Keeping Camp Safer - Our Response to COVID-19

In the spirit of being transparent, instead of altering the original website text, Hip Wah is outlining changes made since the Keeping Camp Safer- Our Response to COVID-19 was drafted. Please see below for updates.


These changes are being adopted based on evolving county, state, federal (CDC) guidelines. Our sources include:

Checklist for Day Camps:

California Guidance for Day Camps:

Alameda County Guidance for Day Camps:

CDC Guidance for Schools:


May 13, 2021 Changes:

  • Daily Health Screener: A parent or guardian will be expected to complete a daily health screener for each camper, including administering a temperature check at home. Temperature checks will not be conducted on campus. The camper will not be allowed onto campus if the screener is incomplete. 

  • Testing: At this time, we do not expect testing to be a requirement to attend camp. However, if it is later deemed necessary because of a significant increase in the county’s COVID positivity rate, we will send swab kits home with the camper for the parent or guardian to administer and then return for processing.

  • Stable Cohorts: Guidelines no longer have a cohorting requirement and have reduced the recommended physical distancing from 6’ to 3’ in classrooms. Based on classroom sizes at the host campus, the number of campers per class will generally be 16 campers and 1 aide. There is one class, where the classroom is larger, that will have 19 campers and 2 aides. During Extended Care, we will allow campers from two classes (e.g., 1st and 2nd graders) to share space concurrently, and we will maximize the use of outdoor space during Extended Care. For the optional supplemental Mandarin language and instrumental music classes, groupings may be larger and will include campers from multiple classes. We are planning on using outdoor space for instrumental music.

  • Notification of a Positive COVID-19 Case: In the event a camper, aide, or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we will promptly notify anyone at Hip Wah who has been in close contact and ask them to quarantine.

  • Hip Wah will be sharing the Redwood Day School campus with another camp program; however, there will be no sharing of the playground, classrooms, restrooms, or any other physical space. The camps will be using two entirely different sections of the campus.

Original Text:

Safety is our top priority. Hip Wah is committed to following State and Alameda County Health Department guidelines to run the 2021 summer program in a manner that minimizes risk for our staff, aides, and campers.

Hip Wah is developing a comprehensive COVID-19 plan that will be based on youth program requirements established by the county, and we will also utilize protocols established by our host location which has been conducting in-person classes this school year.

Please check our website regularly as we will make updates as guidelines evolve.


Camp Cohorts

  • Hip Wah runs a single 4-week camp session each summer. No campers will be added during the 4-week session.

  • Campers will be grouped in stable cohorts of 13 campers and 1 aide for the 4 weeks. The number of campers and aides may expand, if permitted by county and state guidelines. “Stable” means that the campers will be in the same group each day, including at recess and for Extended Care. Campers, aides, and teachers will not change from one group to another during the 4-week period.


Masks and Distancing

  • All campers, aides, and staff will wear masks over their mouth and nose while at camp, regardless of vaccination status or a previous COVID-19 diagnosis. The exception to masks will be while eating or drinking. No masks with valves or vents will be allowed. We will provide extra masks as needed.

  • All individuals will maintain a minimum of six feet of physical distance between them. The exception will be to provide developmentally appropriate support or supervision (for example, a staffer applying first aid, opening a car door for a young camper, helping a young camper open a lunch item, etc.).


Space and Supplies

  • We will utilize practices already in place at our host location. This includes holding more sessions outdoors, using handwashing stations, and utilizing the already sectioned-off play areas on the campus.

  • Hip Wah is ordering additional musical instruments and other equipment. Sharing of supplies will be limited as much as possible. When supplies must be used by multiple cohorts, they will be disinfected between each cohort.

  • We are contracting with our host location for additional janitorial cleaning service. We will utilize their janitorial staff and the expanded cleaning processes, where they sanitize surfaces in all classrooms daily, in place since resuming in-person classes in the fall.

  • Recesses will be staggered, and the playground has been sectioned off to allow for different cohorts to play while maintaining a minimum distance of 15’ apart. Campers will be allowed to play on the structures, but only with members of their own cohort.

  • Campers, aides, and staff will practice frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing (e.g., before and after lunch, before and after using the restroom, before and after recess).


Our Program

  • Despite changes that will have to be made for 2021, we know we can still host a fun camp!

  • We will not be able to host all-camp gatherings or large group activities in 2021. There will not be an in-person open house or an in-person music festival. We will try to record experiences in another way and create video summaries to share with families.

  • There will be no field trips in 2021. Alternatives, such as virtual field trips, are being considered.

  • For specialist sessions, where a specialist normally teaches more than one cohort during the day, we will use a combination of zoom/virtual teaching, outdoor teaching, and physical distancing of at least 15’ from the specialist.

  • Hip Wah plans to offer Extended Care and afternoon enrichment classes. Information on registering for these additional programs will be communicated at a later date. 

  • Lunch and snacks will be eaten outdoors with appropriate spacing. Hip Wah plans to offer individually packaged lunches, both to give parents a break from preparing meals and to support the local food industry. Information on registering for lunches will be communicated at a later date. Lunches are at an additional fee. 


Our Teachers

  • We are expecting most, if not all, of our teachers and specialists to be vaccinated by the time camp starts. We also expect the extended care staff members over the age of 18 to be vaccinated by the time camp starts. They will continue to wear masks.


Our Families

  • Unfortunately, we will not be able to welcome parents or caretakers onto campus this year. We ask that parents refrain from congregating in the parking lot or in front of the campus. Maintain at least 6’ social distancing away from those outside of your household.

  • Drop-offs and pick-ups for camp will be at the car or by the side gate. There will not be a walk-in option by parents or caretakers. Drop-offs and pick-ups for Extended Care will be at a desk outdoors.


Screening and COVID-19 Testing

  • Depending on county positivity rates, we may require campers, aides, and staff to take a COVID-19 test and show documentation of a negative result in the week prior to the start of camp. If this becomes a Hip Wah requirement, we will communicate it to you by June 7, 2021. We may require additional testing during the 4-week session. Testing may be offered by a third party provider contracted by Hip Wah or families may be asked to obtain testing through their health care provider. In either scenario, the cost should be covered by the camper’s medical insurance plan; Hip Wah is unable to reimburse for any portion of the testing for campers.

  • We will administer temperature checks of staff, aides, and campers daily before entry onto the campus.

  • Staff will complete daily health screenings before being admitted to camp. Parents must complete daily health screenings for their camper, aide, or any staff member under the age of 18. 

  • If your camper will be traveling outside of Northern California during the 4-week camp period, we ask that you refrain from enrolling your camper. If you enroll, and later decide to travel during the 4-week period, your camper may be required to take a COVID-19 test and show evidence of a negative test before returning to camp. It is not recommended that any camper travel during the 4-week camp period.

  • A camper, aide, or staff that presents symptoms of an infectious illness during the day will be sent home and asked to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if COVID-19 testing is recommended.

  • In the event a camper, aide, or staff tests positive for COVID-19, we will notify the impacted cohort promptly. We will participate in contact tracing. We will pivot the cohort to a virtual program, where possible, while testing occurs.


Safety Training

  • Staff and aides will be trained on the safety protocols.

  • Families will receive a virtual orientation on the safety guidelines and expectations at camp.

  • We ask families to have their children practice wearing a mask all day. If your child is not able to wear a mask for the day, then we ask that you refrain from enrolling your child for camp.

  • We will complete any state and county required safety planning, tools and/or certificates. Hip Wah will post any state and county required signage.