Stay tuned to this page for policy and procedure updates. We are periodically updating this page as we learn more.
YCAMP OF MAINE & COVID-19
JANURAY 30, 2023
In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our Camp Community, the use of conventional health practices, coupled with a holistic approach, YCamp is able to provide a quality of care that promotes a healthy and happy community.
Before coming to YCamp, it is important that campers and families do their part to arrive at Camp as healthy as possible. Steps to a happy camper arriving at YCamp include:
- Having a physical exam by a medical professional to ensure good health;
- Being up to date with required vaccines in line with Maine’s required vaccines for School attendance (Diptheria, Measles, Meningococcal Meningitis, Mumps, Pertussis, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Rubella, Varicella) (https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/immunization/family/documents/immunization-requirements-for-school-children.pdf);
- YCamp strongly encourages campers to receive the annual flu vaccine, to be up to date with COVID-19 immunizations, and to have received any other vaccines in accordance with CDC and other public health recommendations or requirements;
- A family requesting an exemption from vaccines or other health care requirements for their camper based on medical reasoning are required to provide a Doctor’s note substantiating medical exemption prior to the start of the summer season;
- Exceptions to receiving required vaccines need to be submitted to CEO before the start of the YCamp Summer Season for review and granting or denial;
- Prepare all of a camper’s necessary prescription and OTC medications in the original packaging. All prescription medication must come to camp in the original packaging with the pharmacy label attached, including the campers name, medication name, dose and administration timing and the prescribing provider’s name and phone number. (The Health Center is fully stocked with OTC meds - see list in “Prescription Medications / OTC Restrictions” in CampInTouch);
- If a camper has a fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach ache, or other flu like symptoms within 72 hrs of the first day of their session, please be in touch with Medical Staff to discuss options and a possible delay to the start of their session;
- Contact CEO &/or Medical Staff before Camper’s session with specific questions, concerns, or questions.
During Camp, Medical Staff will treat campers to the best of their training, and within their scope of practice. Families will be contacted when care is provided beyond minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises that are inherent in Camp Programming. YCamp believes there is power and benefit to including families in the care of their camper. The standard of care with follow Maine guidelines and practices set forth by the Camp Physician Standing Orders.
When appropriate, non pharmacological practices are in place to limit exposure and possible spread of any contagious condition including and not limited to: hand washing, mask wearing, physical distancing, and isolation, or quarantine.
Families will be contacted and required to come pick-up their camper(s) if they test positive for COVID-19, the flu, or are diagnosed with another contagious health condition. For international campers and campers from a long distance, quarantine will be held onsite unless other options are created.
June 15, 2022
The CDC recently released their updated guidelines for overnight summer camps, and we utilizing these to allow our campers an awesome YCamp experience this summer! The recommendation is that everyone, ages 5 years and up, receive a booster five months after their second dose of the primary series. If your camper is eligible for a booster prior to their YCamp session, please make an appointment for them to receive this shot, so they are up to date with their vaccines before coming to camp.
In the two weeks leading up to your camper’s time at YCamp, please help your camper limit their exposure and make choices that allow them to arrive at camp healthy. If your camper is exposed to COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms prior to arriving at camp, please have them tested, and have proof of a negative result, before bringing them to YCamp.
At this point, we are not requiring proof of negative tests on Check-In Day from asymptomatic campers, though this could change as we move through the summer. We are planning to test symptomatic campers on-site, as situations arise.
If your camper tests positive while at YCamp, we will contact you to pick them up so they can isolate at home. For international campers and campers from outside of New England, we have protocols in place to isolate COVID positive campers for the allotted time as dictated by the CDC.
We will be masking when we are indoors, and as needed based, on community health and the CDC recommendations for our county. We will encourage frequent hand washing, daily health check-ins, and continue to eat and spend as much time outside as possible.
Thank you again for your compliance and flexibility as we adjust to the most current guidelines.
January 28, 2022
We continue to monitor the Maine and Federal CDC, departments of health, industry leaders in camping, and the general civic climate for developing our health policies for this summer. COVID is still with us. We want to continue moving forward with offering the best Camp possible while keeping the health and safety of our community at the forefront. Our decisions first considers the health and safety IN Camp. Then, we consider sending campers home, allowing staff time-off away from Camp, and the implications of YCamp’s health and safety on our greater community.
Our Board of Directors has voted to require that all campers and staff members are to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We continue to use the CDC’s definition of fully vaccinated. There is now a spot on the camper medical records for families to input their camper’s COVID vaccine info through your CampInTouch account.
We recognize that some campers cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Medical exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require documentation by a licensed physician.
At this point, other COVID precautions are uncertain for this summer. I continue to work with our Medical Team to digest all of the information we receive as we plan for this summer. Stay tuned! We will keep you updated as we know more.
THANK YOU for your ongoing support, patience, and trust. I promise to continue being honest and transparent with you as plans unfold - we continue living in a time of change and flexibility is key.
November 1, 2021
As we look toward our 2022 camp season, we know COVID-19 will still be a factor, but we are hopeful our programming can return to more 'normalcy'. We anticipate the guidance around prevention, vaccination, and testing will change in the months ahead. With that in mind, YCamp staff will continue to work with outside experts, as well as collaborating with the State of Maine, CDC and American Camp Association to prepare for a safe 2022 camp season.
Effective for summer 2022, all YCamp staff are required to be fully vaccinated upon the first day of staff training. At this moment in time, we are monitoring guidelines around children being vaccinated and we are strongly encouraging all of our campers to get vaccinated. We will update this section as we learn more in the coming months.
july 1, 2021
We are excited for SUMMER 2021 to start! These are the most updated COVID PROTOCOLS. We are taking steps to keep people safe, have fun, be engaging in our community, and embrace the YCamp Experience to it's fullest potential. SEE YOU SOON!
March 18, 2021
This document includes the nine things we are doing this summer to keep our Community safe. We continue to plan, learn, observe, wait, communicate, and remain flexible. For the last year, our mantra has been: learn, plan, communicate, repeat. Please reach out out if you have questions.
We are learning and making plans for our next steps which include an AWESOME summer of being back together! Stay tuned for more to come...
February 12, 2021
We continue monitoring updates from "Maine Summer Camps", ACA, CDC, Redwoods Group, and our other sponsors. We are making upgrades to cabins (screen doors on Boys' Village cabins, fans mounted in every cabin) and assessing all other buildings for air circulation, capacity, and function for the summer.
We are holding monthly staff meetings to plan for the summer. We know that activity choice is important - so, we are developing different scenarios to allow for activity choices while being safe. We are planning Evening Activities that are fun, safe, fun, engaging, fun... and fun.
WE CAN'T WAIT TO BE BACK TOGETHER AGAIN! Stay tuned for more updates. Posts will come as we know more.
September 3, 2020
Plans for 2021 are well underway. We continue monitoring, watching, talking, and listening to updates in the pandemic response. We are confident that summer 2021 will be possible, awesome, safe, and fun. We will be back together creating friendship and memories. Thank you for sticking with us.
May 15, 2020
"The Camp of Character" has been YMCA Camp of Maine's dictum since our first year in 1915. YCamp has survived the Spanish Flu, two world wars, economic disruptions, and the effects of societal changes. YCamp has prevailed for 105 years because the Board of Directors, leadership, parents, and alumni have remembered what it means to lead with character - making the right choices, no matter how difficult they are, even when others are not looking.
The whole world is watching us right now because members of the YCamp community span the globe and have done so for generations. This week, the Board of Directors made the painful decision to cease overnight camping operations for 2020. While Governor Mills' Orders forced us to cancel Sessions 1 and 2, the Board and I have decided that, for the sake of our community, we must cancel Sessions 3 & 4 (including LIT 3 & 4, CIT Group 2, Session 4A, and Session 4B) for the summer of 2020.
I am going to send another letter next week to talk about the options for the fees you have already entrusted to us.
What we see as the right choice is not an easy one to make. The decisive factor has always been our obligations to you and our community, to maintain a safe and healthy environment. We took into account all of the known and unknown factors about the pandemic and our Camp. We consulted with professionals across many industries and reached the best answer for YCamp and the hundred of Campers and Staff who visit us from across the US and from around the world. Every camp across the country is needing to make the right choices for themselves based on their community.
This is hard. This is sad. I am sure you and your campers share the grief that my family and I are experiencing. This is a time when we need to stay connected and help each other. We need to remember what it means to be a Camper at YCamp -
- The Camp of Character
- God First, The Other Fellow Second, I'm Third
- Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Caring
- Friendship and Leadership
- Growth and Independence
Until we can meet again, please help me keep the Spirit of YCamp burning.
April 30, 2020
As life goes on for the wild critters of YCamp, life for the rest of us remains in flux. This week, Maine Governor Mills announced her plans to keep Maine safe, while re-opening businesses. The plan allows for overnight camps to resume operations in Level 3 which, presuming everything goes well, should start July 1. With this fresh news, Sessions 1 & 2 for YCamp are not hopeful. Families with campers registered for Session 1 &/or 2 will receive an email from me next week to discuss options.
Our Board of Directors will be meeting in early May to discuss plans for the remainder of the summer. We are waiting for guidances and protocols from the CDC, and an independent report, commissioned by the American Camp Association, to make any final decisions for the summer.
The commitment of having a safe, fun, and beneficial YCamp experience remains to be the keystone of our decision making. While we understand the new adage of “a new normal,” certain aspects of Camp must be permissible - sharing meals and conversations, sports and activities, personal independence and group living, all coupled with safety and well-being.
We appreciate your patience and support through all of this. We know that you and your families are looking forward to the summer and YCamp is a large part of that. Whether this should be your first summer, or the next summer of many, we are thinking about you and considering you, when we are making these hard decisions.
The next round of camper payments are due on May 1. If your camper is registered for Session 1 &/or 2, your payment will not be processed. If you have been in touch with us to have your payment held, we will do so. If you are registered for Session 3 &/or 4 and would like to have your payment held, please let Jodi know over the weekend. We are going to wait and process payments at noon on Monday May 4.
Forms are due on June 1. Because of all the current uncertainty, hold on and don't worry about it. We will let you know an updated deadline soon.
We understand that there is a lot of apprehension, confusion, and uncertainty right now. We are all trying to make the right decisions for today, tomorrow, and the future.
Like everyone, we are practicing social distancing and covering the phones to be here for you. We are continuing to plan forward and holding on to the prospects of having Camp this summer. We know you want to get through this and get back to places that bring joy and strengthen resolve - YCamp!
If you can be optimistic with us, please keep your camper enrolled in YCamp for this summer. This will help everyone keep our eyes set on a positive future.
YCamp has been a constant in the community and in the hearts of many for 105 summers. We continue to monitor the situation and talk with our peers and other industries to make sure we are making good choices for OUR community.
This page will be updated as we learn more.
Keep the spirit burning.
At YCamp, the safety and well-being of our participants is always the highest priority. We will be regularly updating this page to inform you of our practices and policies regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are closely monitoring ME DHHS, CDC, and WHO for up to date information. We are also working closely with Redwoods Insurance Group, Chalmer's Insurance, American Camping Association (ACA), Y-USA, and local physicians to make sure we are up to date with best practices and guidelines. Our local, state, national, and international agencies remain in contact to keep us informed and proactive as new information develops.
For now, the best path forward for all of us is to stay informed on the facts, which are being updated on a regular basis. Below is a list of reliable sources of information:
ME DHHS Coronavirus Overview (https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/)
CDC Coronavirus Overview (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html)
WHO Coronavirus Overview (https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus)
Frequently Asked Questions
Will YCamp Maine be open this Spring and Summer?
We are planning forward with our Fall Group. It is our plan to be open for groups in the end of August. We will be monitoring circumstances and adhering to guidance from the CDC, the ME Department of Health and Human Services, and other experts to determine whether programs need to be canceled..
Is YCamp accepting phone calls and emails?
Yes, please feel free to contact us at 207-395-4200 or by email. Again, out of an abundance of caution, we have closed our offices and asked our staff to work remotely. We appreciate your patience with our responses while we adjust to a new way of work.
Will I be refunded if Camp is canceled?
Like most nonprofits, YCamp is preparing to experience significant hardships related to COVID-19. Beyond ensuring the health and safety of our participants and their families, we remain optimistic about providing scholarships for campers this summer, funding our overhead, and continuing to offer life-changing YCamp Experience. However, we recognize families across the nation are also bracing for their own challenges.
If your session is canceled, you will have the following options:
Please consider donating your registration fees to help sustain our mission and operations.
You might also consider saving your fees as a credit with us to be used for future registrations during the next year. You will be given priority registration for 2021.
We will refund your full registration fees upon request minus the deposit.
What additional steps is YCamp taking to prevent COVID-19?
It is reassuring to acknowledge that YCamp already meets and/or exceeds all of the public health recommendations of the CDC and ME Department of Health and Human Services. We continue monitoring recommendations and will institute changes in our Health Care Policies as necessary
What are the YCamp's plans for summer camp?
For the summer 2020, we are not running traditional overnight camp. We are taking this time to make facility improvements and serve our local community. We will be here in 2021 stronger than ever! Our professional leadership team is working with these agencies and many others to ensure that we are fully prepared to continue to offer the same values-based, mission-driven summer camp experience that we have been providing since 1915.
As a donor to YCamp, how can I help?
We are beyond grateful to the members of our community - our alumni, camper families, volunteers, and staff - who have recognized the challenges crises like this can pose to a human services organization regardless of their own hardships that they may be facing. For those who are able and interested, please make a gift here. THANK YOU for your support of children and families during these uncertain times.
News of COVID-19 is everywhere. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts:
Child Mind Institute (https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/)
Psychology Today (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-is-not-the-boss/202002/how-talk-your-anxious-child-about-the-coronavirus)
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Admin) (https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Talking-With-Children-Tips-for-Caregivers-Parents-and-Teachers-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/PEP20-01-01-006)
We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and share relevant information and updates with you. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to keeping YCamp safe and healthy. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at 207-395-4200 or by email