4-H Camp Wabasso High Ropes Course

COVID-19 and Camp

Dear Camp Families,

With the approach of Summer 2022, we wanted to update our valued camp families on the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe, healthy, and FUN 2022 Summer Camp for all our campers, families, and staff at 4-H Camp Wabasso! While the situation continues to evolve, we are making plans based on the general guidance that we have received from the American Camp Association, the CDC, New York State Department of Health, Cornell University, the New York State 4-H Program, and the experiences of the hundreds of camps (including our own) that operated in 2020 and 2021. This remains an evolving situation, and we are receiving new guidance on a regular basis. We will continue to update this page with any new guidance we receive.

To ensure we are running the safest program possible, camp will look very similar to how we operated in 2021. We are making a few changes to the camper check-in and pick-up, daily schedules, class choices, cabin groups, health and sanitation, and more. But do you know what hasn’t changed? The opportunity for campers and staff to build healthy, thriving communities at camp. The positive, life changing experiences that happen at camp every day occur, simply because of the culture we have developed over nearly 75 years of 4-H youth camping. Campers are still going to have great experiences, make new friends, try new things, and gain the independence that comes from a week away from their families. These experiences are the cornerstone of what 4-H Camp Wabasso is all about. And so, while some things may look different this year, if you look a little deeper you will see that 4-H Camp Wabasso remains dedicated to serving the families in our community and we are excited to get back to camp and see and hear, so many smiling, happy campers playing outdoors again!

We know you have questions, and many of those questions revolve around what we are doing this year to protect your child(ren). Below are some examples of the steps we are taking this year to enhance the health and safety of our campers and staff for 2022.

COVID-19 Testing: Using the most up to date recommendations we will implement a COVID-19 testing program this summer. All campers will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival at camp. Families will have three options for these tests:

  1. Families can provide their own test. There are two ways in which this can be done. Families can either go to their doctor to receive a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival at camp OR they can use their own at-home rapid test to administer to their camper the morning of arrival at camp.
  2. Families can choose to pick up a rapid at-home test (provided by camp) at the CCE office located at 203 N. Hamilton St. Watertown, NY. Office hours are 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday-Friday. Rapid tests must be administered the morning of camper arrival to camp. A picture with (preferably a time stamp) of the negative test results can be submitted on your UltraCamp account and brought with you to check in.
  3. Families can choose to pick up a rapid at-home test (provided by camp) at 4-H Camp Wabasso located at 43101 Ct. Rd. 21 Redwood, NY. To do this families will need to coordinate a pickup time with the camp director by emailing sld95@cornell.edu. Rapid tests must be administered the morning of camper arrival to camp. A picture (preferably with a time stamp) of the negative test results can be submitted on your UltraCamp account and brought with you to check in.
  4. If none of these options work for your family, please contact Sabrina at sld95@cornell.edu to discuss.

All registered camper families are asked to please complete the quick survey here so we know what option your family is choosing for testing this summer.

Drive-through Camper Drop Off: Nobody enjoys standing in long lines to drop off campers on registration day. This year, we are utilizing our procedure from 2021 where families are given a 30-minute check-in window. You’ll be able to drive into camp, be greeted by a staff member who will conduct a basic health screening right at your vehicle, and then help your camper unload their gear. Parents won’t even need to get out of their cars! This process will rely on families arriving promptly at their assigned time. If you are going to be arriving outside of your scheduled time slot or if your assigned time slot simply does not work for you, please notify camp immediately, so that we can take the necessary steps to get you into camp as safely and efficiently as possible. Remember to be patient as we are serving many families.

Pods: This year, campers will be assigned into cohorts, or Pod groups, based on cabin and age. Based off current expectations, Pods will include up to 15 campers and their cabin counselors. These Pod groups will be important, as Pods will rotate through the daily schedule together. For most Pods, multiple near-by cabins will be paired up, allowing co-ed Pods while maintaining gender specific cabins. Campers and staff assigned to a particular Pod will have limited interactions with campers and staff from other Pods.

Masks: Most of the experience at camp this summer will be maskless due to how we are cohorting our campers, however there may be limited times where masks will be required. Examples of this would be when all campers come together inside for all-camp activities where it is not possible to enforce social distancing. Overnight campers should plan to bring a supply of at least 5-10 face coverings in a large, zipper style plastic bag, with their name on it. Campers will be responsible for managing their masks properly throughout the week under the guidance and support of their counselors. Absolutely no sharing of masks will be permitted. Camp will have a limited supply of disposable masks available if needed. Campers that prefer to wear a mask will of course be permitted to do so.

Sanitation: We have acquired bulk hand sanitizer, which will be available throughout camp, including inside the doorways of most buildings. Campers and staff will be encouraged to wash their hands often, and hand sanitizer will be available in more remote locations where access to running water is limited. Shared spaces will be sanitized regularly by camp staff.

Daily Schedules: Big changes are coming to our daily schedule! We have developed a schedule that allows Pods to rotate through the shared programming spaces so that no more than one Pod is using a particular location at a time. Pods will be rotating through camp classes throughout the week, so rather than selecting favorite classes this year, campers will enjoy each camp class offered to their age group! While we haven’t determined each class that will be offered, campers are guaranteed to get time in the lake with swimming and kayaking, as well as other camp favorites like nature and hiking, archery (for campers age 8+), arts and crafts, and sports and recreation. We have included a class preference form as part of registration, to try and ensure all campers get to participate in what they were looking most forward to at camp.

Camp Fees and Refunds: If camp has to be cancelled due to COVID-19, full refunds will be given. If a camper cannot attend their session due to COVID-19, all reasonable accommodations will be made, and these will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

COVID-19 Vaccinations: We strongly recommend all campers to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, but at this time we are not requiring vaccinations of campers. This is subject to change based on New York State Department of Health regulations. All staff are required to be vaccinated unless they are granted a medical or religious exemption. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, click here.

We hope that you will consider joining the fun in 2022! If you know anyone who is interested in working at camp, visit http://ccejefferson.org/jobs.

Please know that due to the evolving scenario with the COVID-19 pandemic, all programming is subject to change. As we move closer to camp, if things change, we will be updating the information on our website, emailing out to registered campers, and we will post changes to our 4-H and CCE Facebook pages, so be sure to follow us on those platforms, and/or check your email regularly. We will be in touch and we will stay in touch!


What if my child is vaccinated, do they still need to test to come to camp? Yes! All participants need to test regardless of vaccination status to hopefully ensure COVID-19 is not brought into camp.

What will happen if a camper tests positive at camp? If a camper tests positive at camp, we will immediately quarantine their entire cohort, and isolate the individual camper that tested positive (while still providing supervision to the isolated camper). The positive individual will need to be picked up by a parent as soon as possible. The campers in the cohort will all get tested for COVID-19 on site and parents will be notified. Depending on how many campers/staff test positive, parents may have the option of leaving their camper at camp (if they test negative) and the cohort will continue through programming, while having no interaction with other cohort groups. We will test all campers in the cohort a second time if time allows.

What if my camper has a fever (or other COVID-19 symptoms) but tests negative the morning of arrival? This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please do not plan for your normal arrival time, and instead contact Sabrina at sld95@cornell.edu to discuss your specific situation.


Sabrina DeRue
4-H Program Manager / 4-H Camp Wabasso Director
315-788-8450 ext. 229

Last updated June 6, 2022