soon as possible. With your support and open communication, we can create a plan to help your child be successful at camp.
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