COVID-Safe School Year at HoneyRock
We praise God for a COVID-safe summer—we ran very adapted summer programs for about 460 campers and 100 summer staff, which was a full summer in light of current events. We have a summer recap coming soon!
As we turned our attention to preparing for our school year community, we were able to adapt our protocols to continue maintaining a COVID-safe environment for our faculty, staff, and students.
Pre-Arrival Quarantine, Screening, and Testing
All Vanguards, Fellows, and Graduate Students were required to complete a two-week self-quarantine, complete a Health Center Screening, and show a negative COVID-19 test before they arrived at HoneyRock for the school year.
We have established areas that are “high-touch” and have increased our sanitization protocols accordingly.
We have split our small school year community into two units: Professional Staff (those who work at HoneyRock year-round and live off-site and interact with the outside world) and Students (Fellows, Vanguards, and Graduate Students-who live at HoneyRock and have minimal interaction with the outside world).
When individuals are within their units, they are allowed to operate with minimal modifications. However, regular symptom checks, increased sanitization, frequent hand-washing, and not sharing items is still expected.
Offsite trips and activities have dramatically decreased and we have set clear guidelines on what kinds of offsite excursions are allowed. In any case of offsite travel, it’s required that HoneyRockers wear cloth face coverings. Another significant change has been with our shared meals. Professional Staff and students traditionally share lunch at the same tables together every weekday. Instead, we now eat at the same time but are placed on opposite sides of the dining hall. This has been a difficult change for our community, but one that is necessary during this time.
Cloth Face Coverings
When Professional Staff and Student units cannot keep CDC recommended distancing, our Professional Staff unit is required to mask up. Professional staff are also wearing face coverings with each other when social distancing can’t be maintained or extended indoor meetings take place.
While we are renting a limited set of private cabins, we have cancelled all fall retreat groups to limit exposure to the outside world.
HoneyRock and Wheaton College have very different environments. HoneyRock is in an isolated, rural environment where minimal COVID cases exist. By purposefully and carefully restricting interaction with the outside community, living in units of 50 or less, and following increased sanitization protocols we have minimal risk of infection at HoneyRock. We are severely restricting visitors, volunteers, and retreat groups. For the few who are allowed, they are required to follow strict guidelines and are not allowed to interact with our residential community.
We will update our guidelines every semester unless significant change requires us to modify our practices. We are continuously monitoring county, state, and national sources.
Yes! You can view a COVID-19 dashboard, updated daily, with the link below. Please note that HoneyRock sends their own COVID-19 email notifications to camper families, gap year families, graduate students, and others as needed. Decisions made at Wheaton College do not necessarily impact HoneyRock.
Due to the pre-arrival precautions our students took and their very low interaction with the neighboring communities (as well as the expectation that they are taking precautions while they're off-site) we are not requiring students to wear cloth face coverings while at HoneyRock when they're with their unit.
When our student unit interacts with our professional staff unit, our professional staff will wear cloth face coverings.