Child looking at ladybug on their finger

Summer Camp Checklist

Summer youth camps offer wonderful new experiences for children that support their emotional, physical, and social development. There are new procedures this year due to COVID-19.  Ask questions of the camp administrators to ensure that measures are in place to lower the risk of the spread of COVID-19.  Check that their COVID-19 health and safety plan is updated regularly with new CDC guidance and includes the following risk reduction strategies:

Stay home if sick

  • Health screenings: When and how are the campers and staff screened for symptoms of COVID-19?
  • Illness: What is the plan if a camper or staff member gets sick?

Wash your hands

  • Hand hygiene: Does the camp promote frequent handwashing? Where are the facilities for handwashing? 
  • Supplies: Does the camp have adequate supplies including soap, towels or air dryers to dry hands, running water, hand sanitizer, and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans? 

Clean safely and effectively

  • Cleaning and disinfecting: When and how does the camp clean and disinfect facilities and equipment?

Wear a mask

  • Vaccination Status: What requirements are in place for staff and campers who are not vaccinated or not able to wear masks? 
  • Location: Are masks required indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible?

Keep your distance

  • Physical distancing: Has the camp established policies to promote physical distancing indoors and outdoors?
  • Cohorts: What is the group size? Does each group have consistent staff?  
  • Ratio: What is the staff to camper ratio? 

Avoid crowds and spend time outside

  • Sports/Activities: How are sports and other camp activities adapted to keep group size small and to avoid close contact? 
  • Food: What are the procedures for serving and eating snacks and meals? Are the campers spaced apart?  Do the campers have individual plates and no common serving plates/bowls and utensils? Do campers and staff eat outside?
  • Overnight camps: What are the transportation procedures?  What are the sleeping arrangements, including: type of bedding, number of campers and staff in each cabin, and whether the campers sleep outside?

Get vaccinated

  • Vaccinations: Does the camp require or recommend vaccinations for eligible campers and staff?  What risk reduction procedures are different for campers and staff that are vaccinated?

Ventilate indoor air

  • Ventilation: Do most camp activities occur outdoors?  Are indoor spaces ventilated by opening windows and doors and using air filters, fans, or portable air cleaners? 

Communicate safety messages and policies

  • Signs: Are the camp's COVID-19 rules posted on signs?  Resource: Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 poster
  • Communication with families: Does the camp staff regularly communicate with families?  How, and how often?
  • Point of contact: Who is the designated camp administrator to contact with COVID-19 questions?
  • Staff training: How is the camp staff trained on COVID-19 risk reduction strategies and policies?


May 2021, UCSF California Childcare Health Program

This article was made possible with funding from the UCSF Chancellor’s Fund.