Covid Free 2020


Camp During A Pandemic – Our Success Story of a Covid Free 2020!

Over our 40-day (8-week) 2020 summer, we welcomed ~300 campers and staff on a daily basis, and we are delighted to confirm that we had a fun and COVID-free summer amongst our camp family and staff. We were COVID Free in Twenty-Twenty!

How We Did it:

We were always committed to providing the safest possible camp experience, and set out to do this through a set of core principles and essential protocols.  We exceeded all New York State & Suffolk County Dept. Heath regulations/safety guidelines as well as working very closely with the American Camp Association (ACA).  Our full 2020 Safety Plan & Operational Handbook can be accessed in full HERE.


Proactive Health Management Plan

  • On-Site COVID Testing: We became a certified COVID testing location under the direction of NYS, our camp RNs and local pediatricians and were able to monitor and test our staff population as needed.
  • Pre-Camp Tests: We required a negative COVID test within 5 days of campers beginning camp. We also required all staff provide a private, negative test prior to orientation, supplemented with our own testing on the first day of orientation and prior to campers arriving. This ensured we were starting with a fully healthy population.
  • Health Screening: All campers and staff were temperature checked and health screened daily upon entry to camp.

Sanitizing & Cleaning

  • Disinfecting: All common areas and shared equipment were sanitized on hourly schedules and/or between use by a designated cleaning team, camp specialists and each pod using EPA approved cleaning agents. All of these areas were also treated daily with an electrostatic cleaning spray and treated with Viaclean’s hospital grade Bioprotect long-lasting disinfectant.
  • Hand Sanitizing: Each pod had their own portable bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer which was used between each activity throughout the day. Multiple sanitizer stations were also stationed around camp.

Commitment to a Reduced Enrollment

  • Small, Self-Contained Camper Pods: We divided camp into completely separate pods of 10-12 campers. We are fortunate to have a spacious 17-acre outdoor campus that allowed us to do this without compromising our camp programming.
  • Reduced Camp Enrollment: Reducing enrollment by 50% and our facility layout also allowed us to keep each pod completely separate from others at all times throughout the camp day.

Modified Camp Program

  • Outdoor Only Activities: All activities, including lunch, are 100% outdoors.
  • Water Distribution: Water stations were situated around camp and disinfected and cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Closed Campus (Outside Vendors and Visitors): No outside vendors/entertainment were permitted at camp this summer and there were no visiting days or audience-based activities. All programming was in-house and structured to accommodate socially distanced pods.

Modified Transportation Systems

  • Arrival & Departures: Drop-off and pick-up time windows and locations were assigned by age and gender to enable for contactless arrival and health screening in the most efficient way possible.
  • Bus Transportation: We utilized 55-seater buses at less than 50% capacity to transport those campers who needed transportation to and from camp. Campers sat one per seat, next to an open window, with AC on, and all campers, staff and the driver wore face coverings through the journey.

Face Coverings & Sickness Policy

  • Face Coverings: Camp staff were required to wear face coverings at all times, and NYS day camp guidelines allowed campers not to wear face coverings when outdoors.
  • Sick Policy: Campers or staff exhibiting any symptom of COVID must stay home and require clearance by a doctor’s note (and a negative COVID test result should the doctor request) prior to return to camp. Staff were paid for this time off to encourage compliance.
  • Rain Days & Sickness/Quarantine: Camp was closed on inclement weather days to prevent large in-door gatherings for long periods of time. Families were reimbursed for loss camp days which also included those for sickness and quarantining to aid compliance.

How We Felt:

Summer 2020 was truly the most unique summer for all involved; leadership, staff, campers and their families. The unquestionable benefits of camp for our campers, staff and their families drove us forward in March, April, May & June to open and they will never be felt as deep as 2020. As directors, it was the most satisfying and fulfilling summer of our careers – seeing all the work and effort come together with the result: A Fun and COVID free Twenty-Twenty. As camp parents, there was no better joy than seeing our children interact with their friends and have fun at camp everyday after the Spring we had experienced. To everyone; Summer 2020 was for you. We all lived it and loved it.


What Our Camp Families Said:

I just wanted to thank you and the whole team for everything this summer. You guys put yourselves in the thick of it in the middle of this pandemic to make sure the kids had the best summer possible and we’re truly grateful.”

Three months ago we had no idea IF camp would happen – what we did know is that our kids needed it this summer more than ever. I can’t begin to imagine the juggling that went on behind the scenes, the planning and then re-planning, the blood, sweat and probably tears that made this summer possible. I can not thank you enough for all of that hard work because for an incredible 6 weeks of this summer my children felt NORMAL! They jumped on the bus every morning (albeit with masks, hand sanitizer and temperature checks) and had the BEST day – every single day! The smiles on their faces every afternoon as they told us about their activities, their friends, their counselors, were priceless!!! For the past 5 summers we have always been your biggest fan and our love affair continues on. Thank you for all that you do and all the smiles and memories that you create. We are forever grateful for what you have done for our family this summer!

I’m finding myself at a loss for words as I am trying to express my gratitude to you and your wonderful staff for helping our kids have such a great summer. They not only had a blast but were also safe, and the fact that you were able to remain open without any issues speaks to all of the protocols that were both implemented and actually followed. To be frank, I expected you to close at some point- counselors don’t always listen, families aren’t always respectful of rules, but I was wrong. Happily wrong. My apologies for the doubt in the first place. There is literally not a single thing I think you guys could have done differently, and in these stressful and nerve-wracking times, you provided my children with a sense of normalcy that they badly needed and for which we are immeasurably grateful. My boys absolutely loved all of their counselors, their division leaders have been fantastic, and I know that they will be returning to school in the
fall happier in part because of their summer in camp with you all. Thank you and your wonderful staff for everything.

We just wanted to take a moment and say thank you one more time for what has been an incredible Summer. Tomorrow is our last day, and it is definitely bittersweet for our whole family. We have been impressed every step of the way. Your communication, attention to detail, safety, and execution of what was clearly not an easy Summer has been extraordinary. You gave us back something priceless; the ability to have FUN. Our Son felt normal, he felt happy, and we have been overjoyed. His counselors and the bus staff have all been perfect, and we are not easy to please. Believe me, our family will be singing your praises forever.

Thank you again for a wonderful summer! We so appreciate all your hard work in pulling it together this summer so that the kids could enjoy camp. Have a great year and we cant wait to see you again next summer!

My children have had a wonderful experience at camp this summer. The division leaders were great and they loved their counselors. You guys have done a wonderful job despite the very challenging circumstances. I have been very impressed. I plan to send both kids again next summer.

What Our Staff Said:

So amazed at what you accomplished this summer !!! AND the joy and happiness you brought to kids and their families ! Thanks so much for letting us be a part of it !!! All the best and so looking forward to a COVID free summer in 2021!!!