Next Steps


The JCC Camping Team

Additional info about JCC Day Camps’ re-opening plans

In response to the current public health climate and to best ensure a safe summer experience for those caring for children in JCC Day Camps, we are making a number of adjustments to our policies and daily procedures. Recommendations from and consultation with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention CDC, the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Department of Human Services, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the Jewish Community Center Association were all critical components of our decision making process. The changes we are making are intentional, with a focus first on the health and safety of every individual and family in our Center.

Staff must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of their shift to allow ample time for the required health screening at the staff entrance. Staff will bring their own cloth mask that goes home daily to be washed; disposable masks will be available if a staff member forgets a mask. Staff should secure a few masks if possible in the event they are not doing laundry daily. We will provide masks if staff have not been able to obtain their own. When a staff member calls off, reasons/symptoms will be asked for and documented.

In order to limit exposure, entrance to any of our 3 day camp facilities (Squirrel Hill JCC, South Hills JCC, and Family Park) will only be available through the main entrance. Children will be received by camp staff at parent/guardian car; a daily health screening will be performed for everyone in the car (children and parent/guardian). Parent/guardian is required to wear a mask at drop off. In accordance with Allegheny County Health & Safety Guidance for School Age Day Camps, children will not be permitted into the building or campground if anyone in the vehicle has a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or above, or has symptoms visible to screener or disclosed by parent/guardian (trouble breathing, coughing, sore throat, etc.). Walkers will be subject to the same screening method; children will not be permitted to enter the building or campground with a fever and/or disclosed or visible symptoms.
Screeners will be senior staff members, JCC staff members and other members of the Camp leadership team will be present during drop off daily. Screeners will use hand sanitizer between each screening. Screeners will wear masks or face shields; all camp staff will wear masks.
In addition to the screeners and camp leadership, there will be additional staff outside to escort children to meet their camp group. Every effort will be made to ensure the same staff is present at drop off each morning.
We strongly encourage the same adult pick up and drop the child at camp each day. If possible, try to avoid having grandparents or any adult who is highly vulnerable to exposure drop off and pick up.
Drop off times will be assigned and sent via email to families.
Carpooling is acceptable and may be an option for many families. If carpooling, we strongly encourage you carpool with same families every day and that there are no more than 2 children in the car. Everyone in the car should wear a mask and windows should be down as often as possible.

Please send your child to camp with a backpack or sealable backpack (no paper or plastic bags please) that contains a bathing suit, towel, underwear, water bottle and sunscreen. Staff members will assist campers in sunscreen application at camp. Please label all personal items with your child’s name. All items will be sent home daily and should be laundered. Soft items and toys from home will not be permitted. All items must be able to fit inside the backpack/bag. There should be no food in the bag unless approved for medical or dietary needs and parent/guardian dropping off must indicate there is food inside child’s bag.

Physical distancing will be strictly enforced between groups. Recommendations made by the CDC are helping us to determine group size. Every effort will be made to keep the same counselors with the same children throughout the day. Floating staff will be limited. Children do not naturally physically distance and they require warmth and close contact with staff. Best efforts will be made to maintain physical distancing practices. Individual play will be encouraged when possible, with camp staff providing interesting materials around the room or open space to encourage it.

All food will still be prepared and purchased by our food services company, Aladdin. All snacks will be individually wrapped. Lunch will be served “grab and go” style with each camper receiving their own lunch box. One counselor will be designated to serve food and snacks.
Water stations and fountains are set up throughout camp in all 3 of our facilities. No one will be permitted to drink directly from a water fountain. Children are taken to the water station/fountain frequently throughout the day. Please send your child with a water bottle and label it. Counselors will press the button while the child holds their water bottle under the spigot. Water stations/fountains will be disinfected between group uses.

In accordance with the guidance we’ve received from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, masks must be worn at all times by everyone age 2 and older. Staff will have a clean mask to wear daily. Gloves will be worn assisting in the bathroom, touching and serving food. They will be changed in between use properly; hands will be washed in between use.

Mixed use spaces will continue to be used and will be thoroughly disinfected and allowed to dry in between each group’s use. Daily schedules will be adjusted/staggered to allow for thorough cleaning. Outside spaces at Family Park or on/around JCC property will be used as much of the day as is possible.
Toys and equipment will be limited to items that can be easily disinfected. Toys will be adequately disinfected between uses by each group. Specialists and instructors will have cleaning supplies in each program space so they can clean spaces and equipment in between group uses. Counselors will carry backpacks with them at all times containing cleaning and sanitation supplies for both hands and equipment.

Children and staff will sanitize hands upon arrival to camp, between activities, before and after eating, changing/using the bathroom. Activity materials will be disinfected between each group’s uses. Doorknobs, light switches, handles, (high-touch places and spaces) will be disinfected as often as possible throughout the day, including at the beginning and end of the day. Surfaces, such as countertops and tables, will be cleaned and disinfected after each use and will be left wet after disinfecting to accommodate the disinfectant’s stated dwell or contact time. Specialists and instructors will have cleaning supplies in each program space so they can clean spaces and equipment in between group uses. Counselors will carry backpacks with them at all times containing cleaning and sanitation supplies for both hands and equipment.
Toilet handles and sink handles/faucet will be disinfected between each group’s use. JCC Senior Director of Facilities will track and order cleaning and disinfecting supplies.

If a child develops a fever, shortness of breath, a new cough or rash during the day, the child will be immediately removed from the group with one counselor, who will remain with the child, and moved to the designated sick room. The parent will be notified by the camp director; if parent is not available immediately, emergency contact will be used.
If a child needs other medication during the camp day still requires a physician’s note to dispense and must come in the original packaging with dosage amount.
Anyone (staff member or child) with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above must be isolated for a minimum of seven days after symptom onset, and 72 hours after their fever resolves without fever-reducing medication. For example, if the fever and symptoms resolve on day seven, the staff member or child can return on day 10. Staff with household contacts with adults or children with COVID-19 must be quarantined for 14 days after their last household exposure. For most, this will be 14 days after the household contact with COVID-19 is released from isolation.

If a staff member, child or child’s family member comes into contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, that person is required to notify the Camp Director and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and to consult with healthcare professional. If a camper’s family member is exposed, the child attending camp must remain out of camp for 14 days.
In the event that either a staff member or a child who has been present at camp tests positive for COVID-19, we will immediately contact the Department of Health (DOH) for further guidance. We will communicate the information regarding any positive cases to all camp staff and families.

Pick up times will be assigned and sent via email to families. Camp and JCC staff will be present at the main entrance wherever the camp is being held. Children’s hands will be sanitized immediately prior to exiting classroom; parents should exit car with mask on and collect child. All personal items and changes of clothes in backpack will accompany the child. Hand sanitizer will be used by individual assisting with dismissal.

Communication will occur between camp leadership and parents via email and phone calls. The Camp Director or Assistant Director, as well as Jason Kunzman (Chief Program Officer) will communicate with parents regularly and clearly regarding any changes to program and policies, and will provide updates regarding health information in a timely manner (i.e., illness or virus diagnosis in the Center). Parents who need to reach camp leadership during the during the camp day should call the appropriate camp office.
We are accustomed to providing photos of camp experiences happening throughout our day to families. While we shift to ensure our ability to focus fully on health and safety and on the interactions with and between children, photos and will take on a different look. Our commitment to sharing our journey with you through those photos continues, and as we navigate what camp will look like going forward we’ll share an updated communication protocol with you.

A daily huddle each morning between camp leadership re: daily updates, new communication to families, suggested changes to policies and procedures, etc.

Next Steps