Family Camp 2020

The Experience
Lodging & Food
COVID Procedures
Typical Day
Dates & Rates
Interest Survey

Summer Camp For the Whole Family … And A Much Needed Getaway!

Akeela Family Camp is a unique opportunity for families to experience Akeela, the premier summer camp for boys and girls with Asperger’s and similar profiles. (Learn more about our campers here and meet a few of them here.) Akeela Family Camp is a chance for families of these amazing children to share the magic of camp together.

At Akeela Family Camp, parents and children bond as a family and meet new friends, all while participating in a wide variety of camp activities. The program includes all-family events as well as adult-only and child-only options. While participation is always encouraged and the spirit of camp is hard to resist, families have the flexibility to be as active or as relaxed as they choose.

Each family lives in its own private cabin, with private bathroom. Chef Trina and her team keep guests happy and healthy with scrumptious meals and snacks.

For Parents

  • Relive your favorite camp memories
  • Meet other families, exchange ideas and resources
  • Relax and have fun!

For Children and Siblings

  • Meet other kids with similar experiences and make new friends
  • Challenge yourself
  • Share your favorite parts of camp with your family

For the Entire Family

  • Build community
  • Enjoy the beauty of Vermont
  • Spend quality time together

Your Private Cabin: Home Away From Home

At Akeela Family Camp, each family enjoys their own comfortable, recently renovated cabin. All of our cabins include private bathrooms with independent shower & toilet stalls, sinks, and ample storage space.

Your cabin becomes your home away from home while at Family Camp. When you’re not out enjoying camp activities and social time, cabin porches are a great spot to read a book or have a quiet chat.

Dining: Much More Than A Camp Mess Hall!

Not only is dining an important part of any family vacation, we believe that sharing great food is a way of showing love and building community. Our head chef, Trina, and her staff feel the same way and take great pride in keeping us well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and snacks. The Family Camp menu will feature many kid-friendly favorites from Camp Akeela, along with a variety of more refined dishes for our guests. Each day brings its own culinary treats, plus mid-afternoon and late evening snacks. Rest assured, nobody will go hungry at Akeela Family Camp!

What To Expect in 2020

As we start to “emerge” from our homes this summer, we look forward to safely bringing together portions of our Akeela community. While we believe that Family Camp is an opportunity for us to do so in a careful and deliberate manner, we want to be very clear that camp is not a totally risk-free environment, as is the case any time you leave your home. With that in mind, we’d like to share with you some of the precautions we are working on as we prepare to open for Family Camp. We hope that this information is helpful in determining whether or not Family Camp is a fit for your family this summer.

At the bottom of this page, we outline a variety of adjustments and protocols that we anticipate following at Family Camp this summer. Here are a few highlights:

Quarantine & Testing

  • All campers (children and adults) will be required to quarantine at home for 7 days prior to arrival.
  • All campers will also be required to take a COVID-19 test on a specific day prior to the end of their at-home quarantine period.
    • We will coordinate testing options with families.
    • A negative test result is required for attendance at Family Camp.
  • All campers will be required to come to camp directly from quarantine and within a prescribed amount of time of their negative test result.
  • Staff will be quarantined at camp for at least 14 days prior to campers’ arrival. Staff will also be tested for COVID-19.
  • Campers and Staff will NOT be permitted to leave camp grounds at any time during their stay – to maintain the camp “bubble”.

Social “Pods”

  • Campers will be grouped in “pods” of no more than 25 people. Our staff team will constitute a separate pod.
    • A pod will function as your “family” for the duration of the camp session.
    • Pods will eat together and live in separate cabins near one another on campus.
    • Pods will participate in activities together.
    • When anyone is interacting outside of their pod, they will practice social distancing and/or will wear a mask.


  • The Family Camp activity schedule will be different from past years (and very different from our “regular” summer camp program!)
    • Campers will be able to select their activities, but from a smaller set of choices than past summers.
    • Our pool & high ropes course will be closed.
    • All equipment that will be shared between pods will be sanitized between uses.

Hygiene & Food Service

  • All campers and staff will practice proper hygiene including hand washing.
  • No public restrooms will be in use.
  • Meals will served “family style” rather than buffet.
  • There will be no central salad bar.
  • There will be fewer meal alternatives. (Please call us to discuss any special dietary needs/allergies before enrollment.)

Click on each section below to see more details.

Quarantine & Testing

  • All campers must self-quarantine at home for 7 days before their camp session begins. On a prescribed day prior to departing for camp, they will take a test for COVID-19 (as indicated by Vermont Department of Health’s approved tests) and remain quarantined while they await the result.
  • Timing is arranged so that campers depart for camp within 24 hours of receiving a negative test result, and they come directly to camp without making any stops along the way that could potentially expose them to the virus.
  • Only campers who follow that strict quarantine and testing protocol — and who receive a NEGATIVE result — may attend Family Camp.
  • Campers who are traveling by air AND those traveling by car from a distance that is further than a single day’s drive must arrive in New England at least 7 days before the start of their camp session. Once in the region, they can follow the protocol outlined above.
  • Families are asked to report any symptoms experienced during the 14 day quarantine and any contact with anyone known or suspected to have the virus.
  • Individuals who have specific health concerns should discuss camp attendance with the camp directors and their healthcare provider.

SAMPLE Testing Protocol
Utilizing self-administered diagnostic saliva (e.g. Rutgers) tests w/ 24-hour results

  1. Campers must sign a statement agreeing to comply with the test regimen & attendees must self-quarantine between days -3 and their arrival.
  2. The lab will mail tests directly to campers at home.
  3. Test arrive at least 4 days prior to scheduled arrival at camp.
  4. Test are TAKEN on the morning of day -3 and sent via FedEx to the lab.
  5. Lab results are sent directly to the family by day -2
  6. Results are to be forwarded to camp on the same day.
  7. No one without a NEGATIVE test result is admitted to camp.

Additional testing after arrival for community members that risk exposure en route to camp (i.e. air travel)

Travel To Camp

  • All family members must arrive at camp by personal vehicle.
  • Campers who are traveling by air AND those traveling by car from a distance that is further than a single day’s drive must arrive in New England at least 7 days before the start of their camp session. Once in the region, they can follow the protocol outlined above.
  • Families are encouraged to stop as infrequently as possible to minimize contact with others outside Akeela Family Camp.
    • Gloves on when pumping gas
    • Bring hand sanitizer in the car
    • Wear masks anytime exiting the car
    • Limit touching of external surfaces as much as possible

Group Socialization
Families and staff will be placed into “pods” of no more than 25 people.

  • A pod will function as your “family” for the duration of the camp session.
  • Pods will eat together and live in separate cabins near one another on campus.
  • Pods will participate in activities together.
  • When anyone is interacting outside of their pod, they will practice social distancing and/or will wear a mask.
  • Our staff team will constitute a separate pod.

Cabins, Facilities and Promotion of Health Practices
Hand washing and/or sanitizing stations will be provided at multiple places throughout camp, including the dining facilities. Campers and staff will engage in proper hygiene to prevent the spread of communicable diseases including:

  • Frequent hand washing, including upon entry to buildings and program areas
  • Avoiding close contact
  • Coughing and sneezing etiquette
  • Discouraging the sharing of food, utensils and other personal supplies including toothbrushes etc.

Camp will follow facilities cleaning procedures that follow CDC recommendations for infection protocols, including:

  • Increased frequency of cleaning bunks, restrooms, dining areas, program facilities & equipment, high touch areas, etc.
  • Fans will be provided for each cabin to promote air flow
  • Each cabin will be stocked with enough toilet paper, hand soap, and paper towels to last for a full Family Camp session, so that cleaning staff is not in and out during campers’ stay

Dining Hall and Food Service

  • Weather permitting, windows will remain open in the dining hall
  • Likewise, we will take advantage of our outdoor (porch) seating whenever possible
  • Everyone will be required to wash their hands before entering the dining hall and additional hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building
  • Pods will have at least 6 feet between tables with other Pod members
  • Extra spacing will be observed at each table
  • All meals will be served Family Style
  • Special diet and alternative food will be available from kitchen staff members wearing appropriate PPE and practicing safe serving methods
  • Dining area to be cleaned and disinfected by staff after each use
  • Shared condiment bottles (eg. ketchup, mustard) will be eliminated or, if bottles are used, they must be disinfected before and after each use
  • No common water bottle filling station will be used; Campers and staff will be asked to fill water bottles in their bathroom sinks


  • Camp will have at least one Registered Nurse on staff for the duration of the camp sessions
  • Upon arrival, all staff and campers will go through an initial health screening process, including specific questions about COVID symptoms and potential exposures.
  • Campers will be subsequently be screened daily for potential symptoms of COVID, including temperature checks
  • Equipment will be supplied to each cabin for basic first aid and care (e.g. bumps and bruises)
  • The camp health care staff is available for greater needs and for anything that could be considered an illness (cough, upset stomach, headache, runny nose, etc)

In the event a camper displays a presumptive case of COVID-19 while at camp, camp will coordinate with the Vermont Department of Health to handle the situation safely and in ways that will avoid further exposure.

  1. Ill campers will be isolated (e.g. in their cabin or other designated isolation building) until arrangements can be made for their safe departure from camp;
  2. Camps will follow Department of Health direction on contract tracing protocols;

Families must notify the camp if they learn of a prior exposure to a COVID case after they come to camp. In that case, isolation procedures will be followed as described above.

Mail and Other Deliveries
For the duration of the camp season, visitors and off-site personnel will be limited to the extent possible. Those who must be on campus (e.g. Site Manager or critical service providers such as food delivery personnel) must practice appropriate social distancing, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Activities and Program

  • Guests will be required to sanitize their hands before entering an activity area. Each activity area will have appropriate sanitizing cleaning materials and equipment.
  • All activities will take place outdoors if the activity and weather permits. In instances an activity must be done indoors, windows will remain open to promote air flow.
  • At all camp gatherings (such as Evening Meeting), families will sit with their pod and maintain 6 ft of distance between members of other pods.
  • All equipment will be sanitized between each pod’s use of equipment.
  • Whenever possible, staff will set aside equipment to be used by each pod to reduce the amount of shared equipment.
  • Families are encouraged to bring their own equipment for certain activities (e.g. fishing poles, tennis racquets and PFDs)
  • There will be no out of camp activities or trips, nor will campers and staff to leave camp during the camp session.
  • Staff will minimize the amount of interaction they have with campers in close proximity during activities, with the following exceptions:
    • Lifeguards when a save or other safety protocols are necessary
    • Any other instances that present a safety concern for campers or staff.

Note: This is a living document that will be updated in accordance with guidance from the state of Vermont, the CDC and the American Camp Association.

A Typical Day

7:15 Morning Program
(varies daily: polar bear swim, morning run, yoga, fishing)
8:00 Breakfast
9:15 – 10:15 Activity Period 1
10:15 – 11:15 Activity Period 2
11:15 – 12:00 Free Time
12:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 Rest Hour
2:00 – 3:00 Activity Period 3
3:00 Snack
3:30 – 4:30 Activity Period 4
(Children-only activities / Adult-only facilitated roundtables)
4:30 – 6:00 “Shower Hour” and Free Time
6:00 Dinner
7:15 Evening Meeting
(Share successes, recognize others & read from the Suggestion Box!)
7:30 – 8:30 Evening Activity
(Campfires & talent show, “Hobby Nights” and more!)
8:45 Bedtime Snacks



  • Arts and crafts
  • Ceramics / Pottery
  • Woodworking
  • Archery
  • Sports: soccer, softball, basketball
  • Tennis
  • Fishing
  • Swimming in our crystal-clear lake
  • Boating: canoeing, kayaking, sailing, rowing, stand up paddleboarding
  • Nature, hiking and outdoor adventure
  • D&D, LARP (live action role playing), strategy card games

2020 Dates

We are offering the following Family Camp sessions:
Monday, August 3 – Saturday, August 8
Monday, August 10 – Saturday, August 15


Weekly Rates

Cabin Rental For First 4 Guests $3600
Per Person Rate For Each Additional Guest (Beyond 4)
Cabins accommodate up to 10
$600 pp

To sign up for Family Camp, please complete this Enrollment Form and return it to us via email (info at

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by “adult-only roundtables?”
We offer optional guided discussions and workshops for adults to help them and their children get the most out of their time at camp. One of the most exciting parts of coming to Family Camp at Akeela is being in a place that is entirely dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children with Asperger’s. Family camp is a rare opportunity to be surrounded by other families who share similar experiences to yours. Adult only roundtables provide the space to connect and share with each other, Akeela is also committed to providing a more structured level of support to families.
Who will be staffing the Family Camp?
The directors of Akeela Family Camp are Debbie and Eric Sasson, who share between the two of them over 45 years of camp experience, Masters degrees in education and school counseling, and a doctorate in clinical psychology. They are assisted by a select group of Camp Akeela counselors and activity leaders and other professionals who truly represent the “best of the best!” Above all, the staff understand and adore Akeela campers and are passionate about providing them with life-long skills, friendships and memories.
Will my children be supervised by the camp staff?
Supervision will be provided exclusively during organized camp activities (Periods 1 – 4 and certain Evening Activities). Otherwise, parents are asked to be responsible for their children.
What if I want to bring my furry friend with me to camp?
Sorry, all pets need to stay at home – but you can write them a letter and let them know about the great time you are having. We can provide local boarding options upon request.
What will my cabin look like?
All of Akeela’s cabins have been recently renovated. They are equipped with electricity, toilets, sinks, and showers. Our beds are made on-site and are both supportive and comfortable. Although our cabins are fantastic, please remember that it is camp! Beds are cot-sized and may not be as plush as you are used to at home!
Do I need to bring my own sheets and towels?
Family Campers are required to bring their own blankets or comforters this summer. August nights in Vermont can be quite chilly, so come prepared!

If you are able to also bring your own sheets, that is greatly preferred. Camp beds are “cot” sized but single (twin) sheets fit fine. If you need to rent camp sheets, we do have a limited supply available for a fee of $25 per person; just let us know in advance.

Is there a place for me to check my email or make a phone call if I need to?
Yes, Akeela has a designated “business area” for those who need it, during specified hours. Satellite internet access is available, along with a printer, fax machine and telephones. Just a reminder, though: Family Camp is meant to be a vacation… we recommend leaving your laptop at home! (Note: There is literally no cell service in our beautiful corner of Vermont.)

Now that you’ve reviewed our plans and gotten a better idea of what to expect at Family Camp, we’d love to hear about your interest level in attending.

When you complete this form, please keep in mind that the start of the Family Camp is many weeks away! We are all hoping that health conditions, testing, treatment, contact tracing, etc. will improve between now and then. If instead things take a turn for the worse such that you are not able/comfortable to attend, we will certainly not hold you to your responses on this survey! (Likewise, if we are unable to safely open camp for you, we ask for your continued understanding and flexibility.)

Please let us know how committed you are to attending Family Camp:
We are ready to sign up nowWe are most likely interestedWe are unsure but leaning towards noWe are not interested/available

For which session(s) are you available?
August 3 - August 8August 10 - August 15Not interested/available

My family is interested in attending MORE THAN ONE week of Family Camp. (That's why I selected multiple sessions above. If I don't check this box but I selected more than one session, it's because I'm available at various times but only plan to attend for a week!)

Thank you!

Ready to Enroll?

Enrollment Form