Policies & FAQs

Please find our updated policies and FAQ’s below. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have updated a number of polices and procedures, relaxed our cancellation policy, and restructured our program. While things may look and feel a little different from past summers, we are incredibly excited that you are interested in joining us for Summer 2021 and we cannot wait for the summer to get underway! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at info@congocamp.org.

What are the hours of the programs?

The hours of our Congressional Campus programs (Zippy’s Mini Camp and Great Adventures) are 8:45am – 5:00pm. In an effort to reduce the exposure to multiple staff members, we will not be having our usual Extended Hours program and counselors, however we know that many families can benefit from extra coverage, so we are extending our typical day from ending at 3:30pm to ending at 5:00pm.

The hours of our St. Agnes programs are 9:00am – 3:00pm. Please note hours for Session 1 and Academic Classes may differ by program, view specific program descriptions for more information.


What is the cancellation policy?

We understand  the fluid situation due to the pandemic, and don’t want that to stand in your way of registering for our programs. We are offering the following flexible refund policy specifically for Summer 2021. 

  • Changes may be made at no charge if the total number of sessions remains the same or is increased. 
  • Final payment and registration lock in date is June 1st. No refunds will be granted after June 1st, unless we have orders of closure from the VDH or Governor Northam of Virginia, in which case we will offer a prorated refund for those days.  No refunds or credits will be given for changes due to work/vacation schedules, illness or or issues.
  • For cancellations between registration date and May 31st, full refunds will be given, minus your $100 registration fee. 
  • In the event that we have to quarantine your campers group, you will receive a prorated refund for those days. Additionally, if the camp has to be shut down for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as orders from the VDH or Governor’s orders, or Congressional School Decision , you will receive a prorated refund. 


What precautions are you instituting to keep my child(ren) safe?

The safety of campers is our top priority every summer, but especially during this Covid-19 Pandemic. Below are some of the precautions that we will be taking to ensure the safety of campers and staff. They will also be continually reviewed and updated based on the most current guidance available. 

  • Expanded session lengths to reduce the number of group transitions. 
  • Small group (cohort) based camp groups of 10 – 14 campers that stay constant for the whole session. 
  • Cohorts will be staffed with consistent staff to the best of our ability.
  • Specially designed schedule and activities to limit interactions between cohorts. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout campus.
  • Frequent hand washing throughout the day. 
  • Frequent cleaning of high touch areas.
  • Pre-plated boxed lunches through our caterer, Fairfax Foods. Campers will eat in their classroom or outside.


Do we have to provide our own masks and gloves?

While gloves are optional, campers and staff will be required to have masks. While potentially not necessary to be wearing them at all times (when outdoors and socially distanced, for example), everyone is required to have them for those times that they are necessary. All Congressional staff will also be in masks and campers and staff will be washing their hands frequently.


What will my camper do in this camp?

We are excited to have a variety of programs available in 2021, both at our Congressional Campus and our new St. Agnes Campus. 

At our Congressional Campus, our campers will experience a variety of activities in both our Zippy’s Mini Camp and Great Adventures Remix programs. Activities include swimming, sports, archery, horses, arts and crafts and more. 

At our St. Agnes Campus, campers will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of specialty camps, from legos to cooking and everything in between. Campers will spend the majority of their time on the camp topic while taking breaks for recess and group bonding activities. 


Will my camper be within 6 feet of other campers or staff?

Ultimately, yes while inside of their cohort. While we are going to do everything possible to limit exposure and keep social distancing in-tact, there will no doubt be times that campers are within six feet of each other while in their individual cohort. The program is designed to limit the interaction between cohorts to provide a safe and fun camp environment for each individual cohort or pod. Our team continues to monitor current conditions and environment as we move towards summer. All registered families will be invited to June Town Halls for in-depth explanation and discussion of COVID and other safety procedures.  


Do you have to commit to the full session?

In an effort to mitigate the exposure and changeover among campers, we are running these programs at an extended length. While your camper does not have to attend every day of the program, there is no prorated refund for only attending a portion of the session.  


Will the pool be open? If so, how will social distancing be enforced? 

We currently plan on swimming as a daily activity for our programs on our Congressional Campus. The plan would be up to 2 groups at a time may be at the big pool, however the pool will be divided into thirds, with each group taking an outer-third, and the middle third being left open as a buffer area. For our Great Adventures campers we would be limiting pool use to one group at a time.


Can we visit the campus before signing up for camp?
While we have typically held campus tours and an annual Epic Open House, we are currently unable to host visitors on campus due to Congressional School’s COVID-19 Policies and Procedures. We encourage you to view our Virtual Campus Tour for the time being.


Do you offer lunch and snacks?
Lunch and snacks are available to all of our campers, however you are more than welcome to pack your own. Please see the Lunch and snacks sections of the website and brochure for more information.


I registered my child(ren) for one of the waitlists. When will I hear if they got into the camp or not?

Many of our camps fill up quickly after registration opens, in which case we open up a waitlist for the camps in question. If you register for the waitlist and your campers turn comes up to join the camp, we will contact you to confirm that you would, in fact, still like to join the camp. There is no official date that we cut off waitlist movement, as we could contact you at any point up until the Thursday before the session begins. If you would like to know your camper(s) placement on the waitlist, you can contact the camp office. If you register for only waitlists, and not any actual camps, we still charge the $100 registration fee. In the event that your camper does not attend any camp with us over the summer, we will refund your registration fee.


How are campers divided into groups?
Campers in the Great Adventures through Senior divisions are placed in co-ed groups based on age and the grade they will be entering in the fall. Travel, specialty, and athletic camp programs are already designated for limited age ranges.


Can campers be in a group with their friends?
Our goal at Congressional Camp is for every camper to make new friends as well as strengthen the friendships that are already in place. (On the registration site, enter your login and click on the ” 2021 Health Form & Pick up Authorization”, at the bottom of the page, there is a box where you can fill out your grouping requests.) Requests for campers to be placed in the same group must be made in writing and must be made by both/all parties involved. While grouping campers, every effort is made to maintain a balance of gender and new and returning campers. We cannot group campers together if they are not registered in the same program and/or division. While we will make every effort to honor mutual grouping requests, we cannot guarantee them.


Is a nurse on campus during camp hours?
Yes. During all hours of operation, a registered nurse and/or clinic aide is on campus to help safeguard children’s health. We have one nurse stationed at the Great Adventures/ ECP Building and one stationed at the Main School Building for Rising 1-9th graders.


When do I need to send in my health forms?
For ALL campers, the Congressional Camp “2017 Health History Form and Pickup Authorization” must be completed in order for the registration to be considered complete. This will be available via your online account, in early March. In addition, all campers must have their most up-to-date Immunization Records on file in the Camp Office.
For campers in the Great Adventures division, the Virginia School Health Form must also be signed and dated by a physician and submitted no later than May 1st.


When do I need to send in my proof of ID documentation?
Proof of identification document must accompany the application of each new camper. If you do not wish to send the proof of identity original document in the mail, please bring it to the Camp Office. A staff member will fill out a verification form and hand the document back to you. You may also complete paperwork at one of our Open Houses, as well. This verification is due no later than May 1st.


Can my camper bring medication to camp?
Yes. Authorization forms are required for the administration of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Any medications being sent to camp will be kept in the nurse’s office and must be in their original containers bearing the pharmacy label. Over the counter medication must also be in its original container with the original label and directions for use. For medical forms and information on our camp nurses, please visit our camp nurse page.


Are Great Adventures campers required to be potty trained before camp?
While we do require all of our campers to be potty trained prior to the start of camp, our counselors are well aware that it is a process each child manages individually. Our youngest campers are frequently provided with reminders, scheduled potty breaks, and have a toilet in their classroom. Classrooms are not equipped with changing stations for diapers or pull-up training pants and we do ask that these items stay at home. Accidents, however, are common- particularly in the first few days as counselors and campers get adjusted to each other’s schedule. If your camper is in a routine at home, we certainly encourage you to share that information with the counselors for everyone’s combined benefit. Working with parents, our goal is for every camper to have a successful summer.


What did parents say about Zippy’s Mini Camp in 2020?

“The camp was phenomenal. You all pulled it off under extraordinary circumstances, but the campers were happy and healthy for all six weeks!”

“I was very pleased with the execution of the safety protocols during camp.”

“Absolutely loved how Congo Camp designed the entire experience to make sure kids and teachers/staff are healthy while having fun. [My son] had the best time ever and he enjoyed meeting new friends as well as seeing his older friends from congressional. Screening procedure was super efficient and easy.”

“We thought the camp staff did an amazing job managing an unprecedented situation. Our son had a wonderful summer, and we felt the camp managed to mitigate COVID related risks in a way that the children attending camp could understand and feel comfortable with.”

“Joy. You did joy, you did engagement, you made laughter possible, in a terrible time, and under very difficult circumstances”

Still have questions? Please email us at info@congocamp.org