COVID-19 Program Updates

We hold dear all individuals and families affected by COVID-19. We hope to continue to be an anchor point for families through this pandemic.

The physical and emotional safety of our staff and the community remain our top priority in responding to COVID-19. As we move through our school-year season, we are closely monitoring announcements made by public health officials in order to understand the potential impact on our programs. We will continue to adjust our policies as recommendations evolve. Below are details of how we are planning to move forward based on the most current information. Please check back as this is a fluid situation and things change quickly. We will email enrolled families with any updates that affect your programs.

What new policies have you put in place to safeguard children from COVID-19?

Detailed protocols for current programs can be viewed here, and will be sent in your confirmation email when you register. Protocols are subject to change depending on evolving recommendations from state and federal health officials. Please contact with any questions. 

Protocols include:

– TRAVEL – Individuals who have traveled to one of the states/countries listed in CT’s travel advisory (or are hosting visitors from one of those locations) in the 14 days prior to attending a program, or during a program session, will not be allowed to attend.

-TRAVEL OUT OF STATE FOR LESS THAN 24 HOURS?- The CT Health Dept says less than 24 hours is generally deemed low risk, so as long as your travel is brief and for low-risk activities (no big gatherings or long-term visits), you may still have your child attend. This is primarily relevant to our families who live in CT on the MA border and may occasionally cross over for groceries or to go for a hike.

– TESTING – If someone travels, or is otherwise potentially exposed, we do not offer a “testing out” option, due to the risk of developing symptoms or becoming contagious after testing negative and before the 14-day incubation period ends. 

-WHAT ABOUT THE NEW VACCINE?- Our current policies still apply to all families in our programs, whether family members are vaccinated or not. We will look to guidance from our public health officials once more information is available on the impact of the vaccine. We will continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19. 

– MASKS – All people on site, who are able, will be wearing face masks anytime they are within 6’ of another person. All students are asked to bring at least two masks, so they can swap them out if wet, frozen or dropped in a mud puddle.  We will now ask children to wear them when they are within 6’ of others, for an added layer of safety.  We ask children to have masks on when we walk them from their cars in the morning. This new rule will allow children to more safely work together to build fires, observe cool tracks, and work together on other group skills.

– HEALTH SCREENINGS – Children will undergo a health screening at drop off. Parents will be asked to confirm each child does not have a temperature over 100, is not exhibiting any COVID-related symptoms, and have not been exposed through travel or out-of-state visitors . Staff will go through a similar screening process each morning.

– GROUP SIZES – Groups will be limited to 10-12 students (depending on age) and 2 staff. Individual groups will be kept separate from each other all day. Drop off, morning circle, end of day circles, and pick up will happen in small groups. Siblings will be kept in the same group where possible.

– OXYGEN BUBBLES – Within each small group, children are not required to stay 6 feet apart from each other, although it will be encouraged through “Oxygen Bubbles.” We will modify activities to minimize touch and close contact and will increase hand-sanitizing and sanitizing of shared gear where appropriate.

– LUNCH – Parents will be asked to pack lunches in containers children can open themselves, with ice packs to keep in the child’s backpack all morning.

– GEAR – We will recommend items you can purchase for your child in order to minimize sharing tools or other basic materials during the day. Any shared items will be disinfected after each use.

– SANITIZING – Any high touch surfaces or communal spaces will be disinfected consistently between uses.

– EARLY PICKUP DUE TO ILLNESS – We will have a designated area for any child exhibiting COVID-related symptoms to wait until they can be picked up.

– WEATHER CANCELATION – We will be more likely to cancel a day of the program if the weather could force us to go inside. This will depend on the specific location and if there are enough shelter options to keep groups separate.

What will you do if you find out a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?

We will report the case to the CT Department of Public Health and will follow DPH recommendations on when to notify families of children that may have been in contact with that person.

What will happen if you are not able to host in-person programs?

We will be prepared to transition to online classes to bridge the gap between in-person programming. We developed Connected Coyotes, an online nature mentoring program, for students who were enrolled in our spring classes. After a successful spring season, we are confident we will have an awesome online option for your children to stay connected with their mentors, friends, and nature if we aren’t able to meet in person for a period of time. We will not be able to offer any refunds if this happens.

For now, you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to see snippets and short videos of what our mentors & students put together to activate your curiosity and build new skills. Check out sample lessons for 5-7 years old and 8-12 years old.

Are there still scholarships available?

Scholarships are available for each season. Please apply for a scholarship when you register for a session on Active. Read more about our scholarship process here.

Is there a way that I can support Two Coyotes at this time?

Yes! We would love to hear from you. Our team is incredibly grateful for all who have sent words of encouragement and concern, and donations that have kept our staff and the organization stable. Your donations, along with federal support, allowed our team to keep our mission alive in a new format last spring, while we plan for how to best support the community going forward. It allowed us to prepare for an awesome summer camp season, and to take what we learned at camp into our school year programs.

You can make a gift today to help ensure the long-term financial stability of Two Coyotes. You can also provide scholarships so that no child is turned away from a program this year. Make a donation here.

Updated November 24, 2020.