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Health Update: COVID-19

CRU Camps bookings for spring 2021.

Thanks so much for your patience as we’ve awaited the government’s advice and its implications for the upcoming spring camps season. It’s clear that the lockdown extension for Sydney, announced on Friday 20th August, means that it’s not possible for our spring camps to proceed as usual.

Therefore, we have cancelled all of our east coast spring CRU Camps except for Mac Time and Frantik (both based at our CRU Lake Mac site). For these two camps, we are excluding Sydney campers, but are leaving registrations temporarily open for regional kids, in the hope that the regional NSW lockdown ends in time for camp. Please be assured that these camps will only go ahead if restrictions allow for camps and NSW Health endorses these camps continuing. We’re well aware that there is a strong possibility that these camps may need to be cancelled in the coming weeks. But we’re also mindful of how much our children have had to endure in recent months, and so we’re still hopeful that we might be able to run programs for kids from regional NSW in these upcoming holidays.

For those who have had their booking cancelled we will process the cancellation and full refund in the coming weeks. We hope to see your child on a CRU Camp soon. Summer, autumn, and winter seasons are all open for bookings so get in early to avoid disappointment!

All of our camps in WA are going ahead as planned.

CRU Camps bookings open for all future seasons beyond spring 2021.

Having received confirmation from NSW Health that our holiday camps, in the back half of 2020, were appropriate to go ahead, we were delighted to receive so many positive comments from both campers and their parents about the safe and positive environment on camps. We were also very pleased to have an inspector from the local Public Health Unit visit one of winter 2020 camps and comment on how well we had addressed matters through our COVID Management Plan and praise the procedures that we had established.

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 2020 autumn school holidays, and significantly limited the number of camps and camper places for the 2020 winter season. For spring 2020 we were able to run all of our camps at CRU sites, albeit with limited numbers, and also all summer camps ran with slightly reduced capacities. In 2021 we were able to run autumn camps and 1 week of winter camps before lockdown kicked in cancelling 2 weeks of camps. In spring 2021 we had to cancel the majority of camps due to restrictions. We have been so encouraged by the high level of interest from parents and campers to attend CRU Camps during this whole period.

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 certainly needed perhaps now more than ever!

The status of restrictions, especially for schools and school-aged children, has meant that we can plan towards running CRU Holiday Camps in each holiday season. 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, the guiding principles that influence our decision making are:

  • 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.
  • Having quarantine facilities available for any guest who does display symptoms in order to isolate them until they can be picked up from camp for testing and isolation.
  • Increased site cleaning.
  • Encouraging social distancing and density requirements where appropriate.
  • Where possible in indoor areas increasing natural ventilation by opening windows and doors and increasing mechanical ventilation where possible by optimising air conditioning or other system settings (such as by maximising the intake of outside air and reducing or avoiding recirculation of air).

We are convinced of the benefits of the community on a CRU Camp and whilst we cannot guarantee the health of all who attend camp (just as no school or workplace can guarantee this), we are committed to providing safe camps. 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.

Please visit our future camp pages to see which camps are available with spots remaining. Due to increased demand, camps will book out faster than usual.

Please note that we will continue to respond to advice and direction from the Federal and State Governments and Health Departments. This may mean that we need to cancel 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. 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. Regarding those in Year 12, 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 past where parents have spoken of the ATAR boost which they attribute to their children attending a CRU Study Camp.

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’, 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. This has meant that this plan has been updated in line with the latest government requirements as they relate to our operation and facility. In particular these are the Accommodation Plan and the Restaurants and Cafés Plan, although we have also drawn upon the safety plans for Community sporting competitions and full training activities and for Places of Worship, and also the guidelines provided by the NSW Department of Education.

Warm Regards,

Philip Rawnsley
Director of CRU Holiday Camps
24th August 2021

 

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