We are devastated to announce that we have made the difficult decision to end the 2020 summer camp session early due to possible COVID-19 exposure from last week.
Monday, July 20, we received news from a parent that their camper, who was in attendance at one of our camp sessions July 13-18, tested positive for COVID-19, the only case we have had this summer. As a precaution, we recommend to the parents of each camper that they self-isolate and get tested in case of unknown exposure. This individual was not displaying any symptoms while they were at camp or when they returned home. Another member of this individual’s cabin was tested the same day and received a negative result.
When we received this information, we immediately isolated all counselors in contact with the camper until they could get tested, and they were not allowed to return to camp until they received a negative result. One of the counselors tested positive and is quarantining at home. As of this moment, we have received word of a total of five positive cases, all asymptomatic. Only one of these individuals was on property this week and was isolated immediately after discovering they had potentially been exposed. Currently, no individual on camp property has tested positive or shown symptoms, and we are hopeful the exposure was limited to a small group of individuals last week.
All parents of campers from last week (July 13-18), this week (July 19-25), and next week (July 26-Aug 1) have been contacted about this situation. Any parents with campers who were directly affected by the positive case were called, and everyone else was emailed.
As part of our protocols for a positive test, we met with the program committee of our board to discuss our next steps. The Board of Directors made the difficult decision to end camp early and cancel next week’s sessions, effective as of 2 pm today.
Our actions are strictly precautionary given the lack of rapid testing in our area and the inability to have staff tested in a reasonable amount of time.
We have had a great summer. We understand that even with the extensive steps we have taken, we couldn’t guarantee a COVID free summer. However, we could guarantee an escape for children away from virtual reality. Summer camp is more than just a fun place. It’s a place that offers structure and routine, positive social interactions, a healthy and active outlet, developmental growth, and so much more. We are really proud of our staff, leadership teams, volunteers, and campers who have risen to the challenge of changing every activity and logistical element of camp to ensure the safety of our community. We are heartbroken about this abrupt end to the summer of 2020, but the safety of our community is vital.
We are grateful to the nearly five weeks we were able to be in ministry together.
We are grateful, too, to all of you who have supported, prayed, and entrusted us with your campers. Your love and support paved the way for a successful partial summer season during a pandemic. It is surely one we won’t soon forget.