Dear Camp Family,
By now you have likely heard that the school year for students in the state of Georgia will be completed online and that we are under a statewide shelter in place order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ve been schooling from home, working remotely, and stockpiling toilet paper - all things most of us never imagined doing when registration for camp began last fall. Please know you and your family have been in our thoughts, and in our prayers, as you’ve adjusted to this new reality.
Our camping ministries have been making adjustments along with you: from cancelling our spring retreat season for thousands of participants, to learning the latest CDC and WHO recommendations for screening people and sanitizing facilities, and even scenario planning contingencies for our summer camp programs.
Yes. We are working to be able to offer faith-forming experiences with Glisson, ELI, Grow, and Shoreline this summer.
We recognize that there are a variety of factors beyond our control that will influence our decision; we have chosen to prepare for scenarios where conditions allow for group gatherings in controlled settings such as summer camps, which could allow us to offer our full summer camp season. At the same time, we also are preparing for scenarios that include being able to offer less than a full summer schedule and, if necessary to keep our campers and others safe, even having to cancel our 96th summer of camp ministry altogether.
What does this mean for your family?
We currently have over 3,300 registered campers with more registering daily. Since we all hope for a full summer schedule of camp, we’d like you to know the following:
- We are immediately suspending any May 1st deadlines for full payment of fees. Fees will now be due on the Friday before camper check-in for all programs. If you have opted in for a monthly scheduled payment plan, your plan will automatically be recalculated in response to the new balance due date. If you would like to cancel your scheduled payments, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will honor all refund requests in full for any summer program that we cancel. Our timeline for that decision process is currently being finalized and we will keep camper families informed of developments as they occur.
- We will honor all refund requests for any reason even before we determine our ability to hold summer camp. We know this is a stressful time for you and your family. While we are working toward having summer camp and other possible alternatives, if removing this uncertainty about summer will make life more “sane” in a small way at any point, we want to help make your life better and will not enforce our standard cancellation policies. To request a cancellation, use this Cancellation Request Form.
This family of ministries has been building trust for generations. We have been and will continue to be monitoring developments in the spread of, fight against, and understanding of COVID-19, along with all our normal summer preparations, in the hope that we will be able to have summer camp this year.
However, we will not hesitate to cancel any or all of the summer season if we cannot operate with the best practices of care for our campers and society.
Please know that the safety and well-being of campers, guests, and staff is always our top priority. We will continue to honor your family’s trust as we adapt and move forward.
Many of you will be concerned about the operational health of our ministries given the loss of our spring retreat season and the threat of losing summer. The good news is that, thanks to the generosity of many donors over the years and the sound fiscal management practices of our staff and Board of Directors, we can manage the losses of this spring shutdown. Between deferring some maintenance and improvement projects, and our operational reserves on hand, we are able to respond to this crisis from a position of strength.
However, if conditions beyond our control cause us to cancel all or part of our 2020 summer camp season to ensure camper and public safety, we anticipate the impact to our ministries will be significant. This year’s income from summer camp operations was projected to provide 64% of our budgeted revenue. And while some of that income covers variable costs (food, utilities, etc.) that we would not incur, much of it sustains the year-round, fixed costs that make camp possible. We would ask that you keep that possibility in mind, and keep us in your prayers, as we all find our way through this unprecedented time.
And so, we continue to be grateful to be your partner in forming the faith, generating the grit, and developing the leadership of your camper - and for the strength to face this current challenge.
On behalf of the most committed and talented staff in camping,