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Past COVID-19 Updates from Camp Hochelaga

Camp Hochelaga's 2020 Season

Update: September 29, 2020

Here at YWCA Vermont Camp Hochelaga, we are committed first and foremost to protecting the safety of our campers, staff, and extended community. Throughout the 2020 year, our team has continued in-depth learning about COVID-19 in the context of summer camp operations. As we lay robust plans for a safe, healthy 2021 season, we are maintaining close connections with camp, medical, and public health professionals across the country. As the Centers for Disease Control, the American Camp Association, and our state officials develop best practices for safe operation this coming summer, we are committed to ensuring our ability to meet or exceed every standard.

Bottom line: we cannot wait to welcome our campers and families back to Camp Hochelaga! As we get ready to open registration on November 1st and prepare for the coming season, we will keep you informed every step of the way. While we recognize that the 2021 season at Camp Hochelaga will look a little different than past summers, we are confident that it will still hold all of the magic, friendship, and spirit it has for more than 100 years. We will be in touch with you promptly as our plans develop. If your family is planning to register for the 2021 season please note that the process will feel very similar to past seasons. Before we ask you to complete new paperwork or processes specific to safe camp operations this coming summer, we strive to gather and develop as much information as we can so that we can prevent redundancy or unnecessary work on your end of things.

Update: May 4, 2020

After lengthy deliberation and consultation, our Board of Directors and Year-Round Staff have made the unanimous decision to suspend our camp sessions and programs for the 2020 season. 

Our informed decision to suspend programming and camp sessions at camp for the 2020 season has been and continues to be an incredibly difficult one. We believe strongly in the power and magic of camp for children and people of all ages. We know how much Hochelaga means to our campers, families, staff, alumni, donors, and volunteers because we know how much it means to us. We recognize that regardless of how you are connected to Hochelaga, this news may be met with sadness and grief. 

To our 2020 camp families, we are committed to doing everything we can do to be present for your camper as they learn this news. Acknowledging that this information may travel quickly through social media and other avenues of communication, we encourage you to share this development with your camper as soon as possible. Camp Director Hannah has created a video directly to our campers (Click Here to Watch) aimed at helping to deliver this news in a way that acknowledges and validates our collective feelings, and speaks to our profound strength as a community, and our deep sense of hopefulness for the future. 

We recognize the high level of stress and financial hardship many families are now facing. All families registered for the 2020 season will be offered full refunds of all payments, including deposits, made to date. Registered families can expect to receive an email with additional information about next steps on Tuesday, May 5th. 


Update: April 21, 2020

We continue to look to our experts and to work as a team to assess the upcoming camp season.

Earlier this month, the American Camp Association developed a working relationship directly with experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create new industry standards and recommendations for camps across the nation considering the viability and forms of their 2020 seasons. Camp Hochelaga’s team looks forward to reviewing their recommendations which are scheduled to be published at the end of April.

We want to remind registered camp families that final payments for the 2020 camp season are not due until May 31st. Camp Hochelaga’s team strives to have the information needed to make and share informed decisions about the season well in advance of this payment deadline. At this time, Camp Hochelaga is not requiring a deposit payment for families wishing to register for camp.


Update: April 13, 2020

Our guiding priority continues to be the health and safety of our campers, families, staff, and larger community.

We are continuing our diligent work to assess our ability to safely and responsibly operate for the 2020 season with state and local public health officials, the American Camp Association, and our Vermont Camp Association community. For more detailed information about Camp Hochelaga’s current response, including camp’s refund policy in the event of closure, and an outline of all the options being considered, please read the letter from Executive Director Deb Jorschick posted at the top of this page. We are always happy to connect with any member of our community. Please reach out at any time!

Update: March 30, 2020

Here at Camp Hochelaga, we are continuing to put plans and preparations in place for our 2020 camp season on the shores of Lake Champlain.

As we get ready for the empowering summer ahead of us, YWCA Vermont and Camp Hochelaga’s team continues to meet weekly to assess developments at the state and national levels. We are also participating in regular conference calls and meetings with the American Camp Association, the Vermont Camp Association, the Association of Camp Nurses, and national and state-wide public health officials. We are grateful to have such an amazing, supportive community of summer camp professionals and public health experts to work with! As we all continue to grow our understanding and knowledge base around Coronavirus COVID-19, these teams of experts across the summer camp and public health sectors are working tirelessly to develop strong new industry standards and practices for health and wellness at camp.

We are committed to continuing our regular communication with everyone in our camp community. This page is reviewed and updated by our team frequently and is the best place to get current information about the 2020 camp season at Camp Hochelaga.


Update: March 19, 2020

As we continue to put preparations and plans in place for another amazing, empowering summer at camp, we are reaching out to share an update with you considering the current public health situation.

Here at Camp Hochelaga our top priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our campers and staff. We consider safety and wellness from every angle of our programs, policies, and practices. As developments of Coronavirus COVID-19 have continued, we are closely following information and recommendations from the American Camp Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local health officials here in Vermont. With safety and wellbeing at the forefront of our minds, we recognize that our summer camp season is still well in our future. In alignment with advice and insight from Camp Hochelaga’s medical oversight and the American Camp Association, we are looking forward to our 2020 summer camp season continuing as planned to be filled with fun, safe, empowering experiences for our campers and staff.

As we lay plans for the season ahead, we are talking actively about ways we can continue to ensure the safety and wellness of our camp community. We are examining the practices and policies we already have in place to support wellness and will continue to actively adjust them as public health authorities provide guidance specific to COVID-19. We see this as an opportunity to review the sound systems we already have in place to support health and wellbeing at Hochelaga, and to make any adjustments to these policies and practices as advised by camp’s medical professionals in light of public health developments. Some of the systems and policies we are currently revising include:

  • Installing additional outdoor hand washing stations
  • Adjusting our check-in day wellness screening process
  • Strategizing about ways to ensure excellent hygiene practices for campers and staff
  • Implementing processes for thorough cleaning and disinfecting of our cabins and program areas regularly

Safety and wellness are our top priorities and will continue to be front and center as we prepare for the 2020 summer season at Camp Hochelaga. As the situation surrounding COVID-19 changes rapidly, our team of year-round staff and the Executive Committee of YWCA Vermont’s Board of Directors is meeting weekly to assess the most current information available. We recognize the importance of keeping you informed, and we want you to know that we are committed to updating you promptly if any changes arise moving forward. Please reach out with any questions at any time. Our team is always happy to connect.