Eagle’s Nest Foundation COVID-19 Response
Eagle’s Nest Foundation, and the programs therein, closely monitor and follow the latest Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, American Camping Association, Transylvania County Department of Health, North Carolina Association of Independent Schools and trusted health advisors. We highly encourage vaccines and boosters for all participants and require them for faculty and staff unless there is a documented medical or sincerely held religious belief. In those instances, employees test weekly and follow masking protocols. Most likely, once the FDA fully approves the vaccine for ages 5-15, we will also require a full COVID-19 vaccination series for all participants.
To protect the health and safety of our campers and staff, Eagle’s Nest Camp and Hante Adventures did not run in the summer of 2020. Eagle’s Nest Foundation opened its doors once again to the fall 2020 semester of The Outdoor Academy. Twenty-nine masked teens arrived on campus, received COVID-19 tests, and were quickly whisked into the field for 11 days of socially distanced backpacking. After seven days we tested again and, then once again, before coming together with loud cheering and hugging as one group of very happy young people. Over the course of that semester we were able to remain a “bubble” of living and learning on Hart Rd. until mid-December when students returned home to their families.
In January of 2021 we repeated our opening process from our fall semester with 30 new spring semester students and successfully created another “bubble” to be able to healthfully run our school in person until closing day in early May.
Building on what we learned during two semesters of The Outdoor Academy, Eagle’s Nest Camp and Hante Adventures opened in early June, 2021 and ran a full, successful summer with no instances of COVID-19.
This 2021-2022 school year we are continuing operations as were conducted in 2020-21 by structuring our calendar in such a way as to be able to build a cohort of students that our faculty and staff work diligently to protect. Plans for summer 2022 are well underway with protocols for testing, building cohorts, and adapting what we learned during the summer of 2021.