The day here in The Realm started with a phone call at 6am from the lab in Manchester telling us that all the tests from opening day were NEGATIVE! WOW! How could the day get any better. But it just got better from there. At 6:30am 10 Tinker/Pagers tumbled out of the bunk to go fishing with Rick, our program director. To their delight they pulled in a few fish and threw them back in the lake, so there will be no fish fry tonight. What a great way for them to start the day.
At 8am the rest of The Realm was awakened by Reveille and Woodys booming voice over the loudspeaker telling all that it was going to be a BIG DAY. Breakfast was egg muffins, assorted cereal, juice and choice of fruit. A good start to the day all under the two dining tents in from of the dining hall.
The morning was full of activities with everything up and running, from archery to waterskiing.
Even through masks, you can tell everyone is smiling.
Since you all didn’t get a chance to come into camp on opening day, I will take sometime to fill you in on what it looks like here. Covid has made camp look a bit different but in many way it is still the same Robin Hood as it has been for the last 93 years. We were required by the American Camp Association and the State of New Hampshire to implement guidelines to protect our staff and campers.
Overseeing all of this with Woody ws Dr. Arash Babaoff who you all had the chance to meet on opening day and who you may have had the opportunity to speak with on the phone. We have been fortunate to have Arash on our medical team for the past 14 years and to be alongside us through this journey.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Each morning and evening all campers and staff are asked about symptoms and have their temperatures taken.
All groups are divided into “cohorts” within their groups. In the bunks cohorts sleep in the same area with beds spaced 6 ft apart and campers sleep head to toe.
Bathrooms in each bunk are marked for use by specific cohorts.
We have built a 15 minute break in between activities to allow for hand washing. This also allows the department heads to disinfect all equipment for the next group.
At meals campers are all called up by group cohorts. 3 lines for serving and routes are marked on the floor to help direct traffic in and out. Marks on the floor show us where to stand to be 6 ft away. Much of the food is individually packed and paper plates and plastic utensils are used. There is hand sanitizer on all the tables and all hands are sprayed with hand sanitizer before entering the dining to get food. After meals tables are sanitized and wiped down.
We have added foot pedals to all of the water dispensers so there is no touching involved.
Masks are worn at all times except when eating, swimming, or sleeping.
In our infirmary, which was just dedicated to Dr. Arash for his tireless efforts to help us open, we have 10 nurses and currently 2 doctors on staff.
Next to the medical center we have an isolation tent set up which can hold 8 or more campers and a trailer with separate bathrooms for their use. This was put in with the hopes that we do not have to use it.
There is also a sizable tent outside of arts and crafts so campers can still enjoy ceramics and art and be outside and protected from the sun and rain.
Throughout camp there are signs reminding campers and staff to wear masks and to wash their hands regularly.
Another big tent was added for staff use to be able to relax on time off.
One of the biggest changes is that we are on complete lockdown for the summer. No one is leaving camp. We have created a bubble on our over 180 acres and 1 mile of waterfront.
I may have missed a few things but as you can see, we have taken all of the precautions required by the ACA and the State of New Hampshire.
You as parents, did your job keeping your campers quarantined prior to arrival at camp and making sure that they received the correct testing.
It was a great first full day of camp and everything is up and running.
What a day here at the Realm. We went to sleep last night fearing an all-day rain-out. What we got was 8 hours of sunshine, mixed with 25 minutes of heavy rain. As we checked in our last 2 boys, the skies opened for a 12-minute rainstorm. I thought to myself that 16 weeks ago, who would have thought this would be my biggest worry. Who would have thought that for the 93rd consecutive summer, kids would arrive at the CRH to escape the outside world. What started as a concept to get children away from cities in the summer surrounded by mountains and fresh air has become a great option for escaping the global pandemic. It was so powerful to see everyone enter the Realm today with a smile. Each car full of people reminded me why we fought so hard to open.
Watching your children tonight at dinner in tents on the quad in front of the dining hall was life the way it should be. They were all smiling, laughing and enjoying life. The laughter made us all forget the troubles in the outside world. As usual, CRH is the perfect medicine for everyone.
After I said good night to everyone and walked back to house, it hit me that each one of you is our partner in the most important summer in generations. What we will accomplish together with the best staff ever assembled will be talked about for years. Just as alumni tell me how they remember watching the APOLLO moon landing in 1969 huddled around a small TV in the dinning hall, so will each one of us remember the opportunity given to us this summer. I will never forget the trust you have shown in us and will work like crazy to give you all the break each one of you deserves.
This is the first of many nightly Woodchucks of the summer. Thanks again for sharing your kids with us and reach out to me with any and all questions.
There are plenty of Zoom calls happening these days and we plan to have more virtual campfires so we thought it would be great to add some camp fun to your backgrounds! We’ve pulled together our favorite photos from camp that are perfectly sized to fit virtual backgrounds.
Here’s how to change your background on Zoom to The Realm: First, pick your favorite background photos below and save them to your desktop or tablet. Then, on Zoom, click the gear settings in the upper right corner. Click “Virtual Background” from the bar on the left, then press the plus sign to upload the photo of your choice. Pro-tip: don’t move around too quickly! It will show up as the mirror image, but you can toggle that off if you’d like. Need more help? Follow these steps from Zoom directly.
Download your favorites and if you use one, snap a sneaky pic and tag us @camprobinhoodnh.
Our very own Yensi is sharing how to cook the best chicken and veggie quesadilla recipes with all of you! We are getting hungry just watching this video! If you make Yensi’s quesadillas at home be sure to tag us in your photos or videos.
Yensi’s Chicken Quesadilla at Home ingredients:
Chicken seasoning (see below)
Hot sauce (optional)
Leo’s Vegetarian Bean Quesadilla at Home ingredients:
Canned black beans
Sour Cream (optional)
Hot Sauce (optional)
Italian seasoning (optional)
Prep your ingredients and cooking equipment (bowls, pans, bowls, knife, and cutting board). *Please have parent assistance with cutting and stovetop*Dice all the onion and peppers, set aside until chicken begins cooking*
Cut and season chicken *parent assistance*
Cook chicken in a hot pan. Make sure chicken is cooked fully
Once the chicken is fully cooked at chicken and cheese to a mixing bowl
Add mixed chicken and cheese to one side of the tortilla, fold, and place on a hot flattop or large round pan
Cook veggies and black beans ingredients while the chicken is cooking in a separate pan
Start with red onion until they are almost caramelized then add remaining peppers
Add black beans and cilantro on top of veggies, cook until a simmer
Add cheese to veggies while in the pan, stir in until mixed
Once the cheese is melted into the veggies, spoon a large amount to one side of a tortilla, fold, and place on a hot flattop or large round pan
Be sure to flip the quesadillas to make sure both sides are crispy!
Carefully remove the quesadillas from skillet and slice at an angle
First, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. As virtual class work is winding down and summer is around the corner, like all of you, I am anxious to begin making plans. Nothing sounds better right now than sitting at the waterfront listening to camper’s laughing and seeing their smiling faces. With that said, the safety of our camp community has and will always be our number one priority, we will only open if we are absolutely sure that it will be safe to do so.
I am in close communication with the NH reopening task force, the American Camp Association and other government agencies to monitor the changing landscape and how it may affect our operations. My goal is to come up with a plan that allows us all to enjoy everything Robin Hood has to offer in the safest way possible. We have mapped out a few different scenarios for how camp might run, and appreciate your patience with us as we wait to see how things play out. The longer we wait, the more our decisions will be based on scientific facts driven by real time data.
I get up each day hoping that the world will have changed, and that the NH governor will have given us the green (and white) light for the summer. If ever we needed The Realm, it’s now. Kids need camp more than ever, and I know parents need and deserve a break too.
Please give the process a few more weeks so we can all get the answer everyone is yearning for.