Camp Akita COVID Policies
(Updated:  November, 2021)

Summer 2021 taught us that camp can be safe (and fun!) during the pandemic. Our 2021 COVID policies were successful; we saw no COVID outbreaks! While we are hopeful that camp will feel even more “normal” this summer, we will continue to make informed decisions to keep the full camp community safe.

For 2022, we will continue to require all staff to be vaccinated. Campers and staff must be prepared to wear masks on-site. New challenges may arise in 2022, and we will adapt our health and safety policies as necessary, and update this page accordingly. Our 2021 COVID Policies are provided below. In the meantime, please reach out if you have questions regarding our COVID policies.

2021 COVID Policies

Safety is our first priority at Camp Akita. We will take precautions to protect campers and staff from COVID, which remains a dangerous diagnosis, even for children. Camp Akita will continue to follow guidance from…

The American Camp Association (ACA)
The Association of Camp Nursing (ACN)
The Ohio Department of Health Guidance for Residential Camps
The CDC Guidance for Operating Youth & Summer Camps During COVID-19

To reduce the spread of COVID, these sources recommend vaccines, cohort groups, masks, social distancing, moving activities outdoors, and an on-site medical staff.

Here is how Camp Akita plans to implement those recommendations:

Before Camp & Check-in
  • If a camper is ill (fever, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea) or has been exposed to COVID, that camper must please stay home. Please review this symptom checker prior to arriving to camp check-in:  CDC: Symptoms of COVID
  • Only 1 adult will be permitted at check-in with each camper to reduce crowds. Please do not bring additional family members, including siblings. Social distancing will be observed both indoors and outdoors.
  • Masks are required of everyone, regardless of vaccination status, while inside the church
  • Adults accompanying their camper(s) will be asked to leave the building after dropping off their child with the Counselor in Grace Hall (the final step of check-in). Adults are welcome to wait in the parking lot to wave good-bye but may not linger indoors, or on the patio, after dropping off camper(s).
  • Masks are required of campers for the duration of check-in and while riding the bus.
  • All camp staff, including Leadership, Counselors and Kitchen staff, are vaccinated.
  • Vaccines are not required of campers for Summer 2021; however, we strongly urge campers to receive the vaccine when they are eligible, and it is available. Vaccines help protect individual campers as well as the full-camp community.
  • Campers who are vaccinated may remain at Camp Akita even if a cabin mate tests positive for COVID while at camp. Cabin mates who are unvaccinated must return home. See “What happens if a camper develops COVID symptoms?” below for more details.
Cohort Groups
  • Cabin groups will act as cohort groups. When campers are in their cabin or with cabin mates only, no masks or social distancing are needed.
  • When everyone gathers for full-camp activities, cabin groups will be seated together and distanced from others. For example, campers will be seated with their cabin group in the Dining Hall, 6 feet from other tables.
Masks and Social Distancing
  • Masks are required at check-in and return, as well as on the bus to and from Camp Akita.
  • Masks are not required in cabins, when campers are with cabin mates only, or when campers are socially distanced from others. They are also not required while swimming.
  • Masks are required when campers are within 6 feet of those who do not live in their cabin. They are also required indoors and when singing.
  • Many activities will be “mask on, then off”: masks are required while arriving at an activity with a mixed group of campers, then may be removed once people are seated and distanced. For example, masks are required while walking to the Lake but are not to be worn in the water. Many activities will be designed so that campers can safely remove masks.
  • Masks can be pulled down when campers are “on the move”: when campers are quickly passing by one another and not remaining in each other’s space for longer than a few seconds. Examples include when campers are running past each other during a tag game or at the soap slide. Campers must still have a mask at the ready but are allowed to remove or pull down the mask for ease of breathing.
All Activities Outdoors
  • Activities typically held inside the Lodge will move outdoors to a big-top tent for ventilation and distancing. Tiki Time, Skit Night, and the talent show have an awesome new stage!
  • Masks are required indoors: bathrooms, Akita Café, Craft Cabin, Dining Hall, and nurse's office. These indoor spaces are all equipped MERV air filtration systems.

Medical Staff
  • As always, Camp Akita employs an on-site camp nurse with a Registered Nursing (RN) degree or above.
  • Counselors will be trained on the common symptoms of COVID and will check in with campers daily to help determine if they are experiencing normal "camp fatigue" or something more serious. If a camper is showing signs of illness, the camp nurse will determine if symptoms are consistent with COVID or something else.
  • Campers who are ill (with COVID or other potentially contagious symptoms) will immediately be quarantined and will return home as soon as possible. “Wait and see” will not apply this summer.
What happens if a camper develops COVID symptoms?

For the camper experiencing symptoms:

The camp nurse will determine if symptoms are consistent with COVID. If so, the camper will immediately enter on-site quarantine and the camper’s parent/guardian will be contacted for pick-up. Pick-up should be arranged within 2 hours; in no event will we be expected to hold a quarantined camper for more than 4 hours. While waiting for the parents/guardian to arrive…

  • If the camper’s temperature is over 100.4, it will be re-taken every 30 minutes.
  • Staff treating any camper in quarantine will wear PPE.
  • Staff will pack up the camper’s belongings and that cabin will be sanitized.
  • With parent/guardian consent, the camp nurse will administer a COVID test. This test is to help Camp Akita staff determine best practices for the rest of the cabin; a negative test does not mean the camper may stay at Camp Akita, particularly if the symptoms include fever or indications of another contagious condition such as strep throat or flu.
For the camper’s cabin mates:

Parents/guardians will be informed that there was another camper in their child’s cabin with suspected symptoms of COVID.

If the camper’s COVID test is positive…
    • Fully vaccinated campers may remain at Camp Akita as long as they are not exhibiting symptoms.
    • Unvaccinated campers must return home.
If the camper’s COVID test is negative…
    • Other campers are permitted to remain at camp for the duration of their camp session.Parents/guardians have the option of picking up their child from camp.
If my camper goes home due to COVID, what is the refund policy?

Although it is unfortunate, some campers do leave Camp Akita during a session due to illness, injury, or other extraordinary circumstances.  We do not reimburse or pro-rate a refund due to a camper leaving mid-session as we will have already incurred the costs for the camper at the time of their arrival. This includes any campers who are sent home with either a positive COVID-19 test result, or are not fully vaccinated and have had exposure to another camper who has tested positive. If First Community Church/Camp Akita determines that a camp session will be canceled prior to the start of that session due to a COVID-19 outbreak, a full refund minus the non-refundable deposit will be issued.

May a camper leave during their camp session and return to camp that same session? 

Campers that leave a session will NOT be permitted to return to camp that same session. It has not been clearly determined whether vaccinated people can still pass along the virus to those who are not vaccinated, therefore, we will limit exposure for campers who are on-site. (Refer to the CDC's website: "What We Are Still Learning" information.)

What should campers do after camp? 

  • Families should continue monitoring campers for COVID symptoms. If illness occurs within two weeks of your departure from Camp Akita, or if you receive a positive COVID test, please notify our Columbus offices immediately. Camp Akita staff will begin contact-tracing by notifying cabin mates.
  • You may be contacted because your camper shared a cabin with someone who came into tested positive for COVID-19. We recommend that you follow CDC guidelines and contact your healthcare provider for guidance on monitoring your camper for symptoms.

Will camp still feel like camp? 

  • Yes!  We have not removed any activities from our traditional Camp Akita schedule. Those who have been to camp before will feel at home. New campers will have the full Camp Akita experience they have heard all about.