Summer 2023 and Covid-19

Covid Statement

Our Covid Planning Group - consisting of our directors, certain board members and medical professionals - have reviewed the policies that kept us Covid-free in 2022 and will monitor current national and regional trends and policies with regard to Covid-19.  Consequently, we are very confident in our ability to operate safely this summer and are looking forward to welcoming your child to camp!

NCC’s  Approach

Our vision for the 2023 season is to continue to create a safe, fun program that stays true to our child-centered philosophy. We will prioritize the social, emotional and physical health of our campers and staff. These plans represent our current thinking and could change before the summer if circumstances change.  If our policies seem stricter than those of the country at large, consider how the circumstances at a residential camp far from home might need to differ in order to achieve our goal of an uninterrupted summer experience for your child/children. To minimize the risk of having Covid at camp, we hope to partner with campers, their families and our staff to avoid having any campers need to leave camp to quarantine. 

In the interest of maintaining a culture of transparency and knowledge sharing, our archived information from previous years is below. Our most recent guidance can also be found in the letter below.

Please contact Jen and Neil at if you have questions about our plans. 


Thanks for taking the time to keep our community safe. We look forward to a wonderful 2023 season with our camp families!



Covid 19 Questions

Dear NCC Families, 


We are writing to share our plans for reducing the risk of COVID at camp this summer in accordance with the NY State Department of Public Health recommendations. Our goal is to make the camp experience in 2023 as close to the pre-COVID days as possible. To do so, we need your help and want to make you aware of important deadlines. If you have any questions, please reach out!


Planning for Arrival to Camp

We ask that you fill out your travel preferences in your CampinTouch account as soon as possible as the deadline was May 1st. Information with specific details regarding the bus and dropping off by car will be sent in mid- June.  

CAMP BUS: We will be running a camp bus this summer with pick-ups available at Horace Mann School, Exit 14 and Albany off Interstate 87.

DROP OFF: Families are also welcome to drive their children to camp and drop off between the hours of 12:30 and 2:30 pm. If you plan to do this, contact us so that we can plan a time for drop off and COVID testing on arrival. 

ARRIVAL BY PLANE/TRAIN: Campers who will require camp to assist with their arrival, such as those arriving by plane or train, must coordinate with us in advance. Please contact the camp directors at to plan ahead.


Pre-Arrival COVID Testing Plan 

All campers must complete a minimum of 2 COVID rapid antigen tests prior to traveling to camp. Why two tests?  Per FDA guidelines: “To increase the accuracy of an at-home COVID-19 antigen diagnostic test, it is important to perform repeat testing, after 48 hours, following a negative test result, whether you have symptoms or not, to reduce your risk of a false negative test result.”  Commercially available testing kits should all come with two test kits to make this feasible.


•When should you test your camper? 

◦Administer the first test 48 hours prior to arrival at camp (i.e. 48 hours prior to bringing your child to the bus, train, plane or dropping them at camp)

◦Bring the second test with you to drop off and administer on-site and show the negative test result as your “ticket” to board the bus or enter camp.If you are using other means of transportation please contact the directors for guidance.

◦ Families should consider doing additional earlier test(s) if their child is symptomatic or had an exposure. In the event your child tests positive you may be able to reduce the required isolation period and accelerate your child’s arrival date to camp.


•Where should you get the rapid antigen tests? 

◦We suggest the following options: 

▪Families are strongly encouraged to order free tests from the US Government if they are still eligible.  

▪Free and or reimbursed tests are still available through or reimbursed by most insurance companies. HOWEVER, when the state of emergency expires on MAY 12th this benefit will go away for most insurers. Please check with your insurer for coverage and place your orders or purchase over-the-counter at your local pharmacy and seek insurance reimbursement before May 12th

Families can search for local free lor low-cost testing for their first test using this government website. 


•What if I forget to bring my test to the bus/drop off?

◦Camp will have a limited number of tests on-hand.  We will have Venmo set up so that you can reimburse for the cost of the testing kit (~$25). If we run out of tests, your child will not be able to board the bus.

◦If the cost of testing is prohibitive or not available for your family, please contact the camp directors and we will assist you.


If your camper, a close contact, or a member of your household tests positive for COVID in the 10 days prior to arrival at camp we ask that you reach out to camp so that we can plan for your child’s/children’s camp arrival.

If you have unused covid tests at home, please consider donating to North Country Camps. 


COVID Vaccination Policy


North Country Camps strongly encourages families to have their children fully vaccinated and appropriately boosted prior to the start of the summer.  COVID-19 Vaccinations for children have been shown to be safe, effective and protective. 


Testing at Camp after Camper Arrival


All campers with two documented negative covid rapid antigen tests prior to arrival will be able to join in normal camp activities upon arrival at camp. We will not be masking at camp. We will not do asymptomatic testing of campers after arrival.


Any camper who develops a fever ≥100.4 with sore throat, congestion or cough will be tested for COVID using 2 rapid antigen tests on separate days and isolated until both tests are negative. Testing will be done at camp if the NY State Department of Public Health approves our site for a testing license; otherwise it will be performed at a local testing facility.  Any child requiring testing will have their first test kit covered through the store account. If additional testing is required we will bill families at the end of the summer to cover the cost or it will be billed to insurance if run at a commercial facility.


Campers who test positive for COVID will be required to mask for the next 10 days.  In the first 5 days, they will be isolated in a separate supervised cabin for sleeping/eating and participate masked in separate activities from regular camp.  On days 5-10 of illness, they can return to camp activities but must remain masked for these activities.  They will continue to sleep/eat separately for at least 10 days.  To return to regular camp without a mask, children must be fever free for ≥ 24 hours, have resolved symptoms and either have a negative rapid covid antigen test or 10 days have passed.


Visiting Day


We will be planning to host a visiting day this summer at camp on Saturday, July 29th.  We will be sharing details for COVID mitigation closer to that date along with the schedule. We ask your cooperation to ensure that all campers can enjoy their last 2 weeks at camp COVID-free after Visiting Day.


We are looking forward to having a happy and healthy summer with your camper and appreciate your support!


Warmest Regards,

Jen and Neil

NCCF Covid Planning Team (Yi-Lo Yu, MD and Nursing Staff)




We have more options for traveling to camp this year. Camp families will receive detailed instructions surrounding specific arrival information for your family depending on how you travel to camp. 


Irrespective of your mode of transport, we ask that you conduct  symptom screening before your departure to ensure that we do not introduce illness to camp, COVID-19 or otherwise. We’ll send you a handy checklist of what to look for. Any child who does not pass symptom screening will be required to isolate, away from camp, until meeting clearance by testing and CDC guidelines.  


We’re asking families to administer a rapid antigen test the morning of their travel day before arriving at the bus stop, airport or to camp. Bring proof of your negative test with you to help us fast-track boarding and entry to camp. We are coordinating with our testing partner to ensure that all families have a rapid test available to them.


Campers taking the NCC Bus to camp:  NCC will be chartering a bus to camp this summer for interested families.  You’ll receive directions and details in the week prior to camp. Simply bring proof of your negative test to board the bus.  


Campers arriving by personal car: Families who choose to drop their child off at camp will be given a pre-established arrival time window. Similar to last year, we will be asking parents to check-in at the camp entrance with their negative antigen test before entering camp property.  


Campers arriving by air or other public transportation: Although mask regulations on airlines and public transportation were recently relaxed, we are asking that all campers traveling to camp on shared/public transportation of any kind wear a well-fitted (preferably non-cloth disposable surgical mask, KN95 or KN94) that covers your child’s nose and mouth. If you are interested in learning more about masks, the CDC website has useful information. While others around them may not be masked, your child’s mask still is effective in reducing risk of infection/exposure during travel.  

 Our normal airport shuttle service will be available.  


To our international families: Please familiarize yourself with Non-U.S. Citizen, Non-U.S. Immigrants: Travel to and from the United States | CDC. We welcome international families to contact us about potential plans and options for arrival. 


Workgroup Pre-Camp: We will be running a pre-camp for workgroupers this summer. The arrival date will be June 22nd. We will not be coordinating transportation for workgroupers to camp this summer, as the Adirondack line is not currently running.  Parents of workgroupers will need to plan to get their children to camp independently. 

All workgroupers must have a negative PCR test for COVID-19 72 hours prior to arrival.

All workgroupers must also test negative on a rapid antigen test, the day of arrival.

A second PCR test will be done for all campers, including workgroupers, approximately 7 days from the official start date of camp.


For the 2023 Camp season The North Country Camps strongly encourages families to have their children fully vaccinated prior to the start of the summer.  COVID-19 Vaccinations for children have been shown to be safe, effective and protective.  Vaccination decreases risk of infection and will help us achieve a Covid-free summer.  Our survey of camp families showed us that the overwhelming majority of campers will arrive fully vaccinated.

NCC defines “fully vaccinated” for children aged 5-17 years old as having received the 2-shot Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine series, plus the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster for children aged 12-17 if it has been > 5 months since their second shot.

You’ll notice that the required isolation policy for contacts of a positive case is different for unvaccinated campers. This is based on the much higher risk of unvaccinated people getting sick after an exposure.

In the event of a positive case, that camper must leave camp for 10 days to isolate.  Parents will need to have a plan for picking up a positive child within 24 hours.

While the CDC “permits” individuals who are vaccinated to go out and about in a mask after 5 days, this cannot apply to camp because of shared eating, shared sleeping, etc. when it will not be possible to stay masked.

What will happen if my child is exposed?

Unvaccinated Campers: Unvaccinated campers have a higher risk of developing Covid after an exposure, which could then lead to an outbreak at camp.  For that reason, in the event that an unvaccinated camper is identified as a “close contact” with a positive case, they will need to quarantine at home for  10 days, and can return to camp if they have no symptoms and have a negative PCR test.  

Campers should obtain testing at least 5-7 days after their exposure and have their results prior to return to camp. Although CDC guidelines for unvaccinated close contacts suggest 5 days of quarantine followed by strict masking, it is, unfortunately, not feasible for camp to accommodate unvaccinated campers given their higher risk for developing covid and the nature of our living and eating arrangements. 

Vaccinated Campers: Vaccinated close contacts may remain at camp, but will cohort with other vaccinated members of their cabin group, for 5 days, going to their own activities, etc.  After 5 days, if asymptomatic and with a negative rapid test, they will be permitted to rejoin the regular camp program, but must remain masked for the next 5 days when around others.  We will continue with serial testing of this cohort through day 10 after exposure.

We expect to have a much more “normal” feel to camp than last summer. Our plan is to cohort campers in small (one-three cabin groups), age-based cohorts during the first week of camp.  This will involve some mask-use when sharing spaces with other cohorts, primarily in indoor settings. We will then administer a PCR test for everyone at the end of week one and assuming negative results for all, we will then transition to a normal camp program without cohorts, or masking. 

We do not plan on having multiple sittings for each meal, so everyone will operate on the same schedule. We will also have a full service breakfast bar and salad bar at lunch and dinner with vegetarian and gluten-free options available at the counter, but will ask that campers are masked if they leave their table to obtain food at the salad bar or counter.


Will there be wilderness trip programs this year?


Yes, we have every intention of running a fun and adventurous trip program as we did last summer.  


Will there be mixed activities this summer?


Yes, we will have mixed activities after our second test results return. Distanced check-ins with siblings at Lincoln and Whippoorwill can be arranged with the directors during the first week of camp.

If a child needs to leave camp due to Covid, NCC cannot offer a refund on camp fees because we have already incurred the vast majority of expenses necessary to open and operate camp.  However, our insurer has indicated that if families are interested, there is travel insurance available which would cover such a situation.  They provided us with this link where quotes can be obtained: