Cleaning, disinfecting, and other janitorial-related tasks are NOT the same for summer camps (obviously) as they are for more traditional facilities (i.e. offices, warehouses, retail stores, restaurants, etc). First of all, you’re probably in the wilderness or an otherwise mostly outdoor space. And second…do we need a second point?
Summer camps are not all the same, but for the most part, they’re meant to host outdoor activities and it’s understood that both camp instructors and campers will get sweaty, dirty, and expose themselves to less-than-ideal conditions. Good personal hygiene is important, but so is a smart, well-structured cleaning routine. Here are some summer camp cleaning tips:
Create a Plan (Duh)
The first and most obvious tip to summer camp cleaning is to create a plan. Your plan should include both personal and collective cleaning and disinfecting policies and schedules, as well as general information about all summer camp facilities, activities, shared supplies, and food service. It wouldn’t hurt to compile all of this into a printed guide or booklet that’s provided to all staff and camp attendees.
When it comes to cleaning, though, a plan is critical. Having a cleaning and disinfecting schedule and checklist will be very helpful to you and your summer camp staff when performing daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks.
They say the best defense is a strong offense. In terms of summer camp cleaning tips, this (sort of) means that the best way to clean is to prevent the need to clean. Doing so can mean providing each camper and member of your staff with a personal kit. What’s in the kit? Alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer will help prevent campers and staff from contaminating indoor surfaces. Shoe covers or indoor sandals will help prevent dirty, muddy shoes from contaminating indoor floors. You get the point, right? Anything you can provide to help mitigate the risk of campers and/or staff from bringing outdoor contaminants and pathogens inside will help!
Indoor Cleaning & Ventilation
Now for the actual cleaning! Before any cleaning and disinfecting measures, you should check (and in some cases, service or replace) your summer camp facilities’ HVAC systems. From their performance to their filtration, to their cleanliness both throughout the inside of vents to the vent covers, a clean summer camp starts with clean air.
Next, the cleaning and disinfecting of indoor surfaces. There’s a good chance your summer camp doesn’t have access to professional cleaning service providers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, have a very detailed and comprehensive guide for operating summer camps that you should check out. Otherwise, think top-down when dusting, cleaning, and disinfecting surfaces, routinely sweep or vacuum your floors, and perform on-the-spot cleaning and disinfecting as needed. Tasks should be organized and assigned to staff and performed daily, and definitely avoid letting garbage build up for even more than a day!