Is Summer Camp Safe This Year?

As Summer 2021 approaches, many parents may be considering their options to get their kids out and about this summer. After a year of social limitations and in-home learning, summer camps can offer valuable opportunities for children to interact with their peers and explore the great outdoors. Summer camp also promotes community and character building, and allows children to develop independence and leadership skills.

When looking for the right summer camp, it’s important to evaluate the program’s COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies to ensure the health and safety of your child at camp. There are many factors that will affect both day-campers as well as overnight campers. Although there are specific concerns for both types of camps, there are some key components that you may want to look for when choosing the right camp for your child.

The CDC has recently released guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps during COVID-19. Below are some tips based off of the CDC guidelines to help you determine if camp this year is safe for you and your family.

Check the camp’s COVID protocol
Your camp should be implementing COVID prevention measures to ensure the safety of both campers and staff. Suggested protocol includes:


– Mask use
– Symptom monitoring
– Physically distancing
– Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
– Increased programming outdoors
– Identifying infection and isolating early
– Indoor ventilation

In addition to all of the above, Overnight Camp should also implement the following:

– Pre-arrival quarantine and testing
– Screening testing
– Household cohorts (pods of campers staying together in a house or cabin)
– Isolation rooms/protocol for sick campers
– Emergency operations plan in event of outbreak

If implemented correctly, measures like these will significantly decrease the likelihood that COVID will enter or spread at camp.

Ask the right questions
How do you determine if your child’s camp is following the appropriate COVID protocol this summer? Here are some questions to ask:

– Are vaccinations required for camp staff?
– Will my child be placed in a cohort/pod for the duration of the camp?
– When will face masks be required?
– Will there be physical distancing of campers?
– Will campers have access to handwashing facilities?
– How often will cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces take place?
– Will activities take place indoors or outdoors?
– Will testing be required prior to camp or when campers arrive?
– Will visitors be allowed during camp?
– How will symptoms be monitored?
– What happens if someone at the camp falls ill with COVID?

Camps offer opportunities for children to express creativity, get physical activity, and experience connectivity. With the right protocol in place, your children should be able to experience the joys and benefits of in-person summer camp this year.