COVID-19 and Communicable Disease Procedures at YMCA Camp Cherokee


We would like to thank each and everyone at this time for being patient and flexible with us in regards to YMCA Camp Cherokee this summer. We will be operating camp on a normal schedule, beginning June 7th with program modifications.


Opening and Closing Day/ Group Sizing

  • Staggered Drop Off and Pick Up on Opening and Closing Days. Each family will be assigned a pick up and drop off window and we encourage everyone to drop off and pick up during that time. These times will be communicated to each parent during the cabin assignment announcement prior to each session.
  • Temperature Check and Pre-Camp Health Screening (see section below).
  • Only 1 parent per camper(s) will be permitted to drop off and pick up in order to reduce group sizing at camp on opening and closing days.
  • Smaller Cohort Groups. Campers will have assigned shared spacing for meals and programs in groups of no more than 50 people (campers, CITs and staff members). These cohort groups will participate in activities individually and will rotate together with each activity and meal to minimize cross contact.

Pre-Camp/ During Camp Health Screening

All YMCA Camp Cherokee campers, CITs, staff members and visitors will participate in a health screening during Check In on Opening Day. The health screening will include a temperature check and communicable disease questionnaire. Medical staff conducting the health screening will be wearing PPE, including gloves and cloth masks. Parents and Campers will not be permitted into camp until the health screening is completed.

  • If your camper can answer yes to any of the following questions or has presented a fever of 100.4 or above in the past 72 hours, please do not bring them to Camp.
    • Had contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection, including anyone in your household?
    • Traveled on a cruise ship or airplane in the past two weeks?
    • Have you or anyone in your household shown symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste) in the last two weeks?
    • Have you or anyone in your household been quarantined in the last two weeks?

In addition, YMCA Camp Cherokee will be conducting multiple temperature checks each day before meal times. We are asking all parents and guardians to please review the medical procedures we will be following:

  • If a camper becomes sick or presents a fever at any time during camp, a parent/ guardian will need to pick them up immediately.
  • If a camper presents a fever at any point during Camp, they will not be allowed to return to camp that week.
  • If a camper is sent home sick for any reason, we are requiring the parent or guardian to consult with a doctor and give us written permission stating that it is safe for that child to return to camp.

Pre-Camp at Home

We are asking all parents and guardians to prepare your child before your arrival this summer to YMCA Camp Cherokee. We want to assure that campers are educated and will be informed of changes being made before arriving at camp. Topics we recommend discussing before camp are:

  • Review YMCA Camp Cherokee’s health screening process with your campers. Prepare them to have their temperature taken by a medical staff member.
  • Talk with your camper in regards to proper hand washing and hygiene – including the use of hand sanitizer.
  • Discuss the importance of adequate hydration before and during camp.
  • Discuss with your child social distancing and minimizing physical contact. We will address all of these areas on the first day of each session, but want our campers to understand the importance of our group sizing decisions and minimizing all physical contact.
  • We are recommending all campers to bring personal hand sanitizer bottles if possible. YMCA Camp Cherokee will provide hand sanitizer and hand washing products, but want campers to have their own personal sanitizer if desired.
  • YMCA Camp Cherokee will not be requiring campers or staff members to wear masks or cloth face coverings during camp, but will certainly allow any campers and staff members to do so. Please note, each camper will be responsible for wearing masks and this will not be the responsibility of YMCA Camp Cherokee staff members.

Sanitation/ Cleaning/ Personal Protection Equipment

YMCA Camp Cherokee will be increasing our cleaning, sanitation and disinfectant schedule and guidelines. These procedures will vary from activity to activity. All disinfectant products will be SARS-Cov2 virucide EPA registered products. Listed below are sanitation and cleaning procedures being taken this summer at camp:

  • Scheduled and required hand washing and sanitizing times.
  • Increased disinfectant wipe down/ spray of all shared equipment (rock climbing, archery. boating, life jackets and etc). This will also include increased disinfectant procedures of cabin areas and bunks.
  • Increased hand sanitizing stations at higher transition areas around camp.
  • Constant disinfection of all eating and restroom facilities – including showers.
  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting of all high contact points (light switches, door knobs, tables, chairs and etc).

Add-On Activities/ Field Trips/ Outside Visitors

At this time, YMCA Camp Cherokee will be cancelling and offering a full refund for all June sessions for add-on activities, including canopy tours and Crowder’s Mountain excursions. We are currently working on a potential way to offer our horseback riding program here at Camp and will inform parents of this decision soon.

In an attempt to minimize exposure of COVID-19 from outside sources, we are cancelling all off site field trips. We will also not allow outside visitors into YMCA Camp Cherokee facilities this summer. This includes parents and non-staff members. Parents will need to contact the Resident Camp Director or another member of leadership if they are needing to drop off additional materials for their camper.

Resident Summer Camp Program

We would like to take this time to be as open and transparent with our camp families as possible. We cannot guarantee a 100% COVID-19 free environment at YMCA Camp Cherokee this summer, nor can any business or organization. We have been working tirelessly on creating the safest environment possible for our campers and staff members in accordance with mandates and guidelines set forth by the CDC, American Camp Association, Y-USA, SC Gov. Henry McMaster, SC DHEC and our local health departments. Each family will need to make an internal household decision on whether they will be attending camp or not this summer. If you elect to not attend YMCA Camp Cherokee this upcoming summer, we respect your decision and will offer several refund options indicated below. We have developed an internal response plan and will follow the response plan accordingly. Our response plan includes current guidelines being taken to safely operate and plans to any potential situations regarding COVID-19 or other communicable diseases.

Refund Options

If you elect to cancel your registration this summer, we have 3 refund options listed below:

1) Transfer payments and credit towards Summer 2021. This will guarantee your camper(s) a spot next summer.
2) Donate your payment or partial payment to YMCA Camp Cherokee. All donations will be tax deductible.
3) Full Refund

*We are asking parents and guardians wanting to cancel to please notify us at least 1 week prior to your scheduled arrival at Camp.

Required Forms

The Upper Palmetto YMCA and YMCA Camp Cherokee has added a required communicable disease waiver form. Each parent or guardian will need to complete this form for each camper prior to your arrival to camp. The communicable disease form can be found by logging into your parent portal and clicking the ‘Forms and Documents’ tab.



We would like to thank everyone for their patience and flexibility as we work to make YMCA Camp Cherokee as safe as possible, while providing the great experiences of YMCA Camp Cherokee that so many of you have come to know and love. If you have any questions please contact our Resident Camp Director Will Gilmore.