**At this time, we are planning on hosting campers and families for Summer 2021. Please be flexible and stay tuned as we will be acting in accordance with government and CDC regulations. Pray that we can have an amazing summer!**
Grades based on entering the 2021-22 school year
A Note Regarding Summer 2021 Dates:
At this time, we are planning to host campers and families for Summer 2021. Please know that we are doing everything possible to deliver a memorable Portage Lake experience while keeping everyone safe from COVID-19. This means acting in accordance with state and local guidelines along with CDC recommendations. It also means that this year, ALL camps will be six days long (Sun-Sat). This includes Family Camps. Allowing for one full day between camps gives the staff time to clean our facilities, make adjustments should health concerns arise, and communicate our decisions. Thank you in advance for your understanding and grace as we navigate these challenges.
A Note Regarding Camp Numbers:
This summer, our capacity for each kids camp has been lowered to 140* campers per week. This number is set based on recommendations from the CDC and the ACA (American Camp Association), also taking into account the spaces and staff we will have available. That being said, we recommend that you register your camper(s) SOON to make sure you reserve your spot!
* This number may change as guidelines and restrictions develop in the coming months.
Summer 2021 Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to send my child to camp?
Yes! It is our hope and prayer that by the summer months of 2021, COVID-19 cases will be down and/or we have more efficient ways to deal with the virus. Regardless of the status or our ability to prevent, contain, or treat COVID-19, Portage Lake Bible camp’s priority is the safety of your camper. As we did throughout this past summer, we will be in close contact with local health workers and closely follow local and state guidelines.
What is Portage Lake doing to keep their staff and campers safe?
Portage Lake Bible Camp’s top priority has always been the overall safety of your camper! Even as we strive to provide a Christ-centered experience full of real fun and real faith in the midst of a pandemic, that priority does not change.
At this point, we are planning for regular summer gatherings with a few adjustments. For our youth camps – Pathfinders, Trailblazers, Junior High, and Senior High camps – we are currently planning to hold camps at a lower capacity and with additional safety precautions in place.
Consistent with CDC (Center for Disease Control) and ACA (American Camping Association) guidelines, at this point we plan to cohort our cabin groups and have multiple NPIs (Nonpharmaceutical interventions) in place. Per CDC/ACA recommendation and Portage Lake policy, in order to attend camp each camper is going to be asked to self quarantine before arrival and provide a negative COVID-19 test result upon their arrival to camp.
Symptom and temperature checks will also happen daily. While COVID-19 symptoms may be more mild in younger children, we still want to reduce the spread as we are able.
We will take the same measure with our staff as well. Staff are going to be asked to self quarantine and have a negative test result prior to their arrival on camp grounds. Our staff will also be cohorting, symptoms checked, and have their temperature monitored daily.
Will I be able to get my deposit back if I have to cancel for COVID reasons?
Yes! Whether the reason is related to an actual positive case of COVID-19 or you or your child are uncomfortable with coming to camp for safety reasons, we will be able to fully refund your deposit up to three weeks before the start of your child’s camp session. This allows us time to fill the open slot with another child who may be on the wait list. We do understand that this is a complicated time and we all must be flexible. If special situations arise, please call our office at (231) 889-5911 and we’ll be happy to work with you.
Will you contact me if my child gets sick or is a close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID-19?
Yes, and we will strive to do so in a timely manner. As in summers past, when you register your camper, we require parent and emergency contact information in the event we need to contact you about your child. We will have a nurse on site each week, and we will contact you in regard to your campers health as is deemed appropriate by our staff.
How will campers have fun and participate in games and activities while following COVID-19 safe guidelines?
Camp fun will likely look a tad bit different this summer! Instead of large group games, we are exploring more cabin centric activity options. This means that campers will spend time almost exclusively within their cohorted cabin in order to limit contact to those they bunk with.
What about cabins?
Most of our cabin accommodations have ample space and allow for our bunks to be spread out. For this summer, we are planning to house campers only in cabin spaces in which their cohort will share one bathroom, rather than a communal bathroom with multiple other cabins. Each week, counselors will cohort with their cabin of about nine other campers. We will be evaluating and revising our capacity limits on a monthly basis throughout the upcoming months based on changing regulations. If your camper is wait listed, please be patient. We are hopeful that our ability to accommodate more campers will grow as vaccines increase and COVID numbers decrease.
Will my child be required to wear a mask at all times?
Masks are a must! Both state and local guidelines have mandated their use for any communal gatherings. Come late spring or early summer, we will let you know specifically where masks will be required. We will likely require masks in the dining hall, chapel, gym, and any other spaces in which 6 feet social distancing cannot be met. Mask wearing inside cabins and within cohorts will be decided prior to the start of camp, based on CDC and ACA guidelines and recommendations.
Does my child need to be tested before they arrive at camp?
Whether or not a COVID test is required will be based on current CDC guidelines and best practices. We will update you on what these requirements are as we get closer to the start of our summer camps. For the safety of all participants and our staff, we do ask that to the best of your ability your child self quarantines for two weeks prior to their arrival at camp. We understand that there are different scenarios, such as school and sports teams, that may prevent your child from being able to quarantine. We just ask for extra caution in the two weeks prior to their arrival at camp, including a two week quarantine if possible. Stay tuned, as this may change depending on the recommendations of the Michigan health department.
Do we really need to be following all of these guidelines?
As an organization and as Christians, we believe this is the best way to love our neighbor and the greater community. Portage Lake has been serving families and kids for 75 years! We have been entrusted with a special gift, and the best way to steward that is to follow all safety guidelines and recommendations to the best of our ability, and to the extent that we are mandated to do so by our operation license from the State of MI and insurance guidelines.
My question wasn’t answered! How do I get more information?
We continue working towards the safest way to bring your kids a rich camp experience. With the ever changing landscape of information, regulations, and access to COVID solutions, we acknowledge that we do not have all of the answers at this point. But, if there are any further questions you may have, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. The two best ways to contact Portage Lake is by calling our office at (231) 889-5911 or email us at email@example.com