2021 Summer Camp Policies

Many of you have been reaching out to us to learn more about how we plan to continue offering the safest and highest quality summer camp program now that Summer Camp is open. Under guidance from the American Camp Association and the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) we have incorporated and implemented several new policies and procedures for our summer camp programs based on the New Jersey COVID-19 Youth Day Camp Standards & Guidelines. Keeping your child safe remains our #1 priority. 


    • • All camp drop-offs and pick-ups will be done via “rolling drop-off/pick-up” car lines. Parents will receive specific instructions for their child related to when/where this will take place for their specific camp. Parents must remain in their cars. Staff will come to the car and then escort the camper to their appropriate group. Parents and visitors will not be allowed into camp and must remain in their cars for all drop-off and pick-ups.
    • • We will screen all staff and children daily for fever and other COVID-19 related symptoms upon check-in. Children or staff with a fever of or above 100.4 will not be allowed into camp. Respectfully we ask that if your child is not feeling well, you please keep them home.
    • • DOH has stated that outdoor camp group size may not exceed 20 campers, 10 campers for indoor programs.
    • • DOH has stated that ratios for outdoor camps be 1 adult counselor, 1 counselor and 20 children. Indoor camps will be 1 adult counselor, 1 counselor and 10 children. Please note that we will continue to follow the American Camp Association’s (ACA) ratio mandates as they are our accrediting body. ACA ratios are as follows: campers ages 5 and under require 1 adult counselor to every 6 campers, campers ages 6-9 require 1 adult counselor to every 8 campers, campers ages 10 and older require 1 adult counselor to every 10 campers.
    • • Campers will be limited to their camp family group and will have limited (if any interaction) with other camp/family groups.
    • • Staff will be assigned to and remain with one group.
    • • Staff floaters will similarly be assigned with one group as needed on a daily basis.
    • • We will limit sharing of camp supplies. Any supplies that are shared will be thoroughly sanitized in between uses.
    • • We will not be taking field trips for the month of July. We will reassess for August if updates are made from the original DOH guidelines.
    • • Staff will be required to wear masks for indoor camps. For outdoor camps, staff are not required to wear masks if social distancing is practiced, if it is excessively hot, or if they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so without health complications. 
    • • Children above the age of 2 will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks which the parent will provide and take home daily for washing.
    • • We are employing enhanced cleaning procedures, including multiple sanitizing stations, frequent cleanings of often used surfaces (door knobs, tables, equipment). Frequent hand washing is already standard operating practice.
    • • Parents will be required to sign an updated Summit Area YMCA Membership Waiver prior to return/admittance in our facility.


      Staff and Camper Training

    • • The Summit Area YMCA (SAY) camp team will train staff on the basic principles of emergency first aid, blood borne pathogens, infection control, hand washing practices, personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 signs and symptoms. Please refer to training agenda sign offs for attendance logs.
    • • The SAY camp team will also train staff for general sanitation regarding public health sanitation and safety.
    • • The health directors will receive training on COVID-19 symptoms and the current guidance documents from the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service.
    • • The SAY’s policy and training regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) was created using the information from the CDC.
    • • The SAY’s camp staff will inform campers on safe practices while attending camp.


      Screening and Admittance

    • • Staff have received training on the screening and admittance of persons. Staff will use the screening form that will be used at screening points prior to entry.
    • • Persons that have a fever of 100.4° or above or other signs of COVID-19 illness will not be admitted to camp.
    • • The SAY has encouraged parents and staff to be on the alert for signs of illness in their children and to keep them home when they are sick.
    • • Daily health surveillance screening for campers/staff will be conducted and results documented when signs and symptoms of illness are observed using screening form. We will isolate and remove any campers or staff if symptoms are related to COVID-19. We will follow current Communicable Disease Service guidance for illness reporting based on the CDC guidelines.

      In the event that we have a confirmed or suspected exposure to COVID19, we will activate the following protocols:

      1. Report the incident immediately to the local DOH. Health officials will provide guidance on whether the center will cease operations (if needed) and for how long.
      2. The child or person will be immediately separated from the group until they are able to leave the facility.
      3. If a child displays symptoms a caregiver will remain with the child and socially distance to 6’.
      4. All rooms and equipment used by an infected person will be cleaned and disinfected according to CDC guidelines.
      5. A child or staff returning to camp (after a COVID-19 diagnosis) will be admitted only after the criterion for lifting transmission based precautions and home isolation have been met.

      Face Masks, Infection Control and Social Distancing Strategies

    • • Staff and campers will wear cloth face coverings when social distancing of 6 feet between individuals and/or assigned groups cannot be maintained, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health.
    • • Staff and campers are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings unless
    •      • (1) doing so would inhibit the individual’s health
    •      • (2) the individual is in extreme heat outdoors, or
    •      • (3) the individual is in the water.
    • • Staff will use proper hand washing techniques and use gloves. Staff should wear gloves when handling or serving food to campers. The SAY will supply their staff with such cloth face coverings and gloves.


Infection Control Strategies

        The SAY has implemented the following prevention and mitigation techniques communicated to staff, parents, and campers COVID-19 safety measures including:
  • • Staying home when ill.
  • • Proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • • Wearing face coverings.
  • • Avoiding touching your face as much as possible
  • • Reporting illnesses and symptoms to the camp Health Director or other healthcare personnel at the camp immediately.
  • • Face coverings are encouraged to be worn by campers and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult to maintain. It is understood that face coverings may be challenging to campers (especially younger campers) to wear in all-day settings such as camp.
  • • Handwash and hand sanitizers stations will be provided in numerous areas around the camp.
  • • Implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures using EPA approved disinfectants and following CDC guidance.
  • • Discouraging sharing of items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
  • • Instituting infection control procedures for areas around the camp, including entrances, dining areas, restrooms, and other areas prone to congregation
  • • Banning any non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations
  • • Limiting any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible – especially with individuals not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
  • • Visitors shall be required to wear cloth face coverings while visiting the youth camp unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health. If a visitor refuses to a wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, the youth camp must decline to allow them to enter.
  • • Avoiding group events, gatherings, or meetings where social distancing of at least 6 feet between people cannot be maintained. Limit group size to the extent possible.
  • • Only allow car line drop-offs so that we avoid large groups
  • • Avoiding activities and events such as field trips and special performances.
  • • If we become aware that an individual tests positive for COVID-19, we will immediately notify the Department of Health-Youth Camp Project, local health officials, staff and families of a confirmed case while maintaining confidentiality. 


    Protocols for Facility and Buildings Management


  • • We will ensure that our indoor facilities have adequate ventilation, including operational heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) systems where appropriate.
  • • Filters for A/C units will be maintained and changed according to manufacturer recommendations
  • • Signs will be placed delineating 6 feet for social distancing, frequent handwashing.

    Policy and procedures for cleaning and disinfection will include:
  • • Close shared spaces will be cleaned and disinfected between uses
  • • Routine daily cleaning or as much as possible of common surfaces such as playgrounds with shared playground equipment (staggered use) and rooms (ex: countertops, restrooms, etc.)
  • • Cleaning of shared objects
  • • Ensuring that an adequate supply of cleaning supplies is maintained
  • • Staff will follow standard operating procedure for deep cleaning that follows CDC guidelines for reopening a camp closed due to the identification of positive case(s) as recommended by CDS
  • • Post signage that includes pictures to show social distancing, handwashing, face coverings, and other prevention methods are recommended
  • • When campers need to be evacuated, social distancing will be maintained as much as possible. 



    The attestation forms have been completed for all SAY camps which has designated the camp setting as either an “indoor”, “outdoor” or mixed facilities camp to address limitations imposed by Executive Orders.

  • • SAY camps will restrict mixing of groups within the camp setting to reduce potential transmission and facilitate a simplified method of contact tracing.
  • • For indoor and outdoor programs, SAY camp groups will include the same group of children each day and that the same staff remain with the same group of children each day.
  • • SAY camps will restrict mixing between groups. Groups shall stay together and if interactions with other groups occur, social distancing will be maintained between groups.
  • • Staff and campers will social distance and wear face covering especially when social distancing cannot be maintained
  • • Indoor camps will follow the ratio of 1 adult: 1 counselor:10 campers (ages 5-17) and will not allow intermingling between groups.
  • • Designated groups of campers must remain unchanged day to day and not be allowed to intermingle between assigned groups. These groups will not allow intermixing of groups while children are outside.
  • • SAY camps will follow DOH and ACA (1:5) guidelines for campers under five years of age must be maintained according to the New Jersey Youth Camp Safety Standards a. Campers with ages from 2.5 through 4 must be supervised by one counselor for every 7 children.
  • • Outdoor camp will follow the ratio of 1 adult: 1 counselor:20 campers (ages 5-17)
  • • SAY camps will have an outside canopy/tenting/cover.
  • • SAY camps will follow SOP for inclement weather and emergencies and ensure proper indoor space to contain campers while following social distancing protocols.
  • • SAY camps will restrict attendance to states that have opened youth camps.


    Protocols for Transportation Services

  • • During bussing/transportation in the event of emergency or inclement weather, to and from camp, SAY camps will social distance by maximizing space between riders and maintaining space between the driver and the passengers
  • • A SAY camp staff person will accompany the driver on all transportation routes to ensure safety and social distancing
  • • Face covering will be worn by all staff onboard buses
  • • Face coverings are required in times when social distancing is difficult to maintain. It is understood that use of face coverings may be challenging for younger campers.
  • • Open windows, except during inclement weather, to encourage ventilation.
  • • Vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected between each use


  • • SAY camps will follow the SOP for activities which outlines permitted and prohibited activities
  • • SAY camps will prohibit any off-site activities and field trips
  • • SAY camps will prohibit contact sports or inter-group competitions.
  • • Playing competition matches/games where players from separate camps/regions/locations gather to compete is prohibited.
  • • All sporting activities must be conducted in an outdoor setting. “Skills and drills” activities that do not involve contact and can be social distanced are not prohibited.

    SAY camps will:
  • • Focus on team skills and drills
  • • Focus on individual skill building
  • • Limit the time players spend in proximity to each other
  • • Increase breaks and hydration activities
  • • Follow CDS guidance regarding pool operations
  • • Educate campers and staff on sports etiquette regarding social distancing and hygiene (i.e., no spitting, high-fives, handshakes, etc.)
  • • Avoid use of items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected (i.e., soft or plush toys)
  • • Clean, disinfect and air-dry equipment after use
  • • Recommend face coverings for appropriately aged campers during activity, if appropriate and not in extreme hot weather.

We understand some of this information is not incredibly detailed. Our YMCA camp staff and other NJ YMCA’s have been in touch with the DOH for further clarification on certain guidelines. We will share any changes/updates with participants registered for camp as additional information becomes available. Registered participants will receive camp specifics from the Camp Coordinator 2 weeks prior the start of the camp session.

Should you have specific questions in response to these changes, please contact us.

Registration for camp is still open!

Sign up today for a summer to remember!




Questions? Contact:


Kelly McHugh

School Age Aftercare and Summer Camp Director

tel:1-908-464-8301 ext. 2027





About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve over 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.