Portage Getaways

Portage Getaways – Summer 2020

At the beginning of June, we announced the cancellation of our regular summer camp programming due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Since that time, the Portage Lake staff has been dreaming, planning, and praying for ways to serve our camp family this summer. We are pleased to announce the opportunity for family retreats called Portage Getaways beginning in July. Five-day / four-night retreats will be held from Wednesday to Sunday. These experiences will be a simplified version of our regular summer family camps with a unique rhythm that will allow quality time with family and opportunities to experience Christ together. Please see below for more details and a FAQ section.

Portage Getaways Dates

Portage Getaway A: July 8-12 (FULL)

Portage Getaway C: July 22-26 (FULL)

Portage Getaway D: July 29-August 2

 

Cost:

Individuals 13 and over: $300

Children 5-12: $200

Children 4 and under: Free of Charge

 

Registration:

Click here to register! Make sure to read all instructions carefully to correctly fill out your registration.

Here is a projection of what a ‘typical’ getaway day would entail!

7:45am-8:15am Breakfast for first meal group
8:45am-9:15am Breakfast for second meal group
9:30am First word @ the cross
9:45am-11:30am Family time on your own (some areas open)
11:45am-12:15pm Lunch for first meal group
12:30pm-1:15pm Lunch for second meal group
2pm Free time areas open
5pm Free time areas close
5:30pm-6pm Dinner for first meal group
6:30pm-7pm Dinner for second meal group
7:30pm Last word @ chapel field

HOUSING

Following Michigan state recommendations, each family will be housed in a space with their own bathroom. This means we will be limiting the cabins and spaces being used and occupied. We will be able to accommodate about 15 families per each session. However, personal decisions can be made as to how wide your family unit extends and thus how many you allow to share your bathroom (i.e. Parents, adult children, spouses using one half of cabins 6-8 or in the Retreat Center). We will be using the Lakeside Lodge, cabins 6-8, Retreat Center, and Cattail Cove.

 

HOUSEKEEPING

We will follow the recommendations outlined by the CDC, State of MI, and our local health department. Here are a few additional standards we will employ:
– All private housing units and restrooms will be thoroughly cleaned between sessions with all common touch points disinfected.
– Public restrooms (White House & Welcome Center) will be cleaned and disinfected twice per day while guests are on site.
– Other common area touch points will be disinfected throughout the day.
– Guests will be asked to wipe down any boats, paddles, or other equipment used before and after their use in order to protect other guests.
– Guests will be asked to wipe down their cabins as part of the check-out process on Sundays in order to help protect our staff.

MEALS

We will be serving meals throughout your stay at camp. This will start with dinner Wednesday night through breakfast on Sunday. All meals will be served in the dining hall, however, we will encourage campers to eat their meals outside, picnic style if able and weather permitting. Breakfast will be continental style with simple grab-and-go options, but will still be served at two different times. Lunch and dinner will also be served in two shifts to allow for sufficient spacing of families. Dividing up into two meal times allows us to properly clean and disinfect between shifts. All meals will be served and plated by our staff for you rather than our normal buffet or family style.

PROGRAMMING / ACTIVITIES

We want to provide you and your family with a Portage Lake experience in some way, although camp activities will look and feel different than what we typically experience at camp. There will be limited activities and programming offered, but this retreat will still offer real fun and real faith! Activities will be restricted based on safety guidelines. Many of our classic camp activities will be open, some with modification and some will be unavailable due to safety precautions.

Please note that all listed activities still require social distancing and following CDC safe practices. Further, all activities and programming are subject to change based on the evolving Michigan health guidelines and the CDC recommendations.

Areas that will be OPEN with modification:
– Waterfront
– Limited lifeguard supervision, parental supervision required
– Boats (kayaks, paddle boards, etc)
– Self disinfect before and after each use
– Lifejackets may be available upon request
– Canteen/Cool Beans
– Inside Cool Beans area closed
– Social distancing required in line
– Playground
– Gym
– Bring your own athletic equipment, please self disinfect
– Athletic field
– Social distancing required
– Campfires at the cross/around camp
– Firewood provided
Activities open to one family group at a time:
– 9 Square
– Gaga ball
– Volleyball court
– Basketball court
– Soccer rink
– Corn hole

Areas that will be CLOSED:
– Art and Crafts (may be available upon request)
– Indoor & Outdoor climbing wall
– High ropes
– Leap of faith
– Giant swing
– Sauna
– Game room

Programming offered:
– Free time (social distance beach time, canteen time, open gym, etc)
– Trips (natural waterslide, dune hike, etc)
– Family groups will be asked to travel in their own vehicles or limited to one family group per trip
– First Word & Last Word (devotion / prayer – after breakfast and dinner)

Here is a projection of what a ‘typical’ getaway day would entail!
7:45am-8:15am Breakfast for first meal group
8:45am-9:15am Breakfast for second meal group
9:30am First word @ the cross
9:45am-11:30am Family time on your own (some areas open)
11:45am-12:15pm Lunch for first meal group
12:30pm-1:15pm Lunch for second meal group
2pm Free time areas open
5pm Free time areas close
5:30pm-6pm Dinner for first meal group
6:30pm-7pm Dinner for second meal group
7:30pm Last word @ chapel field

As restrictions are changed or altered throughout the summer, the opening of further programming options will be considered. We strongly encourage you to bring your own board games, lawn games, athletic equipment, lawn chairs, bikes/scooters, swim goggles, life jackets, and other non-sharable equipment!

GUEST AND STAFF SCREENING

Pre-Screening

Registrations: Camp will request the names, ages, and contact information for all persons in the family unit or group through registration for the camp session.
Health Screening Checklist: A pre-screening checklist will be sent to each family unit in advance of their session with this added notification: “A safe and healthy camp experience begins with people who are healthy! If you are sick, please stay home. If you have underlying health conditions and are at risk, please stay home.”
Family Checklist: A checklist will be sent to each family unit in advance of their session asking them to bring the following items: linens and bedding, totes with their toiletry items, thermometer and first aid supplies, PPE (masks, gloves), fishing rods & tackle, life jackets (if you have them), recreation items (e.g. basketballs, baseball gloves, etc.), table games, campfire skewers, and lawn chairs.
Safe Distancing Information Sheet: Instructions on safe distancing will be sent to each family unit in advance, including guidelines and expectations for using and sharing camp facilities and activities in a safe, physical-distancing environment.

Arrival Screening for Guests and Staff
We have been consulting and closely working with both our camp nurses and local health care providers. We will do our best to always act in accordance with local health guidelines and doctor recommendations.
CDC guidelines encourage campers and staff to receive a COVID-19 test within 10 days of being at camp to assure that they have had a negative diagnostic test and to self-quarantine for 2 weeks prior to coming to camp. While a test is not required for Portage Getaways, we strongly recommend that every member of your household is tested prior to arrival to ensure the safety of our campers and staff.

  • Upon arrival, all camp staff and guests will be screened at a check-in area, located away from housing units, using two questions to determine health condition:
    – Question 1: Have you felt unwell in the last 3 days? (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste of smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea). Also, are you feeling unwell today?

– Question 2: Have you had close contact* with someone who was diagnosed or suspected to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
* “Close contact” means: A person has been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 case or suspected COVID-19 case for a period of time.

*Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, or visiting with a COVID-19 case OR a person has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a COVID-19 case or suspected case from being coughed on during any such situation involving direct contact.

Post-Screening for Guests
A follow-up health questionnaire will be sent to each family unit one week after the session.

COVID-19 Exposure Plan – GUEST
Should a guest manifest COVID-19 symptoms or become personally aware of direct COVID-19 exposure, the following steps would be taken:
– The sickened person and any person housed with him/her would be asked to leave camp as soon as practically possible and seek medical attention immediately.
– Manistee County Health Department would be contacted.
– Staff would wait 24 hours to clean and sanitize any rooms where the exposed person has been.
– Leadership Staff would communicate to guests and staff if there is a possibility of exposure to them, acting appropriately if they or any other staff need to be quarantined.

COVID-19 Exposure Plan – STAFF
Should staff manifest COVID-19 symptoms or become personally aware of direct COVID-19 exposure, the following steps would be taken:
– The sickened person and any person housed with him/her will be quarantined in designated housing and seek medical attention immediately.
– Manistee County Health Department would be contacted.
– All staff would be immediately tested and quarantined until given a negative test result.
– Staff would wait 24 hours to clean and sanitize any rooms where the exposed person has been.
– Leadership Staff would communicate to guests and staff if there is a possibility of exposure to them, acting appropriately if they or any other staff need to be quarantined.

Staff Process for Returning to Work
If a staff member receives a confirmed COVID-19 test or has symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, they will not report to work until:
– Symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath have improved
AND
– At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
AND
– Fever (100.4°F or higher) has been gone for at least 3 days without the use of fever-reducing medicine
AND
– Received and submitted documentation of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Once ALL of these conditions are satisfied, the staff member may return to work. If these conditions cannot be met, the staff member will be sent home.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Will my family/household have their own bathroom?
Yes! Our staff has thought deeply about how to configure housing so that each household has their own bathroom space. In order to comply with best practices and for the sake of safety, each family group will register for and be housed in a space with their own bathroom. This means that sleeping quarters will be housing smaller numbers than usual. However, personal decisions can be made as to how wide your family unit extends and thus how many you allow to share your bathroom (i.e. if parents, children, spouses, in-laws, etc are all comfortable using one bathroom, you can be considered a family group). Our spaces that allow for this accommodation are Lakeside Lodge, cabins 6, 7, and 8 as well as the Retreat Center and Cattail Cove (formally known as the Infirmary).

What will meals look like?
Meals will be provided, but served differently than what you may be accustomed to here at camp. Meals will be served in two shifts, in the dining room, with a half hour between each meal group. While the dining room will be open, we will strongly encourage you to eat all of your meals outside when feasible. Upon check-in, you can select if you have a preference for earlier or later meals on a first come, first serve basis. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to comply with every meal time preferences, though we will do our best. All meals will be served to you by our staff, but protected behind a full barrier for everyone’s safety.

What do I do if I have dietary restrictions?
While we will do our best to provide some alternate options for those with dietary needs we cannot guarantee that there will not be cross-contamination of foods or that we will be able to accommodate everyone’s dietary preferences. If you have special circumstances that require a specific diet, we encourage you to bring that food with you as well as a way to store it as there will be no camper access to the kitchen.

Will there be chapel sessions?
As of right now, we will not be having chapel as we are used to during Family Camp or retreat settings. There will not be a speaker for our time together, and we won’t be in the chapel space for corporate worship. The rhythm of being together in God’s word and a spirit of worship though will absolutely still be present! We will start and end our day each day with a time centered on Christ.

Will I have to practice social distancing and/or wear a mask while at camp?
Under CDC recommendations, social distancing is recommended outside of a household unit. If social distancing can not be maintained, wearing a mask is recommended, especially if indoors. We ask that parents guide your children on social distancing practices. You’ll notice that in situations that our staff cannot social distance and when preparing and serving meals they will be wearing masks to further care for our Portage Lake community.
Currently, in Michigan it is a requirement to wear masks into a restaurant and they can be removed when seated. We are asking guests to follow this practice not because you might be scared of catching COVID-19 but for the welfare of others. Or in the language of Christians, to serve our neighbor.

Will my family/household be able to play at the beach?
Yes! We know that, like many of our own families, the beach is a favorite spot to spend a sunny and warm summer afternoon. While the beach will be open, we do ask that your household practices social distancing while playing and please be respectful of the other households around you!
Due to our limited staffing for the summer, there will be limited lifeguard supervision, as only one guard will be on duty during free time. Swimming at the waterfront will be at your own risk and parent supervision is required for use of the waterfront. In addition to the beach, your household will also have opportunities to use boats, kayaks, and other beach equipment. We only ask that you disinfect the equipment when you are done.

What sorts of activities will be different this summer?
While this weekend will look different then a typical family camp weekend, we can’t wait for you to experience Christ at camp with us! Camp at its core is a place to play and have fun, to be outside, to slow down and listen for God’s voice, to retreat together.
Some, but not all of our areas will be open for you this summer. All open areas have been modified for the safety and protection of your family. Areas that are open with modifications are: the waterfront, boats, canteen/cool beans, the gym, the playground, 9 square, gaga ball, bonfire pits, and all sports/athletic fields.
As of right now, our inside and outside climbing towers along with other high ropes elements are closed. The game room will also be closed. We will continue to evaluate other programming options as restrictions are relaxed.

Will there be staff around?
Yes! In addition to our year round staff, we will have a small team of summer staff that will be helping in a number of different areas around camp. You’ll see the same faces serving your meals, cleaning public areas, and making activities available for your family during your stay. While we are here and happy to serve you, we will also be following social distance protocols. If we cannot maintain the recommended six feet, we will wear masks for your safety, and we ask that you do the same for us. All staff has been tested for COVID-19 and will check-in daily regarding individual health.

What are the cleaning practices at camp?
We have upgraded and increased the cleaning practices at camp in response to COVID19. All of our supplies and practices have been adjusted for the safety guidelines and to protect against COVID19. As is our usual practice, we will thoroughly clean, disinfect and sanitize your cabin prior to your arrival. In addition to this, each space will be left vacant 48+ hours in between guests. All spaces will be cleaned and disinfected with the EPA registered cleaning agent effective against COVID19.
In addition to this protocol, all outdoor equipment (playground, docks, boats, lifejackets, lawn furniture, etc) will be regularly disinfected. Hand Sanitizer will be available at various locations around camp and to individuals at check-in. You are encouraged to use it regularly as well as regular hand washing practices. Staff will not be going into cabins while guests are here as a precautionary measure. Any supplies you need will be provided, and staff will only enter guest spaces to respond to a maintenance request. We will ask that as part of the checkout process that guests clean living quarters and bathrooms before they leave.

Will there be medical personnel at camp?
We have been consulting and closely working with both our camp nurses and Portage Lake’s consulting licensed physician. We will do our best to have at least one medical personnel on camp property at all times. In the case that further medical care is needed, the local hospital is equipped to handle all health concerns and/or emergencies.

Is this just for families?
No! We always desire to include our single friends and household units. If you have friends or extended family you’ve been quarantining with over the course of COVID-19 and desire to spend a long weekend together at camp, come on up! We ask that unmarried couples attend with their family household group. You can always contact our camp office at info@portagelake.org if you have questions.

Can I use my Family Camp balance to pay for the Portage Getaways?
Yes! We have been keeping track of running balances for each of the families that were registered originally for our normal Family Camps. If you choose, you can pay via credit/debit card through the secure registration system, you can pay via check upon arrival at Camp, or you can use your Family Camp balance.

Still have a question?
Our staff are happy to help answer any more questions you may have! Please email info@portagelake.org or call our office at 231.889.5911, and we will get back to you as soon as we can!