Preparing for Camp in 2022

You can feel the excitement, because in just a few weeks, Rockbrook will be welcoming girls back to camp for the 2022 summer season! We’re all looking forward to camp and the fun of getting together in the “heart of a wooded mountain.”

We want to share with you our current plans for addressing the lingering impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Things have improved since last year at this time with higher vaccination rates, lower case numbers, and milder variants being predominant, but some risks remain.

Thank you for your patience as we have again consulted with our state and local health authorities, the American Camp Association, and other experts about what reasonable precautions we should now take to protect the health and safety of our camp community. As conditions have changed since last summer, some of our protocols are different, even as some have remained in place.


Here are the answers to many of the questions we know you have about how camp will run and how we will handle COVID-19 concerns this summer. Here is what know at this time.

There is important information here to help you understand and prepare for your session at Rockbrook.


What pre-camp COVID-19 guidelines will we have?

sliding rock children

This summer, we will again ask our camp families to take important steps before they come to camp that will help us achieve the goal of every camper arriving at Rockbrook covid-free. This is a critical component of our plans for a healthy camp season, and we need your help!

All of these pre-camp guidelines were in place last summer.

We realize that to some these precautions may seem excessive, but we hope that everyone can understand how our entire camp community benefits if we all take a few simple steps to arrive at camp healthy.

14 days of pre-camp caution:
We ask that each family follow common sense precautions during these few days before camp. Please stay away from anyone with a potentially contagious disease, and anyone who is feeling sick or has symptoms. We want you to do your best to avoid contracting any communicable disease. Please consider avoiding large gatherings of people (e.g., parties, playdates, weddings, etc.), and unnecessary travel.

7 days of pre-camp symptom monitoring:
During these final days leading up to arrival at camp, parents will track the symptoms of their campers by completing a simple “health check” and recording their temperature on a paper form. This form is available in your online account. You will need to download it and print it. The form asks if your daughter is experiencing any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 that day, or has been exposed to anyone with a contagious illness. Important! We will collect this signed and completed form when you arrive on opening day.

Pre-camp Molecular PCR test sampled 3-4 days prior to arrival:
Campers must arrive with a recent negative molecular (PCR) COVID-19 test result. You may arrange for this test anywhere that can guarantee you receive the results prior to your arrival date. We want this test to occur as close to your arrival as possible, but still with enough time to receive results. Most PCR tests take 24-36 hours for results. You must bring written evidence of the negative COVID-19 test result with you on Opening Day.

As an option, we have again made arrangements with CommunityLab to provide at-home saliva-based PCR tests. After registering with CommunityLab, you will receive a sample kit in the mail with a pre-paid Fedex return label. CommunityLab will file with your health insurance plan. Please contact us to learn more or register for this service. We recommend registering at least 14 days in advance of your arrival date.

camp horse girl

Strict Quarantining following PCR test sample:
Campers should strictly quarantine after taking their PCR test, as they await results and during the time leading up to their arrival at camp. Please take extraordinary care during this time, especially when traveling to camp.

Final Rapid Antigen Test:
On the day before arriving, all campers should take a rapid antigen test and bring a photo of the negative results with them on Opening Day.

Testing Positive or Recovered from COVID-19:
If your camper has recovered from COVID-19 (tested positive) in the last 90 days, it is important you contact our office with details of her positive test and recovery. The date of her positive diagnosis may change these pre-camp requirements. Likewise, if your pre-camp PCR test is positive, contact us right away.

Ninty-nine percent of our counselors and activity instructors at Rockbrook will be vaccinated this summer. While not requiring COVID-19 vaccination for campers, Rockbrook highly recommends eligible campers be vaccinated if medically advisable. Campers are attending camp from all over the United States and from several other countries, and the available coronavirus vaccines have been proven to provide significant benefits to anyone living in a communal setting.

If your camper is vaccinated, she still needs to take the pre-camp PCR test. We ask also that she still complete the 7-day symptom monitoring form and carefully quarantine during those last days leading up to camp.

Will there be other testing at camp?

garden art project

We are not planning to conduct camp-wide surveillance testing of all campers during their session. Instead, we will be carefully monitoring everyone’s health on a daily basis, and administering a rapid antigen test only if a camper presents convincing COVID-19 symptoms. We will confirm the results of any positive rapid test with a followup molecular PCR test.

Our medical staff will contact parents if we determine their daughter should be tested, and keep them informed every step of the way.

How will activities work this summer?

Good news! This summer, campers will again select their individual activity schedules after they have arrived at camp. As before, there will be a rotation where each camper selects a new set of activities every 3 days. We will operate our regular daily schedule with its activity periods and blocks of free time.

What about out-of-camp trips?

whitewater rafting campers

All of our regular out-of-camp adventure trips will operate normally. Girls will be able to sign up for canoeing trips, whitewater kayaking trips, backpacking and day hiking, and rock climbing trips. These trips are optional. When girls choose to go on a trip, it means they will be skipping their scheduled activities for the duration of the outing. Girls who are 5th grade and older can go whitewater rafting if they choose.

And masks?

More good news! This summer we will not require campers to wear masks. Campers can wear a mask if they choose. We ask that campers still pack masks in the event that conditions change and masking is warranted. For example, there may be a need to wear a mask when indoors.

How will Opening Day work?

We will again stagger Opening Day arrival times by grade. This helps us prevent long lines of cars and make the arrival of cabin groups go more smoothly.

Grade Completed:

  • K-3rd grade – 8:30am
  • 4th grade – 9:00am
  • 5th grade – 9:30am
  • 6th grade – 10:00am
  • 7th grade – 10:30am
  • 8th grade – 11:00am
  • 9th grade – 11:30am
  • 10th grade – 3:00pm-4:00pm on the prior Saturday.

These arrival times are according to the grade your child has just finished. If you have more than one camper in different grades, please arrive at either assigned time.

summer camp swimmers

Once you arrive at Rockbrook, you will first enter the Rockbrook Horseback Riding Center, located just south of the main camp entrance. This is the same as last year.

We will again use our “drive through” check-in procedure that will include stops for meeting the directors, office staff, and nurses. We ask that all family members stay in their car during this process.

When you arrive on opening day, it is critical that you have written evidence of your camper’s negative COVID-19 PCR test, plus the completed 7-day symptom monitoring form.
She must also be feeling healthy!

After checking in at the riding center, you will then drive into camp through the main entrance to meet your counselors and unload your luggage. This will be the last stop, and will be the time to say your goodbyes.

We know this may be a difficult time for families, but rest assured, our counselors will take extra care helping your daughter get settled into her cabin and begin the fun of meeting her bunk mates.

Don’t worry parents! You’ll be able to tour camp on closing day with your personal tour guide. 🙂

We will distribute pre-ordered camp gear, and do our regular head lice check after parents depart. Camp will launch into action right away!

What if my camper feels sick while at camp?

As always, we will do our very best to keep your daughter healthy and safe while at camp, and will be ready to care for her medical needs if she feels ill. Our medical team will be on the lookout for common COVID-19 symptoms throughout the session, and when concerned, will perform a rapid antigen test (We will try to contact parents prior to testing, but will not delay if they cannot be reached.). If a camper’s test is negative, we will continue to monitor and treat her symptoms in our Health Hut until she is fever-free for 24 hours (just as we do with any potentially contagious illness). If a camper’s test is confirmed with a second test to be positive, we will ask that you come pick her up as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours). We have a special building dedicated to keeping sick campers comfortable and isolated from others at camp.

What if someone in my child’s cabin tests positive for having Covid-19?

shaving cream pair of girls

If we verify that someone in your daughter’s cabin has COVID-19, we will notify you right away of that exposure. Our medical staff will then monitor any exposed campers for signs or symptoms of illness, and perform a rapid antigen test if symptoms do arise. Our plan is to allow those exposed campers to stay at camp, but require them to wear a mask for five days when interacting with others outside their cabin.

If we do have a positive COVID-19 case at Rockbrook, we plan to let our greater camp community know as well. Without discussing the specific camper infected, we will identify the cabin group exposed, and any other relevant contact tracing information.

What is your refund policy?

Ordinarily Rockbrook does not offer refunds for campers who arrive late or must leave early from their camp session. For this summer of 2022, we have put in place a thorough set of reasonable measures to diminish the risk of contracting COVID-19, but we still cannot guarantee anyone attending Rockbrook will not become exposed or infected.

For this reason, like last summer, we will make an exception. If a camper must leave camp with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, we will refund 50% of the tuition paid for the days she is unable to attend.

Wow! That’s a lot!

Yes it is! Reuniting as a camp community while still aware of the coronavirus requires us again to be extra cautious. At the same time, we are working to do everything we can to recreate the special feeling of camp we all enjoy. This summer, Rockbrook will again get girls outside, give them loads of fun activities to try, allow them to laugh and play like kids, and relax with friends in a truly caring and supportive community.

Thank you again for the support and confidence you have shown as we prepare for your daughter’s camp experience. We’re excited to see everyone back at Rockbrook!

If you have questions not covered here, or you need something clarified, please let us know.

blue ridge mountains


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