Bring on 2021!

Our 2021 camp plans will implement risk reduction recommendations by the CDC, ACA (American Camp Association), ACN (Association of Camp Nursing) and EH&E (Environmental Health and Engineering Associates).

We need camp more now than ever. As always, we will communicate with you with transparency and encourage you to reach out with suggestions, concerns, or questions. or 859-586-6181


All campers and staff will wear masks.


Each cabin group will remain a distinct cohort, maintaining physical distance from other groups.


Added handwashing and sanitizing stations and increased surface sanitization.


Here are some things we’re planning to make sure summer 2021 is the high quality camp experience you expect from us. Please understand these may shift as we march on towards summer, but know that we’re always keeping our camp family’s health and safety as our top priority!

  • Actively recruiting camp counselors who are committed to youth development and upholding our safety standards
  • Meeting with our past summer staff to listen to their ideas and concerns for programming additions and modifications
  • We have assembled an advisory committee of health care professionals to review and assist with implementation of operational guidance
  • Working on additional staff trainings regarding mental health and COVID-19 anxiety, as well as a plan to support mental health during summercamp
  • For decades our campers have experienced daily camp programming as the cabin group. This will continue in 2021 with activities planned for each cabin group as a “cohort”
  • Through our experience with our 2020 day camp program, we learned that wearing masks at camp is truly possible—and so we’re ready to mask up in summer 2021 too (when we’re indoors, or outdoors with a group other than our own cabin and can’t maintain distance)
  • Multi-cabin activities/programs will be in open air and utilizing physical distancing
  • Evening programs, typically conducted with 10-20 cabin groups together, will be in smaller groups based on state guidance for group gathering sizes, while maintaining the exciting, expanded camp feel
  • Program planning will include reducing shared equipment and increasing sanitizing of program supplies
  • We’re planning to still have a blast on the zipline and the rest of the ropes course, plus of course the lake, pools, and creeks!
  • Additional outdoor dining locations, limiting capacity in the dining halls
  • Campers will still eat with their cabin groups as has always been our tradition
  • We expect to have adjustments to our summer camp menu and more dining guidelines ready by May
  • Our screened cabins are well-suited to outdoor air flow. We will be working on a plan to adapt the Lakeview Lodge which has in the past had more of an “indoor” feel. Most of our activities are already held outdoors in nature.
  • We have kept the capacities at 60% in accordance with state guidelines.
  • Hand sanitizing/hand washing stations will be installed all around camp, including at the entrance to every cabin
  • Scheduled cleaning and sanitizing of shared spaces around camp
  • Camp leaders will conduct daily health screenings of campers and staff. All participants will be encouraged to monitor their health for two weeks prior to their camp session.
  • Our camp nurses and physicians will communicate with parents if symptoms arise and follow strict protocol on responding to symptoms or suspected cases
  • New outdoor triage stations for basic first aid
  • Drop off/pick up: we are working on an efficient way to check in and check out all of our campers while family members stay in the car. This helped maintain a safe environment for other camps around the country in 2020 so we are learning from them!
  • By mid-April we plan to make a decision on “stayover weekends,” (the Saturday night between camp sessions), which are currently unavailable for registration
  • Even with best practices, we cannot guarantee a COVID-free summer. Please review our cancellation policy here


As a mom and a camp professional, I am grateful for our camp families who trust us with the health and safety of their campers every summer. Our camp leadership team, including our head nurse Stana Ruebusch, RN, and camp pediatrician Chris Cunha, MD, is excited to welcome back overnight camp in 2021. Thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to modify our plans for operating in summer. We cannot wait to help campers shine their lights back at Camp Ernst. Bring on Summer 2021!

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