Summer 2021 Operating Plan

The health and safety of our campers are paramount at Riverbend.


In the uncertain times we live in, we know that campers, parents and church leaders have to determine the best choice for themselves concerning camp.  We want to communicate our efforts to manage camper’s health and safety so you can make an informed choice. 


Riverbend is committed to taking reasonable measures to prevent the spread of any communicable disease including Covid-19.

The Texas Governor's office has put out a checklist for camps to operate this summer and have modified it a couple of times.  We have utilized this checklist as well as recommendations from the  CDC, American Camping Association, and input from our summer group leaders and Camp Health Officers to develop our Summer Operating Plan.

As needed, we will adapt and adjust our protocols and procedures as we follow the guidance provided by the CDC, local and state health authorities.


Ultimately, the choice for your child to attend summer camp at Riverbend is a personal one, and you are in control.


While nothing in life is without risks, and camp by its nature contains risk, our goal is to mitigate these risks in the environment in which we operate.  Below you will find the recommendations to help safeguard our campers from exposure. We work with the group leaders to determine the best course of action for these recommendations.


Camper Health

  • Intake Screening and Assessment
    • Fill out a Daily Health Form and conduct intake screening on arrival. This will be supervised by the Camp Health Officer.
    • Campers will need to provide their own Personal Protection Equipment and additional sanitizer (sanitizer provided in public areas, soap and water provided in all cabins restrooms).
    • Groups will work with the Camp Health Officer to conduct arrival screenings.
    • The Daily Health Form will be turned in by each group on camp.
  • Regular Screening and Assessment
    • Each day an adult leader from each church will conduct a health screening for each camper. They will fill out the Daily Health Screening Form and turn this into the Camp Health Officer. Riverbend will provide the form, though groups can provide their own pre-approved form, if desired.
    • All forms will be turned into the Camp Health Officers and will become a part of the Camp Health Log.
  • Preventing Spread
    • Creating Pods for each group may help to limit exposure to others. The church can determine the size and number of pods, but housing may also play a factor. A church may be one pod or may be split into smaller groups. It is suggested that pods will rotate to all areas together (eat, swim, recreate, worship, etc).
    • Handwashing and personal hygiene will be emphasized
    • If utilizing pods, physical distancing between pods is recommended. Anywhere large groups gather, Riverbend staff can help to facilitate separation (lines in dining hall, tables separated, worship center seating separated)
    • Guidelines from the state encourage masks to be worn when you are within 6 feet of anyone not in your household.
    • Camper visitors will not be allowed on camp.
  • Response and Management of Case(s) or Probable Case(s)
    • Camp management will work with the Camp Health Officer to determine course of action.
    • Anyone with symptoms of illness, in particular Covid-19, will be isolated and parents will be contacted to pick them up.
    • Cleaning of the area in which the sick camper slept will be done by camp staff. If possible, the group staying with that camper will be moved to a new lodging area.
    • On-site testing could take place but would require additional approval from a parent or guardian.
    • A letter will be given to all group leaders within the pod for distribution to camper families to discuss possible post-camp protocols.
    • Even if there is no suspected case, for up to 14 days after camp, a parent may want to limit campers access to anyone who would be in the higher risk category(immunosuppressed, age 65 or older, etc.)
  • Health Center and Sick Person Isolation Area
    • The Health Center will be the primary site for medical concerns. It contains two isolation rooms. Additional isolation space will be provided for temporary housing of ill campers. The best location of this isolation area will be determined by the camp management and the Camp Health Officers.
  • Staff Health
    • Staff will follow a similar plan as outlined above. Staff who operate in the food service areas or anytime they will be within six feet of campers may take additional precautions.



  • Churches partner with Riverbend and as such will be the front line defense for cleanliness and hygiene in the cabins.
  • Groups will be housed by the church in their Pods.
  • Riverbend will work with the Camp Director for best assignments of cabins.
  • Each group will assign bunking and communicate to sleep head to toe.
Common and Shared Spaces
  • Churches will utilize their cabin as their common space.
  • Large group meeting spaces (Worship Center, Chapel, etc) will be cleaned at least once per day by Riverbend staff.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • A Riverbend cleaning crew will be on hand each day of camp. They will clean and sanitize all public areas. They will check consumable products in all cabins and check for cleanliness. They will not be touching the camper's personal belongings. We ask that no personal items be left in the cabin restrooms.


Dining Hall Layout

  • Depending on Group's desire, we will serve either cafeteria-style or buffet-style or a hybrid thereof.
  • We will not serve food in Riverside.
  • Self-serve Salad/fruit bars will be removed (salads and fruit options will be available)
  • Lines will be created so that social distancing between groups can be achieved.
  • Dining hall tables and chairs will be rearranged to help support “pods” of campers dining together.
  • Trash cans will be located at various exits to minimize lines to dispose of plates.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be in several areas in the dining hall. Soap dispensers will be in the restrooms.
  • All staff will wear masks, gloves, and hair restraints when serving in the dining hall.
  • Meals will be served with disposable utensils, napkins, cups, and plates.
  • If cafeteria-style is chosen, every food option for a meal will be served by staff including plates, napkins, utensils, main entree, sides, salads, fruit, cereal, desserts. Campers can elect to choose or deny some options at the lines. Beverages will be self-serve since campers do not need to touch the dispensers.
  • Additional staff will be available to quickly sanitize tables and chairs between campers if multiple meal times are needed to rotate campers into the dining hall.
  • All tables, chairs, beverage areas, serving lines, and restrooms, will be sanitized after each meal. In addition, all high touch surfaces including door handles, vending machines, and all restroom surfaces will be sanitized.
  • Chemicals used are EPA approved for use in food service.
  • Currently, food availability and costs are fluctuating greatly due to demands. In order to help calculate and communicate predicted food quantities to vendors, we will reduce menu options. Also, by reducing menu items our staff will become more consistent and timely serving meals. Based on short notice of reduced food supply from vendors there could be a deviation from a planned menu any given day. Riverbend is committed to continuing to provide exceptional food.
  • Camper sponsors will be helpful to remind campers to wash/sanitize hands and practice distancing.


General Guidelines for Recreational activities staffed by Riverbend

  • Groups may choose to rotate to recreational activities in their pods.
  • Recreational activities will have specific instructions (see additional steps taken in the Program Operation Plan) on sanitization and operation. In general:
  • Riverbend will ensure all stations, equipment and supplies are sanitized
  • Sanitizer and disposable gloves will be available at recreation locations
  • Rivebend will provide a water station. This will be in the form of a water fountain or an igloo. Any igloo water station will be manned by a Riverbend staff or adult volunteer with gloves to fill up camper water bottles.
  • Aquatics & Water-Related
  • COVID-19 cannot spread through pool water:
  • Chairs or seating may not be provided at the pool. We encourage adult leaders to bring portable chairs.
  • Riverbend will provide life jackets at the waterfront. Campers may provide their own life-jacket, but these must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable PFD. These should not be shared with other campers. Riverbend will make final approval of any camper supplied life-jacket.
Group Activities (provided by the host group)
  • These should be planned to limit close proximity of campers with those outside their pods. Shared equipment will need to be sanitized between pod usage.
Shared and Assigned Equipment
  • Sanitized Recreation equipment (basketballs, volleyballs, etc) will need to be checked out when the canteen is open. Groups may choose to bring their own sports equipment. Please consider limiting the use of this equipment within your pod.
  • Crafts should be planned in such a way that supplies and tools are not shared.
  • Groups will rotate to crafts in their pod
  • All tables, chairs, supplies and equipment should be sanitized between pod uses.
Canteen To help provide the best service and try to mitigate risk, we will be making changes to how the canteen operates.
  • We will not run the ice cream shop this summer. Instead we will have pre-packaged ice cream available for sell in the Snack Shop
  • We are still working on the menu in the canteen, but will probably only be selling pre-packaged items. All other aspects of the canteen will run the same.
  • When the canteen is open we will have a Rec Check (recreation equipment) available. A church may also check out equipment to keep all week. Any equipment not returned will be billed to the church.
Gift Shop
  • Campers will visit the Gift shop in their pods. We will limit the number of campers who are in the gift shop at one time.

COVID Testing

Riverbend has the ability to do onsite testingg of COVID-19 at no cost.  This will only be done if both of the following conditions have been met:

  • Your camper is showing symptoms that may be COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive. 

  • You have been contacted by Camp Staff or the Camp Health Officer and you have given your consent by selecting the link below.

If you are a parent who has been contacted by the camp about testing, please click here.

Please fill out the form below with any questions about our summer camp plan.  Thank you.

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