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Health Update: COVID-19

CRU Camps bookings remain open for all upcoming seasons. 

As you may be aware from our previous updates, CRU has been committed to reviewing national and international advice on how to best respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we cancelled all CRU Camps in the autumn school holidays, and significantly limited the number of camps and camper places for the winter season. 

We were delighted to receive so many positive comments from both campers and their parents about how we provided a safe and positive environment through our COVID protocols on our winter camps. We were also very pleased to have an inspector from the local Public Health Unit visit one of winter camps and comment on how well we had addressed matters through our COVID Management Plan and praise the procedures that we had established.  

We are well-aware of our obligation to act responsibly, not only complying with all current and future regulations but, additionally, following the best health advice. But we are also well-aware of the benefits of the community on a CRU Holiday Camp, and are committed to providing this in the future. The community aspect of camp is needed in 2020 perhaps now more than ever! 

The re-opening of schools and the changes in restrictions meant that we were able to run winter camps, albeit on a modified structure, and can plan towards running CRU Holiday Camps in spring. We will continue to monitor health advice and government guidelines, and are adjusting our programs and procedures in order to provide a safe and valuable CRU Camps experience. In broad brush, we will be: 

  • Limiting the number of campers so that there are fewer people sharing bedrooms and bathrooms; 
  • Maintaining social distancing; 
  • Adopting strict standards relating to hygiene and infection control; 
  • Requiring anyone displaying symptoms of ill-health before camp to stay away from camp, or to leave camp if symptoms arise during camp; 
  • Not allowing campers or leaders to come and go from camp; 
  • Having quarantine facilities available for any camper or leader who does display symptoms in order to isolate them until they can be picked up from camp; and 
  • Increasing site cleaning above normal levels. 

You would appreciate that we cannot guarantee the health of all who attend camp, just as no school or workplace can guarantee this; but our advice is that the adoption of these measures gives us the best possible chance of avoiding infection. In fact, our advice is that the establishment of a camp “bubble” means the risk of infection is typically lower than a school where students and staff are travelling to and from their homes each day with multiple contacts with a much larger group of people. In addition, children have been seen to have a much lower infection rate than adults, and studies have also identified that children seem to transmit COVID-19 at a noticeably lower rate than adults. 

As with winter, we will be limiting numbers on each camp. We will not be running camps at remote locations because of the risk of infection associated with long coach trips, and the challenge of quarantining and arranging pick-up of any unwell campers. We will not be running camps at sites where we cannot effectively limit numbers in each room and still provide quarantine options. 

Please visit our spring season camp page to see which camps remain open. Due to smaller numbers than we originally planned, camps will book out faster than usual, and some are already full with their current booking numbers, due to this season’s restrictions; we suggest you book quickly in order to secure your place. 

Please note that we will continue to respond to advice and direction from the authorities with regard to each camp and will be subject to this. This may mean that we need to cancel additional camps even at late notice. We will certainly endeavour to minimise inconvenience as best as we are able. 

We are convinced that CRU Camps provide a wonderful opportunity for your child to maximise their potential and are particularly valuable at a time like this. Authors such as Michael Carr-Gregg write of the value of study camps for those in Year 12, and I’ve treasured conversations in the last fortnight where parents have spoken of the ATAR boost which they attribute to their children attending a CRU Study Camp. A three-year research program conducted by the Outdoor Youth Providers Research Alliance (OYPRA) has outlined the benefits to mental health and wellbeing which come from camp attendance, which will be of immense value to campers of all ages this season. 

We realise that there is a range of opinions and emotions about the future, and each family will make decisions which reflect their own circumstances. Please know that we are always here to work together in this, and are more than happy to discuss your options with you. Feel free to email us at crucamps@cru.edu.au or call us on 9874 8933 (option 1). We’re thankful for your ongoing partnership and support.

For our full ‘COVID Management Plan’ for Winter camp season please click here.

This management plan has been written in reference to the NSW Government’s Industry Safety Plans, available from: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses. In particular, our camping activities comply, in their various elements, with the safety plans for community sporting competitions and full training activitieshotels and accommodation, and restaurants and cafés.

Warm Regards,

Philip Rawnsley
Director of CRU Holiday Camps
5th August, 2020

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