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COVID-19

Ongoing COVID-19 Updates

Scroll down for past updates

Updated April 1

 

Click here for a video message from Riel Peerbooms, Executive Director. 

 

Dear Trail Blazers Family,

Three days after New York City decided to close schools, my family and I chose to stay upstate for a bit. For the last two weeks, I have navigated homeschooling my kids, figuring out what a work schedule can look like, and trying to wrap my head around what the current crisis means for Trail Blazers. I realize how lucky I am to be able to go outside every day, to take my son and daughter on a walk, and I realize not everyone has access to the outdoors, or even a park. And it makes me wonder how we are all going to feel about this, and what role Trail Blazers can play, once the virus ordeal is behind us.

As I am writing this, many questions remain about what is ahead. Our after school and recess programs are on hiatus as we wait to see when our schools will reopen. Our summer programs are slowly getting ready for summer, in the midst of much uncertainty of what we will or will not be able to do. Similarly, we don’t know what the fall will look like but we look forward to talking with each one of our schools, agencies, and partners to understand how we can best engage with campers and families.

But we wouldn’t be Trail Blazers if we didn’t use this opportunity to respond to our new landscape by blazing some new trails. Our full time team is 11 strong and has all kinds of amazing and inspiring ideas they would love to try out in order, like Trail Blazers After School Live, over Zoom! Who could have even imagined that just a few weeks ago? Over the next few weeks and months we will learn more about what works and what else our young people need. What matters to us most, now and always, is our vision: that all people have opportunities to go outside, to grow within. Something tells me that this will be more important than it has ever been, and we will work hard to be there for you.

In the next few weeks you will hear more about what we are planning, as we learn what is possible and as we hear from our families what they need in re-emerging from this difficult time. And we will let you know where you can help: from setting up camp for campers and families (we will pick a new Operation Muscle date when we can!) to helping put a camper – or a family – on the bus to camp this summer. Trail Blazers will need you this year, more than ever.

Until that time, we hold you all in our thoughts, and hope you are doing well.

Warm wishes, Riel

 

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Updated March 25

 

Dear Trail Blazers Family,

Rainbows are often a symbol of hope. Today, we’d like to share one of our favorite photos, a rainbow emerging over the Great Lawn at Mashipacong Estate after a summer camp rainstorm. See it here!

We hope you are finding your way through these challenging times. Like everyone else, Trail Blazers continues to monitor the situation to understand what programming we will be offering now and in the future. While COVID-19 continues to create a new normal for many, we are still here at Trail Blazers HQ continuing the work of supporting young people and contributing one element of stability and connection during these tumultuous times.

Every day, Monday through Friday, our Under One Sky After School Program Team is producing materials for families to explore our world and connect. Last week we launched Trail Blazers Story Time, videos of staff reading their favorite stories, and the Stay at Home Camper Resource Center, a site with nature-based crafts and experiments. Check our pages regularly for updates. Or, have the daily activities and videos sent straight to your inbox every morning by clicking here!

We’re in this together and we believe everyone deserves access to essential child development resources. Feel free to share with family, friends, neighbors, and more.

Having been in operation since 1887, we know it is important to continue our work and support children and families – especially when times are challenging. As we monitor COVID-19 updates, we are still programming and we are still engaging. We may be physically apart, but we are all still connected. We’ll weather this together.

Be safe. Be healthy.
Trail Blazers

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Updated March 20

Dear Trail Blazers Family,

It has been quite the whirlwind this past week as we adjust to a changing reality. As you, we have been following COVID-19 updates closely. For now, our after school and internship programs are on hold and we are planning for when we return to run programs, including our day and overnight camp.

However, we are still here. Even though we are practicing social distancing here at Trail Blazers HQ and working remotely, we remain completely committed to guiding young people as they grow and build values for life. Our email and phone lines are still in operation. Our staff are still working behind the scenes to fulfill the promise made in our Strategic Plan, to be a “Best In Class” youth organization. Having been in continual operation since 1887, we look forward to continuing to serve our community when you need us the most.

As COVID-19 affects your routines in changing ways, we want to support our community by being one  consistent element and provide free resources for staying indoors with young family members. Please feel free to share with family, friends, neighbors, and more.

Check out our new Resource Page. Our Under One Sky After School Program Team has been hard at work developing activities and materials for children and their families to continue learning about nature and our world, Trail Blazers style.

Then stop in for Trail Blazers Storytime, short videos for families to watch together that are perfect for a fun mid-day break or winding down at the end-of-day, on our YouTube channel. Our first Storytime features Erick, Under One Sky Site Director at P.S. 139!

Videos, activities, and materials will be updated regularly, so check back often. Or sign up for the Stay At Home Camper Resources mailing list to receive an email your activities for the day. Please feel free to share with family, friends, neighbors, and more.

In regards to in-person programs and events, we will continue to follow guidance issued by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and our local departments of health and education. For real-time updates and status changes, visit our Updates Page. We will also be sending emails and social media announcements with updates.

We’ll weather this together.

Be safe. Be healthy.
Trail Blazers

 

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Updated March 20, 3:01pm

 

As our world changes continually and rapidly, Trail Blazers is working behind the scenes to ensure that we respond in ways that support our community as much as possible while following guidance issued by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, and our local departments of health and education. 

In New York, today’s announcement from the governor mandates that everyone stay home in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. At Trail Blazers this means: 

  • At Trail Blazers HQ, staff continue to work remotely from home for their safety as well as the safety of others. While our physical office space is closed, our email and phone lines continue to work and will remain open. 
  • Our in-person after school programs and spring break programs are on hiatus, until schools reopen, in order to protect our campers and our staff.
  • We are supporting families with children at home by providing activities they can implement to continue learning and growing, Trail Blazers style. Our staff continue to develop arts and crafts, science experiments, and virtual story time videos which will be posted on our new Stay at Home Resource page, HERE. It will be updated regularly, so check back often.
  • We will continue to communicate changes here, on our website, as well as via email. 

We remain completely committed to guiding young people as they grow and build values for life. We continue to work behind the scenes to fulfill the promise made in our Strategic Plan, to be a “Best In Class” youth organization. Having been in continual operation since 1887, we look forward to continuing to serve our community when you need us the most.

We’ll weather this together.

Be safe. Be healthy.

 

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Updated March 15, 7:38pm

 

The recent announcement of city-wide school closures means that all school year programming is on hiatus until schools reopen on April 20.

  • In-school and after-school programs will not be operating so long as schools are closed.
  • Enrollment and hiring for our in-school and after school programs is on hiatus.

At this time we are continuing to actively prepare for both our day and overnight summer camps. Enrollment and hiring for our summer camps is moving forward uninterrupted.

Updates on the status of our spring break programming are forthcoming.

We will continue to update this page, and to provide email updates to our current participant families, families enrolled in future programs, program staff, and the wider Trail Blazers community. 

 

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Updated March 13, 3:35pm

 

The New York City Department of Education announced this afternoon that school based extracurricular activities are cancelled. We would like to reiterate that this DOES NOT impact after school programs. Under One Sky and Summit after school programs are operating as usual.

 

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Updated March 12, 3:00pm

 

At Trail Blazers, our top priority is and always will be ensuring the health and safety of all our participants, families, and staff members. 

We are taking the COVID-19 outbreak very seriously, and are carefully following expert information as it becomes available through the WHO, the CDC, the New York Department of Health, and the NYC Department of Education

  • At this time, all school-year programs are running as normal. 
  • We are actively preparing for an exciting summer at both our day and overnight camps. 
  • Enrollment and hiring for all programs is continuing as usual. 

We have always taken great care to develop and maintain medical practices to address a variety of communicable diseases; these plans will be reviewed and revised in cooperation with public health authorities as additional COVID-19 guidance is provided. 

We also continue to prioritize the emotional safety of our participants. Children feel and respond to the stress of the environment around them; we are keeping this front of mind as we face this challenge and train our staff accordingly. We encourage you to follow the CDC recommended health precautions, and to respond to facts about the coronavirus rather than fear or worry. 

We will continue to provide email updates to our current participant families, families enrolled in future programs, program staff, and the wider Trail Blazers community. We will also post updates here as situations warrant.

Now – as always – we are guided by our values of caring for ourselves, each other, our community, and the environment around us. Please reach out to the director of your/your child’s program, or Executive Director Riel Peerbooms (rpeerbooms@trailblazers.org) if you have any questions. Thank you.

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