Summer Camp 2021 Information Guide

Important information

Check-In and Return Process

Please note:  All information on this page is subject to change for the 2021 summer. Our staff will continue to monitor the pandemic situation and the recommendations of the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, the American Camp Association (ACA), and the Association of Camp Nursing (ACN). We will adapt our policies and procedures accordingly to provide safe check-ins and camp returns. All updates will be posted to this webpage, as well as communicated directly with all registered campers.

About the Check-In and Return Process

Campers will check-in on their first day and return on their last day at the North Campus of First Community Church, 3777 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43221. All campers will be transported to and from Camp Akita on school buses with adult supervision, by professional licensed bus drivers. Backcountry campers will be transported in a camp-owned vehicle, driven by camp staff. Luggage is tagged by cabin number and transported in a separate luggage truck. Campers are NOT permitted to drive their own vehicle to camp, nor leave a parked car at camp.

2021 Safety requirements for camp check-ins and returns:

  • 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 in the patio area after dropping off camper(s).

As a part of our safety procedures, campers are assigned to a specific bus with the all of their cabin mates so that we may better track how your child is being transported to and from camp. Cabins will be seated together, to reduce intermingling between cohorts (cabins). 

In case we are expecting inclement weather, you will be emailed prior to the check-in or return with specific instructions.

Check-In Procedures

For returning campers, our check-in process has changed from 2019. Please read the directions below carefully.

Enter the North Campus parking lot from the entrance on Dublin Road and park in the designated areas as directed by check-in volunteers.

  • Check your child’s luggage at the large white tent in the parking lot. Please make sure all luggage, including sleeping bags, are tagged with your child’s cabin number before proceeding inside. Our high school L.I.F.E. Guard campers will assist with this step. Do not bring luggage inside of the church.
  • Each camper will receive a nametag while checking in their luggage. Their cabin # and bus # will be printed on the nametag.
  • Enter the church through the main doors by the sanctuary. Campers need to be present with their accompanying adult. Masks are required for all campers and adults entering the church.
  • Campers will be directed to a health review station. Please practice social distancing if waiting in a line.
  • You may be directed to check-in with the Camp Medical Staff if your child has any has medications (prescription and/or over-the-counter), food allergies, or any other health-related concerns that need to be addressed. If so directed, please wait in the designated nurse line. If you do not need to speak with the nurse, you will be directed to Grace Hall.
  • You may visit the Akita Store, if you wish, to purchase Akita gear for your camper. You may be asked to wait if too many people are in that area currently.
  • Campers should proceed to their assigned cabin number, please look for the elevated cabin signs.
  • Accompanying adults are asked to say their good-byes at this station and proceed out of Grace Hall to the parking lot. Please do not gather on the patio or sidewalk leading out to the parking lot. You are also welcome to stay in the parking lot to wave good-byes to the campers as they head down to Akita!
  • Counselors will ensure campers all have the opportunity to use the restrooms before boarding the buses.

Return Procedures

Buses will arrive at approximately the times listed in the Check-in/Return Dates & Times chart for your camper’s session, depending on traffic. The luggage truck will arrive prior to the buses.

Retrieving Luggage

Our high school L.I.F.E. Guard campers and assigned adult volunteers will unload the luggage truck, sorting luggage by gender and by cabin number under the large white tent or in the area immediately surrounding the tent. So that this can be done in the timeliest and most organized manner, we ask that you allow all luggage to be unloaded and sorted before retrieving your child’s bags.

Safety/Release of Campers

Important! If your camper should NOT be released to a particular person, we must have a release form signed by the custodial parent/guardian indicating the name of the specific person who is NOT allowed to pick up your child. In this situation, your child will only be released to the custodial parent/guardian or to another designated adult, as indicated on the form. A photo ID will be requested in this case before your child is released.

Please forward the camper release form to the Camp Akita administrative offices at the North Campus of First Community Church no later than 24 hours prior to the camper’s return from camp. Copies of the form can be requested by emailing our Columbus Akita offices. Please call (614) 488-0681, ext 113 if you have any questions regarding this procedure.

Bus Return

Please wait until all of the buses have entered their designated parking area and come to a complete stop. Your child will return on the same bus number that they were assigned to during check-in.

If you have turned in a camper release form with specific instructions regarding the release of your child, the person picking up the child will be asked to provide photo identification before the camper is released to their care. A Release form is only needed in the situation where your child should NOT be released to a specific individual.

Late Arrivals/Early Departures

We strongly discourage partial camp experiences due to late arrivals or early departures. The experience at Akita is designed with the assumption that all campers will be there for the entire camp. Any change to the camp community affects not only the absent camper, but all of those in camp.

If a late arrival or early departure becomes absolutely necessary, the details of the arrangements need to be emailed to our Columbus Akita offices. Appropriate identification will be required before a child is permitted to leave the property with anyone. Campers are not permitted to drive themselves to camp. Any camper who is not riding the bus must be driven by an adult who has been specifically authorized by the parent/guardian. This information must be communicated to the Columbus Camp Akita office prior to the transport and pick up of the camper.