January 6, 2021
Why Travel is So Important to Camp Stone
We take tremendous pride in our geographically diverse community. We have campers from 22 states in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Israel and Australia. It is one of the characteristics of Camp Stone that makes us so unique amongst Jewish summer camps.
Getting hundreds of campers to Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania every summer from all of these locations is a highly complex logistical puzzle. We have an AMAZING team of individuals dedicated to making travel work as well as it does each and every year.
Will travel look different this summer? Yes.
Will we still take care of every single camper and make sure it remains a top priority? Absolutely.
Let’s jump in.
Dr. Laura Blaisdell
We recently hired Dr. Laura Blaisdell to help us safely open camp for Summer 2021. Dr. Blaisdell helped us during Indoor World this past summer, and she has agreed to take us (Camp Stone) on as one of the 18 camps she will support this coming summer. She led the research for operating camp safely during the prior H1N1 pandemic and was once again part of the team that led the research on operating camp safely during this current Covid-19 pandemic. She was successful in opening 4 camps in Maine this past summer, and she was one of the physicians who authored the piece on Covid-19 in a summer camp setting that was published by the CDC. It can be read here:
We are thrilled that she is now a member of our team and we look forward to presenting a full COVID-19 plan to the camp community for Summer 2021 in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Travel Safety for Summer 2021
Last summer there was a lot unknown about the virus and there were travel restrictions in place prohibiting many of our campers from coming to Camp Stone.
This year is very different. Many studies of air travel have been conducted, proving that it can be safe to travel by airplane when precautions are taken. I personally have traveled safely 3 times from Israel to the United States during this pandemic. I have found the following videos to be particularly helpful in providing an explanation of how airlines are keeping their customers safe, both onboard and in the airport. These methods have been studied and endorsed by the United States Department of Defense.
These are United Airlines videos, but all the other major airlines are doing the same thing with respect to health and safety.
A) Bussing: Lisa and Randi have already been in touch with our bus company, Anderson, and have started to formulate a plan for travel from each of the cities. We will work with Dr. Blaisdell to ensure safety compliance both prior to and during bus travel, but we don’t anticipate subtracting any cities from our bus list. In fact, if anything, we will add bus locations this summer, and to ensure safety, we will also provide additional bussing from cities with a large number of campers. More to follow in the coming months.
B) Air Travel: Air travel will change slightly only insofar as group flights are concerned. With airlines changing their policies, we will have to adjust how we book flights. Randi will be in touch with each of the air travel cities respectively with more details in the coming weeks. That said, we can promise you two things:
1. We will provide options for flights from each city.
2. There will be chaperones on every flight that we select.
C) Parents Driving to Camp: Each year there are a handful of parents who drive their children to camp. We will continue to allow parents to do so this summer, however, because we are creating a sealed environment at camp itself, no parent will be permitted to enter the premises. Therefore, we will have a parent drop off zone, and we will coordinate the logistics surrounding that closer to the summer.
There will be no additional fees charged this year for travel. Bussing costs will not increase. We will not add additional fees for chaperones. As always, air travel costs will fluctuate depending on the flight and accompanying baggage fees.
Looking forward to being in touch in the near future.
Yakov & Estee