COVID-19 Camp Updates

May 7, 2020 Update

After much thought and deliberation around the challenges posed by COVID-19, Ijams Nature Center must regretfully cancel all 2020 summer camp sessions.


This was an extremely difficult decision. Ijams is committed to offering a safe and meaningful camp experience, but has determined that it is too difficult to provide that while following all required social distancing protocols.


Kids at camp and social distancing are two things that don't go together. Camp without tag, hugs, high fives, group games, tight crawls through caves, and all of the other experiences children have at Ijams, isn't camp. As such Ijams has made the hard but necessary decision to cancel.


This is a huge disappointment for campers, parents and families, as well as the Ijams staff. For many, Ijams summer camp is an annual highlight. However, Ijams believes this is the wisest decision for everyone involved.


Ijams understands that children will need the inspiration of nature more than ever this summer, and that parents will be in desperate need of outlets for their children. The Education Team is brainstorming creative, alternate forms of summer programming, which may include virtual opportunities or new styles of in-person programs. You'll find these offerings on the Ijams website once plans have been finalized.


If you have suggestions about how Ijams can serve you and your family this summer, or if you have questions, please contact Youth Programs Manager Tyler Edmondson at or +1865-577-4717 ext. 114.


Thank you for your patience, flexibility and understanding during this extraordinary time. The staff is looking forward to the day programming can resume and hopes you’ll keep camps and other programs in mind for the future. Please stay safe, healthy and united as we work together as a community to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Camp Updates

April 29, 2020 Update


Right now, we all are faced with a new and unusually difficult thing. The current COVID-19 situation is changing daily, sometimes hourly. It is testing Ijams Nature Center’s adaptability and patience as an organization, and most likely testing yours as well.

The emergence of Coronavirus is a serious issue for all of us, camps included. The Ijams staff is paying close attention to this situation, regularly monitoring developments from the CDC and other health authorities, consulting reports from the American Camping Association and the Association of Camp Nursing, and working as a team to make decisions around how the pandemic will affect future programs.

At this time, registration for all Ijams summer camp programs is open, and sessions are slated to take place as planned. However, given the uncertainty surrounding this summer's operations, Ijams has updated camp registration policies. The following are in effect until further notice:​

  • Ijams is taking registrations via waitlist so that you can register with $0 down. Full payment not due until 1-2 weeks prior to a camp session. 

  • Staff recommends that you reserve any additional spaces for your child(ren) now; admission will be based on the order in which future registrations are received. Previous registrations accompanied by payment will be given top priority.

  • To register your child(ren) for additional sessions, log in to your online account and complete the online registration form (without payment). Ijams will confirm admission closer to the time of each individual session.

  • If a family chooses to cancel a registration due to COVID-19 concerns and has already paid, a full refund (minus the percentage required to process the payment through Ijams’ online registration system) will be issued. 

  • If the virus forces the closure of summer camp sessions and/or Ijams deems it necessary to cancel any sessions, full refunds (without cancellation fees) will be provided to individuals who have already paid.


Like many others, Ijams is taking updates in stride and plans to make its next decisions regarding summer camps in mid-May. In the event that changes to the 2020 camp season are deemed necessary, or if public health concerns dictate further restrictions on group gatherings, Ijams will update this web page and notify registrants via email.

Ijams will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will continue to develop camp virus-prevention plans.

You can expect additional screening measures during camper check-in to ensure that all campers are healthy when admitted. Ijams will send detailed admission procedures to registered families closer to summer.


If you are currently registered or planning to do so, there will likely be updates to the forms in the online registration system. Ijams will update this web page and notify registrants via email when changes have been made that require input from you.


Ijams recognizes that your families are going to need a place of comfort and rejuvenation by summer, making these programs more vital than ever. The Ijams Education Team is busy crafting fun and meaningful experiences for your child(ren) and evaluating how to offer programming in new and innovative ways. The staff is excited and hopeful that you and your child(ren) will be part of whatever adventure awaits all of us this summer!

This summer may not look like summers that have come before or will come again. It can be challenging and anxiety-inducing to move forward without the level of certainty to which we all have grown accustomed.

Please check in and share any questions or concerns you have with Ijams Youth Programs Manager Tyler Edmondson at or +1865-577-4717 ext. 114.

Thank you for your flexibility and patience as Ijams strives to do what is best for the health and safety of you and your child(ren).  


In the coming days and weeks, be on the lookout for additional updates and please do not be shy about reaching out. Ijams is here to be a resource to you!

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