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Camp Colley is Prepared to Manage COVID-19 to Keep Campers and Staff Safe!

Learn about our planned modifications and interventions planned for the 2021 season

In February 2021 Camp Colley Foundation staff participated in the virtual American Camp Association’s annual National Conference.  This year, the ACA conference’s theme was Innovation and focused on encouraging camps to think creatively about their operations in the uncertain times brought on by COVID-19. The ACA reiterated its firm stance that children across the country need summer camp now more than ever.

The conference’s COVID-19 learning and planning track was invaluable to Camp Colley as we  determine the necessary precautions and additional steps that must be taken in 2021 to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus among participants and staff at camp. The ACA has worked closely with the CDC in creating and publishing “Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps,” a set of directives for camps to apply to their programs in order to promote safety and health throughout the upcoming summer season.

By applying critical learning and key takeaways from the conference in conjunction with the CDC’s published suggestions, Camp Colley will implement the following program design modifications while following all directives published by the CDC and ACA to aide in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through our programs.

Camp Colley’s pathway to program operations in 2021 is clearer than ever thanks to the incredible amount of information disseminated at the ACA National Conference. Innovative approaches to implementing NPIs will be the focus of our planning this spring so that we are able to welcome underserved Phoenix kids at Camp Colley in June.

Program Design Modifications


According to the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics cohorting, “the implementation of steps to establish small group sizes, limit mixing of these groups, and restrict large gatherings” is one of the key recommendations for the 2020 and 2021 camp seasons.

  • The same 10 campers who share a cabin group will become a cohort and only interact with one another throughout the camp session
  • Large groups outside will be limited in size; maximum 4 groups of 10 campers all socially distanced by a minimum of 6 feet will be permitted to occupy same outdoor vicinity
  • No indoor vicinities will be shared between cohorts
  • No activities will be facilitated beyond camper cohorts
Program Modifications Camp Colley programs will change in design significantly during the 2021 camp season. Facilitation of all activities will be shared between each cohorts two counselors instead of each cohort rotating through 8-10 facilitators’ activities each week. This further supports cohorting efforts. In addition, Camp Colley will:

  • Limit sharing of program equipment as much as possible
  • Practice 100% sanitization or all equipment between use
  • Increase in one-time or disposable materials to limit sharing between campers
  • Stagger the daily schedule to increase distancing between groups to prevent crowding in any area
Modified Layout Camp Colley will physically shift the layout of certain high-traffic areas of the property to ensure greater physical distancing can be achieved, including adding portable restroom and hand-washing locations to reduce congestion.

  • Increased number of portable restrooms and hand-washing stations at remote campsite
  • Assigning groups to specific restrooms and hand-washing stations for use to limit cross contamination
  • Signage and distancing markers utilized in all activity areas, dining spaces, restrooms and other common areas.
Mealtime Modifications Camp Colley will drastically overhaul mealtimes and food service in 2021 by implementing the following:

  • Mealtimes will be staggered to avoid large group occupancy of dining hall at all times; occupancy of dining hall reduced to 25% allowing for vast physical distancing between cohorts.
  • Only one group cohort in will be in meal service line at a time with surfaces disinfected between each
  • All lunches will be prepared to be enjoyed outdoors to avoid 5 inside mealtimes each session
  • Meals will be plated and served by designated kitchen staff only
  • All surfaces sanitized between each mealtime; complete dining hall sanitization four times daily
  • Camp Colley will maximize individually wrapped packaging (i.e., no shared condiment bottles) whenever possible
Staff Training on COVID-19 Prevention In addition to the experiential 7-day staff training outlined as part of Camp Colley’s program design staff will participate in extensive COVID-19 mitigation training sessions

  • Staff will be thoroughly trained to lead all program modifications, NPI implementation and sickness protocols effectively and consistently
  • Additional role of weekly of NPI and PPE monitor will be added to staff responsibilities and will be trained accordingly

Preventative Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

The following NPI’s will be implemented as part of Camp Colley’s comprehensive COVID-19 management plan to support mitigating infection during each camp session:

  • Double masking mandatory outside individual cabin group times including on busses, in meal lines, and any other times when it is possible cohorts cross paths
  • Administrative and leadership staff will be masked during all times when in community spaces
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available at every activity station, group tent, restrooms, throughout dining halls, and on-hand of every staff member at all times
  • Staff will remind campers of regularly scheduled sanitization times; at least hourly
  • Hand-washing stations will be increased for greater access
  • Hand-washing will occur between all activities, between meals, and before and after entering restrooms
  • Tent groups will be assigned a designated handwashing station for their use
Taking Temperatures
  • Temperatures will be captured upon camper drop off, then daily throughout camp
  • If temperature is recorded, isolation of individual will be considered
Social Distancing
  • Social distancing policies will be enforced for vendors and other guests on camp property; no contact with campers, limited distanced contact with staff
Increased Ventilation
  • Bus windows will remain down during entirety of trip to and from camp
  • All building structures will maximize open windows and doors as much as possible
  • Information about free Phoenix COVID-19 testing sites will be shared with all registered families to encourage testing 3-5 days before the start of their camp session
  • Staff will be required to be tested for COVID-19 3-5 days before arriving at the start of the summer season and will need to show a negative test to begin staff training
  • Staff will be randomly tested throughout the summer on a lottery basis to ensure we catch any community spread of COVID-19 that may have entered camp
  • Camp Colley will work to acquire rapid testing kits that will be administered to any campers of staff that is placed in medical isolation
Pre-Camp Quarantining
  • Campers will be strongly encouraged to isolate at home for 3-5 days leading up to the start of their camp session to help prevent contracting COVID-19 after testing; communications to families with outlined information about this process will be shared in advance of their session
  • Staff will be required to isolate at home for 3-5 days leading up to the start of the season, and after arriving at Camp Colley will group isolate for 7 days throughout the staff training week
Limiting Outsiders
  • Visitors will be strictly limited to necessary persons only and will be required to maintain all NPI protocols throughout their time at Camp Colley
  • All visitors must be approved by program director and/or executive director
Health Surveillance
  • Train staff on picking up on early warning signs of sick individual
  • Check in with staff and participants on regular schedule to monitor any emerging symptoms of sickness
  • A health surveillance work sheet will be included in pre-camp informational email; worksheet monitors daily health, diet, etc. and is shared by the Camp Nurses Association
NPI and PPE Monitor
  • As part of their weekly responsibilities, 1-2 float staff will be assigned to be the monitoring and upkeep of NPI supplies and implementation, including refilling soaps, sanitizers, use of temperature checks and masking, and follow all COVID-19 mitigation procedures; person will report to leadership staff daily

Communicable Disease Plan at Camp Colley

Isolation of Symptomatic Individuals As outlined by the CDC and ACA as the most effective means of managing COVID-19 at Camp Colley, symptomatic individuals will be isolated to a location determined. The following will be implemented:

  • Separate isolation tents will be utilized to immediately separate any campers and staff who demonstrate any symptoms of COIVD-19
  • The person’s health will be assessed by designated staff to determine if clinical intervention may be necessary
  • Camp Colley will work diligently to secure rapid COVID-19 test kits. If available, a rapid test will be administered to all individuals with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Before reintroduction to the larger camp community an individual must be asymptomatic for 24 hours and produce a negative rapid COVID-19 test.
  • Transportation will be coordinated for any individuals in isolation for 24 hours with persistent COVID-19 symptoms
  • Camp Colley’s communications plan will be implemented to notify a camper’s family of possible COVID-19 infection based on symptoms present; both parties will support decision making around the individual’s continued camp participation
  • Campers in isolation will be given alternative activities throughout their time spent away from their group and will be cared for 2:1 by staff who will maintain distance and safety precautions to maintain their own health
  • Staff in isolation not needing clinical intervention will follow specific procedures to remain distanced from group will caring for their medical and basic needs.
  • For the safety of the remainder of camp, the group of which the participant experiencing symptoms will also quarantine away from the remainder of the camp population; a “shadow camp” will be facilitated so that the children can participate safely in all camp activities as planned
Safety Communication The following communication steps will be taken by Camp Colley to ensure all campers and families understand how COVID-19 strategies are being managed at camp:

  • This document will be available on the Camp Colley website for review and discussion with families with questions or concerns; families will confirm reading and understanding of this document during enrollment process
  • For the parents/guardians of campers and staff who fall into a medically sensitive group, express urgency to consult medical advice before attending camp
  • Distancing, hand-washing and sanitization posters throughout camp
  • Sending pre-camp and camp follow-up communication via email to urge participants to practice safety standards to limit spread
  • Registration and fees collected will be waived for individuals who reschedule camp attendance due to illness; rescheduling for later date will be prioritized
  • Each camp session will open with COVID-19 educational introduction; normalizing NPIs and regular monitoring to create safe space for campers and staff to report symptoms