How serendipitous is it that the AID Conference we’re having after a gap of 3 long years is at Camp Happyland!
Here’s a handy info sheet to help you plan for your upcoming trip to ensure a productive, regenerative and “green” comeback for the annual AID Conference tradition!!
If you have not submitted your registration dues as yet please do so ASAP and definitely before leaving for the Conference. You might not have the ability to make payment at the Conference site (network connectivity issues).
Before setting out..
- Review the National Park website and the park and accommodation info on this website to familiarize yourself with your digs for the weekend. There’s nothing like too much info before you go on a camping trip!
- Review health and safety information noted below. Bring proof of your COVID-19 vaccination and/or recent test results, as relevant.
- Check the local weather the week of travel and pack accordingly. Remember the rule of thumb for park/ campground gear: clothing that provides maximum body coverage to minimize exposure to bugs and ticks and closed-toed shoes and socks.
- Review the checklist of things-to-get (note: you need to bring sleeping gear and eating utensils) to help minimize our carbon footprint for this Conference.
- Whether arriving in D.C. by car, bus, train or air, the last leg of your trip will be by road (remember to check traffic). Please note that Cabin Camp 5 (Happyland) has a separate access road that is 4-5 miles down on Joplin Road from the main Park entrance. Please use address and coordinates for Cabin Camp 5 and NOT Prince William Forest Park. The latter will lead you to the Park Visitor Center, add an unnecessary stop to your journey and create a headache for Park Rangers if they have to redirect multiple lost campers!
- Once at Cabin Camp 5, park in designated parking spots and find the registration table (likely around the common areas: Dining Hall or Pavillion)
- Remember to do two things at check-in:
- If you’re staying overnight at the park, collect your dorm or cabin number; and
- Grab your assigned volunteer group number and schedule for the duration of the conference. This will be your close-knit group during your time at the conference: get to know them and get busy assisting at the kitchen (during designated meal times) and/or before and after speaker sessions to ensure everyone knows where they need to be, for a seamless conference experience for all! (Note that the meals are catered, but help will be needed to set out food, direct crowd, and clean up after.)
- Know that cellphone network access is very patchy at the camp and the nearest convenience stores/ pharmacies would be about a 15-20 minute drive away. If you have special meal/ health needs, please ensure to carry adequate supplies with you to the camp. The volunteer body will try our best to accommodate the allergies and restrictions noted, but please understand that some things may not happen as planned.
- Enjoy, volunteer, participate in the inspirational agenda. Be ready to lend a hand– as you would in a personal camping trip or at an AID conference. And of course catch-up with and buddy fellow volunteers..
- Follow the national park dictum “leave no trace”. Please aim to leave your living quarters as you got them.
- Ensure that you have not littered inside the cabins or in common areas.
- If you are able to, please volunteer for check-out activities.
Sheet/ sleeping bag
Travel/ camping pillow
Blanket (according to weather)
Bathing soap (environmentally friendly)
Camping and weather friendly clothes and shoes
Closed-toed shoes for walking on trails
Art supplies such as markers / crayons / paint brushes
Covid-19 vaccination proof
Covid-19 test result proof (taken within 48 hours of arrival)
Any spare masks or test kits you’d like to donate for other attendees to use
Masking: In light of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, masking is strongly recommended at the AID conference.
Vaccination and Precautionary Testing: Attendees need to be fully vaccinated (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated_archived.html) and should be prepared to produce evidence of vaccination on site. As per the CDC, everyone aged 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/planning/children/6-things-to-know.html). Individuals who are not vaccinated should either take the PCR test 24-48 hours before traveling to the conference or take the rapid antigen test daily beginning a day prior to the conference.
In general, in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable conference, we recommend that everyone try and do a home test before coming to the conference venue. Having all attendees vaccinated/boosted and many/all having at least a negative at-home COVID test will go a long way in ensuring we have a safe and productive conference!
We will also have some rapid antigen test kits at the conference venue and additionally ask that those of you who have some of these to spare bring them along for you or other attendees to use! Kits are available for free via USPS and your local pharmacy, please check. Please consider carrying some tests for you and other attendees to use. In an ideal world, we would all test each morning but that might not be practical, so let’s do the best we can collectively!
Steps When Symptomatic: Individuals who are symptomatic (coughing, fever, repeated sneezing) will need to wear a close fitting mask, maintain a distance from people, and get tested. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html. The Conference site will maintain a limited number of testing kits for this purpose. In case the test turns out positive, a room will be available for temporary quarantining.
Wishing you all safe travels (don’t forget to mask up at airports and airplanes!) and see you all soon!