COVID Policies

COVID Protocols at Our Retreat Center

Update: August 2, 2021

Dear Friends,

We hope this note finds you safe and feeling well.

We continue to operate with care and caution in our retreat space, especially as we navigate new knowledge about COVID and its variants.

Below you will find updated COVID protocols. If you are no longer able to travel in person to our retreat center, we can provide you a full refund or offer an online option. Please be in contact with Jo Lloyd via email at Jo.Lloyd@HighlightsFoundation.org should either option be of interest or need.

Masks at the buffet tableWhile we are working hard to mitigate risk, you should be aware that there are potential risks associated with traveling to and being on campus at the Highlights Foundation. As a result, we want to be clear about our processes and protocols so that you can make the best decisions you can for your own health and safety.

Processes and Protocols

As of this writing (8/2/21), the CDC classifies our county as an area of moderate community transmission. However, people routinely travel to our Retreat Center from other areas around country (which may or may not have the same classification).

Vaccination. We strongly recommend full vaccination of our staff and guests who are able. However, vaccination is not a requirement of staff or guests.

Masks. All guests and staff must wear a mask indoors in public shared spaces, except while eating. This includes, but is not limited to, building lobbies and hallways, meeting spaces and shared workspaces, and buffet and food service stations.

All our staff will be masked when interacting with guests. We limit our staff interaction with guests, balanced by our commitment to providing a quality experience.

Dining outdoorsDining. Meals are served buffet style, and all guests and staff are required to wear masks in and around buffet and food service stations.

We have multiple dining tables available in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Tables are spread out for social distancing, and we encourage you to limit the number of people at a table.

You are welcome to take a plate to your room or a private space. We can prepare “carry-out” meals for you to grab and go if you prefer that option. Just let us know.

Capacity and Physical Distancing. The indoor capacity in The Barn (our main dining and meeting space) is 100+. During this season on campus, our guest count on campus will be limited to one-third capacity. It is a large, open building with high ceilings; a ceiling fan on to circulate air; and the ability to open sliding glass doors and windows, weather permitting. Our heating and cooling system filters are changed monthly.

You will have your own private room, with a private bathroom unless you have otherwise made accommodations with us to room share.

Our campus is spread out, with plenty of outdoor opportunities for sitting, walking, and enjoying the natural beauty of our area.

Hand sanitizing stations are located at all public entrances.

Faculty member Heather L. Montgomery

Faculty member Heather L. Montgomery

For Workshop “Classroom” Time (If your time on campus includes it.) Some lectures will take place inside The Barn. Tables will be spaced out, and we’ll ask you to limit seating to three people per table. Faculty will set up a minimum of 6 feet from the nearest student if unmasking is necessary to provide high-quality teaching to you.

Some classes will be held outside, weather permitting. For observations outdoors where you might “lean in” to see something, we ask the entire group to be masked. If you’re walking and socially distanced outdoors, you can feel free to remove your mask.

Please be aware that in some classes you may be asked to share materials (books, documents). Please make arrangements with your faculty for how you would like to interact with these materials.

lots of room in the BarnOur reschedule/refund policy reflects our community values, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about it here.

If you’ve never been here before, it may be hard to understand and envision everything we’re talking about. To get a sense of what the campus looks like, you can watch this video for a glimpse of the grounds and setup. (Please be aware this video was created pre-COVID, so people are not wearing masks in it). We’re also happy to answer any questions you have.

Health concerns come first. If you or a member of your household are experiencing a fever or any symptoms of illness, please refrain from visiting in-person. We will reschedule or refund your stay according to the above linked policy.

If you become ill while on campus, please let us know via phone or text 570-470-7958. We will be happy to provide you with meals and any other accommodations we can to provide comfort. Please do not come into the Barn or other public indoor spaces if you do not feel well.

Thank you for working with us to create a caring environment for our community during these times.