Summer Camps

Please visit the above resources for detailed best practices on protecting against the spread of COVID-19 at camp organizations.

Summer Day Camp Guidelines

Effective May 18. As restrictions on social gatherings are gradually reduced, summer day camps may begin to operate as long as they follow the measures below to protect the health of attendees and staff. Taking these proactive measures will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and help safeguard children and their families. This directive is not intended to cover sports day camps, which will be covered under the Directive for Community and School Sponsored Team Sports.

  • Summer Day camps must prohibit persons from the facility except:
    • Camp or facility staff;
    • Children enrolled at the camp;
    • Parents or legal guardians who have children enrolled and present at the facility; and
    • Professionals providing services to children.
  • The camp must require children to be picked up and dropped off outside the facility, unless it is determined there is a legitimate need for the parent to enter a facility. Stagger drop-off and pickup times if possible.
  • All efforts should be made to limit the congregation of children. Class sizes should be limited to 10 or less.
  • As much as possible, maintain physical distancing of 6 feet (space seating, etc.).
  • Ensure student and staff groupings change as little as possible by having the same group of children stay with the same staff (all day for young children and as much as possible for older children). Limit mixing between groups.
  • Limit camp enrollment to numbers that will allow for proper physical distancing.
  • The size of gatherings, events, and activities during the day should be sufficiently limited to allow for proper physical distancing and support proper hand hygiene.
  • Prohibit all field trips and events with outside groups or other camps in this phase.
  • Staff and campers 10 years of age and older should wear cloth face coverings to diminish potential spread from people who might be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic for COVID-19 infection. For safety reasons, under no circumstances should a mask be placed on a child under 2 years of age Face coverings are not required for children under the age of 10, as many children in this group will have difficulty consistently wearing a mask. However, if a child older than 2 but younger than 10 is able to consistently wear a face covering, it is encouraged. Face coverings are not required while exercising.
  • Areas that are frequently touched—such as playground equipment, shared objects/toys, door handles, drinking fountain, and sink handles—should be cleaned and disinfected between uses, or at least frequently throughout the day.
  • Do not allow sick children to be cared for in the facility. Sick children should stay at home. If a child becomes sick while at the day camp, contact the parent or guardian immediately and separate the child from other children at the camp.
  • Ensure that each child is provided individual meals and snacks. Do not serve family style meals. Mealtimes should occur in classrooms if at all possible. Close communal use spaces such as dining halls and playgrounds if possible; otherwise stagger use and disinfect in between use.

Summer Overnight Camp Guidelines

Effective May 21. This directive of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) addresses the operation of overnight camps throughout the state this summer. This directive is intended to cover organized, residential camp group activities for children that may be outdoors or indoors. This directive excludes band or choir camps, which remain prohibited from operating. It is not intended to cover summer day camps, which are covered under the Directive for Summer Day Camps.

Due to the close sleeping, dining and activities of residential camps, extra precautions are necessary as ADH requires for other congregate settings. Taking these proactive measures will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and help safeguard children and their families.

  • All staff and campers are strongly encouraged to self-quarantine at home (do not leave home for any purpose) for 14 days prior to arriving at camp, and strongly encouraged to have a -PCR COVID-19 test performed within 4 days (96 hours) prior to being admitted to camp.
    • If the test is positive, camper shall not be permitted to enter the camp.
    • This requirement does not apply to community-based staff, including maintenance, kitchen and any others who do not stay overnight at the camp, who will not have direct contact with the campers or staff.
  • Staff and campers 10 years of age and older shall wear cloth face coverings to diminish potential spread from people who might be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic for COVID-19. For safety reasons, under no circumstances should a mask be placed on a child under 2 years of age. Face coverings are not required for children under the age of 10, as many children in this group will have difficulty consistently wearing a mask. However, if a child older than 2 but younger than 10 is able to consistently wear a face covering, it is encouraged. Face coverings are not required while exercising, eating, bathing, or sleeping.
  • Camps may require all staff and campers to self-quarantine for 14 days and a PCR COVID-19 test performed within 4 days (96 hours) prior to being admitted to camp. Camps that require both quarantine and test will be exempt from the requirement for staff and campers to wear face coverings.
  • Counselors may arrive for training no earlier than May 24, 2020.
  • Campers may arrive no earlier than May 31, 2020.
  • Camps are discouraged from using volunteers. If this is not possible, camps shall ensure the volunteers adhere to all the rules in place for staff and should be treated as staff.
  • Summer Overnight camps shall prohibit persons from the facility except:
    • Camp or facility staff;
    • Children enrolled at the camp;
    • Parents or legal guardians who have children enrolled and present at the facility with a legitimate need; and
    • Professionals providing services to children.
    • Parents or professionals shall sign in and be masked on entry
  • Providers of essential camp services, including, but not limited to, food suppliers and delivery drivers, shall be screened for symptoms prior to entry. To ensure that their contact with campers and staff is restricted, they shall use designated entry points into any camp facility and be physically segregated from campers and staff. They shall wear a face covering/mask at all times while on the premises.
  • The camp shall require children to be picked up outside the facility, unless there is a legitimate need for the parent to enter a facility. Children should preferably be dropped off outside the facility as well, but parents may drop off children within the facility as long as they do not exit their cars under any circumstances and shall wear a face covering while in the camp facility, even within their cars. Stagger drop-off and pick-up times if possible.
  • As much as possible, maintain physical distancing of 6 feet (space seating, etc.).
  • Do not allow sick children to be cared for in the facility.
    • Any person who becomes ill while at the camp shall be immediately isolated.
    • Make arrangements for the individual to be returned home.
    • If symptoms include fever above 100.4°F, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell, notify the Arkansas Department of Health.