Camp Horizons COVID-19 Response for Summer 2020

Updated June 12th: Cancellation

To our Camp Horizons Families,

We have shared incredible moments over 38 years of fun and friendship. Since the end of last summer, we have eagerly awaited summer 2020. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little longer to reunite. It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Camp Horizons will be closed for summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has struck our world.

Phase 2 in Virginia states that overnight summer camps are not permitted to open. We have not gotten clarification on when Phase 3 begins and if we will be allowed to run then. We simply have run out of time waiting for clarity, and do not feel it is fair to our campers or our staff to continue the uncertainty. We were confident and prepared for this summer, however the lack of clarity around Phase 3 and the current restrictions in Phase 2 makes it untenable to make a final decision any later. Our goal each and every summer is to create a wonderful and safe experience, and we are disappointed that we will be unable to do that this season.

This was not an easy decision. We are heartbroken that we cannot run traditional camp as planned and we recognize the sadness your camper will be feeling as well. Our team has begun thinking of fun and creative ways to keep the magic of camp going this summer, including potential family rentals and programming. Keep an eye out on social media and our website for more information on that in the next couple weeks. Please be patient with us as we navigate these changes and mourn the loss of the summer.

We are putting together a video regarding the decision to cancel camp which we hope you will share with your campers. This will be posted on our website and social media early next week.

We are looking forward to next summer when we can welcome you all back home. Until then, you can reach us Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00pm EST by calling 540.896.7600, emailing us at


Though we will not meet again until 2021, our motto rings true now more than ever:

We Are Many, We Are One

John, Liz, Trey, & the Camp Horizons Team


Updated June 1st:

Hello Horizons Family,

Thank you for your patience as we review the guidelines sent from the American Camp Association and the CDC. Our Director Team has spent the last couple weeks creating new policies to create the safest environment possible for campers and staff.

Due to lack of specific direction for summer camps from the Virginia Governor’s Office, we decided to cancel Session A, Session 3, and Leadership Camp. We will continue to run Session 4 and Session 5 as scheduled. We will also hold an additional 1-week Session, “Session 6”, which will run from August 16-22. Our goal in adding this 1-week session is to provide an option for families interested in a 1-week session.

The decision to cancel Session A, Session 3, and Leadership Camp was based on where we are as a state, and the need for testing. While Virginia is currently in Phase 1, we need to at least be in Phase 2 in order to open. Additionally, we felt that COVID-19 testing had to be a part of our mitigation strategy. The additional three weeks gained by canceling Sessions A and 3 will allow Virginia as a state, and specifically Northern Virginia where many of our campers come from, to be confidently into Phase 2. This also allows us additional time to finalize a partnership with a reliable testing organization and will be communicating the logistics of that process in our pre-arrival emails in the lead up to camp.

camp horizons 2020 amended dates


Outside of the summer schedule, we’ve made a variety of changes that will be implemented in accordance with recommendations from the ACA and the CDC. We feel confident in the policy updates and plans we’ve laid out for the summer. These measures include items like adjustments to our dining procedures and policies around when masks should be worn. The policy and procedure updates also include our decision to cancel all transportation methods- including bus and airport pickups. We require all families to drop off and pick up their camper at camp this summer.  All currently enrolled families received our detailed policy and procedure updates.

To request the full policy and procedure update please email our team at

If you are currently registered for Session A or Session 3 you have a few options:

  • If, after reading the updated policies, you are ready and able to join us this summer, you can shift your enrollment to Session 4, Session 5, or Session 6. To do this, please email our Customer Service team at Moving sessions will be handled on a first come first serve basis. Please understand that there are limited spots available as we are abiding by ACA guidelines to limit the number of campers in each village. We will be creating a waiting list to manage this process to ensure that we adhere to the group numbers, while maximizing the number of campers who can join us.
  • If, after review, you decide not to attend camp this summer, you can roll over your registration to the 2021 summer.  This places your camper in the Commit to Camp segment and lets you pick your session by April 1, 2021, while maintaining the 2020 rates, discounts, and add-ons you’ve selected.  If you have an outstanding balance for the 2020 summer, it will be due by November 16th rather than the upcoming June date, however you can make payments via your parent dashboard ahead of that date at any time.

Choosing this option is very helpful for us as a small business. Knowing that you may not have your 2021 plans fully outlined, rollover families are still eligible to request a refund for summer 2020 through February 15, 2021.

  • Finally, you may cancel 2020 and request a full refund. We will do our best to handle those refunds in a timely manner. We ask for your patience as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances. Again, we are a small business that operates year-round to support our camper families and the improvement of our programs and facilities. It would mean a great deal to our organization and our people if you would choose to roll over your enrollment until next summer. That being said, we understand if this is not an option for you.

No matter which option you choose, please let us know via email. This is imperative for us to keep track of each family. The deadline to inform us of your choice is June 15th at close of business(5pm EST). At that time tuition for all campers enrolled in a canceled session will rollover to 2021.


For those enrolled in Leadership Camp, you have the option of returning this summer as an Explorer Camper for Sessions 4, 5, or 6. We will defer your Leadership Camper status to next year and you may complete your LC Program next year as a graduating senior.

For campers who are in their last summer as a regular camper (16-year-old campers), you will have the option to attend in 2021 as an Explorer camper or apply to our Leadership program.  Please call our office with any questions about these options.

Thank you for sticking with us while we navigate these guidelines and make decisions on new policies and procedures. You have shown an immense amount of trust and patience while we worked through dealing with the ever-changing recommendations on how to best handle the current situation. We know that even with the operational changes outlined in the “2020 Camp Horizons Policies and Procedures Updates Summary”, some of you may still be feeling uneasy about the prospect of sending your child away this summer. We Understand. Our goal has always been to be a partner with you each summer.


If you are feeling any hesitation about sending your camper this summer, regardless of what session you are registered for, any families that are still enrolled as of today have the option to either roll over tuition to 2021 or receive a full refund.

Thank you again for your loyalty. We appreciate your commitment to camp, your patience with these changes, and your trust in us. As we have said before, camp will look different this year because our world looks different. However, the magic of camp is still here, and so are we.


John, Trey, Liz, and the Camp Horizons Team


Updated May 28th:

We will be releasing our program plans for summer 2020 on Monday, June 1st.

For all of our enrolled families, the June 1st payment has been moved to June 15th. Please do not worry about your payment being due on June 1st.

We have also moved our cancellation policy to June 15th  

We are looking forward to being in touch with our families on the morning of June 1st. If any questions arise beforehand, please reach out to our team via phone (540.896.7600) or email (


Updated May 19th:

Our last update was April 28th and we wanted to get another post up to keep folks in the loop on where we are at as we move forward towards summer. As we announced last post, we have amended our summer dates to delay our start. We are currently working with information coming out of the CDC and resources being developed by the American Camp Association to inform our best practices moving forward.

We are updating our policies and procedures as this information becomes available. On or before June 1st we will have a clearer picture of our overarching policy and program plan for summer 2020. These include considerations in the areas of social distancing, personal protective equipment, medical protocol and/or any additional schedule amendments.

If we run programming this summer, it will be because we are confident in these guidelines and new policies we created. Our goal each summer is to provide a safe environment for campers and staff, and these guidelines will help us determine what best practices are.  For any programming we run this summer, we will provide clear policies and plans to all of our families and staff in order for them to make the best decision for themselves and their families

As always, we are available by email ( or phone (540.896.7600) to answer any questions.


Updated April 28th:

Dear Camp Horizons Families:

As a response to the COVID-19 situation and after careful consideration, we have decided to amend our summer schedule as outlined below.  The safety of our campers, families, and staff are always our number one priority. Based on recommendations by local, state, and federal authorities, CDC, and the American Camp Association, we feel it is best to delay the start of our camp session to a time that gives us a healthy buffer between the projected end of Virginia’s “shelter in place” order and a full staff training for our summer camp team. While our summer would normally start June 14th, we have decided to delay until June 28th. Below are our new summer dates:

camp horizons 2020 amended dates














We understand these changes impact our families in different ways:

  • To those who’s sessions have been cancelled or amended, we encourage you to join an existing session- keeping in mind you may attend the first week of any 2-week session.
  • To those who are unable to switch to another session, we encourage you to move your enrollment to 2021 and apply your deposit and all current payments. You will not incur rate increases and can pick your dates for next summer at a later time.

Additionally, in the event that we cancel sessions under the Amended Dates we will offer full refunds.

In these unprecedented times, we recognize that summer camp will be more important than ever.  Rest assured, new operational procedures will be put in place that adhere to guidelines of the CDC, local health departments, and best practices of the American Camping Association.  It is our goal to maintain a safe and healthy environment while continuing to create memories that will last a lifetime.

As we continue to prepare for the summer, we will communicate any further operational/ scheduling changes and any other information needed as it becomes available.  One of the operational changes planned for this summer will be in our check-in process to include temperature checks, and to limit outside exposure to our camp environment.

Camp will look and feel a little different this year. Our world looks different. Even with all these differences, we will continue to create experiences and hope that your camper will be part of it. We care for you and your families and are planning on having another incredible summer here at Horizons.

We are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST to handle your questions and make any adjustments.


We Are Many, We Are One,

John, Liz, Trey, & the Camp Horizons Team


March 18th:

Dear Camp Horizons Families,

The global status of the Coronavirus is changing daily, and Camp Horizons is continuously listening to guidance from local, state, and federal agencies to respond appropriately. In light of the ongoing attention given to the virus, we are writing this letter to assure you that we are taking this situation seriously and that the health and safety of our campers, camper families, and staff members remains our top priority. Every summer, we work hard to keep our community healthy and safe so we can continue to share with campers an amazing summer experience and wonderful memories.

As of right now, knowing that the situation is fluid, all of our summer programs will go on as planned. That said, we will continue to keep an eye on updates and directives from state and federal authorities, including the CDC and other health leaders and will adjust if needed.

In order to continue to keep our community safe, our housekeeping team will continue their thorough cleaning process to maintain clean facilities at all times. We will continue to maintain hand sanitizer stations around camp to ensure guests can conveniently and frequently access them. We have also added public health reminders in all our common areas, and will continue to provide training to staff and campers about proper sanitization. All cleaners being used come from the CDC list of approved products that work effectively against the virus.

Before campers enter the dining halls, we always wash hands and will continue to do so. We work hard to keep all germs to a minimum in our dining halls. We also encourage them to use the sanitizer as they leave the dining hall. In our dining halls we train our staff on how to properly serve food to ensure minimal contact and follow proper sanitation protocol.

While part of camp is building friendships and sharing lifelong memories, we discourage the sharing of personal items, such as water bottles, hairbrushes, towels, and other personal items. We will continue to uphold this rule this summer to ensure a positive experience for all.

Each morning after breakfast, our campers return to their cabins to clean up for the day. Along with the daily cabin clean, we also have our housekeeping crew come in multiple times a week to replace toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and to sanitize of bathrooms and showers.

Our staff come in 1-2 weeks early for staff training each summer. In addition to our normal sessions, we will have an additional focus on sanitization, updates to these policies, and ensuring we are keeping everyone healthy.

Again, we understand that we are currently in a very fluid situation and will update you as we receive updated information. We are working to increase our health standards this summer to go above and beyond what has been recommended.

For 38 summers, we have been faced with different obstacles and have always gone above and beyond to meet the challenges set before us. Our goal is and has always been to maintain the health of our campers, camper families, and staff to make sure we are creating lifelong memories. We plan to continue these traditions. We look forward to welcoming you home for our 38th summer. Please, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

We Are Many, We Are One

John, Liz, Trey, and the Camp Horizons team