Read our 2021 Camp Pecometh Covid-19 FAQ blog for information about what to expect for this summer and what families and campers can do to prepare.
Please stay tuned to this page and carefully read all emails from Pecometh as we get closer to summer for the most up-to-date information on how we will implement the state of Maryland's COVID-19 requirements for Youth Camps.
General Camp Information - we're thinking about camp!
Camp Pecometh is a Christian Summer Camp program that has run continuously since 1946, serving campers in Maryland, Delaware and beyond for 75 years! Located on the Chester River just north of Centreville, Maryland, Camp Pecometh offers nearly twenty different overnight camps and day camps to fit your camper’s age, ability and interests.
Our mission is to provide sanctuary for Christian hospitality and programming that promote God-inspired, life-changing experiences through camp and retreat ministries. This mission inspires everything we do.
We are proud to have been accredited by the American Camp Association for over 30 years.
ACA accreditation is a voluntary process – in addition to our mandatory state licensing – which demonstrates that a camp has made a commitment to the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. We are committed to a safe, nurturing environment for all of our campers and follow industry best practices.
We believe that camp is an invaluable experience for all campers and we strive to welcome as many campers as possible. Our policy is that no camper is turned away due to finances (more information about paying for camp may be found on our Payment & Camperships page). We are an inclusive and affirming camp and we do not discriminate based on race, national origin or church affiliation.
Pecometh serves persons of all ages and from all walks of life, not just United Methodists. Although originally founded by The United Methodist Church, Pecometh is now independently incorporated and affiliated with the UMC. Half of Pecometh’s campers come from other denominations and non-denominational churches, as well as from families who don’t attend church. Back to top of page
Our summer camp staff is a group of folks excited about working with youth in an outdoor Christian community setting. Many summer staffers attended and loved Camp Pecometh in their youth, and can't wait to come back to "pay it forward!" Many of our staff members come from a work or volunteer background including children or are going to school to become a teacher or another type of youth professional. Some are international staff choosing to spend their summer working with youth to experience American culture (unfortunately, current travel bans and embassy closings will likely prevent international staff from joining us in 2021).
The majority of our staff are college-aged young adults; this includes counselors, lifeguards, activity instructors, maintenance staff, and specialist staff. By Maryland law, counselors must be at least 18 years of age or have graduated from high school. Less than 20% of our staff are 16-17 years old and serve in assistant counselor or non-counselor roles. Most of these younger staff are rising high school seniors who have been invited to apply a year early after completing our youth leadership development program. Several leadership and other supervisory positions require staff to be at least 21 years of age with prior camp experience.
All staff are required to submit a Livescan fingerprint FBI background check for criminal activity, a clearance request from Maryland Child Protective Services for child abuse and neglect, and an ACA Disclosure Statement for additional screening.
All staff attend a minimum of a full week of staff training prior to camper arrival, in addition to specialized training to certify lifeguards, challenge course staff, archery instructors, program specialists, and waterfront staff. During this time, staff are trained in Pecometh's Safe Sanctuaries policies for the protection of all campers, staff, and volunteers. Staff also receive training on child development, camp safety and emergency preparedness (including First Aid/CPR/AED certification), behavior management, homesickness, engaging games, and much more.
In addition to meeting the grade completed requirement for each program, youth campers in our traditional day and overnight programs must be able to meet the essential functions of campers as age-appropriate. With or without reasonable accommodation, campers must be able to:
Our programs are typically not designed to accommodate campers requiring reduced ratio care. We are happy to discuss reasonable accommodations or to recommend other programs that could provide a more successful experience for your camper.
As youth development professionals, we know this decision is unique for each child. And as a parent, it's tough to know what your child may or may not be ready for, too. Here is a set of questions from the American Camp Association to help gauge your child's readiness for camp. Our blog also offers some insight. Consider reading Not Sure About Camp? or Is Your Child Ready for Overnight Camp?, written by Executive Director Jack Shitama.
The best way to see camp for the first time is at Pecometh Day, our annual Open House and free community event. It is scheduled for Saturday, April 24, 2021. This year, the event will look different than in the past as we make social distancing accommodations, but our staff will still be on hand to welcome you and answer any questions you may have!
We are also able to schedule individual tours as needed. It is crucial to contact us in advance to ensure that a staff person will be available for a tour, as most staff will be working remotely until summertime. We also ask that all visitors check in at the office upon arrival on site, as we are a year-round facility and security is a priority!
We do suggest that you register for camp before touring to ensure that your child has a spot. If you come to Open House and determine Camp Pecometh isn’t what you were looking for, we’ll return your deposit. Back to top of page
Most campers come to camp by themselves and quickly make new friends - it's one of the best parts about camp! However, some campers like to come with a friend, and that's great too! Check out our Thrifty-Fifty discount if your camper is new to Pecometh and was recommended by a friend who has already been to camp.
When attending camp with a friend, some campers like to make a cabinmate request. Most campers automatically stay in the same cabin as long as they are registered for the same program and are the same gender. Since Riverside, Day Camp, Mini Camp, and Summer Respite can be multi-cabin programs, campers in these programs may request to be placed in the same cabin with a same-gender friend during the registration process.
In an effort to help facilitate the friend-making process, cabinmate requests must be mutual. We can therefore only honor and guarantee one cabinmate request per camper. Campers must be the same gender and registered for the same program. We cannot guarantee that campers of different genders will be placed in the same family group (cabin pairing). Back to top of page
**Camper capacity in 2021 has been limited to 50% of our usual capacity. Some programs have very limited space and will fill up earlier than ever. Please register early to secure your camper's spot, and remember that our 2021 refund policy allows you to cancel with no financial penalty if circumstances change. Our online registration system can show you in real time what programs are available. You can also check our programs page to see general availability information. **
Our most popular programs can fill up very quickly, often within a couple months of when registration opens, so the earlier you get your registration in, the better. Some programs have a spot or two still available even after sessions start in June. Don’t think you’ve waited too long for your children to have a great time at Camp Pecometh. Call us and we’ll do everything possible to find them a spot.
While we do offer a waitlist for programs that have filled up, it is very rare that a spot opens up in programs that are full. We encourage campers to register for another program instead to make sure that they don't miss the opportunity to attend camp that summer!
Okay, so you're ready to register - great! The easiest way to sign up for camp is to register online by following the button link below. If this is your first time registering someone in your household for a Pecometh program, you'll need to create a new user account with a valid email address. If someone in your household has registered for a Pecometh program before, use the sign-in option (follow the prompts for password reset, or contact us if you've forgotten your sign-in email).
Online registration provides immediate feedback regarding program availability, as campers can only register for programs that are not yet filled to capacity. Managing your camper’s registration online also allows you to complete or update forms and make payments online at your convenience. Alternatively, you may request a paper registration form by calling the Registrar.
All registrations require a $50 deposit per camper per program payable online via e-check or credit card, or payable by mail via check or money order. Please note that only registered campers with a paid deposit can be guaranteed a spot in the program. Camper balances are due by June 1st.
In order to register, you'll only need information that you can easily recall or have on hand, like your camper's birthdate and emergency contact information. After you complete registration, additional paperwork must be completed prior to June 1st. These forms will ask for health history, insurance information, and some questions you'll want to complete together with your camper. If your camper will be taking medications while at camp (prescribed or daily over-the-counter), you'll also need to complete the medication addendum form, which requires a doctor's signature.
Yes, we will send a confirmation to the email address that you provided when registering. Your current family invoice will be attached and there will be a link for logging back in to your account to complete additional forms or to make payments. You will not receive a confirmation in the mail, as that helps us keep our costs down (and saves a few trees in the process!). Back to top of page
Life can be hectic, and we all know plans can change at the last minute! Please understand that when you cancel a registration, we have already done administrative work, hired staff, purchased supplies, paid for insurance, updated facilities and more based on our registration numbers. With that in mind, we hope to be fair to our families and to be good stewards of our ministry with our cancellation policies.
In response to the unique circumstances of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have updated our 2021 cancellation and refund policies as follows:
2021 Cancellation Policies:
- All 2021 registration fees, including the $50 deposit, are fully refundable for any reason up until the camper's check-in at camp.
- Campers leaving the program for any reason after it begins will still be responsible for the full program balance (including overdue balances) and will not be eligible for any refund.
- Registration payments are due in full by June 1st or at the time of registration if registering after June 1st, unless an alternate payment plan has been confirmed with the Registrar.
This risk-free signup allows families to hold their camper's spot and make installment payments while also providing the freedom to cancel if their situation changes, including the flexibility to cancel with no penalty if a camper has potentially been exposed or tests positive for COVID-19 just before their camp session starts. Back to top of page
The Medication Addendum is an additional downloadable form that MUST be signed by a physician in order for camper medications to be dispensed. This applies to all campers who will be taking medication while at camp. "Medication" means both prescribed and over-the-counter, including vitamins and supplements.
The camp Nurse legally may not accept medications without an accurately completed and signed form. Campers requiring emergency medications, such as an epi-pen or inhaler, will not be permitted to check in without their medication and the signed form.
Our registration forms ask for information about your camper to help them have a great week at camp, including dietary and behavioral accommodations. If your camper will need these accommodations, we ask that you contact us at least 2 weeks before your child's week at camp to help us prepare for your camper's arrival. Complete the Camper Dietary and Behavioral Accommodations Form or contact the Camp Programs Coordinator via email.
Once your camper is registered, you will receive an email with a detailed packing list. The packing list can also be found on our Forms, Photos, & Camper Mail page as the summer approaches. Needs vary by program, but most campers will require clothes appropriate for the weather and outdoor activity, a swimsuit, sneakers, water shoes, bedding, towels, toiletries, a flashlight and a raincoat or poncho.
REMINDER: If your camper will be taking medications while at camp (prescribed or daily over-the-counter), you must bring or submit in advance your completed and doctor-signed medication addendum form.
For 2021, campers should plan to pack at least one clean mask for each day they are at camp. This can include multi-layer fabric masks and/or one-time use masks. Please read the CDC recommendations for effective mask styles and wearing to learn more. Bandanas, masks with vents or valves, single-layer gaiters, and face shields worn alone are not considered effective and will not be approved for use at camp.
All campers and staff will be required to have a mask with them at all times. Everyone will be required to wear masks when indoors. Everyone will be required to wear masks outdoors when likely to be within 3 ft of others. More information is available in our 2021 Camp Pecometh COVID-19 FAQ.
We find that our campers are most successful when they know what to expect. You can help your camper prepare by going over these expectations before they even get to camp. For 2021, this will include going over our health & safety guidelines, which will include the expectation of social distancing between cabin groups and mask wearing. A review of these guidelines will be sent to registered campers prior to their week at camp.
Our goal is to provide a safe, inclusive, affirming and positive environment that models Christian community for all campers. To this end, we ask that campers follow our Full Value Commitment to physical and emotional safety; 100% effort; honest and appropriate communication; and respect for others and our environment.
Tip: Ask your camper what they think each part of the Full Value Commitment means at camp. For example, "What does emotional safety mean?", "What does honest and appropriate communication sound like?", or "What does respect for our environment look like?"
Guidelines for living: We ask that campers refrain from profane language; abusive behavior; destruction of or damage to camp property or the property of other campers; and use of tobacco, e-cigarettes/vaping/juuling, alcohol, and illegal substances. We do not tolerate bullying or harassment of or by campers or staff for any reason. We ask that campers tell an adult at camp if they think another camper or staff member is making unsafe choices.
If a camper is unable to function within these guidelines, our staff will take actions in the best interest of the campers and the program. Campers will be held responsible for their actions and/or any damage to property of camp or others.
If your camper requires special behavioral accommodation, please advise us of those needs prior to arrival at camp by including these needs on the camper registration forms and, as needed, completing the Camper Dietary and Behavioral Accommodations Form. We can best serve our campers when we have the information we need to support them. Back to top of page
We plan to run camp with as close to a "normal" camp schedule as possible this year. The following description is of our "normal" camp experience, but we are also making plans that include adaptations for social distancing between all cabins, moving more activities outside, and other recommended health & safety practices for risk mitigation.
Most overnight campers can expect to keep to a similar daily schedule:
7:00 am Wake up*
8:15 Area Cleanups
9:00-12:00 Activity rotations
12:15 pm Lunch
1:15 Siesta (rest period)
2:00-5:00 Activity rotations
6:15 Vespers (evening reflections)
7:15 Evening Activities
9:00 Cabin Time
9:30 Lights Out*
Campers spend their day in “family groups” which are typically comprised of a girls’ cabin and a boys’ cabin, with at least one counselor assigned to each cabin group. Service staff such as lifeguards, activity instructors, and specialty staff and crew are also present at most activities.
Family groups move through daily activities such as canteen, Bible study, pool, arts & crafts, etc. as a unit. Programs with special focuses will typically spend one full activity rotation period (morning or afternoon) on their specialty and the other on general camp activities. Most evening activities are “all-camp” activities such as music time, counselor hunt, campfire, or international spotlight. Family Groups stay together during these activities, but are typically part of the larger group.
If knowing an exact program schedule ahead of time would be particularly helpful to your camper, please contact Megan Sweeney.
Check-in time for overnight camps has changed to 3-4 pm for the 2021 season. Check-in and Pick-up procedures may be adjusted for health & safety. Please carefully read all emails from Pecometh as we get closer to summer for the most up-to-date information.
Week-long Overnight Camps:Check-in is on Sundays from 3 - 4 pm in the Riverside area of camp.Pick-up is on Fridays at 2 pm at your camper's cabin area.
Mini Camps:Sessions A, B, D and E:Check-in is on Tuesday from 3:30 - 4 pm in the Riverside area of camp.Pick-up is on Friday at 2 pm at your camper's cabin area (pre-registered late pick up in Riverside area by 5 pm).Session C (July 25-27, for K-2 completed):Check-in is on Sunday from 3 - 4 pm in the Riverside area of camp.Pick-up is on Tuesday at 2 pm at your camper's cabin area (pre-registered late pick up in Riverside area by 5 pm).
Day Camps:Check-in is Monday through Friday from 8 - 8:30 am at the Woodside Cabins by the Dining Hall. (Before Care 7 - 8 am; preregistration required)Pick-up is on Monday through Friday from 4:30 - 5 pm at the Woodside Cabins by the Dining Hall. (After Care Monday through Thursday from 5 - 6 pm; preregistration required)
***Please note: Day Campers must be picked up by 3:00 pm on the last Friday of camp (August 6, 2021).
Before Care is only available for day camp; check-in will not be available for other programs until the times listed above. Late arrivals must be authorized in advance. Please be aware that the office is closed on weekends and telephone messages may not be received. If you have a last minute change, contact Megan Sweeney.
We are an unplugged camp, meaning campers leave their cell phones and electronics at home. This allows them to experience God’s Creation first-hand and unfiltered, to communicate face-to-face and to practice the traditional summer camp art of letter writing! We think you might agree: unplugged time is more important than ever right now!
Camper parents can communicate with their camper via snail mail or using Bunk1, our photo, email and announcement system. BunkNotes allows you to send an email, and we print it out for delivery. Snail mail and BunkNotes are delivered daily to campers at lunch. Campers are unable to send regular emails and make/receive phone calls during their week of camp – they’re too busy building friendships and independence! However, time for writing a postcard or letter is provided each day. New for us this year, BunkReplies will allow your camper to hand-write a reply to your BunkNote email, which is then scanned and emailed back to you in the office within 24 hrs. More information about this new option will be available soon.
Camper families also have access to the Bunk1 online photo gallery of pictures of the kids at camp for that week. Our dedicated photographer works hard to get as many pictures of as many campers as possible so that family and friends can get a sneak peek at the fun their camper is having at camp! Back to top of page
Yes, we will contact you if…
Your camper's safety is our first priority. Our staff manual and training includes emergency preparedness for many different situations, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fires, incidents on- and off-site, and more. Pecometh cultivates a relationship with local emergency services and has the full support of local law enforcement.
It's important to keep in mind that during an emergent event, our staff are typically busy making sure that everyone is safe. This means that answering phone calls and checking on individual campers is generally not feasible. It's best to leave the phone lines open for us to contact emergency services as needed. The best way to get information is to check for updates on our webpages and social media. We do our best to keep things up-to-date. Additionally, our leadership team, year-round staff, and on-site nurses are here to contact parents directly when needed. In this case, no news is good news!
The most common Emergency Action Procedure we enact is for thunderstorms. Check out our blog, Storm Procedure FAQs, for more information.