• Team Backcountry

Camp Backcountry: A Letter from the Director

Updated: May 12

We can't wait to get back to Base Camp for summer at Camp Backcountry. Here's a fluid plan as to how that might happen.


Dear Camp Backcountry Families,


Through this unprecedented time, the health and safety of all of our campers, camp families, and staff remains our top priority.


While everything remains fluid and is subject to change (beyond our control), we are still planning for a wonderful Camp Backcountry summer full of adventure for your camper. We do realize that a "normal" version of Camp Backcountry may not be possible this summer, so we are working on contingency plans to ensure we have a safe place for your camper to come this summer and to fit whatever restrictions are in place.


We are closely monitoring the latest information and guidelines from the CDC and the CDHS, and following their guidelines for childcare facilities in order to make proactive contingency plans. We are not yet committing to a specific plan, but we wanted to share our current plan for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. We will update this information by May 4 and will be sending out more communications by then. We plan to have the following procedures in place (if restrictions are necessary):


Group Size: Group sizes will be limited to 10 children. Children and instructors will not switch between groups unless necessary due to unforeseen reasons. Due to possible restrictions with group numbers, there is a chance your child might be moved up or down a group where possible (example: an older Voyager might move up the Adventurer group) or two small groups could be merged.


Equipment Use: Shared equipment and supplies will be utilized only where necessary. Equipment or supplies that must be shared will be properly disinfected between every camper and also at the end of every camp day.


Common Areas: Use of common areas, such as the picnic tables at Base Camp, will be limited. If a group does use a common area, the area will be properly disinfected after the group's use. However, it's not unusual for our camp groups to opt for shady spots in the woods—away from the common areas of Base Camp—to enjoy a snack, lunch, or rest anyways.


Physical Distancing: We will ensure all campers, staff, and families are taught and follow our physical distancing guidelines. Throughout the camp day, campers will be kept engaged in games and activities that do not require any physical contact with others. This is easy ... there is no shortage of space out there.


Health Checks: Health checks will be done at the beginning of every camp day. If a camper does not pass the health check, they will not be able to stay at camp. We will also incorporate a health checklist into a pre-camp check-in. If a camper becomes ill during camp, they will be isolated and will be required to be picked up immediately from camp.


Wearing Masks: Campers will be required to wear a non-medical mask from drop-off to pick-up. Parents will be required to wear a non-medical mask during drop-off and pickup. All masks must be supplied by the camper's family. Wearing a non-medical mask protects others by reducing droplets and viral particles that spread between people as we talk and interact, especially in situations where a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained. CDHS recommends everyone over the age of three, coming to a childcare facility, should wear a mask.


Check-In: We will encourage parents to utilize our entire 30-minute drop off and pick up windows to lessen the number of parents and children on-site at any one time. Check-in will be completed without the need to touch clipboards or pens that others have handled.


Hand Washing: All campers and staff will be required to properly wash their hands with soap and water: at the start of the camp day, before and after lunch and snacks, and after using the restroom. Because of the nature of Camp Backcountry, there may be times it is necessary for staff and campers to use hand sanitizer instead of soap and water.


Weather/Emergency Shelter: Camp days or parts of days may be subject to short notice cancellation or early pick-up due to weather to avoid putting campers indoors for an extended period of time. More details will be provided.

Below is a list of Camp Backcountry programs that we have unfortunately had to cancel due to a lack of ability to properly follow all of the procedures listed above. We are working with parents to transfer campers to other appropriate sessions or we will be issuing full refunds. 

  • Mini Camps (ages 5-6) 

  • Expedition Camps (ages 11-13)

  • High Adventure Camps (ages 14-17)

  • Leader in Training Program (This program is still under evaluation—not officially canceled—as we are awaiting further guidance from CDPHE. A decision will be made by May 18.)

  • Camp Shuttle to and from Southridge 

  • Before and After Care for Horse Camp Only (all other Before and Aftercare options remain unaffected) 

Beyond this information on preparations for restrictions, we anticipate questions from you and encourage you to send them our way. As we are operating remotely at this time, email is the best way to reach us: Contact the Camp Director. We will do our best to give out information, but due to the current situation, we appreciate your patience as the guidance is ever-changing. Here are a few answers to questions we've already received:


Why should I send my child to Camp Backcountry this summer? Camp Backcountry is inherently safer than many other places a child could spend time right now simply because it is outdoors. We will provide a safe space for your child to be while you are at work, or simply to get them out of the house for a little bit. At Camp Backcountry, kids are outside for the entirety of the day, kept in small groups as required by CDHS, will not use or touch many shared supplies or equipment, and will be with staff trained on physical distancing and current health practices. Plus, as many of our returning campers can attest to, Camp Backcountry is like home in the summer. And in these uncertain times, we can't wait to offer your kids something to look forward to!


Relaxed Cancellation Policy  We recognize that this entire situation is full of uncertainty and worry. To help alleviate any additional stress, we are relaxing our refund policy so that you can sign up for camp without any worry. Under these circumstances, we will be accepting refund requests for full refunds, so long as they are requested more than two weeks prior to the particular camp session. Should you need to cancel less than two weeks prior to a session, we will issue you a full, transferable credit that can be used towards any other Camp Backcountry session through the end of Summer 2021. 


Please reach out to us if your family needs anything or you have any questions or concerns! Our team is working remotely to mold an amazing summer around these circumstances and we can't wait to see your camper and family back at Camp Backcountry soon! In the meantime, stay healthy and stay wild!


AnnaKate Hein Camp Backcountry Director annakate.hein@hrcaonline.org

AnnaKate Hein is the Backcountry Wilderness Area Programs Supervisor. She is a Georgia alum—once a dawg, always a dawg—where she was a member of the marching band and on the crew team. She worked for Save the Bay in Rhode Island before moving to Colorado. She and her husband can be found in the mountains or the desert chasing their next big adventure—mountain biking, skiing, hiking, climbing, camping, and, most notably, living the river rat life on their SUPs all summer.

HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Area

One of the gems of Highlands Ranch is the Backcountry Wilderness Area, 8,200 acres of conservation space. 

 

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