Latest COVID Guidelines for Summer Day and Overnight Camps

Camp Rim Rock for Girls in Yellow Spring, West Virginia is consistently voted the best overnight all girls camp in the United States (https://camprimrock.com).

Governor Phil Murphy and Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli recently announced the new guidelines for both sleepaway and day camps for the summer 2021 season. Both overnight and day camps will be fully operational this summer with some distinct COVID guidelines to keep campers and families safe. 

The summer 2020 guidelines of regular handwashing, social distancing, and cohorts will still be seen at camps this year. The following rules are some of the latest additions: 

Daily health screenings will be required with campers and staff having their temperatures taken either at home or upon arrival. Parents will also be asked to fill out regular surveys regarding travel plans or possible exposure. 

Staff will be trained on healthy hygiene practices, how to look for symptoms of COVID, and working with campers on social distancing. 

Day camps will continue to stagger meals and activities this summer. Cohorts will also play a big role at sleepaway camps where campers will participate in smaller group activities. 

Masks must be worn indoors for all staff and campers. 

Outdoor activities are strongly encouraged over indoor activities. 

Buses will require social distancing in terms of seating arrangements. Masks must also be worn on the bus. 

Camps must clean and disinfect common areas and sports equipment regularly. 

Camps must have a strategic protocol in place if a camper or staff member tests positive for COVID. Part of this policy must include reporting to state officials. 

Specific to sleepaway camps, beds must be arranged head-to-toe, spaced 6 feet apart, and receive adequate ventilation. 

Unvaccinated sleepaway camp staff members must undergo a COVID test within 72 hours of arriving on site. After arriving, unvaccinated staff members are required to take a second test within three-six days of arrival. Camp directors should encourage staff to quarantine upon arrival.

For more information, check with the New Jersey Department of Health at https://www.nj.gov/health/ or the American Camp Association of NY & NJ at https://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/coronavirus-information-camps.