Summer Camp 2021

Planning for Summer Camp 2021 is underway. We are reviewing updated guidelines and restrictions to determine which sites we will be able to open this summer.

As we prepare to reopen, please be assured that your child’s safety is our number one priority. We’re following guidelines from the NJ Dept. of Health, American Camp Association, health experts and local officials to ensure that our facilities meet the highest standards for hygiene and safety, and we have modified our policies and activities to facilitate safe physical/social distancing practices.


What Will Summer Camp 2021 Look Like?

Our Y camps will look different but they will FEEL the same! Your camper will get to try new things, make new friends, and become a valuable member of our camp communities. Our plans include putting away those screens and enjoying our active camp day. We will offer opportunities for positive socialization, active involvement, and empathetic interactions with their peers, camp counselors, and nature.

We have created a plan to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the whole child: mind, body, and spirit. We will conduct trainings to teach staff how to recognize the stress caused by COVID-19, to teach children how to take care of themselves during these uncertain times, and provide them with tools to ease back in to the classroom setting in the fall. We will provide a supportive, nurturing environment for our staff, campers, and families.

In order to provide a safe and healthy summer camp environment we understand that changes are necessary this season due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus. Based on current and anticipated restrictions, the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County has prepared the following safety plan and outline for the 2021 camp season:  : (Updates coming soon based on 2021 guidelines as they are released)

Screening & Care
• All staff and campers will be screened by a registered nurse daily, upon arrival to camp, and monitored throughout the day as needed
• Screening includes:
o Temperature check (100.4 degrees or higher will not be admitted)
o Screening Questions about health, exposure, symptoms
o Physical observation by registered nurse
• A separate health space has been identified for any camper or staff who must wait to be picked up after showing signs of not feeling well
• Families will be asked to sign a YMCA waiver prior to their child’s first day of camp
• Camp staff and children will be asked to follow NJ DOH and ACA health & safety protocols during the camp day
• Face Coverings
Face coverings are required for staff and children when not with their assigned group and when physical distancing is difficult.

Sanitation
• Lysol wipes for backpacks and lunch boxes as campers arrive
• Hand sanitizer as campers arrive
• Nightly deep cleaning by contracted cleaning company
• Continuous cleaning by camp staff throughout the day
• Increased handwashing throughout the day
• Additional hand sanitizing stations
• Cleaning of supplies after each use, (individual supplies in some cases)

Schedule
• Selected camp sites will offer summer day camp for children who have completed kindergarten through 8th grade.
• The camp day has been extended to 8am to 5pm; reducing the need for pre and post care (extended care)
• We love to teach independence and camping fun to little guys!  A preschool camp program might be offered at limited locations.
• Our weekly options* will be:
o 5 full days per week
o 4 full days per week (Monday – Thursday ONLY)

Camper Groups
• Max group size will be 20 campers
• Staff to camper ratio is 1:8 (K-2nd grade) & 1:10 (3rd – 8th grade)
• Campers will be placed in smaller groups and siblings will have the option to stay together
• Camper groups will stay with their assigned camp staff throughout the day
• Each Group will be socially distanced from other groups
• Large group events such as opening and closing will take place with increased distances between each group

Lunch & Snacks
• Campers will need to bring their own lunch each day. Lunch boxes will be kept by group in an air conditioned space
• Lunch areas will be spaced out to provide for social distancing between groups
• Trading posts and snack bars will not be open this season. Please pack additional snacks and ice packs for your camper.

Transportation 
• Parents will provide daily transportation; eliminating COVID exposure in contained busses
• Drop off and Pick up will be set up on a staggered schedule, (We recommend having the same person for drop off and pick up if possible)
• Travel camp will transition to a Teen Leader Adventure Camp – trip fees will be used to fund higher level activities and supplies, community service hours will still be earned for summer projects

Staff Training
• All staff will be trained in CPR, First Aid, & AED
• All staff will be trained to identify the risks and reduce the spread of COVID-19
• All staff will be trained in mental health first aid to help identify concerns and provide resources for staff, campers, and families
• All staff will be trained to recognize signs of and prevent child abuse, harassment, and bullying

Programming
• Increased opportunities for science, technology, engineering, art, and math activities (STEAM)
• No-contact sports activities
• Shade, misting stations, sprinklers, and water play to keep cool (pool still pending authorization)
• Campers will have two recreational swim sessions each day in small groups, weather permitting
• Teen campers will have additional, age appropriate activities such as leadership and job training, pottery, wood working, jewelry making, photography, journalist activities, comic book creation, community service projects, and more as they develop their new curriculum
• RMIT & CIT programs will not be offered this summer. Campers are welcome to join our teen camper program.
• Safe fishing & boating at Camp Zehnder
• Junior Chef healthy cooking class
• YMCA Scholarships will be allocated proportionate to enrollment

Space will be limited and we anticipate closing out many options and sessions, so register as soon as you know what you need. We will do our best to meet your needs, and we will keep safety as our top priority. Please view our virtual camp tours and stay tuned for live virtual information sessions. If you have more questions, please email summerfun@ymcanj.org.

Thank you for camping with us! Stay safe, stay tuned, and stay with us!