Overnight summer camps cancelled; summer at Eagle Bluff re-imagined with day camps, public events & classes, and outdoor reaction opportunies
In regards to our 2020 summer programming at Eagle Bluff, we have come to the difficult conclusion that we will be unable to offer youth overnight camps this summer. Per regulations from the state of Minnesota, overnight camps are currently not allowed, and for the purposes of staffing, planning, and providing clarity to our many camp families, this was a tough decision that we had to make. We may still be able to offer family overnight camps as planned in July, so those have not yet been cancelled. We appreciate the patience and guidance our camp families have given us while we worked through this decision-making process.
In lieu of overnight camps, we’re excited to announce we will be offering weekly public events, classes, and outdoor recreation opportunities for individuals and families as well as weeklong day camps during the weeks of July 6th, July 20th, and August 3rd. We have Survival Day Camps, Wildlife Day Camps, and Adventure Day Camps, available to children going into grades 3 through 5, and 6 through 8. All activities and camps we host will be limited to ten participants apiece to comply with state public health requirements. Our new day camps will have the same focus on fun and adventure as our usual camps, without the sleepaway component (and with procedures enacted to help keep participants safe and healthy). Please visit our Summer 2020 webpage at eaglebluffmn.org/summer-2020 to learn more about these exciting new summer programs!
Summer camp updates:
At this point, we still plan on hosting camps this summer on the dates that they’ve been scheduled.
- We’ve decided to keep June camps at their current dates
- We are continuing to monitor guidelines from the MN Department of Health, Governor Walz, the CDC, and the American Camp Association
- We want it to be clear that if the state of MN determines it is unsafe and irresponsible to offer overnight summer camps, Eagle Bluff will cancel our camps/other programs and all campers will be offered full refunds.
Barring this kind of announcement from the state, we plan on making decisions about whether camps will be going or not by the following dates:
- June 1st for Survival, Wildlife 2, Jr Adventurers, Night Owls 1, Night Owls 2, and Rocks, Ropes, Rivers 2
- June 15th for Forkhorn 1, Rocks, Ropes, Rivers 1, Wildlife 1, and Forkhorn 2.
Lastly, refunds will be given upon request, at any point in time.
Summer High Ropes Challenge updates:
We have made the decision to cancel Summer High Ropes sessions for June out of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of now our July and August sessions are still on; however, they made need to be held at a limited capacity to ensure adherence to social distancing and other safety protocols.
Outdoor School programming update:
Concurrent with Governor Walz’s announcement that schools will remain closed through the end of the school year, we will not be hosting schools for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. All other groups are cancelled through that time as well.
Summer camp registration remains open!
Our staff are busy preparing for campers. We are continually assessing the evolving situation to ensure the safety of our users and staff following the recommendations and guidelines from Centers for Disease Control, Mayo Clinic, the State of Minnesota, and the American Camping Association. We will keep you informed of any updates or changes to our summer programming online or, if you are already registered, through email.
Eagle Bluff was able to access Payroll Protection Funds through the CARES act which will ensure full time work for our staff through mid-June. The vast majority of staff are working from home on improvements and updates to our programs for when we do open up again. Limited staff remain onsite caring for our captive wildlife, checking buildings, and making campus improvements.
New guidelines for outdoor recreation during COVID-19 were released by the Minnesota DNR. Please follow these guidelines while recreating on our campus (campus buildings remain closed to the public):
“The DNR and Minnesota Department of Health collaborated to create new outdoor recreation guidelines for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines apply to both recreational facilities and the public and are based on Governor Walz’s Emergency Executive Order Allowing for Safe Outdoor Recreation (EO 20-38). Following these guidelines will help protect you and your fellow Minnesotans from this health threat. You can enjoy the outdoors while doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Here are some guidelines you should observe whenever you’re outdoors:
- Practice social distancing (stay at least 6 feet from people from other households). This isn’t just for parks and trails – it is also essential at boat launches, fishing piers, and hunting lands, and anytime you leave your home.
- Stay as close to home as possible. This is not the time to be traveling long distances to recreate. Cherished outdoor traditions further from home will be there for you later, after the public health situation has eased.
- Do not host or attend gatherings with people who aren’t members of your immediate household. This includes gatherings like outdoor cookouts or barbeques, because those types of gatherings could spread COVID-19.
- Explore the range of nearby public lands available to you. If you arrive at a park, water access site, or other public recreation land and see that it is busy, choose a different option. This will allow you to maintain social distancing, and reduce impacts on staff and resources. Also, consider visiting at off-peak times, typically early or late in the day.
- Do not carpool to outdoor recreational activities with people other than those in your immediate household. Similarly, do not share equipment.”
Read all guidelines from the DNR website: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/covid-19-outdoor-recreation-guidelines.html
Schools and groups cancelled through May 4
Per Governor Walz’s order keeping schools closed through May 4, Eagle Bluff will not be hosting school groups until at least that time. All other groups are cancelled through that time as well. Our management and staff continue to closely monitor the situation and will announce longer-term plans as more information comes in.
Our staff is currently working with teachers to come up with potential virtual educational opportunities that could serve as an enriching supplement to the distance learning curriculum schools have since pivoted to.
Summer camp registration remains open!
Our staff are busy preparing for campers. We are continually assessing the evolving situation to ensure the safety of our users and staff following the recommendations and guidelines from Centers for Disease Control, Mayo Clinic, the State of Minnesota, and the American Camping Association.
We will keep you informed of any updates or changes to our summer programming online or, if you are already registered, through email. Rest assured that as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation the safety and wellness of our users and participants is our top priority. In the event that any camps are cancelled due to ongoing group restrictions or other COVID-19 concerns, registrants will receive a full refund (including deposit). If you have any questions about camps or registration, please contact our camps managers at email@example.com. Check out available camps at eaglebluffmn.org/camps!
Hike our trails!
While our campus buildings remain closed, our trails are open! Getting outside for a walk, run or hike is allowed even with #StayAtHomeMN in place. Our 9 miles of trails are a great way to get out of the house and get in some rejuvenating nature time while practicing social distancing.
For any other inquiries or general questions about our programming or up-to-date COVID-19 plans please don’t hesitate to contact us:
- For schools or groups needing to communicate about upcoming or future trips, please reach out to our groups manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For all other inquiries, please contact us at email@example.com. You may also call our main office at 507-467-2437 and leave a voicemail and it will be directed to the appropriate staff member.
With the rapidly developing situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working with teachers and administrators to stay in communication with schools, parents and families of students scheduled for upcoming Eagle Bluff trips.
In conjunction with Governor Walz’s announcement of school closures, programming at Eagle Bluff will be closed through March 27th. Our management and staff will be closely monitoring the situation and will announce longer-term plans at that point.
The safety of our program participants and staff is paramount. We will continue to stay closely attuned to the recommendations and guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, Mayo Clinic, and the State of Minnesota regarding this pandemic going forward.
Updates regarding our plans during this evolving situation will be posted to our social media channels, website, and sent by email when appropriate.
Registration for summer camps remains open.
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center