COVID 19 Procedures for Sleep Away Camps

The Global Pandemic has brought us a lot of change and challenge.  These challenges will carry on to the 2022 camp season and we want to do our best to make sure our campers and staff are as safe as possible.  This document lays out our intentions for summer 2022.  The procedures here reflect current best practices and will almost certainly evolve as the situation changes and we learn more. If you have questions, ask us!

One of our best tools to combat this pandemic is now widely available to all age groups, vaccines!  In 2022, all staff, volunteer, and campers ages 5+ at Camp Valaqua will be required to submit proof of vaccination to COVID 19 -or- submit to a rapid COVID test.  We don't love mandates, but we do love your kids and will always do our best to make a safe place for them.  

We are currently registering our programs to a 65% camper capacity.  This allows us to create small cabin groups, create physical space in our common spaces, and limit the number of people within each cohort.

Registration and Departure

  • Families and staff are encouraged to limit contact exposure for  two weeks before camp.
  • We will be extending our registration times from 4-5pm to 3-5pm to reduce congestion and facilitate social distancing.  Suggested registration times will be provided to your family based on last name to further reduce any surges. 
    • Suggested registration windows are as follows:
      • A-F - 3-3:30pm
      • G-O - 3:30-4pm
      • P-Z - 4-4:30pm
  • Registration will take place outside if at all possible.
  • All campers and staff will subject to a health screening and temperature check on arrival. Campers and staff who do not clear the check, are running a fever, or refuse to submit will be asked to leave
  • All campers, staff, and volunteers will be required to present proof of vaccination to COVID 19 (two doses) with the second dose having taken place no less than two weeks prior to the first day of the camp program.
  • Masks must be worn by all staff, campers, and parents during registration.
  • We will not be running our closing program at the end of camp.
    • Families will receive an email from the camp with a summary of the week and a short video.
    • Parents will meet the registration staff at the sign out table and campers will be brought up to you.

Cabins and Cohorts

  • Each cabin will consist of a maximum of 4 campers, a Counsellor and a Counsellor In Training for a maximum of 6 people.
  • Each cabin will be paired with one other cabin to form a Circle, which will serve as a cohort (max of 12 people).
  • Every effort will be made to keep families within the same Circle.
  • Within each Circle, physical distancing will not be required.
  • Each Circle will maintain physical distance from other Circles and other staff.
  • Each cabin is equipped with an HVAC air exchange system that will be operated during sleeping hours.


  • Campers are asked to bring up to 10 of their own reusable masks if possible.
    • Disposable masks will be provided as necessary by Camp Valaqua.
  • Masks will be worn by staff and campers when not in their Circle.
  • Masks will be worn by staff and campers inside buildings.
  • Support staff will wear masks when joining a Circle.


  • Seating for chapel and campfire will be by Circle Cohort.
  • When the whole camp gathers, it will be outdoors.
  • Singing will be done only while wearing masks.

Games and Activities

  • Participants will wash or sanitize hands before and after each activity.
  • All activities take place in Circle Cohorts.
  • Activity equipment will be assigned to an individual whenever possible.
  • Shared equipment will be washed or sanitized between participants and/or between Circle Cohorts.


  • When the weather is appropriate, meals will be eaten outdoors in Circle groups.
  • Campers and staff will wash hands before and after mealtimes.
  • Masks will be worn in the lodge to the table and can be removed after grace.
  • Food will be delivered to the table and served by the Counsellor and CIT.

Facility Cleaning

  • Facilities will be cleaned and sanitized regularly, with a special emphasis on high touch surfaces such as door handles, railings, and fixtures.
  • Program areas will be sanitized between Circle Cohort groups.
  • Staff will be provided with hand sanitizer and campers will be prompted to wash hands regularly and sanitize when washing is not possible.

In Case of Illness

  • A camper or staff with COVID-19 symptoms will be quarantined from the camp community.
    • Parents/guardians of the camper will be contacted to pick up the camper and arrange for COVID-19 testing.
    • Staff members will be asked to book a test and arrangements will be made for them to go home or isolate on site until they receive a negative test, or their symptoms clear up in accordance with AHS guidelines.
  • Members of the affected Circle Cohort will be considered close contacts and referred for testing if the COVID-19 test returns positive.
  • Camp Valaqua will contact the families of all close contacts.
  • Parents/guardians of all campers onsite will be notified if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Vaccination requirements

  • Proof of Vaccination is required for all participants ages 5+ to attend Camp Valaqua.

Refunds and Cancellations

  • Full refunds will be offered if programs are cancelled or campers are unable to join us due to illness or quarantine

Who makes these decisions

The Camp Committee of Mennonite Church Alberta in consultation with our Camp Staff creates these policies.  Camp Valaqua will always lean towards caution when it comes to the safety of our participants, staff, and volunteers..  We are all doing the best we can to keep the people we love safe and we make all of our decisions with this in mind.