Many have asked to see the COVID-19 waiver and health screening form. While it doesn’t seem to have the force of a waiver, it does screen for COVID-19 symptoms. It is vague about the risks involved and doesn’t spell out the extent of contact students will have with each other, volunteers, and staff.
The small print is really small so I have enlarged that section below:
There doesn’t appear to be an agreement to hold the camp harmless if a child falls ill to COVID-19. This document isn’t much help from an informed consent perspective. It says the Ranch is taking “all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” A reasonable measure that children were required to do on the bus ride to the Ranch was wear a mask. However, as soon as they were there, the teens were allowed to take them off, never to wear them again. That was an unreasonable measure. Given the trust many parents have in church leaders, I can see why parents would have thought that the Ranch would have required safer procedures.
In fact, according to the CDC guidelines for summer camps, the procedures at the camp placed campers and volunteers in the next to highest risk category.
The more people a camper or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth camp settings as follows:
Lowest Risk: Small groups of campers stay together all day, each day. Campers remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects. Outdoor activities are prioritized. All campers are from the local geographic area (e.g., city, town, county, community).
More Risk: Campers mix between groups but remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects. Outdoor activities are prioritized. All campers are from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
Even More Risk: Campers mix between groups and do not remain spaced apart. All campers are from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
Highest Risk: Campers mix between groups and do not remain spaced apart. All campers are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
In comparison to these guidelines, campers were in the “even more risk” category. Parents were not informed of this.
As of today, the church has remained mostly silent to the public with brief statements claiming CDC guidelines were followed with ill campers. However, what about the other CDC guidelines? The church has yet to come out with an explanation for why the other guidelines weren’t followed or provide a plan moving forward.
If you are a parent or camper with more information about your time at Allaso Ranch, you may contact me via email here.