Summer 2021 FAQs

Last updated 06/09/21 – We will be updating this document as more information becomes available.

Please see below for our most frequently asked questions about camp and COVID-19. If you have additional questions, please contact us so we can assist you.


Do you have a required action COVID-19 Response Plan?

Yes, the state of Michigan requires this for all licensed camps and must be submitted with our 2021 license application. Our plan includes the following:

  • How we will monitor symptoms of COVID-19
  • How our programs will practice social distancing
  • How will we ensure proper hygiene (including regular cleaning and disinfecting)
  • How will we obtain, and use of safety equipment (including PPE, when appropriate)
  • Our communication protocol to report symptoms or a positive test
  • Our isolation procedure in case of symptoms or confirmed cases onsite

What current precautions will you have in place to keep my camper safe this summer?

These policies are subject to change before the summer as we receive more guidance from LARA (Michigan’s camp licensing board), CDC, and other government agencies. We will update this page as necessary.

Currently, the following policies will be in place:

  • Negative COVID test: Per the newest state guidelines, we are requiring non-vaccinated campers to receive a covid PCR test within 72 hours of camp. For vaccinated campers, we are requiring a covid test from an at-home Antigen test (or PCR) also within 72 hours. Please schedule a covid test to be performed in the 72 hr time frame. Most clinics are getting results back within 24 hours.  We ask that families quarantine their camper’s between taking the test and arriving at camp. With this new process, we will NOT be using rapid antigen testing upon arrival to camp on opening day.
  • Camper Vaccinations: Although we STRONGLY encourage families to consider vaccinating their campers when available, we will not be requiring proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to attend camp. We’re happy to collect these before the session if you’d like to send them to us 🙂
  • Pre-Camp Health Screening: In an effort to minimize illness at Camp, we will be asking that you check on the health of your camper daily beginning 14 days prior to camp. We will be providing you a form two weeks before your camper’s session to be filled out and returned to camp. The form can also be found here.
  • Time outside: We already spend a lot of time outside at camp, and this year we are going to take it even further. When appropriate meals, rest-hour, activities, skit nights or variety shows, etc. will all be outside as often as possible.
  • Social distancing, masks, etc.: In this sense, camp life won’t be too different from at-home life. We’ll wear masks, and we’ll spread out whenever we can (like rearranging our program meetings so we’re not all sitting too close together). Masks will not be required when campers are eating, swimming or sleeping but at these times we will maintain a strict cohort model and social distancing protocols.
  • Cohort Model: We will be using a “cohort model,” for eating, sleeping, and swimming – meaning camp will be split into smaller groups of campers, and any high-risk activities will be limited to within those groups (i.e. eating and sleeping without masks, any activities done indoors in close quarters, etc.). Cohorts will be arranged by cabin groups. 
  • At Camp Lookout and Camp Carvela, we value our free-choice and cooperative programming model along with our inclusion-based structure. We struggle to find a way to provide these essential components of our philosophy while operating under a strict cohort model. So, for programming, campers will be wearing a mask when not within their cohort and strict social distancing protocols will be followed.
  • Sanitization: While we know that surface transition is minimal, we plan to continue our sanitization practices from 2020. In addition to the regular daily “germ busting” and kitchen practices, we will sanitize high-touch surfaces each day and avoid sharing high-touch objects (i.e.balls, swim goggles, etc.) between cohorts as much as possible. We will also make sure everyone is washing and sanitizing their hands frequently.
  • Staff precautions: First off, staff who regularly interact with campers will all be vaccinated well before the summer. Staff will be expected to follow our time-off policies put in place to minimize their exposure to COVID while outside of camp. This means staff won’t be eating indoors during their time off, they’ll minimize the number of people going inside establishments (i.e. to get carryout on a day off), and will avoid high-risk contacts with staff members outside of their cohort.

What will we be screening for to determine if someone is showing signs of COVID-19?

We will strictly enforce our health services policy. The presence of any of the symptoms below generally suggests a child has an infectious illness and should not attend camp, regardless of whether the illness is COVID-19. 

For campers with chronic conditions, a positive screening should represent a change from their typical health status.

  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Sore throat
  • Cough (for campers with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma, a change in their cough from baseline)
  • Difficulty breathing (for children with asthma, a change from their baseline breathing)
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
  • Campers should also stay home if they:
  • Are in quarantine due to exposure to an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or
  • Have other signs of illness described in a camp’s health services policy.
  • Camps should encourage families to contact their healthcare provider or follow up with a local clinic/urgent care before coming to camp.

What happens if someone tests positive for COVID while at camp?

We would work closely with the Grand Traverse and Benzie County health departments to respond appropriately. This is what we currently know:

  • If a camper or staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will:  
    • Report the case to your local health department and assist in contact tracing efforts.  
    • The Local Health Department will assess our specific situation and identify the steps we should take to reduce transmission. This may include possibly closing a camp operation. 
    • At a minimum, our local health department will recommend the camp be cleaned, and they may recommend that everyone in that cabin or camp be quarantined up to 14 days.  
    • The camper or staff member who is showing symptoms of COVID will be immediately isolated in the health lodge away from other staff and campers.

When Should a Sick Staff Member Stay Home or be isolated out of camp?

Staff members should stay home, or be sent home if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms not explained by a known or diagnosed medical conditions: ONE of the following: 

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees or above 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Uncontrolled cough OR TWO of the following: 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Loss of taste or smell 
  • Muscle aches without another explanation 
  • Severe headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • Vomiting 
  • Chills Staff members should also stay home if they are in quarantine due to exposure to an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they have other signs of illness described in a camp’s health services policy.

Quarantine is not required for staff members who are fully vaccinated and remain asymptomatic after an exposure to COVID-19. If a person is having symptoms, even if they are fully vaccinated, they should get tested and isolate themselves from the general camp population.

Will staff be trained to make sure camp is COVID-safe?

Yes, we will provide extensive COVID-related training during our staff training period! Per a CDC study from 2020, we know that, at camps that had COVID outbreaks, it could usually be traced back to the staff. Our staff will be well aware of this fact and should understand that the safety and success of our community will be in their hands. As mentioned above, this means our staff won’t be eating indoors on their days off, they’ll minimize the number of people going inside establishments (i.e. to get carryout on a day off) and will avoid high-risk contacts with staff members outside of their cohort. 

We will also update our staff training to include any and all information they need to adhere to our COVID policies throughout the summer.

What if I decide to cancel my camper’s registration prior to camp?

If YOU need to cancel your camper’s spot in the session for any reason, refunds will be given, less a $100 administrative fee, and ONLY if we are able to fill their spot.

In order to ensure the healthiest environment possible, if your camper cannot participate in their session due to a COVID exposure directly prior to camp or they’re experiencing COVID-like symptoms, all camp fees will be returned minus a $100 administrative fee.

What happens to our deposit if our session gets canceled?

In the unlikely event that WE need to cancel your camper’s session due to COVID-19 or any other unforeseen circumstance, 50% of your payments made up until that point will be refunded**. This method helps cover any direct costs (materials, staffing, insurance, taxes, etc.) that camp has already paid in preparation for your camper to attend camp. 

** For families with multiple campers, only 50% of what has been paid for ONE of your accounts will be held and 100% of sibling accounts will be returned.

I’d like to speak with someone, can I call?

Yes, of course. We anticipate a lot of conversations with campers and camp families. Please reach out to to set up a time.