Parent Update: Opening For Summer Camp 2020

Hello YMCA Camp Hanes team,  

Like many of you, we are eagerly awaiting the summer 2020 season at YMCA Camp Hanes. The spread of COVID-19 has made planning for this season more difficult than previous summers, but we are preparing for a camp environment that focuses on both the health and safety of our campers AND an enriching experience! 

On Friday, May 15, we received guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for overnight camps. These guidelines put overnight camps in Phase 2 of Governor Cooper’s plan to ease restrictions related to slowing the spread of COVID-19. We also received guidance from the American Camp Association, YMCA of the USA, and Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. on Monday to help us make the best decisions for your health and safety. All of these guidelines are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These materials and information allow us to create our plan to share with our local health departments and move forward to open summer camp for 2020. 

Thank you for staying with us as we have gone through this process. Our dates and program information will be finalized soon as North Carolina moves into Phase 2.  

Please know that summer will be very different this year, but our goal is to continue being a positive place for kids who need it more than ever. Here is some information for you to know as we prepare for this summer:

  • Staff and campers will have health screenings, temperature checks upon arrival and throughout the week. We will conduct multiple temperature checks each day.  
  • Check-in and check-out will be staggered, and parents will not be able to go into our cabins. They will check in at the Airnasium, campers will have a health screening, and families can walk to the cabin, meet counselors outside, and say goodbyes there. On check-out, we will have campers packed and luggage outside the cabin ready for you when you arrive.    
  • Activities this summer will be done in cabin groups. Cabin or family groups will travel, eat, and do activities together.  
  • There will not be classes or choice activities. We will instead offer these as part of our cabin activities.  
  • We will not have large group games or pool parties, and usage of the pool will be considered a cabin activity.
  • We will not gather in large groups for chapel or campfires. We are instead planning some creative ways to have campfires and chapel in small groups. 
  • Medication flow will happen in a different space than inside the infirmary. We will only have sick campers and those with injuries in infirmary. We will use the isolation rooms, and reserve one cabin space as an isolation space.  
  • If a camper is not feeling well, or has a fever, they will need to be picked up by their family. 
  • We are working with the local health department to be ready if a camper or staff member were to show symptoms. They will work with the families and camp. 
  • We will communicate any health concerns at camp to families.  
  • We are still finalizing our meal plan. The dining hall will operate in shifts so we can serve smaller numbers. There will be no camper self-service — our kitchen and camp staff will serve food to cut down on contact.
  • We will have an extensive sanitation plan.  
  • There will be a lot of handwashing, and then more — and more, and more, and so on!  
  • We will sanitize surfaces at camp as they are used throughout the day. Some items and areas will be cleaned daily, some multiple times a day. We will train staff on new cleaning/sanitation practices. 
  • There will be a smaller number of campers this summer.  

We also are finalizing our plan to send to our families and share more details with you as we learn them, but we first wanted to give you an update.  

Until then, please know that camp is a positive place in everyone’s lives and you are a part of our family. This is an important summer. Thank you for all you do for camp. Be your best self! 

Jen deRidder
Executive Director
YMCA Camp Hanes