The health and safety of your camper is Georgia 4-H’s primary concern as we make plans for camp with COVID-19 restrictions still in place.  This document outlines steps being taken to keep our campers, leaders, and staff safe.  This information is current as of May 17, 2021 but will be adapted as necessary according guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), University of Georgia (UGA), or Governor’s Executive Order.




Before Camp Considerations & Pre-Screening

Screening campers before allowing them to mingle with other campers is critical to helping assess and respond to risks of exposure to COVID-19.  Your county Extension staff and volunteers will carry out and document camper screening on a sign-in sheet/roster.  Verification of screening may be required at on-site camp registration.

      • Screening when Transportation is Pooled
        When common transportation to camp is being provided by the county, registered youth and adult participants will be screened at points of departure using a health screening equivalent to DawgCheck, a screening tool designed by the UGA, and compliant with the Governor’s Executive Order.  The health screening will include a temperature check.  Campers will have to “pass” their screening to be transported to camp.
      • Screening when Parents/Guardians Drop-off
        County Extension offices will be developing plans for transportation to camp.  If parent/guardian drop-off is part of your county’s transportation plan or if other circumstances require you to provide transportation for your camper, screening will have to be successfully completed before the camper can integrate with the campers in his/her cohort who may already be on site at camp.  The screening format will be consistent with that implemented for pooled transportation.
      • Voluntary Quarantines & Optional Prior-to-Camp-Testing
        The likelihood of successful screening at the beginning of the camp week will be greatly increased if the camper and camper’s parents/guardians begin using the DawgCheck protocol and choose to voluntarily quarantine themselves for up to 14 days before the departure for camp. The CDC also recommends a negative test, taken no more than 1-3 days before arriving at camp. The negative test will remain optional, not required, as the current version of the Governor’s Executive Order does not require a negative test to attend.
      • Special Considerations
          • You should carefully consider the participation of those 4-H’ers with underlying medical conditions and higher risk individuals.
          • Please be assured that you will receive a refund if you must cancel your camper’s registration prior to arrival at camp due to COVID-19 symptoms, positive test, or exposure.


Daily Health Screenings

At least twice a day, when campers are gathered in their cabins (probably in the morning and in the late afternoon or evening), leaders will use the DawgCheck protocol and temperature checks to assess symptoms related to COVID-19.  These will be documented on daily logs.


On-Site Medical Professional

A hired nurse will be on-site for the duration of a week of camp, stationed at the Health Cottage, and will use their expertise to navigate the medical situations that arise.


Preventative Measures

Preventative measures are the many different interventions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Since none of these measures is 100% effective standing alone, the following measures will be implemented simultaneously to increase the success of reducing the spread of the virus.

      • Cohorting
        Camp will be organized into cohorts of about 8-15 campers. Cohorts give the opportunity to keep exposure to a COVID-19 case within a small group and effectively conduct contact tracing.  Each cohort (essentially a cabin) will be together for lodging, meals, and activities.  Cohorting means that adult/teen leaders in each cabin also stay with their assigned groups for the duration of a week of camp.  To the extent possible, cohorts will be from the same county, and, for contact tracing purposes, will also consider any campers who used pooled transportation to arrive at camp.
      • Masking/Face Coverings
        Consistent with University System of Georgia and UGA guidance, fully vaccinated individuals can participate without wearing a mask.  Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering while inside buildings and facilities.  In those cases, campers should plan to bring several of their own face masks to camp and keep up with them throughout the week.
      • Physical Distancing
        Physical or social distancing – keeping six feet of distance – will be maintained between cohorts.  Consistent with University System of Georgia and UGA guidance, social distancing of unvaccinated individuals within cohorts will be strongly encouraged when possible.
      • Hand Washing
        An emphasis on hand washing is not new to the Georgia 4-H camping program but will be especially emphasized this summer, with regularly scheduled handwashing as an important healthy hygiene practice that will help prevent COVID-19.  Hand washing or the use of approved hand sanitizers as campers move between activities will be encouraged.
      • Outdoor Programming
        When and wherever possible, camp activities and programming that may have typically been done indoors in past summers will be moved outdoors.  Inclement weather areas will be pre-determined to avoid multiple cohorts seeking shelter in the same indoor location.
      • Modified Activities
        Despite our best effort to make our customary activities available to campers, there will be some activities that do not lend themselves to the COVID-19 environment or to the ability to adhere to mandated requirements.  County offices will be able to provide an overview of what activities to expect at camp in their promotional materials.
      • Outside Visitors
        No outside visitors will be allowed to visit Rock Eagle 4-H Center during camp, including attending evening activities or visiting campers or counselors.  Exceptions will be made for parent/guardian drop-off or pick-up of campers.  In those cases, there will be guidance outlining when and where those adults go to drop off and pick up campers.  Parents or guardians will not enter the cabins or any other buildings at the facility.
      • On-Site Programming
        All programs will take place onsite at Rock Eagle 4-H Center avoiding any off-site field trips.
      • Additional Controls
          • Acrylic or other barriers have been installed in certain areas to limit the interactions between staff and guests.
          • “Sanitation stations” are available at various locations around the facility which include hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes for use by guests to disinfect their personal space. Hand soap is also available in restrooms.
          • In some indoor locations, traffic flow will be altered or transitioned to one-way to minimize interactions between cohorts and promote social distancing between cohorts.
          • Overall capacities are reduced in buildings to facilitate social distancing between cohorts.
          • Enhanced signage is installed around the facility with a focus on healthy reminders, awareness of COVID symptoms, and extra guidance on hand-washing.


      • High Touch Surfaces
        In addition to cleaning routines already in place for lodging, meeting spaces, and dining facilities, enhanced procedures are in place to include regular cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces (including but not limited to: tabletops, light switches, door handles and push bars, handrails, vending machines) with EPA- registered products for use against SARSCoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
      • Between Camp Sessions
        Weeks of 4-H camp were shortened from five-day/four-night experiences to four-day/three-night experiences to allow even more time between camp sessions to clean, disinfect, and prepare facilities for the next camping session.

Testing Strategy

We have sought and will continue to seek advice from knowledgeable health care and public health providers regarding COVID-19 testing as we plan for camp.

      • Diagnostic Testing
        Diagnostic tests can show if one has an active coronavirus infection and help leaders determine next steps necessary for individual and cohorts.  An antigen testing system has been installed at the Health Cottage at Rock Eagle 4-H Center and all hired nurses are able to perform the antigen test.  A positive COVID-19 test result will require the individual, and in most cases their entire cohort, to leave camp; a negative result could require further evaluation or could still require the individual to leave to prevent the spread of other infections or illnesses based on the guidance of medical health professionals. A signed testing permission form is required to attend 4-H camp.


Quarantine/Isolation Plan

In addition to the Health Cottage, three additional cabins will remain available for use as necessary for short-term quarantine/isolation areas while pick-up plans are implemented.  Again, you will be ultimately responsible for providing transportation home for your camper in the event of a positive COVID-19 test or exposure.  The on-site medical professional will help monitor and assess symptomatic individuals and determine necessary courses of action based on the situation.


Contact Tracing

The use of cohorts offers the ability to quickly identify those other campers/leaders who have been in close contact with an infected individual.  Any individual who is determined to have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to leave camp and then will follow guidance from CDC related to exposure.

      • After Camp
        If we are notified after a week of camp of a COVID positive camper/leader, all exposed individuals will be notified, and we will participate/communicate with public health departments as directed.


Counselor Model of Interaction

Georgia 4-H camp counselors are extremely talented individuals, and will work hard to foster camp environments that are safe, fun, and 4-H centered even if it’s a little different than in years past.  Counselors will not incorporate with any camper cohort and counselors will not enter cabins for activities such as milk cottage time.  Throughout a week of camp, counselors will employ applicable preventative measures during their interaction with cohorts as possible.


Transportation Plans/Camper Drop-Off Available

A standardized plan for camper drop-off at Rock Eagle 4-H Center will be available if your county chooses to offer parent/guardian drop-off as an option.  The plans will be released by your county office closer to the summer, once the Governor’s Executive Order includes direction for residential camping, so any additional requirements can be included.


Staff Training

With so many changes due to COVID-19, additional training resources will be developed and provided as necessary to county offices, center staff members, and counselors, bringing awareness to new practices and procedures that will be in place, especially as it concerns health and safety.


DawgCheck Screening Tool



Up to date information about UGA COVID-19 Guidance can be found at:



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