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Program Policies Regarding Covid19

Policies Updated on 1/30/2021

As the our community begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we realize now more than ever, how important it is to have access to natural surroundings where children and families have time and space to create, collaborate and challenge their minds and bodies. We remain committed to providing this opportunity to our community. Times as these call for flexibility and adaptation and as a result, we have established the following policies and procedures regarding mitigating the risk of COVID-19 exposure. We have sought guidance from the Vermont Health Department, Center for Disease Control and the American Camp Association and continue to stay updated as best as possible.
These policies may be subject to change based on the fluidity of the pandemic situation in our community. 

Understanding of Risk

COVID-19 is easily transmitted and has spread within our Vermont community. As the Health Department works on contact tracing, increased testing and eventually-- vaccines, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene are main ways for communities to limit the spread of this virus. Participants, Families and Staff understand that there is a potential, albeit small, risk of COVID-19 exposure in attending community programs such as ours and do so under their own free will and with understanding of the following policies and procedures. Wonder Roots LLC, TimberNook of Greater Burlington, their staff or program site owners are not able to guarantee an environment free of COVID-19, or any other viruses, sickness or disease. 

Policies and Procedures

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedure for Drop-Off Programs:

  • To maintain small group size and appropriate social distancing, parents are asked to remain in their vehicles for drop-off and pick-up. Staff will meet children in the grassy area near the parking lot (South Burlington) or the driveway (Hinesburg). At the end of the day's session, staff will meet back in the same area to deliver children to their adults. (Feel free to give us a wave!) Colleen will email general daily updates/summaries to families and will be available by phone or email for individual needs, should they arise.
  • Hand hygiene stations will be set up at the entrance to the woods so that children can clean their hands before starting the day's session. 
  • Ideally, the same parent or designated person should drop off and pick up the child every day. If possible, older people such as grandparents should not pick up their children, because they are more at risk for serious illness. 
  • Parents and caregivers who are self-quarantining due to close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual should NOT do drop-off or pick-up. If possible, parents and caregivers who are heath care workers should identify someone else to do drop-off and pick-up.

Health Screening:

  • Participant (Parent) Responsibility--
    Please conduct a Daily Health Check for your child(ren) attending our program.

    1. Has your child been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19?
    2. Does your child feel unwell with any symptoms consistent with COVID-19? For example, have they had a cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell?  
    3. If you have answered YES to any of the above, your child should NOT attend.
  • Program staff will: 
    • Screen children and staff for cough or shortness of breath upon arrival each day
    • Conduct temperature screening, using a temporal thermometer. 
    • Make a visual inspection of the child for signs of infection, which could include flushed cheeks, fatigue, runny nose, etc.

Health Policy and Attendance Eligibility:

  • If a staff person, child, or parent/caregiver has been identified as a close contact to someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, they should self-quarantine: stay home.
  • Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or awaiting test-results should self-isolate until: 
    1. It’s been 3 full days of no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication, and 
    2. Other symptoms have improved, and 
    3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. 
  • If symptoms begin during our program we will contact you or your emergency contact to come pick-up your child immediately. 
  • People with a temperature greater than 100.4 F should be sent home until they have had no fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g., Advil, Tylenol). 
  • If there are specific health concerns, chronic disease, or complex social or emotional dynamics in the home that may effect your child's participation in our program, please contact us so we may discuss your specific situation.
  • If there is a confirmed case of COVID in our program, we will consult with the Vermont Department of Health at 802-863-7240 and make further decisions regarding closure or dismissal according to their recommendations. We will communicate to families as soon as possible regarding any changes. 
  • Children who arrive from out-of-state need to quarantine for 14 days or be tested at day 7 before attending our program.

Physical Distancing Practices:

We recognize that children are not able to maintain physical distancing during play, however-- we will rely on group size and arrangement of our space in order to comply with physical distancing recommendations as best as possible. Group size for our drop-off programs is about 10-18 children with 2-3 adults. Playgroups and other family programs maintain small groups of about 25 TOTAL attendees (adults and children).
  • Children will be kept in small groups, not more than 25 individuals, including staff. Should our enrollment size exceed the recommended group size, we will divide our site so that each section only serves one group of children. We often find that children naturally congregate in groups of 4-5.
  • Wherever possible, the same staff member(s) will remain with the same group each day. 
  • There will be no large group activities exceeding the recommended group size. 
  • Congregational times (welcome circle, meals, story time) will be conducted in a way so that children can maintain recommended distancing (bigger welcome circle, spacing sitting stumps farther apart, etc)
  • Face coverings (cloth masks): The CDC currently recommends that facial coverings be used for adults and children over the age of 2. Facial coverings help the wearer protect OTHERS in the case that wearer is an asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier. Staff and other adults will be required to wear facial covers when in contact with others. Children over the age of 3 will be required to BRING a facial cover with them and wear a mask when in close contact with others. We understand that some children may have difficulty wearing facial coverings for extended periods of time for various reasons. Staff will work to educate children on the importance of facial coverings and identify opportunities when masks do not need to be worn. If you need access to a child-sized cloth mask, please let us know.    

Food and Campfire cooking:

  • Staff will ensure that children wash hands before and after eating. 
  • There will be no shared utensil or cooking equipment (ex. roasting sticks, pans/pots). Children are strongly encouraged to NOT share their food.
  • Children will still be allowed to heat up their own food with the following limitations: Food must be pre-wrapped in aluminum foil (to be warmed on the cooking grate) or able to be roasted over the fire on a single use stick.  
  • Any food provided by the program (occasional fireside snacks) will be pre-packaged off site and be individual use (no buffet style). We will not be prepping any shared food in the woods (ex. soup, tea).

Hygiene and Cleaning:

  • Hand Washing: Staff and participants will be required to wash hands at the following intervals:
    • Arrival to the facility.
    • Before and after preparing food or drinks.
    • Before and after eating or handling food.
    • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment (such as sun screen).
    • After using the toilet.
    • After coming in contact with bodily fluid.
  • Hand washing procedure:
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds following these 5 steps. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used.
  • Cleaning:
    • The majority of the materials we use are natural materials found in the woods. It is impossible to clean or disinfect every item that participants come in contact with. Staff will clean and disinfect frequently used metal or plastic materials and surfaces, such as tools and toys using a diluted bleach or 3% hydrogen peroxide spray, or EPA-registered household disinfectant. These items will be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning, middle and end of each day.
    • Bathroom sink areas including faucets, counter-tops and paper towel dispensers will be cleaned after each group has finished.
    • Children’s books, art supplies and other paper-based materials, are not considered high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures.

Cancellation and Refund Policy (updated 8/15/2020):

It is impossible to predict the likelihood or pattern of mandated closures due to COVID-19 in the coming months. We are striving to balance equitable refunds with the inherent financial risk that Wonder Roots must assume under such uncertainty. Due to the unique situation of this pandemic, we have decided to alter our original return policy for 2020 programs. We have created a tiered, per-diem refund plan that maximizes refunds for COVID cancellations while still meeting Wonder Roots' financial obligations in offering in-person programming. 

If for any reason you would like to cancel your child's enrollment in our 2020 TimberNookBTV/Wonder Roots program, you may receive a full refund minus 15% non-refundable deposit if you inform us of your cancellation within 4 weeks of the program start date. If you inform us within 2 weeks of the program start date, you will receive 50% refund, and less than 2 weeks notice before the start date will incur no refund. 

If we have to cancel an ENTIRE program due to COVID-19, when possible-- you may choose to enroll your child into another program of equal value, receive a full credit good for 18 months of the original program start date, or you may receive a full refund minus the 15% non-refundable deposit.

Summer/Vacation programs: Should we need to cancel the camp AFTER it begins due to COVID related reasons, we will issue credits for the prorated amount. 

Wild Ones and Curiosity Connections: Should we need to cancel a day (or more) due to COVID, we will issue credits for a tiered, per-diem amount. For the first ten days of COVID cancellations, you will receive a refund of 50% of each prorated day. Subsequent cancelled days will be refunded at 100% of each prorated day. Refunds will not be issued for snow days or other non-COVID related closures.

NOTE: We can only offer pre-diem refunds for days that were canceled by Wonder Roots due to COVID. Aside from extenuating circumstances, refunds will not be issued due to individual sick days or scheduling conflicts.

All program credits are good for 18 months after the original program start date and can be used for any TimberNookBTV or Wonder Roots LLC program. 

Program Contact Information:

Colleen Christman
802.489.0410 (office phone)
716.912.3876 (mobile, on-site number)

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