COVID-19 Plan & Protocols

A COVID-19 Free Summer 2020 Exceeded Expectations

We were thrilled to be able to open for our 2020 camp season and complete another chapter in our 65 year history. To answer the most popular question we’ve received… We did not have any reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 last summer at Deer Mountain. By implementing the COVID-19 protocols we developed based on the NY State Regulations and the flexibility of our expansive facility, we were able to keep our campers and staff safe while having a great time. Summer 2020, more than ever, provided a much needed sense of relief for our campers. While camp looked different, it still had a Deer Mountain signature. We helped each of our campers feel welcome, safe and connected as we delivered a robust and super fun program of activities, including swimming, sports, fine & performing arts, outdoor adventure / nature, lakefront, STEM and special events. Perhaps more importantly, our campers flourished and became the people they are supposed to be as they learned, grew, made authentic friends and found their passions. At Deer Mountain, we made this happen every day.

At Deer Mountain, we have always focused on partnering with our camp families. We are here to meet the needs of your family and create an environment where your child can thrive. Our hope is that every family understands that this coming summer, like last, will be about transparency and shared responsibility. We are all in this together and need to do everything we can to minimize risk. Unfortunately, we are not able to eliminate risk. But, we can reduce it. So please be sure that you review the information below and ask every question you would like to ask. We want to make sure that we’re all on the same page with respect to procedures and expectations. Thanks for considering us. We look forward to hearing from you!


An Overview of DMDC’s Approach

Deer Mountain, at its heart, is a community where campers and staff feel safe and comfortable to be who they are, connect with others, as well as learn and grow. Community is about interaction. This summer will remain true to who we are and certainly, be super fun and enriching. The experience we will provide will be more important than ever. However, this summer we need to have fewer people at camp and fewer interactions for any given person. That is the guiding principle for staying safe this summer. All of what appears below is in service of that guiding principle.

Limited Capacity and Set Weeks

Assuming the same COVID-19 regulations will be in place for 2021, the number of overall campers served will be limited due to the parameters we have set based on our facility.

For now, we will be offering 5 different session options:

  • 8 Weeks – 6/28-8/20
  • First 4 Weeks – 6/28-7/23
  • Last 4 Weeks – 7/26 – 8/20
  • Flexible 6 Weeks (choose any weeks)
  • Flexible 7 Weeks (choose any weeks)

Camper and Staff Screening

  • Campers and Staff will have daily symptom screening & temperature checks – screenings will take place prior to boarding the bus or arrival at camp (for campers being dropped off).
  • Staff will need a “return to work” COVID-19 test prior to the start of the camp season.

Reduced Contact

  • Group size will be limited to a maximum of 10-15 campers with 2 counselors.
  • Campers within groups will socially distance as much as possible throughout the camp day. In an abundance of caution, we will have campers within groups socially distance around large tables at lunch as well as at fine arts activities.
  • Each group will have no or minimal contact with other groups.
  • Campers will not need to wear face coverings during the camp day.
  • Face coverings will be worn by all staff members at all times.

Maximum Use of DMDC Space & Facility Attributes

  • Each group will be assigned a building as their “Home Base” to change for swim and store their belongings.
  • A maximum of 2 groups will share a building, but they will each have a designated entrance and will not occupy the building at the same time. The space will be cleaned between each use.
  • All Deer Mountain buildings have fully equipped bathrooms.
  • Each “home base” building will also be equipped with the following:
    • 10’x20’ Outdoor Canopy Tent
    • Outdoor Hydration Station for water bottle refills
    • Outdoor Handwashing Station for campers & staff to sanitize their hands between activities


Hand Washing & Sanitizing Stations

  • Mandatory hand washing and sanitization protocol between each activity period.
  • Outdoor handwashing stations and hand sanitization stations have been added to each building throughout camp, so campers can wash their hands directly after the activity.


Cleaning & Disinfecting Protocols

  • Electrostatic Sprayers will be used to disinfect all buildings and surfaces in between use by camper groups.  Electrostatic sprayers work by charging liquids (i.e., cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants) as they pass through a sprayer nozzle. This generates charged droplets that repel one another and actively seek out environmental surfaces, which they stick to and even wrap around to coat all sides.  Electrostatic Sprayers are currently being used by major airlines and corporate settings.  We have purchased 4 Electrostatic Sprayers to be able to keep up with the protocols we have set.
  • Deer Mountain will use soaps, sanitizers and cleaning supplies recommended by the EPA and CDC.
  • Buildings, activity areas and equipment will be cleaned in between use by each group.
  • A dedicated and trained cleaning staff supervised by our Facility Manager, David Fisher, on cleaning protocols will be on hand before, after and throughout the camp day.

Visiting Camp

Regretfully, we will not be able to permit visiting camp this summer.

Food & Hydration

Lunch & Snacks

  • Lunch options will consist of a hot main entree or a substitution such as a bagel with cream cheese or butter, pasta or turkey plus a snack and a fruit.  As always, yogurt will be available.
  • Lunches will be delivered in individual bags, as recommended by the NYS regulations.
  • During lunch, groups will be spread out in the Rec Hall (4 groups, wall to wall windows and double doors open) and the Gymnastics Pavilion (4 groups, gymnastics will not be offered this summer). We will also utilize our Nursery Lunch Tent (1 group).
  • Each group will sit at the same lunch table daily.
  • To expedite lunch service, parents will pre-order their camper(s)’ lunch selections (online) weekly by submitting a lunch order form that will be provided.
  • Morning & afternoon pre-packaged snacks will be provided.
  • Please take note that Deer Mountain is a “PEANUT AWARE” camp.
  • Due to food allergies as well as the COVID-19 concerns that arise from sharing food, we ask that you refrain from sending any outside food to camp or on the buses. This includes breakfast.


To ensure the safety of campers with serious food allergies, we require that parents DO NOT send in any food to camp or on the van for any reason. Special dietary needs must be reviewed with our Camp Mom.

Daily Hydration

  • Campers should bring a WATER BOTTLE daily.
  • Remaining well hydrated each day is of paramount importance for each of our campers.
  • Water Bottles will be refilled throughout the day at Water Bottle Refilling Stations located at their bunk.
  • Campers will drink from their water bottles at lunch.
  • No beverages will be served.

Food Allergies & Dietary Needs

Deer Mountain’s Camp Mom, in concert with Division Leaders, will coordinate lunch, snack, and all camp activities with a food component for campers with Food Allergies and/or Other Dietary Needs.


  • Birthdays will be celebrated with pre-packaged cupcakes.
  • Due to food allergies as well as the elevated safety concerns associated with this summer, treats from home will not be allowed in camp.

Our commitment to safety and your child’s well-being will require elaborate transportation procedures, particularly during this unique time.

Camp Transportation

  • Deer Mountain will be offering transportation with central pick up and drop off locations to areas outside of Rockland and Orange Counties.
  • Predominantly full-size buses will be used this summer to provide for maximum social distancing between campers.
  • Campers and staff members will have their temperatures checked prior to boarding.
  • Seating will involve one camper per bench and siblings will be required to share a bench. Seats will be assigned.
  • The bus driver and bus counselor will wear proper PPE at all times and campers will use a face covering when riding on the bus.
  • To minimize the time that campers are wearing masks and are on the bus, Deer Mountain will only offer central pick up and drop off stops this summer.
  • Campers must come and go on the same bus in the same assigned seat each day. There will be no bus changes this summer.
  • All buses will be disinfected daily.

Parent Drop Offs & Pick Ups

  • We regret that, at this point, we cannot commit to offering Camp Transportation to families from Rockland & Orange Counties.  Tuition has been adjusted accordingly.  We will reinstate a camp transportation option based on any future changes to the COVID-19 protocols.
  • The Parent Transportation Option is available to families from Bergen County, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Hoboken & Jersey City.  Tuition would be adjusted accordingly.
  • Drop Off will be between 8:30am and 9:15am while Pick Up will be between 3:30pm and 4:15pm.
  • Camper & Parent face coverings are required during the drop off and pick up process.
  •  ***Parents or caregivers will need to remain in their vehicles
  • Our staff will assist campers in exiting your vehicle.
  • Campers will have their temperatures checked and will then be escorted to their group’s dedicated meeting area by a staff member.

Transportation Changes

Regretfully, we cannot accommodate any transportation changes this summer.

Program Highlights

Outdoor Activities

  • 100% of all activities this summer will take place outdoors on our 25-acre facility.
  • Fine Arts and STEM activities will take place under tents. Performing Arts will utilize our Outdoor Amphitheater.
  • Our program will consist of a robust variety of fine arts, performing arts, sports, outdoor adventure, STEM activities and of course, swimming.
  • Please note that close contact sports are not permitted as per the NYS Camp Regulations.  We will be playing alternate games and drills to keep our campers having a great time playing sports, remaining active and learning skills.
  • Special Events will be restructured and will not include outside entertainers, vendors, events or large group gatherings.
  • Each camper will receive their own set of materials and supplies during fine arts activities and STEM sessions.


  • Campers will swim 2x per day (Instructional & Recreational Swim)
  • A maximum of 2 groups will swim in each Deer Mountain pool this summer at the same time. Each pool in use this summer will be “split in half,” so that each group will have a shallow section and a deep section.
  • Towels will be provided.

Pool Diagram


Electives will be offered in a modified form this summer for older age groups.

2021 Activity List Will Include

Click links below for more information!

Swimming – 2x Daily
Field Hockey
Whiffle Ball
Golf – Driving
Frisbee Golf
Arts & Crafts
Outdoor Grilling & Campfire Cooking
Wilderness Skills
Environmental Education
Mountain Biking
Boating & Fishing
Special Events


Rainy Days

  • In an abundance of caution, if persistent rain and/or thunderstorms are forecasted for an entire day, we will need to cancel camp for that day as we feel that is in the best interest of our campers and staff members.
  • Parents will be notified in the morning if camp will be canceled.
  • We have ample space at camp to keep campers covered, dry, safe, while maintaining required social distancing, should a sunny day turn rainy, for the duration of the storm.

Trip Options & Horseback Riding

Regretfully, offsite trips, including trip options and horseback riding, will not be offered this summer

  • Every afternoon, Carol, Roberta & Terry will be sending home a video detailing the experience at camp that day
  • Division Leaders will be required to spend their day outside with their campers. Calls home will only happen outside of the camp day. If you’d like to speak to someone during the camp day, please call our office at 845-354-2727 to speak with Roberta or Carol directly.
  • Paper notes will not be permitted this summer. The DMDC Van Mail system will be taking a hiatus this season. If you’d like to share some information with anyone at camp, i.e. Division Leaders, Swim Instructors, Directors, etc., please call the office at 845-354-2727 or email us at
  • Pictures and videos will not be taken or posted this summer.
Symptom Management

All camp staff will be tested for COVID-19 prior to camp

  • All campers and staff members will be required to participate in a health screening and temperature check prior to boarding the bus each morning.
  • All campers and staff members who do not take a bus will be required to participate in a health screening and temperature check upon arrival.
  • The daily health screening will ask if the camper or staff member has:
    • knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;
    • tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days; and/or
    • experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Any camper or staff member who does not pass the health screening or registers a temperature of 100°F or higher will not be permitted to attend camp that day.
  • If any campers feel sick, they must stay home and their parents must notify camp.
  • If any staff member feels sick, they must stay home and notify camp.
  • Any camper or staff member who develops a temperature of 100°F or higher during the camp day will be separated from their group and will have to go home.
  • If a camper or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must notify camp and begin isolation.
  • If we are informed of a positive case of COVID-19 with any of our campers or staff, we are required to notify the Rockland County Department of Health. We will assist them in contact tracing and follow their isolation and quarantine guidance.
  • If someone in a camper’s household or staff member’s household tests positive for COVID-19, the camper or staff member will need to be quarantined for 14 days.
  • If we are informed of a positive case of COVID-19 with any of our campers or staff, we will notify the parents of that camper’s or staff member’s group and bus. The NYS Health Department tracing staff members will determine who needs to begin out of camp quarantine.

Persons who test positive for COVID-19 may return to camp when:

The answer to ALL of the following questions are YES:

  • Has it been at least 10 days since you first had symptoms?
  • Fever-free for three days (72 hours) without any medicine for fever reduction?
  • Has it been three days (72 hours) since your symptoms have improved?


The answer to ALL of the following questions is TRUE:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications?
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath)?
  • TWO negative COVID-19 tests greater than 24 hours apart and within 72 hours?

A successful summer will depend on a commitment from all of our Campers, Families, and Staff Members to follow local guidelines to promote a healthy community.