COVID-19 Updates and Information
The Illinois Wing Summer Encampment is dedicated to providing the safest environment possible for our cadets and senior members. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, several changes and restrictions are in place for our activity.
CAP’s Remobilization Plan
Early in the pandemic, Civil Air Patrol created a strategy to safely restore operations to full capacity. This strategy, known as the CAP Remobilization plan, has been updated and tweaked weekly for the last year. Please click HERE to view the NHQ remobilization plan. As you will see, Illinois is currently in Phase III of the CAP remobilization plan. We are anticipating that the Illinois Wing Summer Encampment will be restriction-free by the time of our activity.
Summer Encampment Specific Restrictions
The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought safety and disease prevention to the forefront of encampment planning. While we do plan for most of our mitigation strategies and requirements to lapse before starting the summer encampment season, there have been lessons learned. While specific details of our mitigation strategy are not yet set in stone, we will adopt some procedures for years to come. Please read the message below regarding steps to prevent the spread of diseases from last year’s encampment. More up-to-date information will be made available as Encampment approaches.
As we get closer to meeting in Marseilles, I want to share our COVID-19 Mitigation strategy for the Illinois Wing Summer Encampment. With the recent headlines highlighting outbreaks at summer camps across the nation, our team has been working tirelessly to develop strict protocols to prevent any similar outbreaks here at the summer encampment. While this list of requirements is non-comprehensive and subject to change, we feel we are providing a safe and challenging environment for our cadets and adult leaders.
The foundation of our strategy is to have the majority of attendees fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV2. For those of you who have provided us with your vaccination information, thank you. Science has overwhelmingly demonstrated that these vaccines are safe and extraordinarily effective in the adult population and preliminarily in the adolescent and young adult population. If you have not received a vaccination yet, I highly encourage you to do so; even with a single dose of the MRNA vaccine, the likelihood of contracting and spreading COVID-19 decreases dramatically. If you do choose to get vaccinated between now and the start of the encampment, you do NOT need to change anything in CampDoc. During in-processing, you will fill out a questionnaire about vaccine status and recent exposure to COVID-19.
Next, I will discuss specific risk management measures that will be implemented in each phase of our activity. Again, this may not be a comprehensive list. As more encampments close over the next few weeks, we can learn and adapt to what worked well and what didn’t work at those specific activities.
PRE-ARRIVAL A select few senior members are arriving at MTC on Thursday, 29 July 2021to secure the facilities that CAP will be using for the week. We will completely disinfect all surfaces with specific emphasis on high-touch areas and sleeping quarters. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up throughout the training area, and ventilation systems will be inspected for proper functionality.
Later today, you will receive another email asking you to fill out an evacuation/ quarantine survey. If we do have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 during our activity, we need to know how you are getting home and how long you will need to be quarantined while at the activity. Please take the time to fill out the information on this form to the best of your ability. If you do not fill it out, you will be asked to complete it before in-processing.
IN-PROCESSING Before entering the encampment area, cadets and parents will be screened by a member of our medical staff or a Training Officer trained to provide this screening. The screening will include a temperature reading and general wellness questions. ALL personnel (parents included) participating in in-processing will wear a face covering regardless of vaccination status.
Your first stop during in-processing will be at the administrative desk. There, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire detailing vaccination status, recent known exposure to COVID-19, and general wellness questions. Remember, you are NOT required to be fully vaccinated to attend Summer Encampment. However, If you have had recent exposure to COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated, you will not be allowed to enter. Also, if you are experiencing a fever or COVID-like symptoms, you will not be allowed to enter the encampment area.
Next, cadets will proceed to the contraband check area, and parents will proceed to the parent orientation. In the contraband check area, cadets will open their personal belongings and answer questions regarding contraband brought into the encampment area. A list of items not allowed at Summer Encampment is available on the packing list. Screeners will not touch personal belongings during this process. Any contraband collected will be returned to cadets upon dismissal.
The parent orientation will take place in a classroom across the hall from the contraband shakedown. Parents will have a chance to speak with a senior staff member about cadet life during the encampment. The topics of discussion range from daily activities and schedules to ways to contact your cadet during the week and everything in between.
After Cadets are fully in-processed, they will have the opportunity to say goodbye to their parents and proceed to the cadet training area for initial orientation with their flight leaders.
DAILY ACTIVITIES ALL PARTICIPANTS will participate in daily temperature screenings and wellness checks. ALL PARTICIPANTS will wear face coverings while indoors. It is the policy of CAP NHQ and Summer Encampment that universal indoor masking will benefit the encampment environment. Participants may choose not to receive a vaccine for many reasons. To keep personal medical decisions private and to prevent any bullying or harassment from perceived political or social beliefs, we are requiring all personnel to wear a face covering while indoors, and social distancing is not possible. Uniformity and unit cohesion are the bedrock of cadet life while at the encampment. This policy reinforces these principles. Exceptions to this policy are listed below:
A member is medically unable to wear a mask. If this is the case, we will need a written document from their physician stating the reason and any limitations. this letter should include the physician's name, phone number, and address. Our medical staff for further information may contact them.
Instructors teaching classes, who are fully vaccinated, may elect to remove their face covering while teaching in the classrooms.
Counselors or training officers who are fully vaccinated may remove their face coverings and allow those receiving counseling to do the same in a private setting.
Closed-door meetings between fully vaccinated persons may be unmasked.
Masks may be removed during mealtimes while members are actively eating or drinking.
Masks will be removed for personal hygiene times and during sleeping while members are in their quarters or shower facilities. Masks will be worn in the hallways of the barracks.
Any activity that takes place outside will be a mask-free zone. Members will be encouraged to maintain social distancing during these activities where possible.
Any member unwilling to conform to this standard will not be allowed to participate in the Illinois Wing Summer Encampment.
DINING FACILITY Mealtimes will be staggered into two groups. These groups will eat together each day in either the first half of the meal period or the second. Flights will sit together in separate areas of the cafeteria and will clean their eating area after they are done. Once the first group is finished eating, they will move to the next operational area, and the next group will have their turn to eat. Weather permitting, outdoor dining will be available.
BARRACKS The barracks that we use for summer encampment are large open rooms. Each room will house two flights and with an empty bed between each cadet. Ventilation will be turned on while cadets are in the barracks, and daily cleaning/ disinfecting will occur.
QUARANTINE/ EVACUATION A quarantine and evacuation plan will be established for each participant. Two separate locations at MTC have been designated as quarantine zones. Any member showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested using a minimally invasive rapid-result antigen nasal swab and immediately sent to a quarantine location to await the results. Their evacuation contact will be notified, and the plan will be implemented if the result is positive.
TRANSPORTATION/ ORIENTATION FLIGHTS Summer Encampment will adhere to all published regulations regarding transportation to/from and during orientation flights. In addition, while cadets are off-site at our flight operations areas, cadets will be discouraged from interacting with members of the public.
GRADUATION AND PASS IN REVIEW This is an outdoor event. Masking will not be required for family members or cadets; however, we will encourage social distancing.
Thank you for taking the time to read and understand these protocols. We want to have our encampment be as safe and productive as possible. If you have any questions or feedback about these requirements, please use the contact form on this page.