A Message from BGCSF & Camp Mendocino



















Camp Mendocino Health Advisory Update—4/21/2020

Dear Camp Mendocino Families,


Over the past several weeks, we have been closely following every aspect of the coronavirus outbreak. In San Francisco, the Club has been responding to the situation on the ground every day. Four of our Clubhouses remain open. We have been providing programs, mentorship, and mental health support to our Club members … all within the framework of the public health order.  We have been leading or supporting food distribution efforts in communities and laptop distribution efforts for the school district. We have built out a sophisticated Virtual Clubhouse program in an effort to promote learning and advancement, to stay connected to Club members, and to bring a sense of normalcy to kids’ lives in this challenging time.


Today and always, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco’s number one priority is keeping our youth safe. Our next greatest responsibility is the safety and well being of our staff. Together with the Board of Governors of the Club, senior staff, and Sara, sadly, as President of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, I have determined that the safest and smartest decision is to cancel Camp Mendocino’s five traditional camp sessions for summer 2020. 


There is no easy way to share this news. We are saddened and incredibly disappointed. But given how highly contagious this virus is and the notable uncertainty that will exist for the foreseeable future -- plus factoring in the unique characteristics of a summer camp where kids eat and sleep in close proximity to one another -- we know it is in everyone’s best interests that Camp Mendocino not operate as normal this summer. 


For 89 years in a row, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco has operated Camp Mendocino, making 2020 the first time that we aren’t able to do so. We know that Camp Mendocino is an incredibly important part of the life of many of you -- as it is for both of us. Camp Mendocino allows young people (and staff) a respite from many of the pressures and worries of normal life and we know that we all need that more than ever. Though traditional summer camp isn’t an option this summer, we are working diligently on creative ways to engage campers. Many of the decisions for these opportunities can be made in June -- unlike the decisions and commitments that we need to make now for the traditional summer operation. As we develop plans, the Camp leadership team will be in touch and we hope that you make every effort to participate. 


Since 1931, Camp Mendocino has proudly welcomed youth. While this summer will be different, please know that we are already focused on summer 2021!! We are a strong community and we will get through this together! 


Please continue to visit our website at for updated information and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. On these social media sites, you will have the opportunity to engage with our team and to see the work that we are doing at Camp. If your child participates at one of the San Francisco Clubs, please reach out to the Clubhouse Director to learn more about what we are offering currently. We hope to know more about our City services for this summer by May 19th.


We hope you stay healthy and safe.




Rob Connolly                                             


Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco 


Sara Richardson

Camp Director

Camp Mendocino


Will Camp Mendocino be open this summer?

Unfortunately, no. We have monitored the circumstances and have been adhering to guidance from the CDC, our departments of health, and other experts. We have determined that the most responsible thing to do is to cancel all five traditional camp sessions this summer. The health and safety of our campers, families, staff and the greater community is our number one priority. We are hopeful that through more organizations like ours making tough decisions like this every day, we can together minimize the spread of this illness and reduce its impact. We are planning some ways to provide children with what will surely be much-needed experiences if and when we can. Our very creative camp team is committed to sharing ideas with you as soon as they are able.

Will I be refunded if I have already paid for one or more sessions this year?

As Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco and Camp Mendocino has made the difficult decision to cancel all sessions this summer, we have three options for families: 1. Donate the amount you’ve already paid to the Camp Mendocino to sustain camp over the coming year. We will still have a lot of expenses for this year and will be losing most of the financial support that offsets these expenses. 2. Save the funds as a credit to be used for summer 2021 3. Receive a full refund for the amount paid.

What parties are influenced summer camp decisions?

The World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC, the federal government, state officials, and many others are all constantly publishing information about COVID-19. While most information is common amongst all parties, we have looked at all sources to come up with our decision for the summer. As a program of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, we have consistently consulted with the City - specifically the Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families (DCYF) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) - for guidance and information-sharing. We have also payed close attention to guidance from Mendocino County, where Camp is physically located.

What additional steps will Camp Mendocino take in the future to prevent COVID-19 and other communicable diseases?

Because Camp is a closed community, we have always taken great care to develop and maintain medical and hygiene practices to address a variety of communicable diseases. In addition to the many steps we take every day to protect the health of our guests, campers, and staff, we are currently engaging in the following additional practices: *Currently, we ask all campers and staff to engage in appropriate hand-washing before entering the dining hall for meals. We will continue to enforce this, as well as increase the number of mandatory “hand-washing” breaks throughout the day. We will also increase the availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to staff, guests, and campers. *We will increase the number of signs and literature about the importance of handwashing and other prevention practices throughout Camp. *Our maintenance team will take additional steps to deep clean the facilities with a bleach-based solution daily (especially focusing on the dining hall, door handles, light switches, toilets, faucets, and showers), as well as ensuring soap and hand sanitizer dispensers are regularly refilled. *High-touch program areas will also be cleaned with a bleach-based solution between uses. *Our food service provider has also increased their already robust prevention practices, and we will continue to hold the provider to high standards in terms of food delivery, packaging, and food safety. *All members of staff will receive numerous trainings on the prevention of communicable diseases. Staff will be required to self isolate if ill. *We will be assessing children’s health prior to boarding the bus for Camp Mendocino, most likely to include taking children’s temperatures. We are assessing the local and global situation every day and implementing new policies and procedures as necessary. As always, our priority is everyone’s safety.

How can I stay updated on COVID-19?

There are many resources to keep you updated on COVID-19. Below are just a few: The Center for Disease Control (CDC): The World Health Organization (WHO): The Food & Drug Administration (FDA):

What other resources do you suggest we follow?

Tips for Parental Self-Care from Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco: Ensuring your child’s well-being during COVID-19 from Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco: Talking to your Children about COVID-19 from the National Association of School Psychologists: Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction is a very good CNN podcast by Dr. Sanjay Gupta

What is the plan for summer 2021?

We are very excited about summer camp next year as we will be celebrating Camp Mendocino’s 90th Anniversary! We have a lot of plans and surprises so we are currently in the early planning stages. We will still offer mini sessions, regular sessions and a session dedicated to military and first responder youth.

How can I support Camp Mendocino during this time?

As you can imagine, not hosting our traditional summer camp or rental groups does not take away from the year-round expenses of running Camp Mendocino. If you are able during this challenging time, donations would help us to continue operating and preparing for summer 2021. If you would like to donate please visit

How can I stay in touch with the Camp Mendocino community?

We update Facebook and Instagram regularly. Through these platforms, you are able to stay in touch with camp staff throughout the year, post pictures, participate in Camp challenges, and learn about additional opportunities through the summer. Follow us on Facebook Instagram Email:

Camp Mendocino Health Advisory Update—4/03/2020

Dear Camp Mendocino Families, 

With the situation surrounding the impact of COVID-19 developing so quickly, I want to further inform you about the impact of the health crisis on Camp Mendocino and the steps we are taking in response. It has been a tough few weeks, and it seems as though the weeks ahead may be even more difficult. We continue to hope that the situation will change enough in the coming weeks to enable our summer camp sessions to take place as planned, but this remains entirely uncertain. We continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health departments, and other experts to determine appropriate action. Should we need to make changes to our program for the safety of children and families, we certainly will.

We understand that you may have many questions for us about this summer. To help you access answers to questions you may be asking, we have created a specific FAQ related to COVID-19. You can find answers to these questions below. In this FAQ, we cover a wide range of topics which we hope you will find useful, including additional steps we are taking to combat the spread of COVID-19 now and throughout summer, information about our cancellation policy and more.  Should you have specific questions that are not answered here please contact Camp Mendocino Administration ( or me (

We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty at this time, which is challenging for everyone. We will do our best to continue to keep you informed of any further updates or changes to our plans as soon as we can. We will reach out again in a few weeks.

Yours sincerely,
Sara Richardson
Camp Director

Camp Mendocino Health Advisory Update—3/16/2020

Dear Camp Mendocino Families, 


We want to assure you that Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco and Camp Mendocino are closely monitoring and assessing the guidance and recommendations from San Francisco's Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of all of our campers, staff, parents, and community are and will continue to be our top priority. 


We are still accepting applications and are looking forward to enrolling your campers for the summer.  If we must cancel one or all sessions this summer, due to health and safety concerns regarding coronavirus, refunds will be provided to families who have made payments. As we receive more information, we will let families know as soon as possible.


We recommend families, please take measures to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Wash hands with soap and water 

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

  • Stay away from work, school, or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough 

  • Consult your health care provider if you or your camper has special health conditions that put you at increased risk 

  • Follow the mandates issued by your local health authorities regarding non-essential travel and attending large gatherings


Camp Mendocino will continue to rely on the public health professionals in our city, state, and nation for guidance about the right precautions to take. We will continue to assess the situation very closely and will adjust our response accordingly. 


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Camp Director Sara Richardson ( or Camp Mendocino Administration ( 

While the rapidly changing news is unsettling, we have strong faith in the work of our public health officials here in San Francisco. For now, we encourage you to visit the outdoors with your immediate family, while avoiding contact with others (practicing social distancing).

Additional Resources:

Thank you for your support and understanding during this time. 


Camp Mendocino Administration 

© 2019 by Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco

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