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| July 2020 |

Montana Learning Center releases its COVID-19 Toolkit for Montana Summer Camps for use by other Montana nonprofits sponsoring children’s summer camps

Thanks to a grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development ‘s Montana Innovation Grant Program, Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake, located just outside of Helena, Montana, has created the COVID-19 Toolkit for Montana Summer Camps, available free of charge to all Montana nonprofit organizations that offer children’s summer camps.

The Toolkit has two parts: a comprehensive manual and a PDF file with graphics and tools that can be used by Montana nonprofit organizations that offer children’s summer camps to develop and document their COVID-19 risk minimization programs.

The manual explains in detail current COVID-19 guidance from federal, state and local government agencies, as well as COVID-19 recommendations from various nonprofit organizations, covering a wide variety of topics of interest to camps. Some of the guidance and recommendations were developed specifically for children’s summer camps and some of the guidance and recommendations are more general.

The manual also describes various ways in which the requirements and recommendations could be implemented in the camp setting and includes descriptions of how the Learning Center has changed its operations to satisfy the government requirements and also implement many of the recommendations.

“We designed the manual to serve as a written guide for our staff,” explained Ryan Hannahoe, Executive Director of the Montana Learning Center, “but we also designed it to provide other Montana nonprofit organizations offering children’s summer camps with concrete examples of how to move from the broadly-worded requirements and recommendations to detailed operations plans designed to minimize the risk of coronavirus infection.”

The manual will be provided to organizations that request the Toolkit in Word, so that each organization can customize its content to their own camp programs.

The PDF file that is the second part of the Toolkit contains the Center for Disease Control’s Readiness and Planning Tool for Youth Camps and a COVID-19 screening documentation form developed by the Association of Camp Nursing. It also has graphics from a variety of sources on key COVID-19 topics, which can be used by camps as wall posters and handouts for both staff and campers.

“There’s so much information about COVID-19 on the internet that it can be daunting to find the information camps need to adjust their operations appropriately,” Hannahoe said. “Using the Toolkit will save camp sponsors hours and hours of research time and allow camp management to focus on the operational adjustments that need to be made and on the camps’ programs and its campers,” Hannahoe added.

Organizations interested in getting a copy of the Toolkit should email the Learning Center at montanalearningcenter@gmail.com, with a subject line reading “COVID-19 Toolkit for Montana Summer Camps.” To receive the Toolkit, organizations will need to complete an intake form that the Center will email to them and agree in writing not to distribute the Toolkit to anyone else and direct interested parties to the Learning Center.

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