COVID-19 Info

Camp Olson YMCA & COVID-19 Summer 2022

Like many of you, we would love to know what the future looks like and how COVID-19 will impact our summer plans. It is too early to predict what the situation will be like in June 2022. However, we will be prepared to run camp in various capacities, depending on COVD-19’s impact.

Thanks to the cooperation of our camper families and staff, our comprehensive and intentional procedures paid off and we had no known cases of COVID-19 through the 2021 summer season. As we continue to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to implement similar procedures to those that contributed to a healthy 2021 season. We anticipate guidance from the CDC, American Camp Association, and the Minnesota Department of Health in the coming months and will adapt our policies and procedure to be in line with the vaccination rates, transmission levels, and knowledge of the virus. As always, Camp Olson will keep the safety and well-being of our campers and staff as our #1 priority.

We recognize that recommendations and guidelines will change and commit to updating our programming and protocols accordingly. Our “Keeping our Camp Community Health this Summer” document is dynamic and will be updated on an ongoing basis. This document is NOT our final operations manual for 2022.

Cleaning, Sanitization, & Handwashing Procedures

We will maintain our enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures throughout camp. Campers and staff will be frequently reminded and encouraged to wash/sanitize their hands regularly and thoroughly throughout the day. Bathrooms and shared spaces will be cleaned and sanitized on a regular and thorough basis. Camp buildings and vehicles will be equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers and disinfectant spray to clean shared surfaces.

Current COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Policy

  • Camp Olson YMCA staff and volunteers are REQUIRED to be fully vaccinated or provide a medical exemption.
  • Camp Olson YMCA STRONGLY ENCOURAGES all eligible campers and families of our camp community to be fully vaccinated (including receiving available booster shots for those eligible) prior to arriving at Camp.
  • Should your camper be exposed to COVID-19 while at camp, asymptomatic vaccinated campers who test negative may be permitted to stay. Unvaccinated campers will be required to quarantine at home after exposure to COVID-19, regardless of test results.
  • All campers and staff, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to attest to having a negative molecular PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test completed within 72 hours of their arrival at camp.
  • Individuals may be required to wear masks in indoor community spaces, such as in storm shelters or if a COVID-19 case is confirmed within camp.
  • Camper and staff may be screened for symptoms and may have their temperature checked throughout the summer.

We continue to monitor the pandemic and guidance from the CDC, ACA, and MN Department of Health. This page will be updated as we consider necessary for summer 2022.

After a very empty year, camp – and our hearts- were once again filled with campers, laughter, songs, Kempswiches, and joy. We did it! Not only did we come out the other side with no known cases of COVID-19, but we also were able to serve 936 campers, providing them with an unforgettable summer!

Returning to camp brought us connection. Connection with ourselves. A natural connection with the outdoors. A reconnection with each other. Connection through community. Though, we could not have done it without YOU! We appreciate the support from all our campers, families, alumni, staff, neighbors, and donors. Through our ability to reconnect, we supported each other. We overcame challenges. We provided new opportunities. We returned to the extraordinary that we all needed in so many ways.

To our wonderful camp families and campers: Thank you for sticking with us, following our protocols and guidelines, and sharing in good times. To our incredible staff: Thank you for being so adaptable, resilient, and doing more than ever. Your dedication to your campers and sharing the Spirit of the Northwoods was amazing.

What we learned:

  • Kids are resilient and adaptable!
  • Staff and campers, alike, were eager to be back at camp
  • Washing hands and mask-wearing helps cut down on the camp crud (we knew that, but wow!)
  • Many campers tried new things that they typically would not have tried with scheduled afternoon activities
  • Camp is better with YOU here!

What we will keep:

  • Check-in process
  • New food service protocols and menu items
  • Health screening before camp (this could include a symptom check, vaccine, etc, we will continue to follow
    the best practices in Camping)

What we can’t wait to get back to:

  • Free-choice in the afternoons
  • Community gatherings without masks
  • International campers and staff
  • All-camp meals and games
  • Overnights in the Shurds