COVID-19 will dramatically change the 2021 School of Whitewater Paddling. Conditions are changing weekly it seems so flexibility is the word of the year. We encourage you to check this page regularly for any updates. We will also share any significant changes to our COVID-19 plan on the Club's Facebook Page. That said, there are a number of decisions that we have made as we move toward our ACC signature event. We feel that without these changes, we would not be able to have the school at all.
The hardest thing we are having to do is cap the number of people who can participate. We are limiting the number of paid attendees, volunteers and guests. We are allowing a maximum of 50 paid participants and are shooting for about 120 total attendence. This is less than 1/2 our normal attendence. Paid participants are encouraged to come to the event solo, but we know there are circumstances where that is not practical. An example might be a parent and child where the child is the paid participant. So we are allowing each paid participant to bring ONE adult guest. All paid participants and guests must have registered and received their admission confirmation form which is the ticket to attend. Significant others, other family members, best friends will not be allowed except for the one exception mentioned above. We know this policy alone may seem unfair as it will exclude a number of people from being able to attend and we are sorry. COVID-19 sucks.
It takes many volunteers to run a great event and that is still true this year. However, we have cancelled many of our activities that require multiple volunteers to encourage social distancing and avoid spreading the virus. The Event Directors, Gordon Kumpuris and Dean Castle are maintaining a strict and very tight list of volunteers. Only volunteers who have been assigned prior to Whitewater School will be allowed on site. You will not be allowed to volunteer on site and assume this is your ticket to enter. Contact Gordon Kumpuris well in advance of the event to volunteer.
REPEATING BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT - Only paid attendees, assigned volunteers and registered guests of paid attendees will be allowed to attend. Please don't show up this year assuming you can attend Whitewater School because you always have in the past. To control access to the event we have moved the entire base of operation down the road to the Round the Bend campground. It has one way in and one way out and this gate will be controlled. Please don't make us turn you away at the front gate. This won't be fun for anyone.
We highly encourage attendees to be vaccinated if at all possible before attending Whitewater School however it appears this will not be possible for all. You will not be required to be vaccinated to attend. As of this writing, it is still unclear if a vaccinated individual could still be a virus carrier. Until the Centers for Disease Control updates this information, we ask vaccinated individuals to maintain the same precautions as non-vaccinated people, i.e. mask wearing, hand washing, social distancing.
We will be screening people upon entrance to camp. This will likely include touchless temperature checks and standard health questions. If you have been exposed to someone known to have had COVID-19 in the past 14 days we ask that you not attend unless at least 5 days have past since the exposure AND you have had a negative COVID-19 test AND you show no symptoms. It should go without saying, but for the record, if you are positive with COVID-19 or suspect you may be, we want you to go home and quarantine. If you recently tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that at least 14 days have past since your positive test.
We will ask all attendees to bring and wear face masks while on site, when in vehicles on shuttles, and basically at all times when unable to maintain consistent social distancing, i.e. 6 feet of separation. We intend to provide neck gaiter type face coverings for paid participants and volunteers to wear when on the river, when unable to maintain social distancing. You will not be required to wear a face mask while paddling when you can maintain social distancing.
We will have hand sanitizers around camp but please bring your own too.
To encourage social distancing and to avoid spreading the virus, we have cancelled activities that we feel encourage people to congregate. This includes the Saturday fish fry, the food truck, the Saturday evening band, the Saturday and Sunday morning group breakfasts, the ACC General Board Meeting and the traditional blow log/bonfire. The General Board Meeting will be held shortly after Whitewater School and it will be held virtually.
Each attendee is asked to bring, prepare and consume his or her own food during the entire weekend. We ask that you not share food, drinks or utensils.
Because campfires to paddlers are like moths to a flame, and because we are discouraging congregating we are saying NO CAMPFIRES this year at all. Yes, we know. This sucks too.
We will have a number of Porta-Potties on site and keeping these clean are of particular concern. We will have disinfectant available and we will be cleaning them throughout the weekend. We will also likely want to keep the doors open when they are not in use to allow fresh air to circulate. We will provide a mechanism to do this. While it may sound silly, we will also ask males to consider peeing in the woods vs using the Porta-Potties. We will have a hand wash station this year near the porta-potties.
There will not be showers available at the Round the Bend site this year. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own personal "solar showers" like this. They work remarkably well and should help avoid the spread of germs.
To cut down on the number of people having to ride together in vehicles, we plan to ask that class instructors use the Round the Bend river side camp as either the launch point or take out point. Those who must ride together in vehicles to run shuttles will be expected to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer and open windows to allow for good air ventilation.