FAQ 2020 Summer Camp Cancellation 

We have been hard at work carefully reviewing the public health recommendations from the CDC and state of Ohio as well as the American Camp Association on when and how we can offer camp. At this time, resident camps are not permitted to open in Ohio. With an unknown opening date, we are not able to train staff or get camp ready for campers. The recommended social distancing, group sizes, and risk mitigation to limit the spread of the virus would significantly reduce our enrollment and program offerings. These changes would not allow us to offer the quality Camp Joy program you have come to expect.

Absolutely. A variety of options were considered and vetted. These included starting camp in July with smaller sessions, reducing camper capacity, smaller cabin groups, changing schedules to keep groups as separate as possible, the removal of large group games and gatherings (evening programs and campfires) as well as a variety of changes at meals. After much consideration, we decided none of the options could provide the safe and high-quality Camp Joy experience we strive to offer.

We will not. Because of the timing of these decisions/announcements, we are not able to switch directions to hold camp at this time. We continue to assess opportunities for day programs and facility rentals as we are presented with new guidelines and requirements.

We know that this is yet another disappointment for our campers, staff, and families as a result of COVID-19. All of us at Camp Joy shares your disappointment. Our friends at YMCA Camp Ernst shared the following from their alumnus/donor Shane Strunk, LISW, who specializes in adolescent therapy, has offered some tips here.

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every family differently. With this in mind we have the following options. If you have paid camp fees already, you may choose to donate these to Camp Joy to help us continue operations. You may also choose to receive a refund. Please reach out to Camp Client Relations Manager Jake McGinty at to donate or request a refund.

Camp Joy staff is currently working remotely and therefore, unable to answer the main phone line. To begin your donation or refund, please email Camp Client Relations Manager Jake McGinty at

Complaining about the economic impact of the cancellation of camp this summer is not something we want to do. However, we cannot overlook that this will place a significant burden on the financial health of Camp Joy. We have already purchased many supplies for the summer and planning for summer camp is a year-round process. Our status as a 501-C3 organization qualifies all donations for a receipt for tax purposes, and the new CARES ACT allows for most donations to be tax-deductible even if you’re not itemizing.

We share in your camper’s disappointment over missing their last summer of camp. We will not be extending the maximum age for campers. Our hope is to be able to offer some camp options for our oldest campers in the winter/spring, but that will depend on several factors including staffing, budget, and availability.

We encourage those campers who will be 16 in the summer of 2021 and who have a desire to grow their leadership skills to apply for the Firefly Counselor in Training program beginning in February 2021.

It’s easy to stay connected with all those at Camp Joy who support you and our community! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter , or Instagram to see the latest information, help determine the best camp meal, and to share your favorite pics from past summers.

We are currently assessing the program calendar and putting plans in place to offer fall programs in a modified manner, with appropriate distancing and sanitizing procedures, in anticipation of CDC and health department requirements. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process.

Not at this time.  We recognize that camp is often a second home to many campers and families, but at this time, we are unable to have visitors on site.  Opportunities for you to be out at camp will be publicized on our website and social media channels as they become clear. Again, we appreciate your patience as we work through this process.

Together we have the ability to transform lives and make a positive impact on our communities. Camp Joy is humbled by the outpouring of support for our organization, and more importantly the children we serve. Our campers are living through an unprecedented time of social isolation and indoor confinement. At-risk youth will need the healing and transformative power of a Camp Joy experience more than ever before. But we can’t do this without you!

There are many ways that you can help the children who visit Camp Joy each year. Visit the Camp Joy Foundation here.

  • Wish List – Please consider donating items from our wish list. Your donations ensure that we have the supplies needed to make camp fun for kids!
  • Volunteer Opportunities – Camp Joy provides your volunteer group with a great opportunity for community service. If your group would like to volunteer please email or call 937.289.9145.
  •  Capital Initiatives – Camp Joy is on the homestretch of completing two very important initiatives that will that will enhance programs for all campers.
  • Friends of Joy – We would like to invite you to become a special member of the Camp Joy family. As a “Friend of Joy” you can share your story, speak at events, inspire donors or help coordinate fundraising efforts. Becoming a “Friend of Joy” is a great way to have fun, meet new people and help Camp Joy all at the same time!
  • Planned Giving – Leave a legacy of Joy by designating Camp Joy as a beneficiary in your will, IRA, or Life Insurance.
  • Monthly Supporters – Sign up to give recurring donations to Camp Joy. 12 gifts in 12 months adds up! Your support equals more joy and Camp Joy experiences given to the kids who need us.

The Camp Joy Staff is currently working remotely and therefore not answering the main office line, please email Camps Director Erin Policinski at


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