New CDC Report A Valuable Resource for Overnight Camps

September 8, 2020

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a positive outlook for overnight camps and will be a valuable resource as camps look ahead to the summer of 2021.

The study covered four Maine overnight summer camps that successfully prevented and (ACA) Field Guide for Implementing CDC Guidance.

Results demonstrate successful operation of overnight summer camp with use of layered, evidence-based strategies. When employed in a multilayered strategy and implemented collectively and consistently by a camp's entire community — campers, staff members, and camp parents/guardians — nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) create a culture of compliance that can prevent and mitigate transmission of disease.

The CDC study included 1,022 attendees from 41 states and international locations. This is great news for programs with campers and staff from out-of-state locales.

This study is an important resource to share with parents and guardians looking for success stories during the early-bird registration window.

ACA estimates more than 3,000 day and overnight camps ran this summer, serving kids and families in need of the social-emotional experience camp uniquely provides outdoors with friends. The camps that ran provided much-needed time away from technology, with opportunities to thrive socially, emotionally, and physically in a year marked with isolation and unprecedented challenges for every family.

This study is just the beginning. Looking ahead, ACA will be conducting a wider epidemiological study, along with additional upcoming research, to capture the learnings from this past summer. Every camp should participate in these studies, as they will support camp professionals, educators, and after-school programs adhering to the Field Guide's suggested practices. Applying multiple layers of NPIs and leaning into a culture of compliance, even without testing and bubbling, can help any camp, school, or other organization that brings children together while mitigating spread of the virus.

Additional resources to support camps through the year and into the summer of 2021 will be developed from these research studies.

Read the CDC study: Preventing and Mitigating SARS-CoV-2 Transmission — Four Overnight Camps, Maine, June–August 2020