While many parents are enrolling their children in in-person summer camps, the risk of COVID-19 shouldn’t be minimized. This summer is set to be an exciting and enriching time, filled with adventures that had to be put on pause last year! However, to keep your campers, counselors, and families around you healthy, it’s important to instill safe practices into your daily operations. For support on how to create your summer camp safety procedures, review our guide. Looking for more support to jumpstart your camp? Check out our ultimate guide to starting and running a kids camp.
We put together five major tips, as recommended by the CDC.
1. Stay home when appropriate
If your campers or employees are sick or have come into contact with a person with COVID-19, they should stay home. We know this can throw a wrench into your daily routine (and may lead to some sad campers), but safety is of the utmost importance.
Preparing for these scenarios before your camp begins will lead to smoother operations when you’re busy running your program all summer. Perhaps you communicate a policy with parents before camp starts, or educate your counselors during their orientation/onboarding for camp. Regardless of what you choose to do, there’s no such thing as over preparing when it comes to keeping everyone safe.
2. Hand hygiene
20 seconds. 20 seconds. 20 seconds. We can’t stress this enough! Teach and reinforce the importance of handwashing with soap for, you guessed it...20 seconds! Your counselors will pick up on this quickly, but you might need to enforce some sort of monitoring for campers.
Remember, if soap isn’t readily available, hand sanitizer is your next best friend. Especially if it’s 60% alcohol or higher.
3. Masks are still in style!
Try to teach and reinforce the use of masks on a daily basis. Whether it’s through games or rules you place for coming indoors, they’re essential for times when distancing can be difficult. It’s important to drive home the point that masks offer protection to the wearer and are meant to protect those around the wearer.
However, note that masks should not be placed on:
- Babies or children younger than 2 years old.
- Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
- Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without help.
4. Make sure you have adequate supplies
The name of the game is cleaning supplies. And lots of them. Ensure you have accessible sinks and an adequate supply of soap, paper towels and/or hand dryers, tissues, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and masks. Don’t worry about under-preparing in this department. Parents will appreciate your preparedness, and you’ll be creating a safe environment for your campers.
5. Signs and messages
Posting signs and messages in visible locations like camp entrances, dining areas, and restrooms is recommended by the CDC. Promoting everyday protective measures is crucial to ensuring all staff, counselors, and campers are practicing safe practices. Review our guide on camp counselor training to make sure your staff is up-to-date on all of the necessary measures.
You can find free digital resources on the CDC’s communications resources page. However, you can use this opportunity to create your own assets and messaging. Putting a fun camp twist on safety measures is another way to strengthen your messaging, as long as you’re building off of what the CDC recommends. Need more help running your camp? Sawyer provides registration solutions for businesses like yours — we'll help you save over 20 hours a month!