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Our Summer 2021

COVID Response

*Updated June 9, 2021*

Over the course of the COVID pandemic, we have continued to pay close attention to local, state, and federal recommendations in regards to summer camps.  We are grateful for the information provided, along with many professionals that have continued to provide guidance to us.  Our continued desire is that nothing will hinder campers and guests from having a safe, life-changing, incredibly fun, and relational Christ-centered camp experience here this summer.  Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate difficult decisions.  

​The precautions we are taking this summer:


1.    “WOW! That’s a big tent!” –Our giant 180ft x 40ft tent was put up at the end of May for the summer.  Unfortunately, there was a manufactured defect in the tent and we were told by the company to take it down.  Good news?  They're sending us two smaller tents that will be much more sturdy and they should arrive here by the end of June to have plenty of space for distancing of cabin groups for worship and large group gatherings.  In the meantime, we will be setting up a temporary outdoor worship area for large gatherings in the shade.  

2.    Cabin groups – each cabin will be considered a ‘household’ for the week.  They will eat together at the same table all week and also sit together for worship together throughout the week.  

3.    Masks –as of June 9th, masks will be optional for all campers and staff.  If you or your camper prefer to wear a mask at camp, please do so without hesitation.  

4.    Outdoor Activities-- Programs and activities will take place outside as much as possible. This includes worship and the majority of free time activities. 

5.    Cleaning Procedures--Our staff will clean and disinfect buildings daily and disinfect common surfaces multiple times a day. Hand sanitizer will be available in a variety of locations both indoors and outdoors throughout the camp property.

6.    Handwashing-- Outdoor canoe handwashing stations have been built outside of the Dining Hall for campers to wash their hands before every meal. This will be required for all staff and campers. Regular handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds will be encouraged throughout the day for staff and campers.

7.    Cabins--Campers will sleep head to toe (with no heads close together) in the cabins.

8.   Health Assessments--Upon entering camp, each camper will be asked a brief series of health screening questions. Cabin Leaders will also do a daily health check-in with their campers. If your camper is sick prior to coming, we ask that you please inform us by calling 515-733-5271, and remain at home.  Please do not send your child to camp if you think that there is a possibility they are ill.

9.    Meals – All staff and campers will wash their hands outside before heading to their table. Meals will be done in two shifts to minimize number of people inside and all meals will be served family style at their table.

10.    Medical Staff – Like all other summers, we will have an onsite medical professional here every week, 24/7. They will work with our year around staff to care for the needs of any illnesses or injuries that may arise at camp. If a camper becomes ill at camp, that camper may be sent home at the discretion of our nurse and leadership staff.

11.    Hamilton County Public Health – we have appreciated our close partnership with our local public health department. They have been involved in our discussions since January as we began to prepare our plans for summer camp.  We will use their assistance for any future testing that might be needed.  


These are some of policies we have put in place to provide as safe an environment as possible for our staff and campers.  There is much more included in our Communicable Disease Plan. If you have any questions that aren’t answered above, please reach out to Cheri Schendel-Hennager, Associate Director, by calling our office (515-733-5271) or at

What if our household has an exposure or a positive COVID diagnosis right before camp? 

For this year only, we have amended our cancelation policy for COVID-related reasons, only. ​The deposit of $125 is non-refundable but is transferrable. If you or your family member need to cancel due to either a diagnosis of COVID for the camper or because of a required quarantine due to an exposure, we can transfer your deposit into a payment voucher that can be used at a future event or camp session at Riverside. If COVID is the reason a camper is unable to attend camp, the deposit amount could also be transferred to another camper.​​ **Cancellations for reasons not relating to COVID will result in a loss of deposit.

In this short video, Chris Dahl, Riverside Executive Director, addresses the way we're approaching summer 2021 from a health, safety and faith perspective.

If you have any questions or concerns about our preparedness for COVID-19, please contact us

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