May 20, 2020
Dear Camp Alsing Families and Friends,
Thank you for your continued patience as we examined a decision that weeks ago was unimaginable to all of us. As you might expect, we have decided that it is not safe enough for us to run Camp Alsing this summer and we will need to cancel camp for Summer 2020.
At the foundation of every decision made at Camp Alsing is a commitment to the well-being of our campers and staff. Our current reality presented too many potential threats to that well-being.
For the last 8 weeks, our team has analyzed the situation from every angle. We have been optimistic problem solvers, believing that we could overcome any obstacle. We have consulted medical experts, professional associations including the American Camp Association and the Maine Summer Camps Association, trusted colleagues, and governmental authorities. After running each scenario, as the summer drew closer, we returned to the same conclusion each time – that we are unable to acceptably mitigate the health risk presented by COVID19 to our campers, staff and families. If it could be any other way, we would have made it so.
Every camp is different, and you will likely learn of some camps that do choose to open. Their circumstances might make it possible to do so safely, or with minimal risk. Knowing that this decision causes pain for our campers was by far the hardest part, but in our hearts we know it was the safe and caring choice to make for Camp Alsing.
To our campers – I want to say that if you feel sad, angry or frustrated – I get it. I feel that way too. I have shed many tears in this process. I wanted to share more of my thoughts, so I decided a video was the best way to do it, so here goes:
Campers and Staff: This Sunday, May 24 at 10:30am we will have “brunch” together via Zoom. Grab a bagel and some juice, (or whatever brunch fare you wish, Emily’s not there to keep you from the sugar cereal!) and join us to talk camp and have some laughs together. The link will be sent in a separate email.
Our kids might just be sad for a bit, and we need to expect that. Encouraging campers to talk about what they love about camp can help them through the process. Writing a letter or calling a friend can also be helpful. Simply recognizing that this is hard can be helpful and letting them feel that pain. As parents, we are quick to try and solve a problem. This is a challenge that will simply need to be felt for a while. After that, kids can talk about things they might want to do this summer, and some small goal setting for the months ahead.
We will communicate financial information to families in the coming weeks.
Thank you again for your understanding and patience as we chart this course. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions and we will be in touch soon.