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Youth Education



The ZACC is truly excited to be holding in-person youth camps and classes this spring and summer. To ensure the safety of all parties involved — staff, instructors, volunteers, and campers alike — we've implemented the following Health and Safety directives.



At the start of each camp day, a ZACC team member will greet families outside of a camp-dedicated building entrance to help facilitate a safe, socially distant check in process. Excluding special circumstances, parents are encouraged not to enter the building during check in or check out. The ZACC team member assisting with check in will record camper attendance, and ask that each incoming student sanitize their hands. The beginning times for art camps and music camps are staggered and take place in separate parts of the building to aid in contactless check in.

For pickup, ZACC staff will let campers know individually when their guardian has arrived to prevent congestion at the front of the ZACC. Weather permitting, students may wait outside accompanied by ZACC staff members. However, all campers must have verbal confirmation from the ZACC staff member performing check out before they can leave with their guardian.


We will require all instructors, ZACC team members, and students to wear masks at all times. 

Students should arrive to camp with their own mask. If students forget to bring a mask, we will supply one.


Common or high-traffic areas within the ZACC building will be outfitted with appropriate signage to inform social distancing, especially at gathering points or areas vulnerable to close proximity interactions like hallways, bathroom entrances, and building exits. With five bathrooms spread over two floors, the ZACC building allows for students in either rock camps or art camps to avoid contact with students from the other camp.


Each morning, all staff are asked to perform a self wellness check and not come to work if they have a fever or present other symptoms of illness. The ZACC will provide a contactless thermometer to monitor the temperature of any staff member or child that reports feeling sick. If a student is found to have a fever they will be removed from class and sent home. We ask that parents do not send their kids to camp if there are any signs of illness. 

All high-touch surfaces such as tabletops, chairs, and door handles will be sanitized several times throughout the day and all surfaces will be sanitized by custodial staff each evening.


All staff will be required to undergo training in personal COVID-19 wellness checks, community safety measures, and ways to keep the learning environment fun and engaging while maintaining those safety measures. Furthermore, individual staff will be dedicated to their group of approximately 5-10 campers with minimal interaction among groups over the course of the day. If separate groups do interact, it will be either outdoors or in a space that allows for adequate distancing.


To accommodate distancing and reduce material sharing, ZACC summer camps will be offered at a limited capacity — generally 10 students per visual art camp and 15 per music camp — unless the safety recommendations and requirements surrounding COVID-19 change and we feel it is safe for those numbers to increase. We will continue to monitor current guidelines and advice from health professionals and adjust our capacities as needed. However, we will also maintain a waitlist for all camps that fill beyond capacity in case new registration spots open up or capacity limits are raised.


Whenever possible, camps will be encouraged to conduct activities outside in Caras Park. Other camps that specifically mention the use of our new ZACC Art Van will venture beyond the park to areas around Missoula throughout the week. When riding in the van, all students will be asked to keep their masks on and windows will be opened for ventilation. The ZACC van will be sanitized with aerosol spray between uses. 

When outside — either at the park or elsewhere — ZACC Campers will be asked to continue wearing their masks unless they are stationary and distant from other campers. Hand sanitizer will still be available for use throughout the day.


Although these adaptations might be a little difficult for some kids, we will do our best to make sure that camp stays fun and there is a sense of normalcy. We will conduct surveys with parents prior to camp and make sure we are putting kids in groups that feel like a good fit to them. Siblings or friends who are already spending time together outside of camp will be put in the same groups. We will provide enough staff so that smaller groups have adequate supervision. Our new facility is a big space. We have five bathrooms, multiple classrooms, and excess space to make sure everyone can keep a safe distance, stay healthy, and still move around when they need to. At the ZACC, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our region and follow all evolving guidelines recommended by the C.D.C. and the Missoula City-County Health Department in order to prioritize the safety of our staff, students, and everyone in the ZACC family.



All art camps will be held in the Youth Education Classroom or outdoors whenever possible and will have an enrollment of 10 kids or less. Students will have an assigned seat to sit in every day and an assigned cubby for their things. Students will have dedicated art supplies that will either be used for the entire week or sanitized immediately after their last use. Only minimal sharing will take place between groups of ten or less. There are two sinks in the classroom and  hand washing will be required before snacks, before lunch, and other times throughout the day as needed. Hand sanitizer will also be available and frequent use will be encouraged upon any students return from the classroom and throughout each lesson.


All Rock Camps will have enrollment of 15 students or less. Campers will meet in the ZACC Show Room as a home base for the larger group at the beginning and end of the day and for any group activities. Students will be broken up into bands of five or less students and assigned a practice room and an individual instructor for the week. 

Throughout the day, bands will practice individually and then workshop their songs for each other on the ZACC Show Room stage. 

Instruments and bands will be predetermined based on a survey sent home to parents and students prior to camp. Students will be encouraged to bring their own instruments if they have them. If not, each child will be issued their own sanitized instrument at the beginning of the week that only they will use. Drums may be shared only on the main stage, but each camper will have their own sticks and the shared drum set will be wiped down with sanitizer between users. Campers will have the opportunity to personalize guitar picks, use them throughout the week, and keep them at the end of camp. Each singer will have a dedicated personal microphone for the entire week. At the end of each week, all instruments will be thoroughly sanitized. Campers may eat lunch in their large group, but only outdoors or in a space large enough to allow for proper distancing. Campers will be required to wash their hands before snacks, at lunch, and at other times throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will also be available to all Rock Camp students and frequent use will be encouraged throughout the day.


The Missoula Downtown Association will be allowing us to use the Caras Park stage for most of our summer camp performances to allow a safe, fun venue for the kids to share their songs in front of their loved ones. Caras is just a block away from our new downtown location so campers will walk down just before the performance on Friday afternoon. For any date where Caras Park is unavailable, alternative arrangements will be made.


Our Health and Safety Protocols are determined by assessing our current space, staffing, and material resources in consideration of best practices recommended by healthcare professionals as well as our federal, state, and local governments. While we will consider all qualified resources to guide us in our safety measures, we will continue to make our own informed assessments and lean towards caution when it comes to lifting the protocols we already have in place. Please understand that, even though some official restrictions or mask requirements may be lifted, the ZACC may continue with those standards until we feel it is safe for our ZACC family to ease them. 


Please visit our Cancellation Policies page for more information on how we are managing cancellations caused by COVID19.


Please use the following form to send us your questions, comments, or concerns, and our Education and Volunteer Coordinator, Joseph Kirk, will get back to you. Thank you!

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