by Positive Adventures Thu Jun 4 2020

Summer camp cohorts made up of your own community or family ensure safety.

Cohort –
“a group of people banded together or treated as a unit.”

With Summer upon us and children and families in an even greater need for activities, time in the great outdoors and social interactions, a Summer Camp program with Positive Adventures is just what the doctor ordered.

One of the best ways to keep your children safe at a camp program, whether that be an overnight adventure or just a day camp, is to create a cohort of campers from your own community or family.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued guidelines and policies for Summer Camps on May 14th, 2020.  The main premise of these policies is for campers to “maintain small group sizes, limit mixing of groups, and restrict large gatherings at camps.” The main practice they recommend for doing this is through “establishing and maintaining concentric group circles” or cohorts.

The CDC specifically classifies small group cohorts of 12 people or less in the lowest risk category. This is because campers stay together all day, each day throughout their week at camp. This is especially true when outdoor activities are prioritized, and all campers are from the same local area. 


The American Camp Association (ACA) in conjunction with the YMCA and using the CDC guidelines published a comprehensive and detailed 82-page guide offering best practices to Summer Camps on everything from swimming to indoor activities like arts and crafts. With the opportunity available to connect with friends, families and neighbors within your community who are also looking for maximized outdoor adventures for their kids, the ability to build a specific group of kids allows for CDC’s best practices to be closely monitored. According to the CDC, “By using the small groups and cohort strategy, isolation and surveillance of close contacts can be implemented in short order.”

During camp programs, cohorts may join together with other cohorts for larger group activities but it’s recommended that during these times facial coverings (when age-appropriate) be worn. Additionally, holding any larger gathering outdoors as much as possible is recommended. With the maximum capacity size of each camper group at 12, and all activities taking place outdoors, campers will be able to enjoy learning and enjoying outdoor activities designed to enhance individual growth and representation of watching others experience and learn the same. 

The ACA guide also emphasizes that camps should only open in states and counties where permitted by local government. San Diego has been designated as a County that has met the safety requirements to permit youth summer camps to take place.

One additional benefit, not included in the ACA Guide, to creating your own cohorts from your community is the ability to continue regular gatherings and activities with the same kids during and after your camp week or weeks is over.  Since kids from the cohort have already been spending time together for an entire week or more, they essentially become part of your “circle”.  Additionally, they have been getting regularly checked for symptoms, and receiving temperature checks by our camp staff each day to ensure no illnesses or infections have occurred.

Positive Adventures built our updated 2020 Summer Camp programs around the CDC guidelines, and we are providing the opportunity for families and communities to build their own groups of campers.  Again, not only is this a suggestion provided by the ACA and CDC, but is also a great way to accommodate kids’ requests to go to camp with their friends, neighbors and relatives!


Interested in learning more about how to create a custom cohort camp for you and your friends and family? Contact us today at (858) 239-4400 or by email at

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