Colorado summer camp

COVID-19 Info

Updated May 10th, 2021

Camp is around the corner! Our year-round team is eager to provide an amazing Cheley Experience, which is truly what gets us out of bed in the morning. Very soon our Pre-camp crew will be waking up the facility to get it prepared to be the summer home to campers and staff from all over.

We wanted to reiterate some of the information we sent out at the end of March and include any updated information. We recognize it is a busy time of year for our families and appreciate you taking the time to read this information. We realize there is some buzz about the CDC guidelines for summer camps. Please know that we are well-positioned to work on the local level with the Larimer County health department and local authorities on our approach to operating camp.

Every summer, we ask our families to trust our ability to care for your camper. Every summer we take the utmost care and precaution to ensure the safest experience possible. We want to assure you that we are cognizant that there are many facets of camp that need our attention. While we are focused on limiting the risk of having a COVID case at camp we have not lost sight of the other risk factors that are present in operating camp.

We want to reiterate our two main goals for the summer that we discussed in our zoom webinars. Our first priority is to operate a healthy and happy Cheley Experience for the entire summer season for our staff and campers. Our second priority is to provide an oasis of sleep-away camp that is as close to usual without jeopardizing goal number one.

Thank you for partnering with us to provide this important experience for your children. We said this in an earlier communication but will say it again, there is a calm, dedicated, excited vibe in our camp office. Other than never wanting to type or say the word COVID, we are steadfast and smart in preparing for the summer.

FORMS
Kindly get your forms turned in if you have not done so already. We will be adding two simple additional forms that will be in CampBrain.

Responsible Together: Cheley Colorado Camps in COVID 19 – this form will explain some changes to policies, our testing protocols, and is communicating required information from the State of Colorado and County Health Department.

Summer COVID-19 Camp Health History Addendum – We will ask you to complete a document a few days before camp to confirm your child’s health leading up to camp along with your child’s test results prior to traveling to camp. Let us know how our form compares to your local bouncy house or sports practice facility. A sample of the questions is attached. 

WEEK PRIOR TO CAMP
We ask that you engage in low-risk behaviors starting at least 7 days before camp. Please do not take any unnecessary risks. We understand that some kids will still be in school during this time, we are not asking you to skip school. Schools with good mitigation strategies are considered safe. Things to be avoided include playdates, weddings, large family events, sports tournaments, family trips, indoor dining in a restaurant, sleepovers, large sporting events, group gatherings. Please do your part to keep our community healthy, your compliance with this request is in part what will make camp the haven our children need.

TRAVEL TO CAMP
BY AIRPLANE: We will be running our standard Arrival Day proceedings at Denver International Airport. We have expanded the arrival window from 8:00 am MT to 3:00 pm MT. Our staff will pick your campers up at their gate and make sure their experience is welcoming and positive from the beginning. As mentioned earlier we will have additional coach buses traveling to camp to allow for more space to spread out. With that being said, we will make sure the experience does not feel lonely! During this process, we will be wearing masks.
BY CAR: The arrival window to drive to camp is 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. We kindly ask that families remain in their cars for the duration of drop-off. Cheley staff members will take any baggage along with your camper(s) to their unit and get them settled in. During this process, we will be wearing masks.

UPDATED GUIDANCE FROM STATE, COUNTY, AND CDC
The Colorado Camps Network worked diligently with the Governor’s Office, CDPHE, and CDHS throughout the year. We received (final guidance) from the State of Colorado and have been connecting with Larimer County Health as we prepare for the summer. We value our strong relationship with Larimer County. We are confident in our ability to follow the guidance and are committed to providing a healthy and happy community. They are familiar with our program and our consistent commitment to excellence. 

ROLE OF VACCINATIONS 
Over 96% of our staff have been vaccinated or have plans to get vaccinated before their contract starts. We have not mandated it for our staff but have strongly encouraged it and are thrilled to have this as a mitigation measure going into the summer. In addition, there will be campers that will be vaccinated before camp. We are optimistic that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for ages 12 and up. The more people within our community that are vaccinated the better. Our approach with how each unit and camper is handled has not changed with this added preventative measure.

AN UPDATE ON TESTING 
Before camp
If your camper is not vaccinated, please schedule to get a PCR test on the Friday or Saturday before camp, your results will need to be uploaded to us by Monday evening. A negative Covid-19 PCR test will be required for all campers not vaccinated to arrive on opening day. If your camper is a confirmed positive case, do not send them to camp and they will have the option to arrive later or cancel with a full refund. Your test results will need to be uploaded in CampBrain by Monday, June 14th for first term or Monday, July 12th for second term.
At camp
We have partnered with UCHealth to administer a mid-turbinate nasal swab (the shallow kind!) PCR test on the first Friday of the term. The swab will be rubbed around each nostril for 10 seconds. No deeper or longer than some kids have their fingers in there. We will be billing your insurance company for this test. Instructions on how to register are forthcoming. Results of the test will be received by Saturday. If a camper receives a positive test, UCHealth would look at the viral load and would most likely test them again. Parents of campers who test positive will be contacted individually via phone (or email if unable to reach via phone). Campers who are determined (by Larimer County Health) to be in close contact with the positive camper will be quarantined, and their parents will be notified by phone (or email if unable to reach via phone). Parents of campers who are not directly impacted by a positive Covid-19 case will receive an email from Cheley within 24 hours.

WHAT IF SOMEONE GETS COVID
All medical staff will be trained to identify Covid-19 symptoms and respond. Any camper or staff who presents multiple Covid-19 symptoms will be taken to one of our quarantine spaces and remain isolated. We will conduct a Covid-19 test and the family of the camper will immediately be contacted by the director of our health center and/or our doctor, who will share the plan for testing and treatment.

FIRST WEEK OF CAMP 
For the first week of camp, we will be doing activities by cabin group. Our program directors have been hard at work planning a fun-filled first week of activities. We will still be doing all the normal activities, just with cabin groups vs individually. We will also be eating our meals with our cabins in the dining hall and making use of our outdoor spaces. After test results are in and hopefully all is well the camp experience will expand to move more freely within the units.

THE REMAINDER OF THE TERM 
Sign-ups will take place each Sunday. It is our greatest hope that we will resume with our free choice structure with the campers signing up for the programs they choose. We continue to envision most of the camp experience remaining within the unit. Chapel will take place at BTE and GTE as usual and with Land O Peaks Girls Camp and Land O Peaks Boys camp separately. As of now, Play Day will take place on the second Sunday with each unit, and All Girl’s Campfire and All Boy’s Campfire will take place on the third Sunday.

MEALS 
Meals will take place inside our dining rooms as well as outside in our new outdoor dining spots. During the first week they will eat with their cabin or wagon groups. If there are no positive cases the units will eat together as they have typically done in the past. Our family-style meals of passing the food around the table will be omitted and it will be more of a staff served meals.

VISITORS
We will be holding to our plan of NOT hosting our typical final weekend. We value this time of connecting with our camp families and will truly miss it. We will aim to hold something virtually or recorded. Of course, there are vendors who provide essential items. These include UPS, FedEx, USPS, food deliveries, septic, propane, and others. All vendors will be masked and separate from campers.

THE ROLE OF MASKS 
Our campers will be asked to have a mask with them at all times but will not be required to wear one at all times. At the start of camp, the campers will be interacting in their cabin and wagon groups until we have the results of the PCR test administered at camp. Again, we envision the cabins and units able to function as a family and us being able to spend ample time outside. When campers and staff are unable to social distance with others from outside their unit, we will ask them to wear a mask. There are certain activities that happen in close quarters inside where masks will be present.

SANITIZATION
We are excited that we have added additional handwashing sinks throughout camp and hand sanitizer has always been our friend. To cut down on any other crud at camp we will continue to disinfect surfaces. We will continue to make this a priority as we have always done.

TRAVEL HOME
BY PLANE: We will operate our normal departures to/from Denver International Airport. Campers should try to schedule departures from 8:00 am- 3:00 pm on Sunday, July 11th, or August 8th. We leave for the airport at least four hours before departure. If you need a flight outside of these times, please contact us before booking.
BY CAR: Please pick up your camper between 6:00 am – 8:00 am on Sunday, July 11th, or August 8th.

And that’s a wrap! Thank you again for your partnership and trust. We are grateful that you have chosen Cheley to help your family heal and renew from these challenging times.


Updated March 25th, 2021

We hope that this email finds you well and you are getting excited for the upcoming summer. We wanted to get an update your way and hope the following information will give you some insight to your questions about the summer and inform you of what you need to be doing now. You might want to grab a cup of joe or a Fanta, there is a lot in here.

CAMP FORMS – DUE MAY 1st  

Completing your forms by May 1st is an important step in our partnership with you so that we can provide the best experience possible for your camper. You can find our forms and miscellaneous information, such as the Equipment and Clothing Guide, on the Forms and Mailings page of our website, under the Current Families tab. Your forms will be submitted in your CampBrain account.

The following forms need to be filled out to complete your camper’s enrollment by May 1st. All forms will be listed underneath each camper’s name. Please click on the name of each form, fill it out, and then submit the form using the “submit” button at the bottom right of the page.

These forms will be interactive; you only need to fill them out online, and then submit them to us (no printing or postage). The same user ID and password that you used to register your camper on CampBrain will be what you use to access these forms and manage your account.

The Cheley Connection – where you will log-in to view photos, send emails, and read weekly reports – is separate from CampBrain and will not be live until camp begins in June.

WEEK PRIOR TO CAMP

We ask that you engage in low-risk behaviors starting 7 days before camp. We understand that some kids will still be in school during this time, we are not asking you to skip school. Schools with good mitigation strategies are considered safe. Things to be avoided include playdates, weddings, family events, sports tournaments, family trips, indoor dining in a restaurant, sleepovers, large sporting events, group gatherings. Please do your part to keep our community healthy, your compliance with this request is in part what will make camp the haven our children need.


TRAVEL TO CAMP

BY AIRPLANE: We will be running our standard Arrival Day proceedings at Denver International Airport. We are expanding the arrival window to 8:00 am MT to 3:00 pm MT. Our staff will pick your campers up at their gate and make sure their experience is welcoming and positive from the beginning. As mentioned earlier we will have additional coach buses traveling to camp to allow for more space to spread out. With that being said, we will make sure the experience does not feel lonely! During this process, we will be wearing masks.

BY CAR: The arrival window to drive to camp is 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. We kindly ask that families remain in their cars for the duration of drop-off. Cheley staff members will take any baggage along with your camper(s) to their unit and get them settled in. During this process, we will be wearing masks.

GUIDANCE FROM STATE

The Colorado Camps Network continues their collaboration with the state as they pursue a goal of final guidance in the next few weeks. We are encouraged by the trend of relaxed guidance in many different industries in Colorado. The other day Governor Polis commented that he would send his children to summer camp this summer, which we take as an encouraging sign! 

TESTING

Testing has come a long way in the past year and has become readily available. Within 72 hours of arriving at camp, a negative Covid-19 PCR test will be required for all campers and staff not vaccinated. On the first Friday of the term, we will administer a secondary Covid-19 PCR test on-site. If any campers or staff show symptoms of Covid-19 after this point we will test on-site. 

WHAT IF SOMEONE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

All medical staff will be trained to identify Covid-19 symptoms and respond. Any camper or staff who presents Covid-19 symptoms will be taken to one of our quarantine spaces and remain isolated with our medical staff. We will conduct a Covid-19 test and the family of the camper will immediately be contacted by the director of our health center and/or our doctor, who will share the plan for testing and treatment.

FIRST WEEK OF CAMP

For the first week of camp, we will be doing activities by cabin group. Our program directors have been hard at work planning a fun-filled first week of activities. We will still be doing all the normal activities, just with cabin groups vs individually. We will also be eating our meals with our cabins in the dining hall and making use of our outdoor spaces. After test results are in and hopefully all is well the camp experience will expand to move more freely within the unit.


SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASKS

We envision the units able to function as a family unit. One of top goals is that camp looks and feels as close to ‘normal’ camp as possible. That being said, we have to follow the science on preventative measures and follow guidance from the State of Colorado.

Our best guess is that at the start of camp we will have to operate cabin groups until we have the PCR Covid-19 test results (by the first Sunday of camp) at which point we may be able to expand to life within the unit. When campers and staff are unable to social distance with others from outside their units, we will ask them to wear a mask. Camp is a wonderful environment as almost all of our activities naturally take place outside with plenty of space between groups. 

VISITORS 

We will be holding to our plan of NOT hosting our typical final weekend. We value this time of connecting with our camp families and will truly miss it. We will aim to hold something virtually. Of course, there are vendors who provide essential items. These include UPS, FedEx, USPS, food deliveries, septic, propane, and others. All vendors will be masked and separate from campers.

TRAVEL HOME

BY PLANE: We will operate our normal departures to/from Denver International Airport. Campers should try to schedule departures from 8:00 am- 3:00 pm on Sunday, July 11th, or August 8th. We leave for the airport at least four hours before departure. If you need a flight outside of these times, please contact us before booking.

BY CAR: Please pick up your camper between 6:00 am – 8:00 am on Sunday,  July 11th, or August 8th.

IN CLOSING 

With optimism, we are steadfast in our work in providing an amazing Cheley Experience this summer. Over the past 100 years, we have not had a say in the challenges presented (fires, floods, etc.). We recognize our current context and accept the challenge. Please keep in mind, we are looking 90 days into a future where major new developments occur almost daily. 


There is a calm, confident, dedicated, and exciting vibe in our office as we prepare for the summer. We are grateful for your trust, your partnership, and your enthusiasm for the camp experience.



Updated February 2021
In case you missed last week’s “Let’s Talk Camp 2021” webinar, we wanted to send you a link to the video recording.

This specific recording is from Wednesday night. It is broken down into two parts:

New Families: We invite you to start watching from :00 for an overview of the Cheley Experience.
Returning Families: We invite you to start watching from 22:50 for more detail regarding our evolving plan for a successful 2021 summer.


Updated January 11th, 2021
We continue to acknowledge the many perspectives of this pandemic and how we are all experiencing them. We feel so much compassion for our camp families, and for us, it has made our commitment to youth development and our dedication to our camp families even stronger. This is how we know to contribute to a better world!

We are 100% preparing for the Cheley Experience for 2021 and we cannot wait to have camp full of happy campers. We are grateful to have the blueprint from 2020 that proved to be successful for our modified program and we are ready with evolving plans for this summer.

While we are confident in the summer of 2021 happening with our four-week Cheley Experience, we are acutely aware that mitigation measures will be necessary. As we plan for a summer that won’t be fully back to normal, we continue to consult with the health department, doctors, and policymakers at the Local, State, and Federal levels. As summer is on the horizon, we wanted to inform you of some of the strategies we anticipate using so that you can plan accordingly. With that said, this is evolving as the landscape of COVID continues to change. We do not have all the answers at this time but will continue to keep you informed as the summer approaches.

– We will be asking our camp families to commit to minimize their child’s exposure prior to coming to camp.
– Campers will be picked up from the airport on arrival day as usual. We will be adding more buses to allow for more space between campers.
– COVID-19 testing will be a part of our mitigation strategies.
– As we start to plan our program for the summer, we are planning for smaller cohorts for the first week and hope to return to normal sign-ups beginning the second week.
– We are currently not planning on omitting any of our programs.
– We will not be hosting our final weekend or other visiting days.
– On closing day, we will operate our normal departures at DIA or campers can be picked up at camp.

As we plan for the summer, we are cognizant of the increased emotional support our campers will need. We have scheduled some additional training for staff in areas like trauma and mental health support. We will also be developing additional programming for campers that addresses the unique challenges of the previous year.

Being at a sleep-away camp is a shared commitment. Putting the health and well-being of our community as our top priority will depend on us all. We appreciate your support and shared commitment to your child’s, and the overall, Cheley Experience. Please note the attachment of our guiding principles as we finalize our COVID Care plan. We truly cannot wait to have your campers at camp this summer.

With Gratitude,
Brooke Cheley-Klebe and Jeff Cheley

Updated September 2020

While we did cancel our typical Cheley Experience, including Quarter B-4 and Family Camp, we didn’t totally cease operations. We spent the months leading up to summer 2020 creating a thoughtful and detailed plan called COVID-19 CARE. We are proud to share that this plan, along with support from our camp families, allowed us to run six weeks of a modified five-night camp program (called Trigger Bill Discovery Camps) for Colorado families – COVID free! It was truly incredible to see that we could provide a prudent, fun, and much-needed experience for many campers. That being said, we hope that the world is in a different place by summer 2021 and are confident that COVID CARE can be implemented once again, with any necessary adaptations needed.

Updated Monday, June 8th, 2020

Please read our full update here. Despite the numerous hurdles, we would find a path to camp after each obstacle. We have put together procedures to mitigate the risks, we were determined to do everything in our power to make this another magical summer, we wanted to be the light at the end of the tunnel, and as this giant machine is getting ready to take off, we are out of runway.

We are so sorry, but the time has come for Cheley Colorado Camps to cancel the summer of 2020. Even typing these words is difficult. Last fall, as we prepared to celebrate our 100th Summer, we had no idea what was coming. At the beginning, an advisor in the medical field said, “Wait as long as you can to make a decision, things are changing every day.” Unfortunately, the time has come and there are still too many unanswered questions for us to feasibly proceed.

Updated June 3, 2020

Thank you for your ongoing patience during this process. We hope that you are enjoying our emails because you might be hearing from us more than usual in the next couple of weeks.

Please take a moment to review the Packing List as we have updated it for 2020 and added two items: personal hand sanitizer and cloth face masks. We also recognize there have been many questions about what The Cheley Experience will look like this summer. To that regard, we attached our broad plan, COVID CARE, which we will ask you to take a moment to review.

Some Clarifications on Transportation to and from Camp:
The guardian's duty is to travel with your camper to camp. If a camper is showing symptoms, then the guardian would be responsible for the camper, whether it be a family member, another camp parent, a friend, or a nanny. Please keep in mind that this person will have to be responsible for the camper should they be ill upon arrival.
 

Regarding departure day, we will provide transportation for your camper(s) to Denver International Airport. They will be prepared with hand sanitizer and a mask. We will do everything in our power for your child to return home healthy and happy.

We are expecting the guidance from the Governor to review by Saturday.

As we always say we want to show up for you and be your partners in parenting. It is with that intention that we share some resources on how to talk to your children about race: Learning About Race and Racism For You and Your Kids.

Updated June 1, 2020
We hope that your families are finding ways to celebrate the spring milestones, find closure on your school year, and gear up for the summer months. You inspire us daily to host camp this summer. Here at camp, our horses have arrived, and staff have begun to open our facilities. We also welcomed three baby goats – "kids" – this weekend and are encouraging name recommendations! 

Celebrating our Centennial
We will be extending the celebration of our 100th Summer into 2021; albeit, we have postponed the Centennial Celebration Weekend to September 3rd through 6th of 2021. 

Updates 
We have insight into what the regulations will be for residential and overnight camps to operate in the month of July. On Friday, May 29th, Jeff collaborated with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), and the Governor’s Office on the draft guidance, which we feel confident in meeting. We are also assured that the draft guidance, which is currently under review, will be very similar to the final guidance. We expect to receive the final guidance on Saturday, June 6th and an announcement from the Governor will follow in mid-June.

We are cooperating with Larimer County in our pursuit to operate. We have talked to the Governor’s Office and Larimer County regarding our start date of June 30th. As such, staff training will still begin on June 10th

As we continue to work with our medical team on protocols for a healthy summer, travel and transportation is a critical consideration. We have made the decision to modify our standard Arrival Day procedures: There will be no pick-up or bus service from Denver International Airport on Arrival Day. Instead, campers must arrive to camp via car with their parent or guardian. A parent or guardian may choose to drive from home with their camper or fly with their camper and bring them to camp from the airport. This will: Eliminate our staff members from being exposed all day at DIA; Keep a large group out of a confined bus; Enable our medical team to properly screen campers upon arrival; And, allow for a parent or guardian to supervise healthy travel habits.

We appreciate your regard in navigating this new request to better contain the health of our community. As always, thank you for your ongoing partnership.

Recommendations for PRIOR TO CAMP: From the ACA-EHE Field Guide
The parent or guardian of higher-risk campers should consult their medical provider to assess the camper's risk and determine if attendance is acceptable. Campers will be asked to quarantine for a minimum of 14-days prior to their scheduled arrival at camp. See attached Quarantine Protocol. During the 14-days prior to a camper’s scheduled arrival, they must self-monitor and conduct pre-screening procedures. See attached Screening Log. If a camper shows any symptoms associated with COVID-19, they must stay home. Here is a complete list of symptoms. We are finalizing our COVID-19 waiver as suggested by our insurance company and our legal counsel.  

Additional Positions for 2020
While there will be a lot of new and different things in place for the Summer of 2020, I am especially excited to announce that we are creating three new positions that will support our campers and staff throughout the summer. The three new positions include a Pandemic Transition Officer, a Doctor of Social Work, and a Staff and Activities Resource Coordinator!

Mike Abbiatti: Pandemic Transition Officer
Mike is a long-time Cheley supporter, Cheley parent, and former Director of Haiyaha and BTE – is engaged to come out of retirement to serve as our Pandemic Transition Officer for the summer of 2020. Mike brings over 45 years of successful military and civilian experiences as a retired senior US Army medical department officer with expertise in clinical microbiology, virology, immunology, blood banking, telemedicine, research in the arenas of HIV, and the immune response to viral agents. In addition to his military career, Mike has almost two decades of successful senior leadership in academic technology administration, high speed networking and supercomputing in support of a wide range of medical research and physics-based content areas. His experience includes a wide variety of tours in clinical and field laboratory environments, epidemiological studies, Infection Control activities and a diversity of assignments involving development and deployment of advanced research and education systems. He and his wife Nan live in Estes Park during the summers and in Fayetteville, Arkansas during the winters.

Michelle M. Fisher, DSW, LCSW: Doctor of Social Work
Dr. Shelley (or Dr. Fish) is excited to spend her first summer on staff at Cheley! -And we are thrilled to have her! Dr. Fish earned her Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston College.  She received her Doctorate in Social Work from George Williams College where she focused on LGB and transgender adolescents.  Dr. Fisher’s 25-year social work career includes child protective services, adoption, medical and forensic social work, teaching, private practice and for the past 10 years, school social work. She currently resides in northwest suburban Chicago with her husband and two children. Her son, Cole, will be joining us on staff as well this summer.

Dustin Pippin: Staff Activities and Resource Coordinator
This summer will be Dustin’s 5th summer on staff. During his previous summers at camp he has worked in various areas: Outcamping in Ski Hi 2012, Rockstock Coordinator 2014, 2016, and Ski Hi Unit Director 2017. Cheley Colorado Camps has always held a special place in his heart. He just concluded an epic two-year career with Disney Cruise Line as a Youth Activities Entertainment Host cruising the Bahamas. Dustin has an Associate in Art EC-12 Special Education degree and a YA 200HR Hatha Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher certification. He completed a bachelor’s degree in public administration and nonprofit management before starting with Disney. Dustin lives in Orlando, FL with his wife Amanda, whom he met working at Cheley!

We will keep the communication coming and as always please let us know if you have any questions.

Update May 27, 2020

Our camp families have been at the forefront of our minds for the past couple of months and we truly appreciate the grace and compassion that you have shown. We are still working to provide camp at Cheley this summer by being a part of many conversations with key decision-makers. To say that this has been an atypical spring for us would be an understatement. In our personal lives, we have experienced the stages of grief, fear, and uncertainty that this pandemic has brought. We have also witnessed the silver linings of having the time to stop and reflect and appreciate the things that might have otherwise been taken for granted. In our professional lives, we have had to power through the fatigue that is typically not felt until after the summer months.

For the camp industry, it has allowed us to collaborate in a whole new way. Some have decided to close this summer, while others have made the decision to adapt and proceed. Each camp has its own organizational strengths and challenges, and every camp director has approached this summer from a different perspective that includes; the consistency of their arrival and departure dates, the ability to adapt with their facilities, their personal health, their location, ability to abide with new regulations, and their own tolerance for uncertainty.

While we are excited to be having a 100th summer, it is not what drives us to keep paving the way forward. Now more than ever, we strongly feel that our children need camp. While some of camp is about large gatherings packed in the Chapel or the Pavilion, boisterous dance parties at All-Camp Campfire and getting together with brother-sister units. There is another part of the experience that will go untouched; the deep and meaningful friendships made within a small group, the freedom of being unplugged, the ample fresh air of nature, the sincere care given by camp staff, and the growth that occurs with independence.

We have an amazing team that is working diligently to meet the CDC guidelines to proceed with a plan in place to operate camp this summer while maintaining much of the feel of The Cheley Experience. Camp is not immune to this new normal and can adapt. There is much about the world that looks and feels different and we have been called to create new habits to protect ourselves and others. This will be no different while at camp. Within our plans are smaller numbers in squads, social distancing when possible, wearing masks when unable to social distance, and a heightened emphasis on handwashing.
 
Being outdoors and spending time with other children is one of the antidotes to the increased levels of mental health issues, isolation, and soaring screen time that children across the country are experiencing. Every summer brings its own potential for risk. On any given day we have campers out on mountain bikes, on horses, and high up in the mountains. Every summer we rely on your trust and comfort that we will plan accordingly to minimize the potential for risk. This summer is no different in this regard and we are taking the utmost care and dedication to organize, plan for, surveil, treat, and mitigate in relation to COVID-19 at camp.

We were disappointed by Governor Polis’s announcement of delaying a decision for residential summer camps to operate in July and August. Monday was a disappointing day. Fortunately, Tuesday was uplifting with many encouraging conversations. We are still pursuing multiple options that would allow us to operate. Meetings are scheduled with both Larimer County Health Department and the Governor’s office to explore the upcoming guidance. We have a strong relationship with the Larimer County Health Department and have experience working together through other communicable diseases. As we have said before, we have experience operating within strict regulations and with a high standard. 

We will be in touch very soon as we start to know more.

Updated May 4, 2020

We continue to work diligently to navigate this current situation in hopes that we will be able to provide the Cheley Experience this summer. We are humbled by and grateful for your support: your calls, emails, and texts. Knowing your families are looking forward to camp gives us the inspiration to press on. We acknowledge this is a difficult time and we are hoping to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Our calling to partner with you in raising thriving young people is particularly powerful as we have watched our kids navigate through this spring, and how grateful they are for their time outdoors.
 
The wait for guidance from local, state, and federal agencies tests our patience, but we are being creative, thoughtful, cautiously optimistic, and adaptable as we work to see the decision to operate camp this summer all the way through. We are working closely with the Larimer Country Health Department, State of Colorado Health Department, American Camp Association, and the Center for Disease Control, as we consider nearly every aspect of camp, designing it to meet new requirements while remaining true to the Cheley Experience.
 
At this point, we believe it is best to push back our start by 2 weeks. We have modified our dates to accommodate two 3-week sessions, which will allow our staff to be at camp for at least twenty days prior to camper arrival. This affords us the time to complete an extensive staff training, focusing in part, on new health protocols in response to COVID-19. This time also allows us to monitor the health of our staff while helping ensure that they are ready to welcome campers. As of now, Quarter B-4 camp dates will remain the same, August 10th-15th. 
 
Modified Dates
First Term: Tuesday, June 30th to Saturday, July 18th
Second Term: Tuesday, July 21st to Saturday, August 8th
Reduced Tuition: $4800
 
Camp has always been a place for deep meaningful friendships. As we move into our 100th summer we know we can adapt and continue to provide a magical experience. There is power in coming together- even with modifications. The culture and spirit of Cheley will not waver. We want to be transparent that in some ways camp will look and feel different as the health of our community requires it. We have begun to plan for some of these changes in that our typical all-camp events will be held within each unit. Furthermore, we are looking to maximize the number of program days and offerings considering a condensed session. For your planning purposes, sadly we will not be hosting our typical Final Weekend for visitors.

In the meantime, the American Camp Association has released the table of contents for their Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of the Center for Disease Control Guidance for 2020

As we have said from the beginning, our partnership with your family is a long-term one, whether this is your first year or you have been with us for many summers. The trust you have in us is crucial. If you are unable to attend this summer, we will hold you close until your return, with full understanding that you need to make the choice that is best for your family at this time. 

We will have more detailed communication on health protocols, and camp changes and procedures by mid-May before our May 21st billing date. Our thoughts continue to be with you all and we will do the best we can with updating you in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,
Jeff Cheley, Brooke Cheley Klebe, and the Cheley Staff

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Staff

We have made the difficult, but necessary decision to postpone the start of camp by two weeks. As a result, we are postponing pre-camp, wrangler training, director training, and staff training as well. We will send you a more detailed email with implications for the summer in the coming days. Our thought is to have a much longer staff training period which will incorporate pre-camp, director training, and wrangler training into the overall staff training schedule with the majority of staff arriving on June 10th, just four days later than originally scheduled. We are not planning on cutting any staff positions.

Staff Arrival Dates
Head Cooks: Monday, June 1
Disco Staff: Thursday, June 4
Medical Staff: Monday, June 8
D/AD Staff: Tuesday, June 9
All Staff Arrival: Wednesday, June 10

We will notify you of arrival times and other considerations in the coming days. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this time.

Updated April 21, 2020

Our hearts go out to those of you who have been impacted by COVID-19. We would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to healthcare workers, first responders and essential services around the country who’ve put themselves at risk helping others. We recognize this has been a very challenging time for everyone. If your family is like ours, we’ve had our good days and our tough days. Emotions can run high as much of what was familiar has been upended, and there are still countless unknowns. Many of our campers have missed out on the numerous opportunities the spring school year affords. Cheley provides a formative experience for campers who may need camp now more than ever. If there is anything we could possibly do to help in your current situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out. During these times we hope to be able to provide some semblance of normalcy for you and your family.

Our commitment to you is unchanged, if it’s realistic to have camp, camp will happen. We are hopeful that the reality of having camp is closer to happening as just last week the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has said that camps should be considered “essential businesses” as they are necessary for many parents to be able to return to work.

By the end of April, we anticipate the CDC issuing their “guidance for summer camps.” After reviewing the CDC guidelines, our goal is to make a determination as to the implications for this summer by the first week of May. We are grateful for your patience throughout this challenging situation.

The American Camp Association has partnered with the CDC to create an expert-backed “game plan” by engaging an independent team of public health experts, pediatricians, epidemiologists, and camp health experts to develop educational and operational resources for camps to assist with adhering to CDC COVID-19 guidance. We are hopeful that these resources will offer much-needed clarification and direction for the summer.

We anticipate that these guidelines will be helpful in tailoring our plans for the summer, including practices for the screening of campers and staff, health monitoring during the summer, guidelines for handling emergent cases, disinfection procedures, potential programmatic impacts and other aspects of camp operations.

We are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of Cheley being able to deliver its 100th summer. While it is likely that this summer will indeed look different, our goal is to offer an experience as close to the one that our campers, families, alumni, and staff have come to know and value. At camp we are used to being creative, adapting to our environment and the needs of the community. To that point, this summer will be no different.

Thank you for your understanding and continued patience during this time. Please know that we are working hard to provide accurate information to our families and staff as soon as responsibly possible. As always, our commitment to the health of our campers, families, and staff will continue to be a top priority.

Take care and be well,
Jeff Cheley, Brooke Cheley Klebe, and the entire Cheley Staff


Updated April 1, 2020

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. While our current situation was certainly not in our plans for celebrating our 100th summer in youth development, it’s hard to imagine the position which we find ourselves as a nation, let alone as a world. Understanding that this situation changes drastically by the week, as of now, camp will happen this summer! Young people (and families) need camp now more than ever. Young people need normalcy. They need to reconnect with friends and make new ones. And they need the valuable lessons of resiliency and strength during challenging times. Families need camp. Working, homeschooling, and managing our children 24/7 is taking its toll on many.

We want to thank you for all the support and encouragement we’ve received. It is humbling that in our 100th year we face what may be our greatest challenge yet. We continue to work diligently to prepare for yet another impactful summer experience while also creating contingency plans. Creating plans for different situations is what we do all summer long. It just started early this year.

Our commitment to you is that if it’s realistic to have camp, camp will happen. We also realize for many people, the next two to three weeks of news will likely be much worse before it gets better. We are steadfast in our commitment to the Cheley Experience. Someway, somehow, and with your help, we are determined that Cheley will celebrate its 100th summer by doing what we’ve always done – creating unique life experiences in a challenging and nurturing natural environment!

Understandably, we have had some questions regarding cancellations. From now until May 20th, we have decided to hold our cancellation fee at $700 which is the March 1st cancellation rate. In addition, we will not process the May 1st auto bill payment until May 21st. We will touch base with families that had earlier payments scheduled to see what they would like us to do.

We will continue to communicate as the situation becomes clearer. The vision of young people spending time in the outdoors developing as thriving young adults is what we look forward to during these times. In the meantime, stay safe. We will all come out stronger in the end.

Sincerely,
Jeff Cheley, Brooke Cheley Klebe, and the entire Cheley Staff


Updated March 11, 2020

“We build the lasting character and resiliency of young people, creating unique life experiences in a challenging and nurturing natural environment.”

The Cheley mission statement shapes each and every decision that we make. As a leader in the camping industry, we are honored to play such a meaningful part in youth development.

The past two weeks have been full of conversations, per usual. Conversations about staffing, programming, planning, etc. One topic of conversation that has been brought to the forefront is that of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We had an email regarding COVID-19 prepared to send last Thursday, but we were waiting on additional information. By Monday, the email was irrelevant because much had changed.
As a 100-Year-old camp, we have experienced many threats. Even during our time in leadership, we have experienced 100-year floods (2013), swine flu (H1N1 in 2009), nearby forest fires (2002 and 2006) and other challenges that could have severely impacted us and our families. During the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, we worked diligently with Larimer County Health and they complimented us on how the situation was handled.

With camp over three months away, the situation is still very fluid. We are not sure what it will look like three months from now, three weeks from now, or even 30 minutes from now. However, as we teach campers and staff, we must be resilient and focus on solving problems with as much information as possible. We are talking with and/or getting information from government agencies (CDC, Larimer County, and Colorado Health Depts., etc.), colleagues, experts, and other resources daily to track the situation.

Whether this is your first summer or you have been with us for many generations, nurturing the trust you have in us is of the utmost importance. We are honored to be a trusted part of partnering with you to raise healthy, responsible youth. We take our partnership with families seriously.

As this health crisis continues, trust us to do the right thing regarding how this develops. We value each of you and wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize our partnership. While there may or may not be implications for our 100th summer, we are acutely aware that how we handle crises now will impact our future and our planning for our 101st summer.

We promise you this, we will act with integrity. Our camp families and our staff are the reasons for our success over the past 100 years. We will be in touch with you should it be a necessity of delivering information that impacts you, our campers, or the overall Cheley Experience. As we continue to prepare for camp, we will send information about how/what we are doing differently to keep our campers and staff as healthy as practicable.

Sincerely,
Jeff Cheley, Brooke Cheley Klebe, and the Cheley Staff
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