COVID-19 Information


*Please Note: This is a  ‘living’ document that will develop and change as the recommendations from the CDC and ACA Field Guide evolve to fit the current health situation, and guidelines from the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) are presented to us.  Our protocols are based on best practices implemented successfully by camps for the 2020 summer and current research.  The Camp Hilltop Covid Safety Plan is a multi-layered approach and with your mindfulness and participation we can create a safe camp environment for everyone to enjoy their camp experience. 

2021 Covid 19 Safety Information

All forms, paperwork and payments MUST be sent in prior to arriving at camp as we will not be accepting them at check-in.

A member of our medical staff will be contacting each family prior to your arrival at camp to ensure that all medical paperwork is in, to discuss any medication or treatments your camper requires while at camp.

Hilltop will set up zoom meetings with your camper’s cabin counselors so you may “meet” them and discuss your wants, needs and desires for your child(ren) while they are at camp. This will replace the time you would normally meet with the counselors at camper drop off.

Campers and staff will be asked to be smart in their connections outside their homes and schools for a period of 10 days prior to their arrival at Hilltop. There should be no trips or situations in which they are in high-transmission settings. All campers and staff are required to have a PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours in advance of arriving at camp and their negative results provided to camp in order to gain entrance to the camp facility. In addition each participant needs to keep to their daily routine by having limited interactions with others outside their school and family, and also to fill out a daily health questionnaire provided by camp.

We must have a completed 14-day health screening for each camper prior to their arrival. The daily health check will completed through the Camp In Touch account and/or the Campanion app. It is a quick 2 question check each day. Once in camp we will continue daily health screenings for campers and staff, 2x a day per NYS guidelines.

All campers must be brought to camp by an adult via passenger vehicle. Each family will have an assigned time to drop off their camper(s) in a drive-thru format. Your assigned check-in time will be scheduled 2 weeks prior to your campers check-in date and will be assigned by cabin groups with siblings checking in at the earliest assigned time for the family. Times are rigid so that we may reduce the flow of vehicles and people on site to complete check-in quickly and efficiently. Once we set the time that is your arrival window. Please understand we are trying to bring cabin groups in at the same time so they may get their camp experience going.

We anticipate our first check in time slot to be 9am and run through 2pm on designated session starts dates. Times will be adjusted throughout the summer based on the number of campers checking in.

Check in will occur at the vehicle. Adults/non-campers must remain inside their vehicle at all times. Check in will include an initial health screening, meeting the nurses & directors, and receiving a camp t-shirt. A covid test will be performed either at check in or later in the day. Once completed you will say your goodbyes from the vehicle. A counselor will then bring the camper and their belongings to the cabin to help them unpack and begin their camp adventure.

Testing is a key component of the safety plan. Below are the testing protocols we will follow.

    All families must complete a COVID testing waiver regardless of vaccination status for us to have on file for NYS so we may perform/obtain on or off site testing if and when needed for surveillance or symptomatic campers. This will be available through Camp In Touch.

    You do not need to test if:
  • Your camper has been fully vaccinated. To be considered fully vaccinated their 2nd dose of the vaccine must be at least 14 days before their camp session start date. You must provide a copy of the completed COVID vaccine card. This can be uploaded in the forms dashboard of your Camp In Touch account.
  • You’ve had COVID-19 within 90 days of your camp session start date. You must be able to provide a copy of your lab report showing a confirmed positive COVID test.
  • You must follow our COVID-19 testing procedures if you do not meet the criteria above.

    Testing Procedures:

    All campers and staff that must test need to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the first day of their camp session. That means you must test on Thursday, Friday or Saturday for a Sunday camp arrival. You must select a testing location that can ensure you receive your results by the time you arrive at camp for your check-in time. You must have either uploaded the result to your camper’s Camp In Touch account or have a copy in hand for us upon arrival. Without a negative PCR result you will not be permitted entrance to camp.

    Arrival Day 1 At Camp Testing / Screening:

    A health screening will take place at your vehicle. Please understand if your camper is not cleared in the screening process, and this includes a temp over 100.4, the State of New York requires us to deny your child entrance into camp.

    An antigen test will be performed on all unvaccinated campers, either at the car or shortly after your departure. If a camper’s result is positive you must be prepared to pick them up.

    Day 4 Testing:

    The last part of the asymptomatic testing process will take place on day 4 of camp, Wednesday. A shallow nasal swab PCR test will be performed. Results should be back by midday on Thursday.

Camp Hilltop is fortunate to have multiple RNs and NPs who will care for and treat our campers through the summer. We have designated spaces for quarantine and isolation should the need arise. If a child or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they will be sent home to quarantine and retest. They may return to camp after clearance by local health officials.

Our Health Center will be a Covid safe space for campers and staff that may be experiencing other health issues. Most routine care and treatments at the Health Center will be moved outside onto Health Center porches or triage tents set up for camper/staff care. As stated above, if someone tests positive for covid -19 we will have isolation areas for their care while awaiting pick up by their family.

While we LOVE to see our campers families on visiting day we will not have traditional visiting days this summer. In lieu of an in person visiting day, we will schedule zoom visiting times for our campers attending sessions longer than 2-weeks. Zoom times will be scheduled a week prior to the call. We will be working around camp activities and programs so times may not be requested.

Designation of Groups

Another layer to our safety plan is establishing 3 different group designations at camp. Knowing how we are designating subgroups within the overall camp population will help you to better understand our mask wearing guidelines and how they pertain to our testing procedures which you already received.

We’ll start with smallest to largest group designations:
  1. Cabin Group: This is your family at camp and with whom you will have the most freedom at camp from masking protocols.
  2. Cohort: A cohort is a coed grouping of cabins and will be based on appropriate peer levels. We are currently planning cohorts to be about 50 people while we await guidelines from the NYSDOH. There will be several cohorts within the larger camp population
  3. Camp population as a whole. This is all campers, staff and personnel within the Hilltop facility.

Masks have been shown to be an effective measure in reducing the transmission of covid-19. No one will be allowed to enter camp without a mask on. All campers and staff will be asked to wear a mask until testing shows each cabin group and cohort are negative based on the following progression.

  1. Everyone entering Camp Hilltop (Day 1) will need to wear a mask. Strict masking protocols will remain in place throughout the first day of camp (except for water related activities, meals, sleeping, and/or social distancing cannot be maintained).
  2. We will have the results from the administered check-in PCR test by the time campers and staff wake up Monday morning (Day 2) and as long as everyone in the cabin is negative the campers no longer need to wear a mask when solely with their cabin group. This is their camp family grouping, like at home. So when they are participating in cabin activities, in their cabin and sitting eating meals they do not need to wear a mask. However, anytime they are interacting within their larger cohort they will still need to mask up.

**This masking process will repeat every 2 weeks as new campers join us and need to complete their testing to help minimize exposure risks within our camp bubble. All of our directors, nurses, support staff and program staff leaders will be wearing masks all summer long as they will interact with multiple cohorts.

**Types of masks worn at camp should follow CDC guidance.

  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents
  • Single layer or masks made of thin fabric that don’t block light.
  • Gaiters or bandanas

These protocols are being developed following all relevant guidelines, regulations and best practices from CDC guidelines for overnight camps and the American Camp Association Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance, as we await further guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). As guidelines evolve based on research moving forward we will make appropriate adjustments but what we are planning is the strictest protocols for camper and staff safety at this time.

What If….

There are simply too many ‘what if’ scenarios to go through here. That said, we’ve got a long list in our office that continues to grow! Please reach out if there is a situation you would like to discuss.  

One thing we can offer here: Camp Hilltop will over-communicate and provide complete transparency this summer. All camp parents have the camp number where we can be reached.  We’ll be available whenever needed. 

Speaking of which, if you’d like more information about how Camp Hilltop will approach the coming summer, please don’t hesitate to call us at 800-782-5319.