Camp Policies and Procedures

Updated June 25, 2020

We appreciate your patience as guidance has continued to evolve over the past few months in regards to summer camps operating in New York City.  While we have heard federal and state recommendations, we are ultimately still waiting on the New York City Department of Health (NYC DOH) for their specifics. However, we know that there are a lot of considerations for our families as you make decisions about this summer. Below are the guidelines we will be administering beyond our normal operations to make camp as safe and fun as possible this summer. We will continue to share details as they become available and each camp location will have more detailed information to share during their Parent Orientations in the coming weeks. To be clear, our policies will evolve with the guidance and these are the policies we will be implementing as of 6/17/20.

The following guidance has been developed from resources released by the Center for Disease Control(CDC), the American Camp Association (ACA), and the New York State Department of Health as of 6/17/20. As policies are amended, we will communicate those out to families and staff. 

Camper Arrival & Dismissal

Designated Drop Off Window 

  • In an effort to reduce crowds and lines, your camp’s administrative team will have designated time windows for drop-off based on your camper’s last name. We ask families to adhere to their windows as strictly as possible but understand there may be circumstances that require flexibility.
  • The specific length and number of timeframes and numbers of drop offs per timeframe will vary based on the number of campers and configuration of the drop-off area.

Parent Expectations

We ask families to designate one person to consistently drop off their camper, when possible, to reduce the number of unique individuals at camp. 

We encourage parents to:

  • Minimize the time they take saying goodbye to allow for the continual flow of traffic
  • Maintain physical distance with other parents/guardians and campers
  • Wear a face covering when approaching the camp building

Parents will not be allowed inside of the camp building this summer.

  • We will do our best during check in on rainy days to add tents and other methods of cover. However, please bring an umbrella if you can as we cannot allow visitors inside the camp buildings. 

Your camper’s screening.

  • We ask that you fill out a health screening form at drop off each morning to confirm the absence of Covid-19 symptoms as laid out by the CDC —  COVID-19 symptoms  
  • We ask that you not leave until your camper has completed the screening process. 
  • Based on NYS DOH mandate – we will ask that you complete the same health screening questions and temperature check that we ask of your camper. This is to assure that your child has not come in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms.

Camper Expectations

Health Screening / Temperature Check 

  • Each morning we will be taking your camper’s temperature with infrared, touch free thermometers, as part of their health screening, before they enter the building. 
  • Campers with a temperature recorded at or above 100.0 degrees fahrenheit will not be admitted to camp and encouraged to consult with their health professional.
  • We’re happy to check your temperature too, but it is not required.
  • Note that all Kids in the Game staff will be following the same screening process as well. 


  • Our camp team will provide disinfecting wipes to campers and ask them to disinfect their baggage handles (i.e. lunch box handle and backpack).
  • For younger campers, our team will help the campers complete this step


  • Campers will be asked to wash their hands immediately upon arrival at camp and consistently throughout the day. 

Transition to Homebase

  • Campers will be shown the way to their “homebase” by designated intake staff (Division Leader or Specialist assigned to work consistently with your campers group) to reduce the number of staff traveling around the building during sign-in. 


To manage the crowds of individuals picking up, each camp will be assigning designated pick-up windows that mirror the drop-off windows in the morning. Again, we do ask that you try to adhere to these windows as closely as possible, but we also recognize that it may not be possible for some to strictly adhere to the designated windows. In that case, we encourage you to connect with your Camp Admin or Director to arrange the best time. The policy is an attempt to spread out pick-up times the best we can, within reason.

At larger camp locations, over 75 campers,  we may expand the normal pick-up timeframe beyond just 4-4:30pm.  This will be clearly communicated in advance (ie 3:45-4:45pm). Again we will be flexible with families in working around any issues with your designated pick up time.


Kids in the Game will still be offering after-care, at an additional cost, between the hours of 4:30 and 6pm. 

The same guidance for group dynamics and activities that apply during the regular camp day will also apply during after-care.  Groups will remain static and with the same campers. Campers will not interact with other groups during after-care.

Group Dynamics 

PPE Expectations

  • All Kids in the Game staff at camp will be required to wear face coverings throughout the camp day. 
  • Campers not yet in Kindergarten will not be required to wear face coverings as per New York State regulations on child care and day camps. 
  • Campers entering 1st grade or above will not be required, but will be encouraged, to wear face coverings during the camp day and more specifically during transition times between activities and during activities where social distancing is not feasible. 
  • For campers that are swimming, masks will not be worn for safety reasons (see more direct swim guidelines in the ‘Activities & Transitioning’ section),
  • For campers that are breathing heavily after physical activity, they will be directed to socially distance and remove their masks to help them breathe easier.
  • Other PPE items, such as gloves will be worn by staff during cleaning and disinfecting as well as during the morning screening process. 
  • Additional guidelines for face covering and other PPE requirements may be added for specific activities throughout camp. 

Social Distancing 

  • We will be implementing several measures to aid in maintaining physical distancing when possible at camp. Staggered check-in and pick-up times, reducing group sizes, limiting cross-group interaction, monitoring transitions within the building, just to name a few. 
  • Social distancing measures will be taken during sedentary activities such as classroom-based activities. 
  • Social distancing measures such as utilizing floor spots, distanced cones, and creating “zones” for play will be in place during more physically active games.
  • We acknowledge that not all activities or spaces lend themselves to social distancing measures. In these cases, we will be ensuring that those involved in the activity are all within the same stable group and there is no cross-group interaction. 


  • We still have the Teddies (PreK4), Gummies (K), Hornets (1st), Firebirds (2nd), Cardinals (3rd-4th), and Blue Jays (5th-8th)! 
  • Kids in the Game has always operated our summer camps in a group-based structure. The good news is that this year we can keep that structure and it is encouraged as a best practice.  The CDC, ACA, and New York State all recommend keeping smaller groups of campers together and keeping them stable throughout the week, as we typically do. 
  • What will look different is the amount of all-camp activities we will be able to hold, or cross-group interaction. We will not be having camp-wide rallies or culminating theme activities for the whole camp. We will be able to replicate those types of events on a smaller scale with individual groups. This is, again, to reduce the amount of cross-group interaction. 


  • Each Group will have a specific designated area within the camp building where they gather and spend time throughout the day. Groups will utilize other spaces throughout the building and outdoors but will have a designated area to place belongings and gather with their group. 
  • Personal Belongings
    • We ask that campers bring minimal personal items to camp. The personal belongings we do ask to be sent remain:
      • Lunch, snack, water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, and a change of clothes. 
      • All other equipment and supplies will be provided and disinfected regularly. 

Visitors at Camp

  • This summer we are taking measures to reduce the number of visitors in the camp building. This includes holding screening and check-in outside of the building as well as not bringing outside vendors such as coding, tennis, or other specialty instructors in. 
  • We do operate our camps in school buildings and typically there are a small number of school staff in the building throughout the summer. We will be working closely with them to make sure they know and follow all of our protocols this year. 


  • The NYC DOH sets forth guidelines around staff to camper ratios. The NYS DOH has updated their group size guidelines to state that groups are not to exceed 15 campers, regardless of age. The announcement made by the NYS DOH states that groups not exceed 10 campers, regardless of age. As we await further guidance from the City Department of Health, we are considering the State guidance and City ratios from previous years as we plan our staffing and groups.  See below for NYC DOH ratios from the 2019 camp season:
    • 1:6 for 4-5 yr olds
    • 1:9 for 6-7 yr olds
    • 1:12 for 8 and up

Activities & Transitioning 

Activity Considerations Table

Kids in the Game is utilizing the below table to assess the risk level of certain activities. This rubric was created by the CDC to help groups identify the safety level of any given activity.

DescriptorLower RiskHigher Risk
Duration<15 min.>15 min.
Proximity>6 feet>6 feet
Group Size<Recommended Limit>Recommended Limit
Respiratory OutputNormalIncreased


Classroom (Art/STEM/Creative Arts)

  • When possible, classroom-based activities will be held for individual groups and in spaces where social distancing measures can be applied. 
  • Face coverings for campers will be encouraged if adequate 6ft physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • All shared equipment (e.g. tools, scissors, paint brushes) will be cleaned and disinfected between each use. 

Gym/Open Space

  • The same policies apply to gym or open room layouts as apply to classroom activities. 

Cafeteria / Lunch Procedure 

  • Social distancing will be practiced during lunch hours by reducing the number of campers in the lunchroom at the same time. In certain cases, this may mean utilizing spaces other than the lunchroom for groups to eat, such as the park or the groups Homebase. 


Outdoors is the preferred space for activities every camp season, but this year especially. 

When transitioning to an outdoor space we will encourage campers to wear face coverings.  

Once in an open air space, face coverings will be encouraged where adequate 6ft physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Equipment Management 

  • Group Specifics Sets 
    • Each camp group will have certain supplies and equipment designated for use solely by that group. This may be a set of basketballs for drills, cones to utilize in many games, or a set of building blocks for downtime as examples. These group sets will be cleaned daily. 
  • Shared Equipment
    • Certain types of equipment or supplies may need to be shared. These items will be cleaned after each use by a group. 

Swimming (Riverdale Campus Only)

  • This summer we will not be taking all of our camps to ‘Open Swim’ or ‘Swim Lessons.’ This is a measure we are taking to reduce the amount of off-site travel, the use of busses, and the exposure and interaction in spaces that are not ours. However, because the pool is on the campus of our Riverdale camp, we have been working closely with our swimming partner, Physique Swimming to create a safe plan for swimming at that location under the guidance of the CDC and other aquatics specific agencies. More specific information will be shared in the coming weeks.

Cleaning & Disinfecting 

Increased Frequency 

Communal Spaces

  • At camp, we are building in daily and weekly cleaning routines to ensure all spaces are kept clean, especially spaces multiple groups may pass through or utilize throughout the day.
  • For example, cleaning the gym space, cafeteria, art room, or main entrance to camp, and the highly used spaces within them, will be completed after each group’s use. 

Frequently Touched Surfaces

  • In the same fashion as larger spaces, frequently touch objects or surfaces will also be cleaned routinely throughout the day and week. 
  • Handrails, door knobs, push bars will all be cleaned as frequently as after each transition in the day’s schedule. 
  • To reduce the amount of individuals touching water fountains, we will encourage staff to be the ones to activate the fountain when helping to refill water bottles. 

Logging and Tracking

  • To ensure consistent cleanings, logs will be kept for all communal and frequently used spaces at camps. 

Cleaning Team

  • We are working closely with each of our host sites to identify and execute daily and weekly cleaning routines. 
  • Each campsite will share responsibilities with host site maintenance teams as well as third party cleaners. 
  • For further guidance on how these responsibilities will be shared, please seek guidance from your camps Director. 

Hand Hygiene

  • Practicing consistent hand hygiene is one of the most important preventive measures we can take this summer. 
  • Our staff will be frequently washing hands and setting up routines for all groups of campers to wash their hands throughout the day. 
  • When to Wash or Disinfect Hands – Campers and Staff 
    • Immediately upon entering the camp building
    • Before eating food (e.g., when entering the dining area)
    • After being in contact with someone who may have been sick
    • After touching frequently touched surfaces (railings, doorknobs, counters, etc.)
    • After using the restroom
    • After using common items, such as sports equipment, doorknobs and handrails, craft supplies, etc. 
    • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose

Emergency Plans & Response 

If your camper has traveled to a hot spot within the United States or abroad, as designated by New York State, they must quarantine for 14 days as per NYS regulations.

We are happy to accommodate the transfer of any weeks that may be affected by this regulation.

As we await guidance from the New York City Department of Health on what communication expectations they will require, we are working on building our own emergency plans and responses for certain potential scenarios. These will include protocols for communication and expectations for scenarios that may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Response if a camper tests positive for COVID-19
  • Response if a staff member tests positive for COVID-19
  • Response if a family member of a camper or staff member tests positive for COVID-19

As these policies are made clear and are released, we will add them to our Handbook and communicate clear expectations to all. 

Refund Policy & Reminders 

Refund now – If you are sure you want to cancel and receive a refund, you’re welcome to let us know. You will receive the full amount paid, minus $100/week in deposits, if this is done before June 20th.

Rolling registration to 2021 – If you are sure you want to cancel for Summer 2020 and push your weeks to Summer 2021, you will not lose your deposit. You may have to pay the difference in any camp tuition next year, although the price increase is usually nominal. As we navigate this difficult time, we would be grateful if you would consider this option before requesting refunds. 

*You can transfer to next year and if you cancel later on but before June 15, 2021, you’ll receive a refund minus the $100/week deposits.

If you have any questions on your decisions above, please send us an email and we can work through it with you. We’re in a very difficult position as a small, local business, and appreciate the teamwork and partnership as we lean on each other.