Important Information about Nature Camp 2021 and COVID-19

11 January 2021

Nature Camp remains cautiously optimistic that we will be able to resume on-site sessions for the summer of 2021. Although Phase 3 guidelines for Virginia’s Plan for Reopening have not yet been amended to permit overnight summer camps to operate this year, we have been informed that we can begin planning for safe reopening this summer.

That said, it is almost certain that the COVID-19 pandemic will still be ongoing for most if not all of 2021, even if widespread vaccination occurs. Therefore, Nature Camp will be implementing a number of changes to our standard procedures, protocols, and schedules in an effort to safeguard the health and well-being of all participants.

  • Sessions will be capped at a maximum capacity of 50 campers each (approximately 23 boys and 27 girls) in order to reduce density in the bunkhouses and allow for safe, physical distancing between campers.
  • Sessions will be shortened from 14 days to 10 days to permit more sessions to be scheduled during the summer and thus increase the number of campers who can attend camp.
  • Campers and staff will be required to wear masks when indoors (except when eating, sleeping, and bathing) and when sufficient physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors.
  • All participants will perform daily wellness checks to minimize the risk of transmission of any communicable illness and so that any unwell persons may be quickly identified and isolated from the rest of the camp population.
  • All participants will be expected to wash their hands frequently and regularly throughout the day or to apply hand sanitizer when washing is not feasible; additional soap and sanitizer dispensers will be installed throughout the camp grounds.
  • Visitors will not permitted during camp sessions.

These procedures are subject to revision and expansion, and additional measures will likely be adopted based on guidance and recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This page will be updated regularly throughout the winter and spring to reflect any such changes. We will also share important details about these protocols and any necessary modifications to our standard operating procedures via e-mail, in print communications, and on our social media pages.

The website also includes a page of Frequently Asked COVID Questions that addresses questions and concerns about the unusual circumstances of 2021 and Nature Camp’s response to them.

Please direct any questions to Executive Director Philip Coulling (director@naturecamp.net or 540-460-7897). Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all navigate these difficult and uncertain times.

Although Nature Camp is an educational camp that seeks to promote greater appreciation for the natural world and a lifelong love of learning, our foremost responsibility will always be the safety and welfare of our participants, and we are humbled and grateful for the trust you have placed in us to take care of your campers.  Nature Camp will not operate unless we can be confident that we can maintain a safe and healthy environment for our campers, staff, and visitors.

Please stay well and safe, and we fervently hope to see you this summer.