New England Music Camp - NEMC - Est 1937

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NEMC Covid 19 Safety & Protocols

  • Please check this page for updates to NEMC's Covid 19 response. Each update will be dated.


10/28/20 - Update on Protocols

As New England Music Camp prepares for our 2021 season, we are closely following the Global Covid-19 Pandemic. In order to ensure everyone’s safety during our program we will be working with the Maine CDC guidelines, the American Camp Association, the Maine Summer Camps organization, as well as infectious disease experts, to put together a series of protocols that will be followed during our time at camp. This is a constantly changing situation, so a final set of protocols will not be announced until closer to summer, but please be assured we are developing several plans to ensure a successful and safe summer. Our goal is to create as “normal” an experience as we can for the campers to thrive and grow both socially and artistically. Below is a list of possible protocols that might be in place. To gain a better understanding of some of the protocols NEMC implemented this past summer for our successful in-person Chamber Music Intensive, please read Dr. Rebecca Weintraub’s article on her time advising and overseeing our camp HERE


Pre Camp

  • All campers and staff may be asked to receive a negative covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival at camp. 
    • Vault is offering at home tests - you can order those directly through their website and results are a 24hr turnaround! If you self-pay you can submit to your is covered!
  • We may ask campers and staff  to quarantine for the 14 days prior to camp, and/or for the days between getting their test and arriving at camp.
  • If a vaccine is readily available, we may ask that persons staying on campus have the vaccine administered prior to arrival. 
  • We will send a 14-day symptom tracking form for all persons living on campus. This will be  filled out for the 14 days prior to camp. We will send the exact start date for tracking for each program at a later date.

Camp Arrival and Check-In

  • All persons living on campus may have a rapid test administered upon arrival and then re-administered 72-96 hours after arrival. These tests cost about $5 per test, and the camper/staff member should be prepared to cover this cost. 
  • If social distancing is needed, campers will be checked in at the grassy area in front of the Camp Office in the main parking lot. During check-in, staff will collect any outstanding forms and campers will receive their welcome packet and cabin assignments. 
  • All campers and staff will go through a health screening with our on-campus medical staff.. 
  • Temperatures will be recorded upon check-in at the office, infirmary, and first entrance into the dormitories. 
  • If we are using a “closed campus” parents will not be permitted beyond the camp parking lot. Counselors will help transport camper belongings from the parking lot to the cabins. Parents will not be allowed into the dormitories during the course of the program. This will  ensure that the “bubble” we are creating remains intact. 
    • Please note: This is only if we are using a “closed campus”. This will be finalized in the Spring. 

The “Bubble” or “Closed Campus” (If needed)

If the covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing NEMC may implement a “bubble” or “closed campus” type environment.  The following are similar protocols to this past summer that would be implemented if needed. Should we not have a closed campus, some of the following protocols may still be enforced.

  • Our goal would be to create a safety “bubble” for all campers and staff. By doing so, everyone in the program will become a cohort group. If the bubble is maintained, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced. 
  • Once a participant enters the bubble as “negative” they are able to participate fully without many restrictions. 
  • While in the bubble, all participants must have a mask with them should they come into contact with someone from outside the cohort group. 
  • Mask wearing will not come with a stigma here at NEMC! The amount of mask-wearing will be contingent on level of risk, but in certain scenarios like being in smaller indoor spaces NEMC may mandate masks. 
  • Obviously masks cannot be worn by wind players while playing and/or by singers while performing. The following protocols have been established is needed:
    • Wind and vocal groups will rehearse in our covered outdoor spaces as much as possible. When not available, the largest indoor spaces have been reserved for these groups.
    • Social and physical distancing will be in place, if needed. This is contingent on the test results and the comfort level of the participants.
    • Plexiglass shields between wind players will be available, if requested, especially for flute players.
    • Vocalists should plan to obtain a face shield prior to arrival at camp. Shields can be used in place of masks if-needed. We will have a limited supply in the Music Library. 
  • Again, if all results within the cohort group are negative, these precautions may not be necessary, but we plan to have them all in place should we need them. 

Health Center

  • The NEMC Health Center will be staffed by practicing medical professionals should any health needs arise. 
  • All medications, both over-the-counter and prescription MUST go through the camp health center. Campers may not keep any medications in their dorm room.
  • All campers and staff will go through a daily screening process where the medical staff will check temperature and symptoms. 
  • Should any symptoms of Covid-19 arise, the participant will be tested immediately and will self-quarantine in the infirmary until results return. All other participants will proceed with the program, but with masks and social distancing if needed. 


  • All campers will have their own assigned space in one of the Cabins or Dorms. Students will be divided by age on each end of campus. Students may not be allowed in rooms other than their own. Should this be the case, common spaces and outdoor covered porches will be designated “hang-out” areas.  
  • Each morning, all campers are expected to complete a basic cabin clean up to make sure the cabin is tidy and sanitized. NEMC will provide gloves and cleaning supplies. On Sunday, campers and counselors will do a more thorough cleaning. 
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectants will be available in the common spaces in the Dorms, but students are encouraged to bring their own for their room and while traveling about campus.
  • Students will need to bring their own twin sheets and bedding from home. All rooms will be cleaned and sanitized before arrival.


Family style dining at NEMC’s Core camp is one of the longest traditions we still follow at camp. That said, if needed certain protocols will be put in place if we cannot have the entire camp family together at meals. 

  • Meals will be served in several waves in order to provide enough space in the dining hall and allow for distanced eating. Waves will be assigned at camp.
  • Participants will have several eating locations to choose from - inside and outside. These spaces will be cleaned thoroughly between meals. 
  • Food may be individually wrapped and/or served by a member of the kitchen staff so that students are not sharing buffet utensils, etc.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided, as well as places for the students to wash their hands before/after meals.
  • Masks may be required while inside the Lodge and can be removed when seated for eating.

Group and Facility Protocols

  • Once the camp “bubble” has been formed (again, if needed), all participants will only be in contact with the others in that bubble. This bubble would include only NEMC faculty, staff, counselors, and campers. 
  • All participants will need to bring masks with them to camp to have around campus. They will not need to be worn at all times, but should be readily available should participants come into contact with anyone outside the bubble and social distancing cannot be maintained. We do not foresee this scenario, but would like to plan ahead should it happen. 
  • Participants will adhere to the comfort of each of their peers. Our hope is that we can create a bubble where none of these measures are needed.  We want to offer as many safety measures as possible, so that no student or staff member should feel uncomfortable. 
  • All buildings and residences used for NEMC will be marked and off limits to other visitors. The academic quad, both Dorms, the Canteen, Health Center, and the Bowl will be in the bubble. These buildings will also undergo daily cleaning and will be equipped with sanitizing stations.

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Family feel of camp

“We were delighted that he was selected to perform in the honor recital and was a featured soloist in the Pops concert. Mr. Schmearer is a wonderful conductor and a great inspiration to my son. I love the family feel of this camp and the support all the kids give to one another.”

-NEMC Parent