Preliminary Health & COVID Guidelines 2021

We are thrilled to once again invite campers onto our beautiful property for another incredible summer!

As recommendations and guidelines are changing, we are making plans for a variety of safety measures this summer. Please be aware that these guidelines may change as updated information becomes available. Please check back here at any time to find the most up to date information from Camp.

We are planning the following COVID-mitigation strategies (updated 2/4/2021):


Before Camp

We will probably ask you to limit your child’s exposure to others outside of your family for a number of days before camp begins.


All campers will probably be required to demonstrate a negative molecular PCR test upon their arrival at camp. We will ask that this is administered within a certain number of days before arrival, and the camper should strictly limit interaction with others outside of his family after the test. (Further details will be released as camp approaches.)


Opening Day

All campers will probably be dropped off while parents remain in the car. Parents will most likely not be allowed to come into camp with their child. We understand that this is hard for parents, especially those with new or young campers. Please know that our team will do our best to create a welcoming and fun environment to make all campers as comfortable as possible, even those who are here for their first summer at camp. He will quickly feel right at home. This was an extremely successful practice in most camps that operated last summer. In fact, some camps noted that first day homesickness was much less with this drop off method.


You’ll be able to meet the staff who will be taking care of your son this summer with a recorded video introduction before you arrive at camp.


As of now, we are planning to allow campers to fly into and out of the Asheville airport, and we will pick them up and drop them off as normal. Please know that if circumstances change, we may not be able to do that, and we would not be responsible for your ticket cost. We don’t anticipate that happening, but just wanted you to be aware.


As soon as your camper arrives, he will join his cabin group and start the fun!


During Camp

Great news, most of what we do is outside, the safest place to be these days!


We will probably use the Cohort model where campers will spend the majority of their time with their Tribe (age/grade groups). The cabin group will be their family group, and they will not be required to wear masks when they are with their cabin -mates, in the cabin, at meals, and when sleeping.


Except for when campers are with their cabin group, at least 2 of 3 conditions will most likely be required. Wearing masks, distancing by 6 feet, and simply being outside. For example, if outside and 6 feet apart, no masks will be required. If inside, wearing masks and being 6 feet apart, when possible, will be required except at mealtimes, when they will be with their cabin group.


There will be no out of camp trips this year, except for our Wilderness programs.


Meals will be eaten in shifts or sometimes outside, to allow everyone to relax and enjoy meals safely.


What if there is a positive diagnosis of COVID-19?

If a camper receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, we will make arrangements with parents for pickup within approximately 10-12 hours. We will work with parents who need a bit more time, but we cannot care for a COVID positive camper for an extended period of time. We will provide prorated options for refunds or rollovers of tuition.


After any positive diagnosis, the camper’s cabin group will be tested. Based on the recommended testing timeline for exposures, it may be necessary for the cabin group to be picked up due to exposure. Prorated refund options will be given if asked for, or those funds can be donated. Please be aware that airlines will more than likely not allow passengers who have been exposed to fly, so other arrangements will need to be made.


Other things to consider

Camp Ridgecrest and Camp Crestridge are both ACA accredited camps, operating since 1929, with years of experience in mitigating the spread of infectious diseases. As always, we will have a Medical Provider, as well as three Registered Nurses, who live at camp in the Infirmary, always available to help.

Last summer, Ridgecrest Camps hosted Family Getaways and has first-hand knowledge of how to operate a safe and exciting camp experience, even with COVID mitigation strategies in place. In collaboration with the American Camp Association, the North Carolina Youth Camp Association, and the Christian Camp and Conference Association, as well as many neighboring camps, we believe that our additional health and safety practices will not detract from an amazing summer experience. In short, kids will still have an unforgettable summer that they won't want to miss.


Some of our additional Health Guidelines will likely include the following:

  • Daily health screenings will be performed on all staff and campers.
  • Increased Hand Washing stations – after skills, tribal activities, before meals, and located outside most buildings.
  • Visitors will not be allowed on camp property.
  • Blue Light UV-C disinfecting lights and/or HEPPA Air Purifiers have been installed in all indoor conditioned spaces including the Infirmary, Lake Lodge, Chapel, Swoll Shack, Crafts Cave and Rogers Retreat. These lights will disinfect these areas where less ventilation is available.
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures will be implemented across the camp facilities.
  • The Infirmary will operate mostly outside on the spacious covered porch. Indoor locations will be divided, with rooms for non-viral treatment, COVID symptom treatment, and COVID-19 isolation. We also have off-site COVID isolation space available, staffed by our Medical Team, at the Ridgecrest Conference Center.
  • In the event of a positive Staff diagnosis, they will be quarantined for 7 days requiring a negative PCR test in order to return, per CDC guidelines.
  • Staff’s ability to travel off property will be limited.
  • Staff vaccinations will be strongly encouraged.
  • Staff will remain distanced from other staff outside their cabin groups, and will wear face coverings when distancing is not possible.
  • While these guidelines are not set in stone, they have been developed in consultation with the American Camp Association Field Guide for the Implementation of CDC Guidance and with reference to current state and health department requirements. As we communicate with other overnight camps, this Field Guide, which has been updated multiple times, is an excellent tool to prepare for a safe and fun camp experience.

We can’t wait for summer 2021. We are thrilled at the possibilities this summer offers. We know that your children need camp and all that it offers. We are working tirelessly to ensure that we will be here to greet you on Opening Day! As always please feel free to email, call or chat with us online if you have any questions.