Y Camp Is On!

Y Camp summer fun has begun! The information on this page tells you:

  • What we are doing to provide a healthy and safe camp experience
  • What you can expect at camp this summer
  • Camps that have been canceled due to new restrictions by the state and health department

Rest assured, campers are engaging in a variety of activities throughout the day including: art, science, nature, journaling, Chatter that Matters, Friendship Fires, games, sports, fitness, healthy eating habits, and much more. They are having fun, getting exercise, and feeling well-cared for -- as always!

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this new terrain and we look forward to welcoming your family to Y Camp this summer!
 

 


SAFETY

We are rigorously following all guidelines and doing everything we can to protect the safety of children, parents, and our Y camp team. From late March to mid June, we gained valuable experience through our work providing emergency care for more than 500 children of essential personnel at 17 Y sites across the region. That experience of managing children safely under the new health and safety guidelines is being put to good use at camp. 

Y camp operates following requirements and camp guidelines from the CDC, the Maryland Department of Health, and the American Camp Association (ACA), through which we are accredited.

Additionally, as nationwide leaders in camping, the Y and the ACA were invited to unveil a field guide on how to implement CDC camp recommendations on the Today Show. The discussion on the Today Show includes the observation that camp is a good place for children to practice social distancing and other safe habits outdoors, before returning to school. We agree.
 

 


 

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AT CAMP 

  • Pre-camp health questionnaires and daily temperature checks will be implemented to reduce the risk of an ill camper or associate entering the program.
     
  • The state of Maryland is requiring that all youth camps stagger drop-off and pick-up times. This helps to ensure social distancing and allow for additional time to complete health check requirements. Face masks will be required for parents, campers, and Y associates at these times.
     
  • Each camp has a drive-through drop-off and pick-up plan that will improve arrival and departure times. Upon registration, these procedures are communicated to families.
     
  • Upon arrival, campers will immediately go into their assigned small group for the day.
  • Our associates will have required enhanced health procedural training and they will be prepared to train campers on how to do them as well. 
     
  • Camp associates will wear face masks and when required, use gloves (in food handling and first aid).
     
  • Daily pre-camp health questionnaires and temperature checks will be implemented during drop-off to reduce the risk of an ill camper or associate entering the program.
     
  • Masks are required by all, including parents, Y associates, and campers, during drop-off and pick-up times, even when you are in your car, as we will be engaging with you to complete health checks and sign-in procedures.
  • Campers and Y associates will wear masks when using Y vehicles for transportation.
     
  • Campers age 9 and older are encouraged to wear masks. Campers of all ages must have face masks with them and available everyday for instances when social distancing may become difficult or in close spaces such as to use the indoor restroom, receive medications, receive first aid, and/or for brief indoor emergency inclement weather. 
     
  • Campers will need a bag labeled with first and last name for mask storage. Masks will need to be cleaned or changed out daily. 
     
  • Typically groups come together for larger group activities such as opening and closing daily rallies, lunch, games, swimming, and sports. Due to new regulations, campers will stay in their smaller groups for all activities, minimizing exposure to other campers. Camp groups will be set for the week and campers will have the same counselor(s) for the entire day. Groups are not able to mix and counselors may not work with multiple groups.
     
  • Additional handwashing stations will be available. Campers will wash hands between each activity and use of equipment.
     
  • Equipment, tables, and other items used by campers will be sanitized between each activity use.
     
  • Some activity restrictions will be in effect (swimming and rock wall, for example). These will resume as the state allows and we can safely provide them.

Campers will be assigned a "home base" group of seven to nine campers and one counselor that they will be with for the duration of the camp week. 

Signage and markers will be used throughout camp to help campers visually see where to sit and stand while participating in activities. Engagement or close contact will be limited within their home base. Activities will be scheduled in such a way to help reduce the likelihood of different groups crossing paths.

Increased signage will help enforce social distancing, improve traffic flow, and remind everyone of enhanced health procedures like handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and increased sanitization.

Due to new restrictions, we must run primarily outdoor camps this summer, with limited or no indoor time. As always, pavilions, tents, and other structures will be in full use for fun in the shade. Water games will also be in full swing! Please be sure to pack sunscreen and a water bottle every day. 

  • Camp will operate outdoors on light rainy days. Please wear appropriate clothing including rain boots and jackets. We will seek shelter indoors temporarily for sudden threats of thunderstorms, etc.
     
  • Camps are not required to close or be indoors for code red days, however we may do so (close) as a last resort to ensure the safety of all. To beat the heat, we implement alternate plans, reduce activity and physical exertion, continue full use of water and shade, and watch for signs and symptoms of heat related illness. We also have misting tents throughout camp. Groups may also rotate indoors for brief periods of time.
     
  • Delays, early closings, or full day closures are possible if inclement weather requires those actions. For example, we may close camp if heavy rains are expected all day. Parents should have backup plans ready should these instances arise. We will communicate delays, early closings, or full day closures to parents with as much advance notice as possible.
  • Campers under the age of 5 and/or with underlying health concerns will be required to have a doctor's note clearing them to participate in camp.
     
  • Campers who live outside the state of Maryland will not be able to attend a Maryland camp.
  • Please stay home if your child or anyone in your home is feeling ill and please follow public health guidelines about when it is safe to return.
     
  • Please follow social distancing and all required health policies while at the Y.
     
  • Please adhere to wearing masks as required or needed.
     
  • Please wash your hands (and have your child wash their hands) regularly and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
     
  • Please help your child understand the importance of using a tissue to catch a sneeze or cough. Quickly and safely discard it in the trash and thoroughly wash your hands.
     
  • Please support and be patient with our camp team as they work to keep everyone safe.

All enhanced policies and procedures that are in place are designed to reduce the potential spread of the virus, however; exposure may still occur. If a suspected case arises, it will be reported to the health department immediately and reviewed on a case by case basis. Y leadership will share information with the health department to aid in their contact tracing efforts. We will communicate with families who may be impacted via email and/or phone call with information and instructions from the health department.

It is critically important that we all work together to keep our children safe and healthy:

  • Campers with known contact/exposure to someone that has tested positive or someone showing signs and symptoms, can not attend camp.
     
  • Campers exhibiting signs or symptoms will not be allowed to enter camp. If your camper is not feeling well or exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19 or other illness, please keep them home. 

 

CAMP CLOSURES

To comply with new restrictions regarding the operation of youth outdoor camps in the State of Maryland, we must make operational changes to ensure the health and safety of all. In doing so, we are saddened to share that we must cancel some of our camps. 

Families who were impacted by these cancellations have been notified of their options via email. If you have any questions, please contact customerservice@ymaryland.org.

ALL INDOOR CAMPS 
  • The Y in Parkville (Baltimore County)
  • The Y in Druid Hill (Baltimore City)
  • The Highlands School (Harford County) 

Indoor camps are not permitted this summer.

Please Note: St. John's Parish Day School in Howard County was originally intended to be an indoor camp. Fortunately, there is enough outdoor space at this location that we have been able to change it to an outdoor camp.

ALL CAMP ADD-ONS
  • Swim Lessons
  • Rock Wall
  • Sports

Camp add-ons are when campers leave their main group for a portion of the day and join an add-on activity with other campers. New restrictions do not permit us to combine campers from different groups.

ALL OVERNIGHT CAMPS
  • Camp Hashawha (Carroll County)
  • Puh'tok in the Pines (Baltimore County)
  • Camp Spencer (Harford County)

Overnight camps are not permitted this summer.

Please Note: Our day camps at Spencer and Puh'tok are still running.

ALL DAY TRIP/TRAVEL CAMPS
  • Explorers
  • Adventurers
  • Grand Adventurers 

These camps are canceled as we cannot ensure proper safety measures when traveling off-site.

ALL CAMP FUN DAYS, JUNE 15-19
Pre-camp Fun Days are canceled as all camp-related programming will begin on June 22nd.