Pikati 2021 | West Suburban YMCA Newton, MA | West Suburban YMCA

Ensuring a Safe and Healthy Summer

Camp Pikati 2021

Please note that these policies and procedures are current as of June 11th, 2021. We recognize that, as with everything else during the COVID-19 pandemic, these may change throughout the summer as we gather more information on COVID-19 and its transmission in our communities. We will update all camp families about any changes to the policies and procedures that occur during the summer. 

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Preparing for Camp  |  Camp Structure & Daily Schedule  |  Cleaning & Hand Hygiene  |  Special Events  |  Your Role


Camp Operating Hours:  Camp will open at 8:00 AM and close at 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday. 

Face Coverings:  While camper groups are participating in outdoor activities, face coverings will be required for everyone (campers and staff), regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, during activities that involve sustained close contact with others. During activities that allow for distance between participants, campers and staff will be able to remove their face coverings while they are distanced. Face coverings will be required for everyone, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, while indoors. Please send your camper to camp with a clean face covering every day.  We will evaluate this policy on an ongoing basis.  

This policy is designed to mitigate the risks of infection for our campers and their families. Given that most of our campers are not currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine due to their age, and even in age groups of campers who are eligible for the vaccine, we anticipate that not all campers will be fully vaccinated. We will train our staff to give frequent face covering/mask breaks to the campers throughout the day. During these times, campers will move away from one another and remove their face coverings until they are ready to restart the activity.  

Social Distancing: Social distancing will be encouraged throughout the day. When possible, staff will run activities that allow for distance between participants so that there are opportunities during the camp day for campers of all ages to safely remove their face coverings. As stated above, during activities that involve sustained close contact with others (for example, sports like soccer or basketball), face coverings will be required.  

Staggered At Camp Drop Off Times:  Just as we did during the summer of 2020, this summer drop off at camp will be staggered to reduce traffic and the number of people on camp at any given time. The drop off window will be from 8:00AM to 9:00AM. You will receive a link to a drop off time sign up prior to each week your camper(s) is/are registered for camp. You will need to select your drop off time each week, and you will be required to drop your camper(s) off at that time each day that week.  

Staggered At Camp Pick-up Times:  As with drop off times, pick up times will also be staggered this summer. The pick-up window will be from 4:00PM to 4:30PM. Through the same process as the drop off sign up, you will need to select a pick-up time that you are able to commit to each week that your camper is at camp. At pick up, you will need to sign your camper(s) out by using your secure PIN Number.  

COVID-19 Vaccines: To make our camp community the safest place it can be, we encourage all eligible campers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We will be encouraging the same of our staff. If you would like information on the COVID-19 vaccine or how/where to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Cards: If your camper is vaccinated for COVID-19, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health standards for recreational camps require that a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card to be uploaded their Campsite profile. This will help us with contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 case at camp this summer. 

Daily Screenings:  Families will not be required to complete a written daily screening form this summer.  

Pre-camp Screening:  Even though we are not requiring daily written screenings this summer, to help ensure the safety of our campers and staff, please take your camper’s temperature and screen them for any COVID-19 symptoms daily before sending them to camp. If their temperature is 100°F or greater, please keep them home from camp until their temperature is under 100°F for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication. Additionally, if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body ache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If they have fatigue, headache, congestion, or runny nose in conjunction with any of these or the above listed symptoms, please refrain from sending them to camp until the symptoms have subsided for at least 24 hours. 

Campers Exhibiting Symptoms at Camp:  If a camper (or staff member) begins to exhibit any of the symptoms listed above, we will call a parent/guardian/emergency contact to come pick them up. They will need to be picked up within one hour and will be kept in our isolation space until they are. Again, we request your commitment and diligence in making our camp the safest environment possible for our campers and staff and their families. 

Carpooling: Although not encouraged, we will accept campers who arrive to camp via a carpool. We encourage campers and adults who are not fully vaccinated and not from the same household to wear face coverings while carpooling. 

Visitors:  Non-essential visitors (including parents/guardians/other authorized pick-up persons) will not be permitted on campgrounds, except in the parking lot, during camp hours.  The only exception to this is we are allowing parents of preschool campers onto the property during drop-off as needed to help their camper get settled. 

Early Pick-up: If you need to pick up your camper early from camp, please park in a designated parking spot, enter the front door of the building, and let the Front Desk staff know who you are picking up.  You will be required to provide your 6-digit pin. 


Camper Groups:  Groups will be mixed gender. This includes campers and staff. Most groups will have between 10-15 campers. Campers will be grouped with peers in their same age/grade cohort.  

Camper Cohorts:  This summer, camper groups will be paired with one other group of a similar age to form a cohort. These cohorts will participate in some (but not all) activities together. We believe this will provide campers the opportunity to have a level of healthy competition while at camp, as well as allowing them to form friendships with campers in other groups. 

Camper Group Switches: As with the summer of 2020, camper group switches will not be permitted once the session begins.  

Morning Meeting:  This summer, we will be bringing back our All-Camp Morning Meetings. Morning Meeting will occur on the field, with camper groups distanced at least 6 feet from one another.  

Activities: Most of our camp activities will be available this summer, including sports, archery, free swim, and others! We are excited to get back to some of our camp favorites!  

Afternoon activities: Campers will stay with their group cohort for the entirety of the camp day,  meaning there will be no afternoon elective periods this summer. 

Swimming: All swimming at Pikati this summer will be done as free swim. We will still use the Test, Mark, Protect system to ensure the safety of all of our campers and staff in the water.  Campers will be swim tested on the first day that their group is scheduled for swim, and they will be marked with a colored bracelet depending on their swim level. Campers who are designated as “non-swimmers” based on their swimming assessment will wear a WSYMCA provided life jacket to swim. 

We encourage families to send their campers in their swimsuits to make the changing process as efficient as possible and maximize time spent in the pool.  Please note that either 1- or 2-piece swimsuits are acceptable for campers. (It was recently brought to our attention that the family handbook read that only 1-piece swimsuits are allowed.) 

Water Bottles: Every camper should arrive to camp with a water bottle from home each day labeled with their name. They can refill their bottles at camp as needed. 

Inclement Weather Days:  Our goal is to spend as much time outdoors as possible this summer. We have carports, tents, and canopies so that groups can remain outside and stay dry in the event of light rain. On days when there is additional inclement weather (i.e., thunderstorms or heavy rain), we will move campers indoors, keeping them distanced with masks on. 


Increased Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures:  We will continue many of our 2020 increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures at camp this summer. Shared equipment will be cleaned with the help of our group counselors and cleaning staff. Whenever possible, we will have equipment for groups that is only theirs to reduce the possibility of spreading germs.  

Increased Handwashing and Sanitizing Stations:  We have added 7 new handwashing stations around camp. We also have multiple sanitizing stations and counselors carry hand sanitizer for campers in their backpacks.  This is to promote a culture of healthy hand hygiene at camp this summer. Campers and staff will be required to wash or sanitize their hands between activities, and there will be mandatory hand washing breaks before and after lunch. 


Family Nights: We will not be having Family Nights in the summer of 2021. 


Please help keep our camp safe by sharing the changes in camp with your campers prior to their arrival and explaining the reasons for the changes. Please preview and discuss with them the importance of activity modifications, handwashing and sanitizing, and face coverings. We believe that a consistent message between home and camp will help to make your camper’s experience this summer the best it can be. 

Free Lunch & Snack

Our day camps participate in Massachusetts' federally funded summer food program! Pikati & Chickami campers can take advantage of the free program that offers a nutritious lunch and an afternoon snack to any child age 18 and under.