COVID-19 and Overnight Camp YMCA of San Diego County

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Are our camps open?

The health and safety of our community is our number one priority.

First the bad news: Guidelines for our overnight camp programs involving mixed households have not arrived and we have no other choice but to cancel our fall 2020 outdoor education and weekend group programming at Marston, Surf, and Raintree.

Now the GOOD NEWS: We HAVE received permission from state and local public health authorities to offer family camp programs at Camp Surf and Camp Marston. These programs are accomodations only, no food service or activities provided, but they offer an amazing opportunity for families to socially distance and enjoy our awesome outdoor environments.


Are we taking phone calls?

Like so many other businesses, our staffing levels have been reduced and those who remain are currently working from home. Phone calls have temporarily been halted however we encourage you to reach out to us via the email address listed below. We appreciate your patience with response times.

For general questions, billing, and registration the best method to reach us will be via email: [email protected]


Are my deposits and payments refundable?

OVERNIGHT CAMP PAYMENTS: For any fees paid, including deposits, we are providing three choices:

  1. Consider a donation of some, or all, of the payments you have made. Our camps have been hit hard financially during the pandemic, and as a non-profit, we appreciate charitable donations. If your are in a position to be able to donate, we will send a tax-acknowledgement letter.
  2. You can also leave your payments on-hold with us. A non-expiring “voucher” will automatically be created for you. Vouchers can be used for any future program at camp or for any YMCA program here in San Diego. This includes reserving your campers spot for Summer 2021 - we will open registration VERY SOON!
  3. Of course, if you’d like a refund, we will process one for you. Since we are currently operating with limited staff, please allow 2-3 weeks for your refund to be completed.

If you would like to keep a voucher with us you don't need to do anything at this time. For donations and refunds please email [email protected]



Are Fall Group Retreats running?

Unfortunately, we do not have governmental health and safety guidelines or permission that would allow us to run our traditional group retreat programs this fall for mixed groups that are not in the same household. All fall group retreats have been cancelled and group leaders have been notified. We DO HAVE permission from state and local public health authorities to offer family camp programs at Camp Surf and Camp Marston. These programs are accomodations only, no food service or activities provided, but they offer an amazing opportunity for families within the same househole to socially distance and enjoy our awesome outdoor environments.


What's the deal with Outdoor Education (aka 6th Grade Camp)?

All Outdoor Education programs at Surf, Marston, and Raintree have been suspended for fall of 2020.


When does registration for Summer 2021 open?

Overnight Camp registration for Summer 2021 will open once we have permission and health and safety guidelines from state and local heath officials to operate. Once registration is open we will be announcing it on our social media pages (Facebook and Instagram).


What is the YMCA of San Diego County doing to help the community?

It remains our mission to serve and support the health and well-being of our community. For full updates on the YMCA of San Diego County's community efforts please visit our official COVID-19 update webpage.


As a donor to overnight camps, how can I help?

We are beyond grateful to the members of our community — our alumni, guests, camper families, volunteers, and staff — who have recognized the challenges that crises like this can pose to a human services organization regardless of personal hardships that they may be facing. For those that are able and interested, please make a gift here. THANK YOU for your support of children and families during these uncertain times.

For additional questions, please email us at: [email protected]
760.765.0642 - Marston | Raintree
619.423.5850 - Surf

These are challenging times, but we remain optimistic for the future.
As we approach 100 years of overnight camping in San Diego County,
we remain confident in our ability to move and adapt to changing conditions.
Knowing how much camp means to our kids, staff, and families,
we look forward to opening our programs!



A Message from Tom


Update from June 8, 2020 - It is with great sadness that we announce our decision to cancel summer 2020 overnight programs at YMCA Camps Surf, Marston and Raintree Ranch. As you know, we have held out as long as possible. But without written authorization of Public Health Officials, we cannot operate.

We are heartbroken knowing how many children wanted to attend camp this summer. We will miss you.

*YMCA Camp Surf DAY CAMP Parents - you will receive an additional email soon with more information on what's happening with that program.

As society progresses through the pandemic, we will remain flexible and ready to pivot should circumstances allow. Please watch your email or check our website/social media pages for announcements of upcoming programs. We are developing plans for Family Camps this summer and may even be able to offer limited traditional youth camps if guidelines are issued. Stay tuned!

Camp teaches us many things, including how to bounce back from the hard times. As much as we’ll miss you at camp this year, we hope you’ll join us in 2021 as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of YMCA Camping here in San Diego!

Tom Madeyski
Executive Director

A Message from Tom

Tom Madeyski

Update from May 29, 2020 - I’d like to share an important video update on the status of summer camp for Marston, Surf and Raintree Ranch. Our camps have been closed since March due to COVID-19. Since then, staff have developed comprehensive new operating procedures based on the counsel of national health experts. If permitted to operate, our camp programs and procedures will be different, but will include the meaningful group experience in the outdoors as always.

The key challenge - We have been awaiting authorization from Public Health officials to open. Our patience, along with yours I am sure, has been tested. Although those guidelines were promised earlier this week, they have not been issued. Top leaders from the YMCA and American Camp Association are working with the State Health department to finalize camp guidelines. Their work is happening now and results are expected at any time. We continue to hear from both campers and camper parents that they hope summer camp will happen. I ask for your continued patience. We are hoping to receive operating guidelines next week. We will stay in touch.

Tom Madeyski
Executive Director

Update from May 15, 2020 - Thank you for the encouragement and support throughout the spring. We appreciate the numerous families that have stayed with us throughout this challenging time. I’d like to share our current plan for camps Surf, Marston and Raintree Ranch with both our former camper families and those currently registered for Summer 2020.

Over the past weeks, we have been in discussions with national, state and local health officials, requesting guidelines for camps like ours. Our dedicated staff have been developing modifications to camp facilities, policies, and procedures based on the counsel of national health experts. Our updated and flexible models address social distancing, health screening and monitoring, enhanced sanitation, food service practices, smaller camp groups and more.

We are prepared to serve.

HOWEVER...the official guidelines and legislation for overnight camps have not yet been issued. In light of this, we will not have the opportunity to hold the first two weeks of summer camp.

At this time we are not cancelling any further weeks of camp (Sessions 3-9, June 28 – August 14) pending permission and our ability to comply with health and safety guidance. With how quickly circumstances are changing, we will provide you with status updates at least three weeks prior to your child’s camp session.

We will communicate frequently from this point forward. Even in these uncertain times, we remain both realistic and hopeful.

Tom Madeyski
Executive Director