Our 2020 Success Story
Some Letters From Our Families About Last Summer
In the spring, we made the decision to send our son for his 4th summer at camp. He loves Driftwood; we call it his “happy place.” After such a difficult spring, where normal life was “closed,” we felt it was best for him to go to camp. My husband and I were VERY hesitant about sending him. After seeing the steps Driftwood would be taking and speaking with Wags a couple of times, we felt much better with him attending. And, as always, Driftwood exceeded our expectations.
Our son had THE BEST summer yet at Driftwood. He loved being in Orcas and had the best division leader, group leader and counselors. He developed such nice bonds with them and had a blast! After such a hard spring, this is exactly what he needed! We are impressed with all of the steps you took to ensure a safe(r) summer. He is already counting down to next summer!!A 2020 Driftwood Family
You guys were absolutely amazing this summer!!!! My kids were so happy and really needed it this summer. I can’t begin to express how happy I was with how you ran everything, it was so well organized! To be honest it was kind of cool how we got to see the group leaders along with all the counselors every morning. You don’t get that with the bus. I felt like as a parent we were part of “camp the Experience”
I couldn’t have been more happy this summer with the group leaders my kids were with, they were really amazing!!A 2020 Driftwood Family
Driftwood is my hero!! My son had the summer of a lifetime and I am eternally grateful for the entire team for making sure he was safe and happy. I felt absolutely confident sending him to camp every day and I think the protocols you had in place set everyone up for a successful summer.
In only 7 weeks he challenged himself to try new things, make new friends and overcome fears…and it always felt fun and exciting. Thinking back to his summer experience actually puts tears in my eyes; I am so happy he was able to get out into the world again. He told me multiple times he was not ready for the summer to end…we can’t wait for next year!A 2020 Driftwood Family
Thank you for all that you have done, ESPECIALLY this summer in the midst of a pandemic. This summer could not have been possible if it wasn’t for you and your incredible, dedicated and passionate staff. We can’t believe how our daughter has been challenged in so many positive ways and how the camp has fostered her growth. We appreciate everything and feel so fortunate for Mackenzie to experience the magic of Miss Sues with a Driftwood experience!!! The energy, spirit and kindness that is shown on a daily basis is overwhelming and contagious! The creative themed days and activities, amazing communication, hilarious daily videos, and awesome voicemails are so appreciated and are more than we expected!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!A 2020 Driftwood Family
Thank you so much for a summer that was not only safe and successful, but truly the happiest I have seen my son in months. The summer ran like a well-oiled machine. From drop off in the morning to pick up in the afternoon, I never had to give anything a second thought. The entire staff were so friendly and welcoming. Even the counselors/lifeguards who checked you in always had a smile on their faces. What I felt was special about this summer is the relationship I was able to form with the counselors and group leader and a result of them coming to take your child each morning and return them every afternoon. He is already asking how many day’s until next summer. My family is so grateful!A 2020 Driftwood Family
You guys did an absolutely amazing job. You said, “thank you for trusting us with your kids”. We say, “thank you for doing the best job we could have imagined you’d do.
As a small business owner, myself, I know how hard those behind-the-scenes conversations are. And how you consciously make the decision to open (or re-open) with the complete understanding that your revenue will be down considerably – but that you have to, nonetheless. You rationalize the good will, and realize the value of showing your people (customers and employees) that you’re there for them. I feel incredibly grateful that you made the choice you did.
Thanks again. You guys did something really amazing this summer.A 2020 Driftwood Family
This was my son’s first summer at Driftwood Day Camp.
I have only praise and thanks for all of the staff and members of the Driftwood team.
My son went to camp happy everyday and came home excited for tomorrow. You helped him foster great new friendships and create lasting memories, during this time in our lives that we would otherwise rather forget.
During these unprecedented times you gave all of us some normalcy and consistency that we will always treasure. The trust that we placed in you was returned tenfold.
We cannot wait for summer 2021 at Driftwood Day Camp!A 2020 Driftwood Family
Obviously, no one knew back then what 2020 would bring us. Despite the pandemic, you brought us all a sense of normalcy this summer. It amazes me how well organized you were, how you paid attention to every detail, implanted safe protocols, and made a non-typical situation feel normal! I’m sure you start planning the following summer after the last day of camp, and to quickly have to reorganize back in March, must not have been easy. I will say the drop-off/pick-up worked out great, and we never had an issue.
Thank you for giving my son the summer of his life that he will never forget. Thank you for giving an only child some normalcy where he got to safely interact with other children his age and make new friends. I’ve never seen him happier than during the Color Run, and last week during Color War.A 2020 Driftwood Family
Since I think I said it best in my Facebook post, I figured I’d share those words:
“Well they did it! Driftwood made the impossible summer possible, truly earning their name as the BEST.CAMP.EVER!! All the well engineered safety precautions and counselors persevering through the heat in masks, made for the most perfect imperfect camp experience that could have ever been imagined. Expectations were for the summer to “not be the same as it always was”, but were far exceeded in the opposite direction, proven by the smiles on my boys’ faces at the end of every.single.day.”A 2020 Driftwood Family
Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough. In such a crazy time when we needed you the most you were there for us and we will never forget that. Our children needed camp badly. But we were nervous to send them, we debating and weighed our pros and cons. In the end, you exceeded all our expectations and the kids had an exceptional summer while others still stayed at home. Camp was truly our saving grace and we fell in love with our daily routine of picking the kids up together in the afternoon after working remotely from home all day. Seeing your smiling (and dancing) staff as we entered each day was a highlight for us as we continued to work from home. We look forward to many more summers ahead with our Driftwood Family!!A 2020 Driftwood Family
Our daughter was scared and hesitant to do any of the new “big” activities at camp. She was unsure why her usual group wasn’t at camp this summer. She quickly began to form new friendships and it wasn’t long before she was singing the Guppy Girl song in bed each night. Thank you for showing her she always has room in her heart for more friends and even in the darkest of times, you can always find the light. Thank you for being that light and helping bring such joy back into our daughter’s life. We will never forget how hard everyone at Driftwood worked to make this summer happen for the kids. We are so grateful and can’t wait for summer 2021! BEST CAMP EVER!A 2020 Driftwood Family
Making the decision to enroll in camp for summer 2020 came with some challenging aspects. But as we read through your Safety & Operating Plan we felt you were going to do everything possible to keep our kids safe this summer and you did! You allowed us as parents to have less worries and still provide the most amazing summer for our kids.
My kids felt little to no change in camp, it was just as wonderful as they remembered it. As a parent, I felt fortunate to meet the staff and see the protocols in action. I’m so thankful for the Driftwood staff this summer, for the office staff answering every question we had, for the lifeguards taking temperatures, for the caring counselors and group directors who made everyone feel special, for the staff waving us in and saying goodbye…all while wearing masks.A 2020 Driftwood Family
What We Achieved
This past summer we welcomed over 800 campers and staff to Driftwood every day. Following our operating guidelines we had ZERO cases of Covid-19 in our camp population throughout the summer.
Why Did We Open
Our camp experiences have changed our lives…and we live for the days that your kids experience camp at Driftwood. Those summer weeks are the highlight of our year, and the months leading up to camp are always filled with excitement.
Throughout all of this, the one constant that we have never lost sight of, is the fact that you have always put an enormous amount of trust in us to make the right decisions for your children.
Unless parents are prepared to keep their kids confined at home for the whole summer, kids are going to be playing with other kids. If unsupervised, social distancing is not practical when we think of kids at play in school yards, parks, playgrounds, neighborhood streets, malls, backyard pools and beaches.
As we see it, the best and safest approach is for kids to be in camp. We want to give our campers and staff a summer they will never forget, a release they need physically, but more importantly, mentally.
From the bottom of our hearts, we believe more than ever in the value of camp. We promise to do whatever it takes to keep your children and our staff safe, while giving everyone the summer that they ALL need, deserve and have been waiting for!
How We Do It
The Driftwood Day Camp Summer Steps
- Pre-camp online health & history questionnaire. Daily at-home health screenings by caregivers.
- Daily camp arrival symptom screening and temperature checks. Health Monitoring throughout the camp day.
Staff Screening Testing
- Pre-camp online health & history questionnaire.
- Daily arrival symptom screening and temperature checks by Driftwood Nurses. Health Monitoring throughout the camp day.
- Pre-camp COVID-19 testing (details coming soon).
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided.
Cleaning & Disinfection
- Increased cleaning and disinfection protocols by a professional cleaning team. Hourly cleaning and disinfection of each bathroom by dedicated attendants.
- Cleaning and disinfection of all activity areas, equipment and supplies between each Group’s use. Designated activity supplies for each Group’s exclusive use.
- Use of EPA-approved soaps and sanitizers.
- Mandatory hand washing and sanitization protocol between each activity period.
- Hand washing stations in each Cabana to be used upon arrival, before lunch, and at the end of each day.
- Hand sanitizing stations are located at the food service areas and at every activity area.
- Use of EPA-approved soaps and sanitizers.
Reasonable Contact Reduction
- Group sizes are limited to no more than 15 campers per Group.
- Safe social distancing practices are maintained between Groups.
- Face coverings and masks are worn according to CDC guidelines.
Symptom Management Plan
- Trained Medical Professionals assess all persons with possible COVID-related symptoms.
- Quarantine facilities are established.
- Strict symptom management, including isolation, communication, tracing, and post-illness protocols are enforced.
Small Camp Groups
- A maximum of 15 campers for each Group.
- We make every effort to try and honor at least one friend request per camper.
- Minimum of 4:1 camper/ staff ratio.
- Staff within each Group will be the only staff members that will come into direct contact with children in their Group each day.
Groups Will Not Mix
- Groups will be required to maintain appropriate social distancing from other Groups.
- Each Group will travel around camp following the specific camp routes planned to limit minimal Group crossover.
- Full camp and divisional events will not take place.
- The Special Events Calendar ensures that all activities can be run in accordance with no large gatherings.
- Events such as Color War will still be a part of the summer, but competitions are held within each Group.
Safe Interaction with External Staff
- All Specialist staff are required to wear face masks.
- There will be no International Staff brought in to camp this year.
- Additional Cabanas will be added to increase distancing between Groups.
Activity Period Checklist
- All campers and staff members wash/sanitize hands when they arrive and depart each activity period.
- Cleaning and disinfection is completed on all equipment and supplies before being used by another Group.
- One Group is scheduled at each activity.
- Sports and games focus more on skill-building and drills to limit contact as much as possible.
- Commonly touched surfaces, switches, sink knobs, tables, benches or handles etc., are wiped down after each program period.
- Staff members increase spacing and physical distancing with campers when possible.
- Every Group is provided with a supply box that only their Group uses, for example scissors, markers, crayons, pencils, glue and other widely used high touch items. This craft supply box can only be used with that particular Group of campers throughout the summer.
- Field trips off camp have all been canceled for this summer.
Daily Lunch & Snacks
- Driftwood provides campers and staff members with daily hot lunch and snacks. Our menu includes a variety of nutritious daily options and substitutions.
Daily Lunch & Snacks Safety Protocols
- Hand washing stations are located in each Cabana for everyone to use before and after each meal and throughout the day.
- Limited seating per table.
- Meals are served in individual portions or plated by an assigned counselor from their Group.
- Summer lunch menu will, as always, be sent home every two weeks in advance.
Snacks and Ices/ Ice Cream
- All snacks and ice creams are served in individual, pre-packaged servings.
- One counselor from the Group will be assigned to serve everyone
- Water is available in all activity areas.
- Only specialized staff with masks and gloves will pour water in hand disposable cups for each camper.
- We are a totally nut-free camp – peanut and tree nut products are not permitted. Driftwood will continue to meet the needs of campers with allergies and will not permit any outside food to enter camp.
Our Thoughts on Summer 2020
This past summer of 2020 was the most incredible and meaningful summer yet. So many people never thought camp would open, let alone operate safely, but WE OPENED AND THRIVED! With the precautions and protocols, we put in place, Driftwood had ZERO cases in our camp population. In a year that tested all of us, we helped make camp more exciting, more fun, and more memorable than ever! We were able to give our campers and staff a summer they will never forget, a release they needed physically, and more importantly, mentally. We cannot wait to do it all again, bigger and better in the summer of 2021!