Summer and vacation camps 
for kids and teens, located in Waltham, MA

Running Brook Camps Summer 2021 Updates

Hello Camp Families,

As we plan for the 2021 Summer, our commitment is to be fully transparent in our communications with you, sharing updates to policies and programming, clarifying expectations, and answering all your questions as best we can.  As always, we are fully dedicated to providing a safe and super-fun camp experience for our camp community, and we are eager to partner with you in that endeavor.

Here's what we know:  While camp will look different in some ways, we know that we will all be part of the same wonderful Running Brook community and to experience the fun, the energy, the learning, and the growth that camp has to offer. We need camp more than ever, and we can't wait.
 
I wanted to share some more details with you about specific protocols and programming that we are planning for the summer, based on guidance from the CDC, our Board of Health, and experts within the camp industry, specifically the American Camp Association and the Massachusetts Camping Association.  We are fortunate to be able to work so collaboratively with camp professionals around the country to determine the best practices for a safe summer together at Running Brook.  Of course, our policies and procedures are subject to change between now and the start of summer as we get further guidance.

Jim Bellanca
Director of Summer & Auxiliary Programs


Program & Registration Status

List of 7 items.

  • Adventures Camp

    Program Status: RBC Adventures will be running for 8 weeks from June 28th to August 20th 2021. We are running 4 two-week sessions. Due to anticipated restrictions on travel and the nature of certain activities that we typically offer in our Adventures program (i.e., group van travel, interstate travel, shared tent camping), RB Adventures will offer day-trip activities more local to the metro-Boston area utilizing full-size yellow school buses with capacity limits in place.  There will also be more on-campus activities planned.  We continue to look at options for offering overnight camping trips at nearby campgrounds, but these may be postponed for 2021. There is the possibility of offering overnight camping nights on our campus.

    Registration Status: Registration is currently open to all families!  We have recently opened up more spots in each of the 4 sessions, so there is currently availability in all 4 sessions!
  • Leadership Training Program

    Program Status: Our LTP Program will also run for 8 weeks from June 28th to August 20th. New LTP candidates must have completed 7th grade. LTPs must also register for complete two-week sessions, and can register for a maximum of 2 sessions for the summer. Because the structure of the program is likely to need to be different than usual, we are currently limiting the number of available spots in the program.

    Registration Status:  The program is currently full for Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4.
  • Performing Arts

    Program Status: RBC Visual Arts Camp is not currently being offered for summer 2021. We made this decision in order to most effectively utilize our available indoor spaces on campus for the Day Camp, specifically our Arts Barn building.
  • School Vacation Camps

    Program Status:  We will not be offering our February & April public school vacation camps for the 2021 season.
  • Summer Day Canp

    Program Status: RBC Day Camp will be running for 8 weeks from June 28th to August 20th in 2021. We are running 4 two-week sessions. Campers can be enrolled for multiple sessions. In order to most effectively maintain small cohort groups, campers can only be enrolled for complete two-week sessions.

    Registration Status: Registration is currently open to all families!  Spots filled very quickly once again, and we currently have very limited availability and waitlists for our Sessions 2, 3 & 4 (July 12-August 20).  There is still a fair amount of availability for our Session 1 (June 28-July 9).
  • Visual Arts

    Program Status: RBC Visual Arts Camp is not currently being offered for summer 2021. We made this decision in order to most effectively utilize our available indoor spaces on campus for the Day Camp, specifically our Arts Barn building.
  • Young Leaders Program:

    Program Status: We will not be offering our Young Leaders Program for summer 2021.  The design and intent of the program is to provide participants the opportunity to constantly rotate through various areas of camp, and we feel this would not be feasible as we follow best practice guidelines for safety this summer.

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Learn More

List of 12 items.

  • Sessions

    For summer 2021, camp will run in four 2-week sessions, without our usual flexible options for families to sign up for single weeks or weeks that are not consecutive.  This will significantly reduce the usual high frequency of week-to-week changes in the composition of our camper groups.
  • The great outdoors!

    One of the best parts about camp is the opportunity to play outside with our friends, which we know is the safer way to play.  We are planning for most of camp to happen outside this summer.  We may plan for a few activities to be indoors in spaces where we have great ventilation and room to be adequately physically distanced, to give campers and staff a bit of respite from the heat. 
  • Rainy days

    Days at camp with lots of rain or thunderstorms are challenging in a typical summer.  While we have great indoor spaces on our campus, a day will lots of rain or the significant chance of thunderstorms will be especially challenging this summer for our campers and staff, as it will be difficult to expect the kids to remain adequately distanced inside while also being able to effectively offer our outdoor-based programming for long stretches of time.  We, therefore, plan that we will close camp for the days that the forecast calls for significant periods of rain and/or storms.  Similar to how our schools manage snow days, we will outline our communications plan with you as we get closer to the summer.  We know this will be hard on our families, and (like our schools) we won't always make the "correct" call, as summer weather in New England can be hard to predict...but we know that this is the best way for us to continue to run camp safely.  We are currently working out the details of how we would credit/refund families on days when camp is canceled.
  • Cohorts or "households," and sub-sections of camp

    Each camper group (15-20 campers) and their counselors (3-4) will be considered a separate cohort at camp.  At this time, we plan to have little or no inter-mingling between group cohorts. Camp will be sub-divided into Lower Camp, Middle Camp & Upper Camp, with each division having its own drop-off/pick-up location so that we can spread out across our campus during our busiest, most congested times of the day.  This sub-dividing will also contribute to our plan for consolidating staffing and supervision.
  • Drop-off/Pick-up

    At this time, parents/guardians/camper drivers will not be able to exit their vehicles during drop-off and pick-up, and we ask that carpooling of campers from different camp cohorts/groups not occur.
  • Masks, physical distancing, and other NPI's

    All campers and staff will be masked at camp at all times, except for eating, drinking, and swimming. Physical distancing will be in place.  We will have daily screening protocols for campers and staff, and we are continuously looking at options for testing that make sense for camp.  We will have specific cleaning/disinfecting procedures for physical spaces that are used and for equipment.  We will have routines for regular hand-washing/disinfecting, including the addition of several outdoor hand-washing/sanitizing stations.
  • COVID-19 protocols

    We all know by now that by following protocols and best practices while at camp, and by adhering to our Running Brook Pledge as a community, that camp can be as safe as possible during these circumstances.  We know that we cannot guarantee that we will not have a confirmed case of COVID within camp, and we also know that we can significantly mitigate the impact if/when that was to occur.  By keeping our cohort groups small, the core of our plan would be to require quarantine for only an affected cohort/camper group and staff that may have been considered close contacts in the event of a positive case.  Again, we are currently working out the details of how we would credit/refund families if a portion of camp needs to quarantine.
  • Lunch at camp

    We still plan to offer lunch and snacks at camp, but we are not able to plan to offer our usual wide-range (and awesome) buffet-style choices each day.  We are working closely with our wonderful Chef Jay and the folks at Flik dining services, with the plan to offer families different "grab-and-go" pre-packaged lunches that are still prepared in our kitchen each day.  Camper groups will eat lunch outdoors, in various spots across campus.  We strongly encourage families to send extra preferred snacks each day with their campers, as the usual number of options at lunch will be limited.
  • Swimming, High Ropes & other activities

    Camper group schedules will likely have slightly longer (and therefore fewer) activity periods each day, to allow for additional transition time and to cut down on the amount of movement and transitioning that usually happens at camp.  Swimming will be one of the most impacted activities at camp, given that campers are not masked while in the pools. Because of our commitment to safe physical distancing, any swim lessons that we offer will be significantly modified this summer.  Given the nature of how swim lessons need to be structured, the number of campers we have, and the capacity/space configurations of our pools, there isn't a way we can safely offer our typical lesson programming.  Our goal is to have campers have the opportunity to have some free swim time each day, in addition to other water games and activities to stay cool in the heat. We continue to explore ideas to possibly offer modified swim lessons.
    We are also unsure at this time if we will be able to utilize our high ropes course, given current guidelines for course use and sanitization of equipment.  Group schedules will still have a variety of our other great camp activities (Arts & Crafts, Self-defense, Yoga, Sports/Cooperative Games, Drama, Creative Movement, Woodshop, Music).  Keeping with the theme of flexibility and creativity, the different divisions of camp (Lower, Middle, Upper) may not all have the same activities each week, as we look to offer the best mixture of fun, creative, and developmentally enriching activities.
  • Adventures Camp

    We are currently planning for Adventures camp to be a mix of on-campus activities and off-campus day trips to nearby locations for hikes, swims, etc. Because of current transportation restrictions and the uncertainty of the availability of local activity rentals/vendors, we will be watching guidelines closely and adding or modifying programming as we are able.  Overnight outings are currently not being planned, but we may look to offer overnight outings on-campus.
  • Bus Service & Extended Day

    We are currently offering both of these options for families and will continue to look to the guidance of local authorities related to these services going forward.  As I have communicated to families previously, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer Extended Day this summer, and I have previously instructed families to plan on whether they can be part of camp without this option.  Because our usual Extended Day structure would involve the mixing of campers from all the different cohort groups, offering this option poses a significantly different staffing set-up and demand.  As we continue to go through the hiring/staffing process over the next couple of months, we will have a better sense of how we could safely staff and structure this part of our programming.  We know this is a very important and often necessary option for many of our families, and we will work diligently to create the safest and most practical option possible and will communicate our plans to you as soon as possible.
  • Morning Assemblies, Friday Special Events & Performance Day

    These are some of our key all-camp traditions that we know we are unlikely going to be able to share in the usual way.  But we're camp people!  We will have different ways to share in these fun, community traditions together.