Dear Campers, Families, and Friends,
It is with a heavy but convicted heart that I am announcing the cancellation of Camp Lakey Gap and Camp Sunshine summer programs for 2020.
I met at length with the executive director of Christmount, Rob Morris, and we discussed the possibility of opening for the summer. As always, our primary concern is the safety of our camp community. Every recreation program has inherent risks. As a Camp Director, I try to understand these risks and, through training, planning, and thoughtful execution, reduce the probability of anyone coming to harm as a result of their participation. The threat posed by COVID-19 is unlike anything either Rob or I have seen.
In our sometimes animated and robust discussions, we kept coming back to one simple fact: running our camps would greatly compromise the safety of our campers, their families, our staff, and our friends. Running down the rabbit holes of likely scenarios, inevitably we came across the grim outcomes resulting from the possible/probable introduction of COVID-19. Even anecdotal observations of related symptoms could be enough to shut down the program for weeks at a time, not to mention pose a substantial threat to the physical health of our camp community.
All of us are experiencing the difficulty imposed by this pandemic. We know many people are suffering, and that many people have lost employment or income. With that in mind, we are offering full refunds for any money paid. We are also offering campers the opportunity to transfer some or all of their balance forward to 2021. Families can also consider donating some or all of the money already paid to the program, which would help guarantee that the program survives the difficult year ahead. In the coming days, we will be reaching out to you regarding your preference.
I grieve with you. I have experienced the magic that happens here first-hand. I have seen the faces of our campers as they experience a new joy, read grateful letters from families, watched counselors grow, seen lives changed for the better. I want to be a part of helping more people to experience the wonders of Camp. In the end, even the incredible benefits of the program were not justified in the face of the potential risk. Your safety is too important to us.
We are exploring ways to stay connected with you throughout the summer, so stay tuned. While we will not share the same physical space, know that we will hold you all in our hearts. I look forward to seeing all of you again, and I am grateful to be a part of this community. Until then, stay healthy and safe.