What modifications have been made for Day Camp Christmas Tree?

We have modified our programming to ensure consistent and safe practices this summer; therefore, we have cancelled our offsite camps and field trips. 

  • Participants registered for cancelled camps can still attend camp and participate in traditional camp activities, meet new friends, and enjoy being at camp this summer. There is no action needed, unless you choose to cancel or register for different YMCA program, please let us know if you’d like to make a change. 
  • We are moving Leaders In Training into a one week, versus two week session for the entire summer. 
  • Christmas Tree will not be providing lunches or snack this summer.  
  • Please send lunch and a snack with your camper each day. 
  • We are asking you to consider sending a labeled mask and hand sanitizer with your camper.  
  • If your camper is riding the bus per the MN Department of Health recommendations all riders will be required to wear a mask.
  • In order to stay within the guidelines there will be no family nights, horse shows or overnights this summer.

Bus stops/times:

We have had to cancel the following bus stops: Sears Auto Center, Wayzata Community Church, Pond Arena, Northern Tool, and Minnewashta.

Please see below for the most up to date busing times. Bus times are subject to change every week.

For more information about what to expect at pick up/drop off – see section on “BUSING.”

Watch for and follow us on Facebook for fun and creative ways to share in the camp experience this summer.

What to expect when you drop off/pick up your camper at camp:

CHECK-IN & CHECK-OUT: CAR RIDERS

**Staff wear masks if communicating with parents in cars**

**To help with our new procedures, please do not plan a pick-up between 3-4pm**

**While waiting on the camp driveway, please stay over to the right as far as possible, keeping room for two-way traffic**

Drop-Off: 8:30-9am (Busses arrive at 9am, please wait on the gravel shoulder on the North side of Game Farm Rd. until all busses leave and staff wave you in if you arrive after 9)

Pick-Up: 4-4:30pm (Please wait on the gravel shoulder on the North side of Game Farm Rd. until all busses leave and staff wave you in)

Check-In:

Parents will pull up to furthest staffed check in station designated by tie-dye flag.

Health Screening Check-In

  1. While in the car, staff will ask if parents have reviewed the health questions and can answer “no” to all. If so, campers can attend camp that day
  2. We will let you and your camper know what zone color they are in for the week and where they are located
  3. We will have hand sanitizer for your campers if none has been applied upon arrival, all campers will need to clean/sanitize their hands before joining their groups.
  4. Please do not pass vehicles unless instructed by staff. Stay in the vehicle line. You may leave once the vehicle in front of you has left.
  5. If you have any questions or instructions for the office, please call or email back later. If it is more in depth or for the bathrooms, please inform the staff and upon direction pull up to the parking area in front of the bathrooms and an office staff will assist.

Check-Out:

If you arrive before 4pm and busses are still in camp, please park on the gravel shoulder on the North side of Game Farm Rd behind the blue tractor.

  1. Pull up to furthest staffed check in station designated by tie-dye flag.
  2. Ask for name of camper(s) & check ID
  3. Staff member calls for Camper(s)
  4. Camper will clean/sanitize their hands before entering vehicle IF Requested
  5. Please do not pass vehicles unless instructed by staff. Stay in the vehicle line. You may leave once the vehicle in front of you has left.
  6. If you have any questions or instructions for the office, please call or email back later. If it is more in depth or for the bathrooms, please inform the staff and upon direction pull up to the parking area in front of the bathrooms and an office staff will assist.

CHECK-IN & CHECK-OUT: BUS RIDERS

**Staff wear masks if communicating with parents in cars**

  • 24 seats total on the bus. Front two seats will remain empty
  • Campers coming from the same household can sit together
  • Non-Household will practice social distancing by sitting in designated seats

Check-In:

  1. Parents will pull up to the designated check-in spot and roll down window
  2. While in the car, staff will ask if parents have reviewed the health questions and can answer “no” to all. If so, campers can attend camp that day

Riding the bus:

  1. All kids will have hand sanitizer applied to their hands before boarding the bus
  2. All kids will be required to wear masks on the bus to and from camp. Same household campers can sit together
  3. Bus captains will notify which color zone they will be at and where they are located before getting off

Check-Out

  • Upon arrival parents will remain in vehicle and campers will remain on bus until dismissed
  • Staff member will check ID and dismiss campers to approved people.

Important Links

General Day Camp Frequently Asked Questions

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we determine how best to safely offer incredible camp experiences while following guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Camp Association (ACA), and state departments of health.

Are YMCA Camps open?
With the ever evolving situation around Covid-19, we feel we are unable to offer the safe and enriching experience our campers were looking forward to this summer at our Overnight (Warren, Icaghowan, Croix and Ihduhapi) and Wilderness Camps (Menogyn and Widjiwagan).

With modifications that align with recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Health, we are planning for a safe and adventure-filled summer for the following programs: Day Camps, Summer Power, Summer Uproar, Nature Power, Summer Sports and Childcare. Due to low enrollment, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all programming at Camp Manitou this summer. 

The health and safety of our community is our number one priority, and we are making choices with that in mind.  Please the review the Parent Handbook for additional information on how to prepare your camper for programming this summer.

Out of an abundance of caution, our YMCA camps have been closed to the public since early March 2020. The YMCA has been providing crisis response service (local meal deliveries, intervention services, and emergency daycare for essential workers).

What should we bring for our camp week?
Please send the following items in a backpack; lunch, snack, bug spray, sunscreen, re-fillable water bottle, weather appropriate clothing, a mask, hand sanitizer, swimsuit, and towel on beach days. See our Parent Handbook for details.

Will there be busing for camps?
Pick up and drop off by guardian is highly encouraged, as that is the safest option. We will have limited busing available at adjusted stops/routes. To follow best practice guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Health, the bus capacity will be 24 people (staff & campers).

Day Camp registration remains open, however, if you register after Thursday of the week before camp, you will need to drive your camper to and from camp. Due to limited seats and advanced ordering of buses it is important we know how many riders we will have to assure we have the right number of buses. Thank you for your understanding.  

What will drop off and pick up look like?
Upon arrival, we will ask you to stay in your car and follow the instructions of the Y team members.  Social distancing for physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be adhered to and staff will be wearing masks. All campers will be asked a series of questions related to their health and exposure prior to heading to their bus or their group if being dropped off at camp.

If you are able to answer “no” to all of these questions, your child will be able to join us for the day’s adventure. If not, they will not be able to participate. Please know if you or someone in your home is an essential worker and has taken CDC recommendation precautions, your camper/s are welcome to attend.

  • Have you or anyone in your house traveled to another country in the last 14 days?
  • Within last 14 days, has someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Are you currently experiencing any symptoms of illness?
  • Do you have any concerns with abiding by our new guidelines which include practicing physical distancing, increased cleaning and monitoring your health while at the Y?

Is there Before/After Care?
We will not be offering before and after care this summer. However, many of our other summer programs provide am and pm care, please check the Summer Update Hub to explore your options.

How many people will be in groups? And onsite daily?
Recently government and health official guidelines for the number of people that can be in an outdoor group changed and we are now able to have 25 people in our outdoor program groups, including Y team members delivering programs. Indoor program groups will remain at 10 people, including Y team members. Daily capacities vary for each site.

What is camp doing to protect campers and team members while at camp?
Our YMCA programs have put protocols in place in all areas of camp to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. These include: changes to group size, screening procedures, camp hygiene practices, cleaning and disinfecting, and camper awareness and education.

  • Each child will be dropped off at a designated place to minimize contact between people.
  • Each child and guardian will be asked some health questions to ensure safe program participation.
  • Group sizes will follow the government and health official guidelines for the number of people that can be in an outdoor and indoor group, these numbers will include Y team members delivering programs.
  • Educational activities will enhance learning and offer opportunities to interact in person with their peers that was not possible with distance learning.
  • Exciting guests will safely be visiting following social distancing for physical distancing requirements and providing exceptional experiences and special surprises on site because we will not be having field trips this summer to ensure further safety in a known environment.
  • Our Y staff are following even more stringent cleaning and disinfecting standards and will be teaching your child ways to help make washing hands fun and how we care for each other by keeping things clean.

What day camp activities will campers be able to do and not do?
With safety and guidelines in place, we are able to run most of our program areas.  We will be closing down some areas and activities, to keep participants and staff safe.  All listed program areas will run with disinfecting procedures added to activities:

  • Amphitheater - campers will not gather in large groups
  • Archery/Slingshots/Target Sports - will run, disinfect equipment after each use
  • Arts & Crafts – staff will lead activity from six feet away, each camper will do projects that are individual, no sharing of supplies or equipment
  • Swimming- pools and waterfront swimming will be limited
  • Nature Studies/Environmental Education- no sharing of supplies or equipment, leader will be six feet away
  • Waterfront Activities (canoes, rowboats, kayaks, paddleboards, etc.)- will run with disinfecting procedures in place after each use
  • Climbing/Low Initiatives/Team Building – yes, where available, with safety precautions in place 
  • Fire Building- yes, with safety precautions in place; no sharing of food, when applicable
  • Horses- yes, with safety precautions in place where applicable.  These camps will offer horse camp programs: Camp Kici Yapi, DayCroix, Camp Ihduhapi, and Camp Christmas Tree.  If your camp is not listed, please contact Customer Service for your options- online or 612-230-9622.

Outdoor Games (9 Square, sports etc.)- Yes, with the following safety precautions in place 

  1. Everyone washes hands before activity
  2. Everyone sanitizes hands at activity area
  3. No more than one group at an activity
  4. Games and activities should be as low contact or no contact as possible. No full body contact or games that involve things like holding hands, linking elbows, or crawling under others
  5. All equipment handled by campers or staff (balls, racquets, etc.) will be sprayed and wiped down after each activity
  6. Commonly touched surfaces (gate latches or handles, etc.) will be wiped down after program sessions
  7. Use sanitizer between games (hydration break + clean hands) and watch for campers to touch their face, mouth, or eyes
  8. Everyone sanitizes hands as they leave
  9. Activities are ‘drills and skills’ only, no games or competition with other teams

How will you be screening campers and staff for COVID-19?
We follow all protocols and guidance we receive from health experts and know that all campers and staff will be asked to maintain self-observation before coming to camp.  We will go through the health screening for each camper, as well as checking for symptoms.

Will participants and staff be required to wear masks?
Participants and staff will wear masks in enclosed spaces – including buses and buildings.

How will you be separating anybody suspected of having COVID-19?
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Departments of Health, have determined that any camper or staff that exhibits symptoms would immediately be separated from our camp population. These individuals will be isolated in a safe, dedicated space until we are able to have a caregiver pick them up.

Is staff prepared and trained to handle any outbreak of COVID-19?
As always, your child's health and safety is our top priority. Since March 2020, our Y staff have been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state government and health officials to safely operate our child and school age care programs during the coronavirus crisis. Our staff is trained in all of the best practices, developed with these government agencies, leading health education, and camp industry experts.

How are you staying informed and up-to-date?
We are remaining informed by receiving timely updates from the American Camp Association, YUSA, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health Services, and State Government officials.

What is camp doing to protect campers and team members while at camp?
Our YMCA programs have put protocols in place in all areas of camp to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. These include changes to group size, screening procedures, camp hygiene practices, cleaning and sanitation, and camper awareness and education.

  • Each child will be dropped off at a designated place to minimize contact between people.
  • Each child and guardian will answer some health questions to ensure safe program participation.
  • Group sizes will follow the government and health official guidelines for the number of people that can be in an outdoor and indoor group, these numbers will include Y team members delivering programs.
  • Educational activities will enhance learning and offer opportunities to interact in person with their peers that was not possible with distance learning.
  • Exciting guests will safely be visiting following physical distancing requirements and providing exceptional experiences and special surprises on site because we will not be having field trips this summer to ensure further safety in a known environment.
  • Our Y staff are following even more stringent cleaning and sanitizing standards and will be teaching your child ways to help make washing hands fun and how we care for each other by keeping things clean.

What about out-of-camp trips? How will these change?
The YMCA summer staff is focused on providing safe and enriching programs on site this summer. In an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, we will not be traveling off site in 2020.

Will camps have international staff this summer?
In light of the current circumstances and guidance from government and health officials, the YMCA is not hiring international camp staff for the summer of 2020.  Our international camp staff add so much value to the culture of camp and it is our goal to move forward with these relationships in the future once it is safe to do so per government and health officials.

What is your cancellation policy?
If our program offering this summer changes as a result of current circumstances, or your ability to attend camp changes, please know we will work with each of you. If we need to cancel a program, a refund will be generated (including deposit), and no action is necessary. If you would like to cancel your camp session, we will provide a few options:

  • Donate: Instead of a refund, you could make it a donation to support the continued work of YMCA Camps.
  • Deposit: Turn your refund into a credit on your Y account for a future program.
  • Refund and donate: Do both. Consider taking a partial refund and making a partial donation.
  • Full refund: We’re glad to follow our COVID-19 refund policy, where you can get the full refund (including deposit).

Please contact our Customer Service Center at 612-230-9622 or customerservice@ymcamn.org to assist with any cancellation questions.

Is there financial support available to help me pay for camp?
Yes. As always, we never want to turn anyone away because of their financial situation.  Please consider reaching out for financial assistance before choosing to cancel, we want campers to be able to experience a YMCA camp this summer: https://www.ymcamn.org/scholarships.

How is the YMCA responding to serve community needs during this crisis?
We have positioned our YMCA as a Community Response Hub offering life-saving programs and services. For more information, visit: https://www.ymcamn.org/impact-summary

How can I help?
We are beyond grateful to the members of our community – our alumni, guests, camper families, volunteers, and staff – who have recognized the challenges crises like this can pose to a human services organization regardless of their own hardships that they may be facing and have already supported us. For those that are able and interested, please make a gift here. You can also see an updated Wish List located on GIVE pages of our camp websites. THANK YOU for your support of children and families during these uncertain times.