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New Policies and Procedures in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic
PDF Version For Retreat Leaders


The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges to all of us. Our personal lives have had to adapt in a variety of ways to circumstances, settings, and behaviors. Many of our common activities, such as church, school, sports, vacations, and community involvement, have become so affected by this virus that it is difficult to determine what we can and cannot participate in any more. At Camp Lutherhoma we are working hard to make sure you can conduct your retreat, and do it in a way that is safe for both your participants and the camp family.

We see the first step in creating a safe environment for your retreat are some recommendations and procedures that we strongly encourage you and your participants to follow as you plan for your retreat. The safety of your retreat participants, as well as that of the Camp Lutherhoma staff, are of the utmost importance. The recommendations are intended to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 based on the best available information so that your group can be safe while taking full advantage of the benefits gained through a retreat experience at Camp Lutherhoma.

As you and Camp Lutherhoma partner on your upcoming retreat, please consider these things:

    1. Be familiar with the current news and information from the CDC as well as the state and local health officials, especially those health officials in your community who will have critical information about the spread of COVID-19 in your community. It is, ultimately, your responsibility to inform, administer screening procedures, and have policies and practices in place, for your retreat participants, both prior to arrival and during your retreat.

    2. The staff at Camp Lutherhoma will follow policies and practices to both protect the participants from the staff, and protect the staff from the participants. These policies and practices have been developed by the Camp Lutherhoma Board, utilized during our summer program, and these policies and practices continue to evolve following the most current news and information from the CDC, state and local health officials.
Other consideration for you as the Retreat Group Leader:

    1. Each retreat group is different in many ways, some consist of members of a family, while others are a diverse group made up of individuals who come from different geographic locations. The exposure to the COVID-19 virus prior to attending the retreat will vary with the make-up of your individual retreat participants. The factors of age, the number of people in the group, the length of your retreat, and previous contact with positive COVID-19 individuals, should all be considered as you think about the policies and practices you plan on implementing during your retreat.

    2. The Camp Lutherhoma staff will be glad to help you with adjustments that you want to incorporate during your retreat. As an example, if you want to spread out the housing we can offer other facilities, depending on availability, such as overflow from the retreat cabins into the summer cabins.

    3. In order to minimize exposure consider the following five realities:

      a. Long periods of time together vs Short periods of time together
        i. Designing your schedule to have shorter time segments will help in reducing the extended exposure to each other’s environment.

      b. Inside vs Outside
        i. By conducting more of your retreat outdoors, where air and distance are easier you will minimize exposure while close together in confined spaces.

      c. Large group in a confined area vs Smaller groups
        i. If you include plans for your group to meet all together, consider ways to keep everyone in smaller groups, able to spread out even indoors. Also consider keeping these small groups as “cohort” groups throughout the retreat, perhaps eating and living together. You might even want to reconsider the maximum number of people coming on your retreat. Again, the Camp Lutherhoma staff will work with you to provide larger meeting areas, more housing units, and other alternatives to help with your retreat planning.

      d. No facemasks vs Facemasks
        i. Wearing facemasks, along with sanitization, have been considered the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Since many of our communities, including Tahlequah, have a “Facemask Required” policy, it would be highly recommended that you adopt this for your participants.

      e. No airflow, or poor ventilation vs Good ventilation and airflow
        i. When indoors, it is advised to always keep AC or heat constantly on, with the fan setting ON, and consider opening windows when possible. By keeping your air well circulated and fresh you will decrease stagnant air, which could trap germs in confined spaces, increasing the exposure to your participants.

    4. If you attempt to regulate your retreat program and activities based on these 5 realities you will be reducing the risk of exposure, and contribute to better health for your participants.

    5. When the Camp Lutherhoma staff is providing meals, the following policies are required

      a. The Camp Lutherhoma staff will practice social distancing by providing the meal, and minimizing the contact with the retreat participants.

      b. When possible, the food will be provided with reduced cross contact between utensils and food containers.

      c. Hand sanitizers will be provided at the beginning of the food service line.

      d. Masks should be worn by all participants while in the food service line, and upon returning to the kitchen area, as long as the food service line is in service.(until the Camp Lutherhoma staff removes the food service line from the kitchen)

      e. If the retreat group is washing their dishes after each meal:
        i. Masks should be worn whenever participants are handling either dirty or clean dishes.
        ii. Hand sanitizer should be used whenever participants are handling either dirty or clean dishes.
        iii. It is recommended to use disposable plates and utensils. If the retreat group would rather use all disposable plates and utensils, the Camp Lutherhoma staff will provide those, at no extra charge.

    6. It is recommended that you consider reducing the number of people per bedroom. By filling each bed in a bedroom you are not considering several of the 5 realities stated above.

    7. It is recommended that you consider a way to reduce the number of people in bathrooms at any given time.

    8. Screening Prior to Retreat:

      a. We recommend you require your retreat participants to screen themselves for 10 days prior to the retreat. In order to show care and concern for all your retreat participants, it should be expected that each person would be willing to self-screen, and not attend if they are at risk. They should answer questions concerning any symptoms or exposure, and take temperature daily. The following are screening questions we recommend. In the 2 weeks prior to the retreat start date…

        i. Have you or anyone in your immediate family travelled internationally or to another state or community with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases?
        ii. Have you or anyone in your immediate family been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus?
        iii. Have you been tested for the COVID-19 virus? If so, have you gotten a test result confirming that you have not contracted the virus?
        iv. Have you or anyone in your immediate family attended any event of a large gathering of people?(more than 10)
        v. Have you or anyone in your immediate family had or experienced:

          1. a fever over 100.5?
          2. a persistent, dry cough?
          3. chills or sweats inconsistent with any other health factors?
          4. new loss of taste or smell?
          5. Unexplainable headache or muscle aches?

        vi. If any of your participants answers YES to any of these questions, please advise them not to attend the retreat in concern for their health, their fellow retreat group friends, and the Camp Lutherhoma staff.

      b. Any participant should not attend the retreat if they would be considered a high risk candidate for complications or co-morbidity conditions to the COVID-19 virus. As much as someone might want to attend, it is up to you as the retreat group leader to enforce this policy. You know your participants, and so you should know who this might include.

    9. Enforcing policies during the retreat

      a. The Camp Lutherhoma staff will trust that you, as the retreat group leader, will set your policies and practices that you feel are in the best interest of your participants. We will want to know what your plans are, and we will trust that you will enforce them to the best of your ability.

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 918-458-0704

PO Box 1672

Tahlequah, OK 74465

Physical Address:

23197 E 742 Rd

Tahlequah, OK 74464

Email: lutherhoma@lutherhoma.com

John Busch, Director

john@lutherhoma.com

Erin Busch, Program Director

erin@lutherhoma.com

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Mission Statement

Camp Lutherhoma is owned and operated by the Oklahoma District of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Our mission is to nurture discipleship in Jesus Christ, in outdoor settings, which excites believers to share the love of Christ to the world.