Christian camping has faithfully served hundreds of thousands of children, adults, and families across the state of Michigan for decades. Camp provides a safe place for children and families to experience unconditional love and acceptance, get outdoors, take a break from technology, try new things, meet new friends, and have fun in a unique environment.
The physical health and safety of our campers and their families is our number one priority. Consequently, we will follow the health and safety requirements set forth by Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Agency for the operation of camps in Michigan. We also know that there are many benefits of camp for kids who are anxious for a return to some sense of normalcy.
Bay Shore Camp desires to be a part of the solution. As you may be aware, we successfully operated camp last summer after working diligently on plans to minimize risk including enhanced health screening practices, check-in and program modifications, and food service and accommodations plans. We are prepared to do the same this year.
Operational decisions are being made using the following criteria:
Federal and State mandates
CDC, State, and local health department recommendations
Proper mitigation process that can realistically be implemented
What is wise for our guests and staff
In mid-May, 2020, the American Camping Association released a “Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance.” It has since been updated.
This is a comprehensive, 120+ page document outlining recommended protocols for the operation of overnight camps. We have been using the guidance in that document to prepare for the opening of camp.
The State of Michigan, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued the “Guidelines for Camp Operations during COVID-19,” with recent updates this Spring. This document refers primarily to requirements from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service, (MDHHS,) Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA,) and the recommendations from the CDC..
Additionally, per the LARA guidelines, we have developed a “COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.”
We are a licensed camp and will only operate in accordance within the limits of what is required.
Under current guidelines and restrictions here’s an overview of what you and your camper can expect at camp.
First and foremost, vaccinations are recommended, (but not required,) for all who are eligible.
Campers are being expected to conduct some pre-camp health screening in an effort to know that campers are arriving at camp healthy.
Campers will be assigned to a consistent small group. That small group will do everything together including sleeping in a cabin, sitting together at meals and worship, and participating in group activities. That small group will function much like a family, with no requirement for physical distancing. Although, campers will be asked to honor an alternating, head to toe, sleeping arrangement.
Physical distancing between small groups will be expected during large indoor group gatherings.
In our dining hall, campers will be served their meals as always, but there will be no self-serve items or salad bar. Cabin groups will sit together. Indoor capacity restrictions have been lifted for camps. Food service staff are required to wear masks. Cloth face coverings are required as campers move around the dining hall, but not while seated at their tables.
We are choosing to operate our swimming pool at half capacity. Half capacity will only impact the operation on a rare occasion. Chlorine is effective in killing the COVID-19 virus.
Cloth face coverings (masks) are being provided to all campers, counselors and staff to be used, if deemed necessary. These will be laundered as needed.
We understand that there are varied opinions on the use of face coverings. We will always do what our State Licensing requires of us, in order for us to maintain our license and stay in operation. Hopefully, this will answer most questions.
Masks are not required in outdoor settings (unless we have a situation involving a crowded, congested gathering.
Masks continue to be required in our dining hall, while campers are getting their food, returning their dishes or are up moving around. Not while eating.
Masks will not be required in their cabins or while sleeping.
Masks will not be required during times of worship, indoors or outdoors.
We will refer to Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) guidelines regarding masks during indoor sports participation, but will exempt masks during outdoor sports play.
Masks will not be required indoors when campers are in their assigned small groups unless adequate space can be provided between groups.
Cleaning and sanitizing procedures are being modified to meet or exceed the minimum recommendations. High contact areas will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
The Health Standards of Care have been updated to include COVID-19. In the event a camper, counselor or staff member are determined to be showing common symptoms of COVID-19, they will be isolated and sent home as soon as a transportation can be arranged.
Bay Shore Camp is closed to all non-essential visitors when camp is in session. Questions may be directed to: Jeff Parsons, Executive Director at 989-883-2501 or
If your camp week is cancelled, we will help you transfer to a new date or provide a full refund. You could also choose to invest back into Bay Shore Camp and donate all or part of your registration fee to the ministry. Should your economic situation change and you are no longer able to send your child to camp, you may also apply for a campership or you can receive a full refund.
Bay Shore Programmed Retreats or Guest Groups:
If any Federal or State mandates are made that do not allow the experience to happen, we will work to reschedule your event, when possible. Group leaders should contact our office.
Further information on the virus and preventative steps that should be taken can be found on the following websites.