COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Summer 2021

February 16, 2021

Dear CSM Families,

We are excited that registration for the summer of 2021 is underway, and one of our sessions is already sold out, so we encourage you to register at your earliest convenience. We look forward to seeing all of our campers and their families once again!

The foundation of all we do at camp is Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our mission, to provide young people a technology-free, safe, and faith-filled experience packed with fun remains the same. Jesus and our mission have not changed.

But there will be some changes in our practices and programming at Camp this summer. We have been following the ever-evolving guidelines and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Camping Association (ACA), and the State of Michigan. We have been in contact with doctors and nurses and other camps to determine the best strategy to provide a safe and fun experience while mitigating the risk of COVID-19.

We share with you some of the plans being put into place for the summer of 2021. As we are all aware, we are in very fluid and ever-changing times in a way that none would have predicted. The following safety strategies are based on the current guidelines at this time. These are subject to change based on the recommendations of the CDC, ACA, State of Michigan, and the doctors and nurses who help to guide us.


Those who have pre-existing conditions or who have a higher risk of complications due to COVID-19 should speak with their primary care physician to assess the risk of attending camp prior to registering.


One of the best ways to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 at CSM is to minimize bringing COVID-19 to Camp. This makes the diligence of our Camp families in following the pre-screening process so important. If there is any potential exposure to COVID-19 to campers or their families within 14 days of coming to camp or if any symptoms are present, please stay home. We need your help to keep Camp safe and fun this summer.

For 14 days prior to coming to Camp, campers will be expected to fill out a daily health screening form which will include taking and recording temperatures. We also ask that for 14 days prior to coming to Camp, the following practices are observed:

  • Self-quarantine to the extent possible.
  • Limit contact with those outside the home to only that which is necessary.
  • When contact with others outside the household cannot be avoided, wear a mask and practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from other people.
  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Limit non-essential travel.

COVID-19 tests are encouraged within 10 days prior to attending Camp.

Please contact us if you have any questions as to whether or not your child should be attending Camp.


We will be limiting access to indoor spaces and check-in will look very different this year. It will be a drive-through process. We ask, if at all possible, that only one parent or guardian drop off campers this year.  Upon arrival, the following will take place:

  • Temperature screening of all in the vehicle (If anyone in the vehicle has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, the registered camper will be unable to check-in. Hence, it is vital you are taking daily temperatures, including prior to leaving for Camp on the day of check-in. If a temperature of 100.4 or higher is present, please stay home.

If a camper has any symptoms or has been in contact with a person who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, you will not be able to check in. Please stay home if you or your child answer yes to questions 1, 2, or 3.

  • The following questions will be asked:
  1. Have you or your child been in contact with a person who has or is suspected to have COVID-19?
  2. Has your child felt unwell in the last 3 days? (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste of smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea)
  3. (The camper will be asked) Have you felt unwell in the last 3 days? (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste of smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea)
  4. Are you feeling well today?

With the above having been satisfied, we will proceed with the check-in process as follows:

  • Parent/guardian(s) will turn in paperwork, medication, and settle any balances.
  • Camper will have a health screening performed by our Camp nurse/medical health officer prior to heading to their cabin.
  • After the above has taken place, the camper may head to their cabin. We ask the person dropping off the camper to refrain from going inside the cabin. You may drop off luggage at the porch/door of the cabin, meet the counselors who will greet you outside, and say your goodbyes. Counselors will assist campers with settling into the cabin and getting their bunks set up.


  • Cabin sizes will be limited to no more than 10 campers.
  • Daily temperature checks will take place each day.
  • There will be limited all-camp activities and during those activities, at least two of the three following things will take place:
  1. Social distancing between cabins
  2. Wearing of masks
  3. Outdoor activity
  • One exception to the above practice is during meals. Once campers are seated with proper social distancing between cabin groups, masks can be taken off. Windows will always be open in the mess hall during meals to provide ventilation.
  • Anyone who cannot medically tolerate a face covering is not required to wear one. A doctor’s note of medical exemption is required at check-in.
  • As much as possible, activities will be done as a cabin. The camper’s team will be their cabin mates.
  • Shared equipment will be limited to cohorts. Cohorts will consist of cabins of the same age groups who may participate in some activities together. Otherwise equipment will be cleaned between uses and/or each cabin may have their own equipment in order to limit shared items.
  • As much as possible, outside of our specialized activities, such as horses, for example, we will keep the cabin counselors with the campers from their cabin.
  • Between programs, counselors will make sure campers are either washing their hands or using hand sanitizer which counselors will carry with them.
  • Mackinac Island trips will be suspended this year so as to protect our CSM bubble and limit exposure to crowds and outside people.


In addition to our regular cleaning which meets the ACA and the State of Michigan’s high standards, we will increase the frequency of cleaning. This will include cleaning/disinfecting of high touch points multiple times throughout the day.  Some of these touch points include doors knobs, faucets, handles, toilets, showers, and light switches.

As previously mentioned, shared equipment will be cleaned or disinfected between different cohorts using it. Examples of these include canoe paddles, life jackets, bows and arrows, baseball bats, harnesses, and helmets, to name a few.


In the case of a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher at camp or a camper experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, that camper will be isolated under the watch and care of our nurse or medical health officer. If the fever or symptoms persist, the camper will need to be picked up and the camper will need a COVID-19 test.  CSM will need to be informed of the results of the test so we can inform health officials, Camp families, and staff.

The following are symptoms that can be related to COVID-19:

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat


NEW FOR 2021: All check-outs for our boys’ and girls’ sessions will take place on Saturdays at 1:00 pm. This is necessary to allow us time for the extra cleaning and sanitation that will be required this summer. Check-out will also be a drive-thru process, and we will be limiting indoor access as much as possible. If at all possible, we ask that one parent/guardian pick them up, and preferably the same parent who dropped the camper off. Upon arrival for check-out, the following will take place:

  • Show your ID
  • Sign your camper out
  • Settle any balances
  • Collect camper’s medication, if applicable
  • Receive cabin photo if one was purchased
  • Receive your slip with your camper’s name on it and then proceed to the cabin
  • Once at the cabin, please stay outside the cabin
  • Counselors will assist the camper in bringing their items out from the cabin
  • Head home listening to all the fun stories from your camper’s stay at CSM

Summer Cancellation Update

May 23, 2020

Dear Friends and Family of Camp Sancta Maria,

When Monsignor Maurice Chawke founded Camp Sancta Maria in 1933, I doubt he fully knew the impact CSM would have on so many people. Over the last 87 years, countless campers have come through the front gates only to leave a week or two later having grown stronger in their faith, closer to Christ, and with a special place in their heart for CSM. Camp has truly become home for so many campers and their families. I have witnessed countless campers and counselors in tears as they wave goodbye at the end of a session or the summer. We all look forward to returning to CSM, our home away from home each year.

As we are well aware, this year has been unlike any other. Nothing is quite like we are used to and we are still living in such uncertain times. One thing we know for certain is that our Blessed Mother is watching over Camp. Each year we entrust Camp to Mary and ask for her protection and care. We have been asking her intercession in a special way as we navigate and discern what lies in store for this summer. 

We strive to provide a safe, fun, and faith filled experience each summer. The health and safety of our campers and staff is our top priority. With so much uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, if or when camps will be able to operate, and the new guidelines from the CDC for camps, we cannot in confidence say that we will be able to achieve those standards this year. So, it is with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes that I have to announce the cancellation of all camp sessions for the summer of 2020.

We, like you, cannot imagine a summer without new friendships, bonfires, Mass, Capture the Flag, and Baked Alaska. We know this is not the news any of us were hoping to hear, but we continue to entrust Camp to the Blessed Mother and trust her Son Jesus to see us through this quiet summer here at Camp.  We look forward to the summer of 2021 when we can reunite at CSM our home away from home!

For those who have already registered, look for an email by the end of next week which will include a form to indicate your choice regarding your camp registration. Options include: you may transfer your registration to next summer, donate your registration to CSM, or have your payment refunded. If you do not receive the email and link with the form by next weekend, please email Wally Ferrara at

We know these are difficult times and many are facing financial hardships. As the summer sessions are our primary source of income, if you or someone you know is in a position to support us through donations, we would be most grateful!

Please follow us on Facebook and keep an eye on your email as we plan to stay connected and to do some fun things this summer. Thank you for your understanding and support!

Sincerely in Christ,

John David (JD)

COVID-19 Important Update

As of May 14, 2020

Dear Friends and Family of Camp Sancta Maria,
There are signs of hope as we see things slowly beginning to reopen and restrictions being lifted. The weather is warming up and it looks like spring is here, at least for a few days! While these are wonderful signs, it is still not clear what lies in store for CSM this summer as we continue to await direction and guidance from the State along with the CDC and American Camping Association. These are challenging times for all, and many are in a state of limbo waiting for the next announcement and further guidelines. We hold out hope that we will be able to offer some sessions this summer for the children, but after much prayer, conversation, and discernment, we have made some difficult decisions which I would like to share with you.


Unfortunately, and with great sadness, I have to announce that we are cancelling the girls’ week in June which includes horse and regular camp. Due to the recent extension of the stay-at-home order until the end of May, along with the lack of clarity from the State on whether camps can open and if so with what restrictions, we will be unable to welcome campers as we hoped on June 14 for girls’ horse and regular camp. We are extremely saddened, but our first concern and priority is the health and safety of our campers, and without all the answers we need from the State and CDC at this time we are unable to open on June 14.


In addition, we are also sad to announce that we are cancelling all parent and child weekends for 2020. With the certainty of extended social distancing guidelines and the setup of our facilities, we have decided that we are unable to host family weekends this summer and practice proper social distancing while also running our children’s camps.


We will have an another update next week based on information we receive from the State and CDC in the coming week.


For those who are registered for a family weekend or the girls’ week in June and in which a payment was made, you should have received an email earlier today with a form to indicate your choice regarding your camp registration. Options include: you may transfer your registration to next summer, donate your registration to Camp Sancta Maria, or have your payment refunded. If you did not receive the email and link with the form, please email Wally Ferrara at
Please know of our continued prayers, and we invite you to join us in asking the intercession of the Blessed Mother to continue to watch over and care for our families and friends.


Thank you for your continued support of CSM!
Sincerely in Christ,
John David (JD) Kuhar
Executive Director

COVID-19 Update

As of April 30, 2020

Dear friends and family of Camp Sancta Maria,

Please know of our prayers for you during this time of uncertainty through our Blessed Mother, our beloved camp’s patroness. While it is our hope to hold camp sessions this summer, we are prudently staying in touch with health officials while continuing to make opening preparations.


Assuming we open, we will be ready to care for and provide the best practices for the health and safety of our campers, staff, and families. In addition to the many standards we regularly adhere to for the State of Michigan and American Camping Association, we are working with health officials to make sure we have additional  measures in place this summer. We expect to receive additional guidelines from the CDC and American Camping Association in May, which we will incorporate into our protocols.


We know many may be concerned with registering at this time or wonder what may happen in the event that we are unable to offer sessions this summer. For those who have already paid partially or in full for the summer, if we have to cancel sessions, you will have the following three options from which to choose.

  1. You may transfer the registration and payment toward the summer of 2021 locking in your spot for next year at this year’s price.
  2. Donate all or part of your payment to CSM.
  3. Receive a full refund

For those who have not registered, as we stated in our last eblast, we were able to work with our registration software company and temporarily adjust our sessions fees so there is no deposit or payment required at this time. After registering, as it gets closer to the start of the session, you would be contacted, and at that time, confirm you are still interested and make a payment.

With all of the uncertainty we are facing and the unknown of when restrictions will be fully lifted or how quickly, it is a challenging time for all. We have no more information or knowledge than you do so we continue to place our hope in the risen Lord and ask the intercession of his mother Mary to guide us. Please know of our prayers for you and join us in praying for a safe, healthy, fun summer at CSM!

May God bless you and your family and keep you safe today and always.

John David (JD)

Executive Director

COVID-19 Update

As of April 16, 2020

Dear Camp Sancta Maria family,

I offer Easter blessings and pray that you and your families are doing well. In the midst of these uncertain and challenging times, I pray that you are able to cling to the hope of the resurrection and Christ’s victory over sin and death.

Camp’s top priority has always been to protect the safety and health of our campers, staff and volunteers. We have been closely monitoring all of the updates and recommendations from the CDC and American Camping Association regarding COVID-19. In addition, we have been in contact with officials from the health department in Otsego County. It is our hope that we will be able to begin camp as scheduled, in June. We know, however, that with the recent stay-in-place being extended until the end of April by Governor Whitmer, and the uncertainty of what restrictions will be lifted after that time, the possibility of a delayed start or cancelled early sessions is a possibility. We will not be able to make a clear decision until mid-May when we have more information. Be assured we will update you as soon as things become more clear.

In the meantime, however, those who haven’t already registered may still want to reserve their spot in the event we are able to hold some 2020 sessions.

We also recognize that many of our families are experiencing reduced income due to COVID-related job losses and furloughs. And so we’re working with Active Network, our online registration partner, to temporarily adjust our session fees to make it easier for you to register. This is how it will break down:

  • If you haven’t already registered, you may do so, but you will not have to make a down payment at this time. This reserves your spot and lets us know of your interest.
  • In the event we are able to proceed with any of our 2020 sessions, you will be notified to confirm if you are still interested.
  • Only then, with your confirmation and permission, will we adjust the registration fees back to their normal rates and process your down payment based on the same registration fees as those who have already registered.

If you have any questions, please contact Jan Klemm, Director of Operations and Development, at or 248-822-8199. Please look for another update from us next month.

Until then, I encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, as a couple of our counselors have been helping us through these times with some fun videos and opportunities for praise and worship. Again, please know of my continued prayers and I look forward to seeing our families this summer.

Sincerely in Christ,
John David (JD) Kuhar
Executive Director

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