Camp Pinnacle’s Approach to COVID-19

We are very excited about the summer ahead! Rest assured, we fully intend to operate. Our experience running camp last summer has left us confident that with proper cohorting, use of outdoor space, and scheduling, we can create another great and safe camp experience. We will continue to follow CDC and American Camp Association (ACA) guidelines as we expect that COVID will still affect operations this summer.

You can find our COVID operating guidelines below; please understand this is a living document. As the CDC’s and ACA’s guidance may change throughout the summer, so may our programming. If guidelines and restrictions loosen, we hope to be able to close the gap between our traditional programming and what follows below.

View our 2021 standards of care

View common FAQs for operating during COVID

Cleaning and hygiene

  • We have raised our already thorough sanitation standards to match and exceed recommendations from health care professionals.
  • Cabins will be assigned bathhouses to limit use and interaction between cabins.
  • Bathhouses will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • We will increase the frequency with which we perform deep cleanings of shared surfaces,cabins, and indoor facilities.
  • Campers will continue to be required to wash their hands before eating meals and after using the restroom.
  • Each cabin and activity area has a hand sanitizer station. Campers will be asked to use hand sanitizer prior to each activity and before entering the cabin area.

Wearing masks at camp

Our continued goal is that campers will not always wear masks at camp. To mitigate this, staff will be required to wear masks when interacting with campers outside their cabin group. Campers will need to wear masks if two of these three guiding principles are not possible:

  • Outside or in an open-air building (i.e., cabin, dining hall, or gym)
  • Six feet of distance between cabin groups
  • During intense activity such as running, biking, and/or swimming

Traveling to and from Camp Pinnacle

  • Families are required to drive to camp to drop off their child(ren).
  • In addition, we ask that families have the ability to pick up their child within 24 hours of notice to drive them home.
  • We ask parents to observe social distancing and masking protocols in their travel to camp.
  • We will take campers to AVL or GPS airports on closing day. Please refer to our “Tips for Booking Your Child’s Flight Home” document in CampInTouch for more information.C

COVID screening practices

Prior to camp:

  • Campers must self-quarantine for 10 days prior to their arrival at camp.
  • By “self-quarantine,” we mean limiting exposure to non-family members, wearing a facemask around non-family members, avoiding large crowds/gatherings, and limiting unnecessary travel.
  • As an alternative, campers may quarantine for seven days prior to camp and submit the negative results of a PCR test. We can arrange testing for families through Vault Health.
  • Parents must document temperatures and general health conditions of their camper for 10days leading up to their arrival and report any fever or symptoms to camp staff.

On opening day:

  • Opening day arrival times will be staggered to limit the number of people on camp property at any given time.
  • Parents will be required to wear masks while at camp and will only be allowed near the gym. Parents will not be allowed to visit their child’s cabin.
  • Campers must arrive with their pre-camp Health Screening Form completed and signed. We cannot admit campers without this document.
  • Campers will be required to wear a mask until they have completed the entire screening process and entered the “logside” area, where they will be greeted by their head counselors and Fayssoux. At this time, we ask parents to say their goodbyes.

Campers must pass the following initial screening process:

  • Temperature check (100.4° F degrees or above is considered febrile)
  • Health screening questionnaire review
  • If a camper does not pass the initial screening process, they will be retested shortly thereafter. If the fever persists, campers will be asked to leave camp until their fever has abated without medication. Depending on circumstances, the camper may have to be fever-free for 72 hours until they can return to camp.

Please do not give your child any medication that could mask a fever on opening day.

Campers and staff will have daily temperature and symptom screenings.

Parent contact

In addition to normal circumstances of parent contact, we will also communicate if any of the following arise:

  • Your camper is showing COVID-like symptoms that cannot be attributed to other illnesses
  • Your camper needs to be quarantined
  • Another camper in your child’s cabin has tested positive for COVID-19
  • If your child is being tested for COVID-19

We will provide frequent communication for families about the general health of camp.

Limiting interactions

  • Non-essential visitors will not be allowed on camp property at any time during the summer. Essential visitors (food delivery, plumbers, electricians, etc.) will be required to wear masks when on camp property and maintain social distancing standards.
  • While we have always been a cabin-based program, campers will spend the majority of their time at camp in activities with their cabin group.
  • As part of the concentric group circle prevention of infection model, cabins will be arranged in “neighborhoods” comprising four to seven cabin groups. Interactions outside the “neighborhood” will be limited. Please understand that this may result in siblings and friends of different ages and genders having limited contact with each other throughout the session.
  • Staff will attend a 12-day “quarientation” before camp starts. They are committed to spending their days off following all Camp Pinnacle COVID policies to reduce any chance of contracting or spreading the virus.
  • We will still run out-of-camp trips, but we will be visiting more remote locations in the forests that we know well.
    Trips to Dolly’s for ice cream will be replaced with ice cream at camp. Yay for Rolly’s!

Quarantining a camper or staff member

Guidelines for quarantine:

  • Fever (above 100.4° F), cough, and shortness of breath OR
  • Difficulty breathing, sore throat, muscle pain, chills, and fever OR
  • Loss of taste or smell

Occasions when a child would be sent home:

  • If they test positive for COVID-19, or in the absence of available testing or available results,have significant or worsening symptoms per the recommendation of our camp doctor and medical director.
  • For any reason at the recommendation of our camp doctor and medical director.

Meals at camp

All food will be carefully prepared using masks and gloves. Campers will sit with their cabin groups for meals using the same table throughout the session. Cabin tables will be located a minimum of six feet apart from each other. Breakfast and dinner will be served family-style. Only counselors will get up to get seconds for the table, which will always be served with a fresh plate. Lunch will be buffet-style. Each neighborhood will have a separate buffet line with appropriate separation between campers and food. Campers will be served in the buffet by staff wearing masks and gloves.

Thanks for the faith and confidence you have placed in us. We are looking forward to safely reuniting our community and enjoying a much-needed summer of social and emotional growth and outdoor fun. Please don’t hesitate to share any questions or concerns, and know that we will continue to communicate as we adjust policies with current conditions.

Did Camp Pinnacle operate in 2020?

Yes! Using the guidelines from the American Camp Association and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (and in partnership with the Henderson County Health Department and support of our local government), we set up effective protocols to run a safe, fun, and rewarding summer. We focused on pre-camp screening and testing, daily symptom screening, exclusive use of outdoor venues, cohorting by cabin groups, doubling our daily cleaning, constant hand-washing and vigilant hygiene, wearing masks in vehicles and indoor spaces, and physically distancing when appropriate.

We’re thrilled to report that we had our healthiest summer ever in 2020, and kids had an incredibly fun time with peers in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Read what parents had to say about 2020