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. As a camp operating in NC, the NCDHHS creates recommendations and requirements that have been used to create our guidelines below. 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 6/7/2021):

Please click here to read our complete Camp Ridgecrest COVID Guidelines.


Before Camp

We will ask you to limit your child’s exposure to others outside of your family for at least eight days before camp begins.

All unvaccinated campers and staff will be required to demonstrate a negative molecular PCR test upon their arrival at camp. Rapid PCR Tests will not be accepted on Opening Day. We will ask that this is administered on the Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday before arrival, and the camper should strictly limit interaction with others outside of his family after the test. (More testing details available on the complete Camp Ridgecrest COVID Guidelines document. A link is provided at the top of this page.)

  • If your child has had COVID in the 15-90 days before camp, we will only require documentation of a positive PCR COVID Test within that time frame (and no additional test would be required). If your child tested positive in the 15-90 day window, and you do not have this PCR Test available, please note that there is a possibility that he/she will test positive on their PCR Test the Wednesday before they arrive. For these families, or families that are concerned that their child might have had COVID and was not tested, we recommend that you also complete an antibody test along with the PCR Test the week before camp. Documentation of Recovery from your physician will also be accepted for campers who test positive but have fully recovered from a previous COVID infection within the last 90 days.
  • Documentation of a positive antibody test or a Letter of Recovery from your physician will ONLY be required at Check-In if you have a positive PCR test within the 14 days prior to arrival.
  • To clarify, we will accept a positive PCR COVID test within the 15-90 day window before Opening Day. No antibody test will be required in this case. These campers must have fully recovered and are no longer experiencing symptoms.


We will also ask that campers complete an Eight Day Health Monitoring Form (located in your CampInTouch account in the Forms and Documents section) starting eight days before their arrival.


Campers who have had a positive COVID exposure during their 8 Day Monitoring Period will not be able to enter camp on Opening Day. (Please reach out to Camp for more information if this happens.)


Opening Day

Please have your 8 Day Health Monitoring Form and your negative PCR test (or completed vaccination card) readily available as you pull up to the front gate. Each camper, and any family member interacting with our staff should also be wearing a mask.


Campers must be fever-free (<100.4) upon arrival to come into camp.

Campers with 99.5 - 100.3 (consistently) will be kept at camp or Ridgecrest Conference Center under staff supervision until it goes down. If not down in 12 hours the camper will be sent home.


All campers will be dropped off while parents remain in the car. Parents will 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 on Opening Day. To help you get to know them, we will also provide pictures of your son's counselors as well as a personal letter to you from each of them.


Campers will be able 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 use the Cohort model where campers will spend the majority of their time with their Tribe (age/grade groups).

In general, mask will not be worn outside! There are a few exceptions that include larger camp gatherings where we are in close proximity of one another, sitting, singing or chanting for an extended period of time.

In general, mask will be worn inside. There are a few exceptions. Mask will not be worn inside while eating, drinking, or anytime campers are inside their own cabins. Wearing masks indoors is still a required guideline for all NC camps.


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.


If a camper shows convincing COVID symptoms, we will have a PCR test performed and contact the parents.


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 24 hours. We will provide prorated options for refunds or rollovers of tuition.

After any positive diagnosis, we will call all parents in the cabin and ask that they pick their campers up within 24 hours. (Based on current guidelines, subject to change.)
Based on the recommended testing timeline for exposures, it will probably 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 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 10 days, 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.
  • For a copy of our complete Camp Ridgecrest COVID Guidelines, please see the link at the top of the page.

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.