As we strive to do our part in keeping people safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, all of us have seen that guidance from government and public health officials has changed over time, depending on improved knowledge and current conditions regarding the spread of the virus.
Last week (October 6), Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine issued amended COVID-19 mitigation orders that will impact our camping operations going forward. While the amended guidelines will permit us to have more than 250 individuals at outdoor events (the previous standard), these new guidelines reduce the number of people that can occupy the cabins at Camp Conewago, Hidden Valley Scout Reservation, and Camp Tuckahoe.
These new guidelines establish limits on indoor events as a percentage of the maximum capacity of the facility. The established capacity limit is defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code. For indoor facilities with maximum capacities of no more than 2,000 people, the allowable rate for participants is 20% of that maximum occupancy. This calculation dramatically reduces the number of campers that are permitted to occupy a cabin.
To be sure we had this right, we contacted the PA Department of Health, who referred us to the Governor’s Office, who told us to contact the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). In the end, DCED did confirm that 20% of maximum capacity was the standard to be applied to the cabins at our camps.
Given all the changes in the guidance we’ve all experienced through the pandemic, we certainly appreciate the disruption and uncertainty these updated guidelines will create. With these greatly reduced capacities, we certainly understand if units would like to cancel their reservation now and receive a full refund. If your unit would like to keep their future cabin reservation active hoping more participation will be permitted at that time, you can certainly do that and cancel for a full refund closer to the date of your trip if current restrictions are not eased.
We have developed a Unit Camping Manual to help direct units through these changes and what to expect when camping during COVID-19. If you have any questions or would like to discuss other options, such as rescheduling your planned trip or keeping your current reservation at a reduced price, please don’t hesitate to contact Todd Weidner at (717) 502-4190 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Tyler Roman at (717) 620-4525 or email@example.com.