2021 COVID-19 and Communicable Disease Procedures at YMCA Camp Cherokee


At YMCA Camp Cherokee, we have been working diligently with national and local governing agencies to ensure this summer is both safe and fun! These agencies include the CDC, American Camp Association, Y-USA, SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control and local health departments.

We would like to take this opportunity to be as open and honest with our camp families as possible. The YMCA of Upper Palmetto and YMCA Camp Cherokee cannot guarantee or promise a 100% COVID-19 free environment this summer. We have implemented recommendations and best practices set forth in order to operate YMCA Camp Cherokee as safely as possible this summer amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opening and Closing Day/ Group Sizing

To ensure proper distancing between groups at Camp, we will be taking the proper precautions this summer:

  • Staggered Drop Off and Pick Up on Opening and Closing Days. Each family will be assigned a pick up and drop off window and we encourage everyone to drop off and pick up during that time. These times will be communicated to each parent during the cabin assignment announcement prior to each session.
  • Opening Day Temperature Check and  Verbal Pre-Camp Health Screening (see section below).
  • Smaller Cohort Groups. Campers will have assigned shared spacing for meals and programs in groups of no more than 50 people (campers, CITs and staff members). These cohort groups will participate in activities individually and will rotate together with each activity and meal to minimize cross contact.

Pre-Camp/ During Camp Health Screening

All YMCA Camp Cherokee campers, CITs, staff members and visitors will participate in a verbal health screening during Check In on Opening Day. The health screening will include a temperature check. Medical staff conducting the health screening will be wearing PPE, including gloves and cloth masks. Parents and Campers will not be permitted into camp until the temperature check is completed.

  • If your camper can answer yes to any of the following questions or has presented a fever of 100.4 or above in the past 72 hours, please do not bring them to Camp.
    • Had contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection, including anyone in your household?
    • Have you or anyone in your household shown symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste) in the last two weeks?
    • Have you or anyone in your household been exposed or quarantined in the last two weeks?

We are asking all parents and guardians to please review the medical procedures we will be following:

  • If a camper becomes sick or presents a fever at any time during camp, a parent/ guardian will need to pick them up immediately.
  • If a camper is sent home sick for any reason, we are requiring the parent or guardian to consult with a doctor and give us written permission from a physician stating that it is safe for that child to return to camp.

Pre-Camp at Home

We are asking all parents and guardians to prepare your child before your arrival this summer to YMCA Camp Cherokee. We want to assure that campers are educated and will be informed of changes being made before arriving at camp. Topics we recommend discussing before camp are:

  • Review YMCA Camp Cherokee’s health screening process with your campers.
  • Talk with your camper in regards to proper hand washing and hygiene – including the use of hand sanitizer.
  • Discuss the importance of adequate hydration before and during camp.
  • Discuss with your child social distancing and minimizing physical contact. We will address all of these areas on the first day of each session, but want our campers to understand the importance of our group sizing decisions and minimizing all physical contact.
  • We are recommending all campers to bring personal hand sanitizer bottles if possible. YMCA Camp Cherokee will provide hand sanitizer and hand washing products, but want campers to have their own personal sanitizer if desired.
  • YMCA Camp Cherokee will not be requiring campers to wear masks or cloth face coverings during camp (except during canopy tours and transportation to and from horseback riding and Crowder’s Mountain excursions), but will certainly allow any campers to do so. Please note, each camper will be responsible for wearing masks and this will not be the responsibility of YMCA Camp Cherokee staff members.

Sanitation/ Cleaning/ Personal Protection Equipment

YMCA Camp Cherokee will be continuing our increased cleaning, sanitation and disinfectant schedule and guidelines. These procedures will vary from activity to activity. All disinfectant products will be SARS-Cov2 virucide EPA registered products. Listed below are sanitation and cleaning procedures being taken this summer at camp:

  • Scheduled and required hand washing and sanitizing times – including before and after meals.
  • Increased disinfectant wipe down/ spray of all shared equipment (rock climbing, archery. boating, life jackets and etc). This will also include increased disinfectant procedures of cabin areas and bunks.
  • Increased hand sanitizing stations at higher transition areas around camp.
  • Constant disinfection of all eating and restroom facilities – including showers.
  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting of all high contact points (light switches, door knobs, tables, chairs and etc).

Add-On Activities/ Field Trips/ Outside Visitors

YMCA Camp Cherokee is offering Add-On activities, including canopy tours, horseback riding and Crowder’s Mountain excursions this summer. Please note our Horseback Riding and Crowder’s Mountain programs require transporting campers off-site. These are the only off-site field trips YMCA Camp Cherokee will be offering during summer 2021. In addition, campers and staff members will be required to wear masks while riding in a vehicle to and from these activities, as well as while participating in our canopy tour.

YMCA Camp Cherokee will also not allow outside visitors into our facilities this summer. This includes parents and non-staff members. Parents will need to contact the Resident Camp Director or another member of leadership if they are needing to drop off additional materials for their camper.

Boy’s and Girl’s Outdoor Leadership Development (BOLD & GOLD)

YMCA Camp Cherokee will be offering our Boy’s and Girl’s Outdoor Leadership Development program this summer. The program will consist of a one week backpacking excursion through the hiking trails of Kings Mountain State Park. The BOLD & GOLD program will follow the same protocols as our traditional overnight resident summer camp, including health screening, temperature checks, increased hand washing and disinfecting and physically distancing.

Due to the nature of the BOLD & GOLD program, each trip will act as its own pod or cohort group. In addition, participants will be given their own tent to sleep in at night. Mask wearing will not be required for campers or staff members during the BOLD & GOLD excursions.

Required Forms

YMCA of Upper Palmetto and YMCA Camp Cherokee requires an additional communicable disease waiver form. Each parent or guardian will need to complete this form for each camper prior to your arrival to camp. The communicable disease form can be found by logging into your parent portal and clicking the ‘Forms and Documents’ tab.



We would like to thank everyone for their patience and flexibility as we work to make YMCA Camp Cherokee as safe as possible, while providing the great experiences of YMCA Camp Cherokee that so many of you have come to know and love. If you have any questions please contact our Resident Camp Director, Will Gilmore.