Policies & Procedures

The Summit Area YMCA takes pride in providing safe places for children to grow in skills and self-confidence all year round. Providing a safe environment for your child is our priority. The Summit Area YMCA summer camps follow guidelines from the American Camp Association and New Jersey Department of Health, therefore program offerings may be subject to change based on their guidance. For the most up to date information regarding our participation and safety policies, contact us directly to speak with the Camp Director.

Safety policies and procedures for Summer Camps at The Learning Circle YMCA are under guidance of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families Office of Licensing and Department of Health. Should any Covid-related mandates return, The Learning Circle YMCA's hours of operation, fees and program offerings may be subject to change. Contact us directly to speak with the Program Director for the most up to date information.

Should there be any further changes to policies, programs and/or operations, the YMCA will share updates with registered participants as additional information is made available. If you have specific questions, please contact us.


For summer camps at the Berkeley Heights YMCA, Summit YMCA and Watchung Reservation - Updated January 2023

• 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.
• DOH has stated that camp group size may not exceed 20 campers.
• DOH has stated that ratios for camps serving children ages 5-17 be 1 adult counselor, 1 counselor and 20 children. Camps serving children ages 2.5 to 4 years 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 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 for each child prior to return/admittance in our facility. This only has to be completed once.



Staff & 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 & 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 and other communicable diseases. We will follow current Communicable Disease Service guidance for illness reporting based on the CDC guidelines.


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 when indoors or when social distancing cannot be practiced.
• 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 and local health officials.


Protocols for Facility & 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 CDC

We understand some of this information is generalized. The Summit Area YMCA follows the guidelines provided by NJ Department of Health, NJ Department of Children and Families Office of Licensing and American Camp Association for our licensed child care, after-school, and summer camp programs. We will continue to share any changes/updates with participants registered for camp if/when/as additional information becomes available. Registered participants will receive camp specifics from the Camp Coordinator prior the start of the camp session.

Review the latest New Jersey Department of Health Summer Camp COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols.

Should you have specific questions, please contact us directly.





Kelly McHugh

Childcare & Summer Camp Director
For summer camps at the Berkeley Heights YMCA, Summit YMCA and Watchung Reservation




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.


As a nonprofit, the Summit Area YMCA is committed to enhancing the lives of individuals and families in our community. We do so by offering financial assistance to those with demonstrated need so that they may enjoy all the Y has to offer, regardless of their ability to pay. This helps us ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Families with low or moderate household income or those who are experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to apply. Applicants must live or work in the Summit Area YMCA service area which includes Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit.