Camp Kanuga’s Approach to COVID-19

A summer of fun, a summer of care


Our Approach

In 2020, Camp Kanuga—like hundreds of other summer camps—was not open due to complexities surrounding the pandemic. Now, with guidance from the American Camp Association (ACA), CDC, NC Youth Camp Association, and local health authorities, camp leadership is ready to open safely with a full experience for campers and staff.

As you prepare to entrust the care of your children to Camp Kanuga, know that that is exactly how we will treat them: with care. In that spirit, our policies and procedures were developed to provide a safe experience that maintains the vibrant spirit of our Camp Kanuga community.

Policies & Procedures


Capacity: For 2021, Camp Kanuga will maintain a camper capacity of 70% or less for each session, cabin, and group space. This allows for more room to move about, better social distancing practices, and increased airflow.

Health Monitoring: Each camper is required to maintain health records beginning eight days before the camp session begins. To make this simple, we are providing you with this form: Health Monitoring Form. In order to be admitted into camp upon arrival, your camper will be required to turn in this form before exiting your vehicle. We will refer to this form as your child’s Golden Ticket to access Camp Kanuga. Please note that successful completion of this form requires a four-day quarantine from non-vaccinated or unmasked people prior to arrival at Camp.

Staff Policy: We have and continue to show preference towards safe and mission oriented staff applicants in all hiring processes. While we will not be requiring the vaccine for Kanuga staff, our summer camp staff look to keep your children safe by following social distancing, mask, and outdoor space protocols, and when possible, obtaining vaccination.

Arrival at Camp

On-Site Testing: Camp Kanuga has partnered with a local Asheville-based organization, Wolfe Inc., to provide all campers and staff on-site testing at the start of each camp session. We will utilize molecular PCR test technology to provide the best possible snapshot of our community’s risk and exposure. Ten days prior to the start of your camp session, Wolfe Inc will contact each camper family to acquire consent and insurance information. If you are uninsured or your insurance does not cover testing, CARES Act funding will allow for your camper to be tested to ensure a safe and healthy camp environment. You will receive the results of your camper’s test as well as communication from Camp Kanuga if your camper has interacted with someone who has tested positive.

Parent Participation: Parents are asked to consider the safety of others when arriving on camp property. Drop-off will be in the Camp Kanuga parking lot, and your child’s belongings will be hand-delivered to the cabin. Your child will be accompanied by a staff member to their cabin. We ask that you allow us to take over care of your child in the parking lot—they will be well cared for.

Duration of Camp

Each Morning: Counselors will assess the health and symptoms of each camper before leaving the cabin to attend breakfast. Any camper with a temperature above 99.8 or any camper that reports feeling unwell will immediately go to the Infirmary and Camp Nurse for further monitoring.

Before Test Results Arrive: Before test results arrive, all campers and staff will remain in their “cabin bubble.” Cabin groups will remain together in the dining hall, have their own areas for dancing and singing during morning jam. Each counselor will provide their cabin group with a pre-selected and unique set of camp activities. This practice will allow for quick and concise contact tracing if symptoms or a positive test arise, and we expect this practice to have an incredible affect on the community formed in each cabin. By the time we are able to transition to larger group games and activities during the session, cabinmates will have formed strong and lasting bonds.

After Test Results Arrive: Once all campers have tested negative, we will open up free-choice activities, and expanded group gatherings, and allow for more movement within camp.

At All Times, During All Sessions: The research is clear: camp is a safe and valuable experience for your child even during a global health pandemic. Dozens of camps operated without incident last summer, and dozens more were able to navigate positive cases in a safe way due to the environment offered by camp: namely, fresh air. We are committed to a TWO of THREE RULE. At all times, we will maintain TWO of THREE: 1-Masks 2-Distance 3-Outside Air. Camp Kanuga is blessed that almost all of our buildings are open to outside air, including our cabins and dining hall. With cabin capacity at 70% and campers arranged with alternating heads and feet, we are ready to offer our campers a safe environment this summer.

Departure and Post-Camp

Departure: When arriving to retrieve your camper (from the best possible camping experience available in the region!), we invite one parent to join us for a special closing ceremony. We will meet in the Paved Rec near Girls’ Village for a brief time of announcements and a session slideshow. Parents should remain socially distant and masked as we respect everyone joining us—parents will not have received the onsite test nor will we know which parents have had access to a vaccine.

Post Camp: Camp Kanuga is committed to open and direct communication should any relevant concern arise during your camper’s session. If we learn after the camp session that your camper has been at risk for exposure, we’ll alert you immediately.

Since 1931, Camp Kanuga campers have benefitted from the lifelong friendships, new experiences and adventures, and faith development we offer in our inclusive Christian community, which welcomes all faiths and backgrounds. The summer of 2021, which is our 91st year in operation and our 90th camping season, will continue this legacy with gusto.

We can’t wait to serve your family this summer!