Deer Run Camp in Thompson’s Station reports that 32 of its summer staff and 3 year-round staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Due to this, Deer Run canceled the first four weeks of Day and Overnight Camps and the first two sessions of Family Camp to allow the staff to have a full 14+ days to recover.
Deer Run provides day camps for ages 5 to 8th grade, overnight camps for grades 3 to 12, and family camps for all ages. On May 17, Deer Run summer staff (college students and young adults) arrived at camp to begin training.
Several days after the summer staff arrived, two staff members found out their parents had tested positive for COVID-19. The staff were asymptomatic but were immediately quarantined and required to have testing. Shortly afterwards, another staff member had mild symptoms and was tested and quarantined.
“We were following CDC guidelines including daily temperature checks and daily health screenings. Additionally, we have rigorous cleaning and professional disinfectant protocols which are carefully followed with daily checklists and accountability, ” says April Kuykendall, Deer Run’s COO
Once results came back that these three staff tested positive, all camp staff were tested. Results showed that 32 of the summer staff and 3 year-round staff are positive. They are now quarantined for 14 days at the recommendation of the Tennessee Board of Health.
Many of those who have tested positive are asymptomatic. The others have mild symptoms, states a press release.
Leadership are working on plans for additional safety measures to do everything possible to ensure this kind of outbreak does not happen again, Kuykendall says, “The safety of our campers, their families, and our staff is our priority. The kids and families will have fun when we are able to reopen camp and we will do everything possible to keep them safe.”
Leadership is considering all possibilities for continued operations this summer. Kuykendall states, “None of us anticipated this type of situation. Our goal is to learn from it and determine how we can operate safely when the time comes to reopen.”
Families have been given options to transfer to another date this summer or next, to receive a refund, or to donate their registration funds as a tax-deductible gift to help sustain Deer Run.
About Deer Run
Deer Run a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nondenominational Christian summer camp and year-round retreat center in middle Tennessee just 30 minutes south of Nashville. We provide day, adventure, and overnight summer camps (age 5 to grade 12) and family camp (all ages); host retreats with lodging and meeting facilities; and facilitate team building.
For more information about Deer Run Camps & Retreats, go to DeerRun.camps.