**These policies and procedures are subject to change as new information or best practices evolve and change from local health department, the OEC, CDC, and ACA. **

Updated:  4/1/2021

The Darien YMCA Summer Camp is licensed by the CT Office of Early Childhood (OEC).  Working with the OEC, CDC, American Camp Association (ACA) and the Darien Health Department, we have put together a set of guidelines and procedures that must be adhered to by ALL campers, staff and parents in order to provide the safest camp experience for everyone.

Drop off & Pick Up:  Parents will be asked to stay in their car during pick up and drop off. We ask the person dropping off to wear a face covering.   You will be asked a series of Health Screening questions prior to child getting out of the car.   The child will be required to take a ‘pump’ of hand sanitizer on the way to meet their group if the health screening is passed.   Drop off and Pick Up procedures will be outlined and distributed to Preschool Camp, Gymnastics Camp, Afternoon Navigators and School Age Camp prior to camp.  Parents must adhere to the drop off and pick up times.  If you need to drop off or pick up a child during non-drop off times, please call (203) 415-0361 at Hindley or (917) 860-9315 at the YMCA.  You will wait in the drop off circle at Hindley or the YMCA and someone will come get your child or will bring your child to you.

Sick Child/Staff: 

  • If someone begins to feel ill while at camp, they will be brought to the Camp First Aider privately to be evaluated
  • Sick person will be isolated, camper or staff will be required to leave camp if a temperature over 100.0 is recorded. If a fever is present and the ill person is sent home, they will be allowed to return after being 48 hours fever free without the aid of medicine so long as:
    • no other COVID related symptoms become present
    • they pass the health screening in the morning
    • Other illnesses such as cough will be evaluated on a case by case basis
  • If we are informed of a positive COVID-19 test, an email will be sent to the families of that group
  • The Camp will follow CDC guidance on how to disinfect our building or facility if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • We will contact the OEC and the local health department to guide us through the risk assessment and contact tracing process
  • We will exclude the child(ren) and staff member(s) who are determined to have had close contact with the affected child/staff member for 14 days after the last day they had contact with the affected child/staff member.
  • If your child shows symptoms of COVID-19 and tests positive within one week of leaving camp, please inform us so we can help with community contact tracing.

Reportable Cases

COVID-19 was added to the List of Reportable Diseases. Those required to report such diseases must report cases of COVID-19 infection immediately to the Connecticut Department of Public Health and to the local department of health in the town of residence of the case-patient by telephone on the day of recognition or strong suspicion of the disease. The COVID19 report form is available on the DPH website at

Other Illnesses At Camp

  • Campers and staff who become ill will at camp will be evaluated by the Camp First Aider.
  • If a fever is present and the ill person is sent home, they will be allowed to return after being 48 hours fever free without the aid of medicine so long as:
    • no other COVID related symptoms become present
    • they pass the health screening in the morning

As is the case with any other year, we will defer to our on call camp physician consultant, Dr. Philip Negus of Stamford Medical Group in Darien, if a judgement call needs to be made on specific and immediate health related decisions.

For injuries unrelated to illness, our Camp First Aider will treat them according to our general “standing orders”.  The Camp First Aider will use appropriate PPE and follow cleaning protocols in between campers for all cases of illness and injury.  Please note:  The health and safety of all our families relies on the honesty and intentionality of how we treat illness and suspected illness.  We will be honest with you and do our best to keep your campers safe, but it will take all of us acting responsibly with abundant caution to make it possible.

At Home Precautions

We are asking that all staff and children adhere to the following guidelines for at home precautions:

  • Take your temperature before coming to camp.  If over 100.3, please stay home.
  • Come to camp each day with freshly laundered clothes, including outerwear if necessary
  • Wash hands, shower, and clean soft surfaces immediately like towels, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc
  • Monitor if symptoms develop
  • Use social distancing protocols and masks, while in public or around people

Group Sizes:  Group sizes are limited to 20  campers.  Groups will be socially distant from other groups.  We will encourage social distancing within the group of 20, however, within the group contact with other campers will be unavoidable.

Masks:  All YMCA STAFF AND CAMPERS will wear masks while indoors.  Masks may be removed when outdoors when 6’ social distancing can be followed.

Camper & Staff Hygiene:  Most classrooms at the YMCA and Hindley have sinks in them.  Counselors will also have plenty of hand sanitizer for their group.  Campers will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering camp, in between activities, before and after lunch, before and after using shared equipment and after sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose.

Enhanced Cleaning:  We will be enhancing our cleaning and sanitizing procedures throughout the YMCA, Hindley and our camp specific areas indoors and out. These procedures will be consistent with best practice and guidelines presented by the ACA in conjunction with Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc, Y-USA, and local health. We will update cleaning procedures, as necessary.

Groups will be given a set of supplies to use throughout the week to minimize the use of shared equipment with other groups. This individual groups supplies will be cleaned as necessary and again at the end of the week. Before using any supplies, all children and staff will wash or sanitize their hands and will continue to do so throughout the day. Any activity that requires shared equipment between groups will have an appropriate and specific cleaning policy that meets the aforementioned standards.

Lunch:  Campers will keep their lunches with them in their classroom/designated group area.  Parents must place an ice pack in their child’s lunch if they have anything perishable.  We will not be able to refrigerate lunches.

Bathrooms:  Our staff will clean and disinfect the bathrooms periodically throughout the day

Swimming:   Campers will wear their mask to the pool area, but may remove once sitting on the side of the pool during their swim lesson.

Boating:  One group will have boating at a time.  We will have two sets of life jackets.  When one group is boating and using a set, the other set will be disinfected and ready for the next group.  When campers are on the boats, they will be required to wear their masks.

Parent Visitation:  In an effort to minimize contact with anyone outside of the immediate camp community, parents will not be allowed to enter the YMCA or Hindley school.  If you need to drop off or pick up a child during non-drop off times, please call (203) 415-0361 at Hindley or (917) 860-9315 at the YMCA.  You will wait in the drop off circle at Hindley or the YMCA and we will bring your child to you.  Communication between parents, camp directors, and head counselors will be very fluid.  More so than ever, we will be responsive to questions and concerns.  Parents and the Darien YMCA camp will partner to create a healthy, fun and instructional summer for campers and staff.

Busing:  To continue to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, we will not be using a bus to bring the children to and from the Y and Hindley School for swimming and boating.  Children will walk the .5 miles along the Post Road.  Additional staff will accompany them.  Each group will be provided a rope that children will hold onto the whole walk.  In the event of a rainy day, intermittent rain or extremely hot days with poor air quality, we will cancel swimming & boating and do other activities at Hindley.  If a group goes to the YMCA and it begins to rain, they will remain at the YMCA to wait out the rain.  In the event it doesn’t stop, we will alert parents with our new SMS texting system and email that pick up for that group will be at the YMCA.

Field Trips:  We hope to be able to implement field trips into our weekly schedules this summer.  A Field Trip Schedule and Permission Form will be provided to each camper prior to the start of camp.

Extended Care:  At this time a decision about Extended Care has not been made.  We are waiting on more guidance from the Office of Early Childhood.   We understand that this may present a challenge for some families.  We appreciate your patience and understanding.  If anything changes, we will communicate to all families.

*Please note and understand that any of the above mentioned policies may change or be added to, based on guidance from the local health, state health departments, Y Alliance, Office of Early Childhood or otherwise determined by the Camp Directors of the Darien YMCA to promote and maintain the health and wellbeing of our campers, staff and members.*