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Covid 19 - Corona virus and NCC

Covid 19 - Corona virus and NCC

Posted on March 15, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covid 19 - Corona Virus and NCC

 Monday, May 18th 2020

Dear 2020 North Country Camps families,

We’ve made the heartbreaking decision to not open our regular camp program for the 2020 season – our 101st year in operation. After an enormous amount of consideration, research and discussion, we have very reluctantly concluded that it will not be possible for us to provide a camp experience this summer that remains true to our ideals, while also ensuring the health and safety of our campers and staff. We know this decision will be very upsetting to our campers and our entire camp community. We wish with all our hearts that NCC could offer a much-needed haven for our campers, but we must prioritize the safety of your children, your families and our staff above all else. As much as we dislike it, we’re confident it’s the right thing to do.

We would like to help manage your child’s disappointment and help them stay connected to camp and the camp community. We’re open to suggestions and have every desire for NCC to remain present in our campers’ lives. We plan to call each camp family over the next week to answer your questions and hear from you how we can help soften this blow for your children. Acknowledging this information may travel quickly through social media and other avenues of communication, we encourage you to share this development with your whole family as soon as possible.

For those campers in the 2020 Work Group this summer, we understand the impact our decision has on them. In particular, Work Group summer is a rite of passage for many and a wonderful closure to a childhood spent on the shores of Augur Lake. We know they have been looking forward to being leaders in the community, being role models to younger campers and enjoying special activities and events. We want them to have a chance to fill that role. For these reasons, we will provide an opportunity for the 2020 Work group to be at camp during the 2021 season instead. We will do so in a way that will not diminish the experience of the 2021 Work Group. Although this is unusual, as a tight-knit community who all care for each other, we know this is the right thing to do for our 2020 Work Group.

With a key component of camp life being ‘flexibility’, we have worked hard to develop an alternative opportunity for our camp families. In lieu of a regular camp season, we will aim to offer a ‘Family Camp’ this summer. All current camp families will be eligible to register. We know this will not come close to replacing the camp experience for your child, but it’s one way we can share our incredible space, while providing you the opportunity to maintain oversight of your family’s safety. We have included a description of Family Camp and how we plan to run the program. Please let us know if you have questions. We are also pleased and grateful that the Chief’s Fund is prepared to support families who may need financial assistance to attend Family Camp. We will open registrations in the near future and will send an email with a link to sign up.

We’re offering a number of options for how to handle deposits and fees that have been paid. Of course, any refund requests will be honored. We hope your children will join us in 2021 and we will credit your deposit toward a 2021 registration if you’d like. If you choose this option we are willing to lock in the 2020 rate for the 2021 season. Deposits and fees can also be applied toward Family Camp registration. Alternatively, you may choose to convert all or part of your deposit and fees into a tax deductible donation to the North Country Camps Foundation. Your support would be welcomed and greatly appreciated, especially at this time when a summer without normal camp operations will place unanticipated strain on our finances.

We are overwhelmed by the support and understanding of our community. We have no doubt that our collective Pioneer Spirit will carry us all past this challenging time and into a wonderful, rejuvenating 2021 season. We look forward to speaking with all of you. We send our very best wishes to you and your incredible children.

Sincerely,

Kate, Doug and the NCCF Board of Directors

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Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

To our incredible NCC community,

You all remain in the forefront of our thoughts as we work hard to evaluate our options for the coming summer during this uncertain time. Our primary goal now, as always, is to ensure that we keep our campers and staff safe.

We have been drawing on a range of professional resources including the American Camping Association, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  We understand there will be more specific guidance from DOH and CDC shortly.  We expect that this guidance, together with the other work we’ve been doing, will help us answer some important questions such as:

  • Can we ensure that our staff and campers arrive virus-free? Will testing be available? Are we able to quarantine successfully prior to the start of the camp season?

  • What would be the practical implications of potential required measures like use of masks at all times? Limitations on Activities? Limitations on numbers in dining halls and cabins? 

  • How do we maintain social distancing in a setting like ours that has long been dependent on social interaction and the building of community? 

  • Can we successfully implement whatever measures may be required while still preserving the essence of that special NCC experience?  For example, if we cannot run a trip program this summer how would that affect the experience of our campers?

Of course, there are many other factors that we must consider.  Ultimately, to move forward with this season we need to have a high degree of confidence that we can do so safely while also ensuring that we provide the same high quality experience for our campers that has made NCC so special for the last 100 years.  Our goal is to reach a final decision about the coming season by no later than May 26, and sooner if we can. 

We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

directors@northcountrycamps.com

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The Corona virus and the global response to it represents an unprecedented chapter in our history.  We recognize the potential effect on camp and on the world at large.  We know, however, how resilient and resourceful our North Country Camps community can be. We hope you are staying safe, remaining conservative in your approach to this pandemic and taking care of yourselves and those around you.

2020 Camp season status

We are continuing to look forward and plan for camp as we normally would.  At this point, we have every reason to believe that we will be proceeding with the 2020 season.  We will continue to make updates to this page as the situation unfolds over the coming months.

We share your concerns about the potential impact of Covid 19 on the 2020 camp season.  It's difficult for us and for our families to have so many unknowns as we approach the summer.  Over the past month or so, we've been trying to look at many different scenarios for how the camps could be affected and how we can respond.  There are still too many unanswered questions for us to have a clear picture of how this summer will look, but here are some things we do know:
First, we're staying in close contact with the NYS Dept. of Health and the American Camping Association, as well as with our local state officials.  Our eventual plan for the summer will be developed in consultation with these regulating bodies and strongly influenced by the requirements and suggestions they give to us.  As of now, there has been no guidance.  What we hear is that we should be receiving more information from them by early/mid-May and that most decision-making is coming from the Governor's office.  Second, our primary concern will be the safety and well being of our campers, their families and our staff.  If camp is able to operate this summer, there will definitely be new procedures designed to reduce the potential for a virus to spread at camp and we will communicate those to you ahead of time.  We are keenly aware of how many people are anxiously awaiting word on the camp season and trying to formulate plans around it.
We will be in touch with families as soon as we have more solid information about the summer.
We understand what a devastating impact a cancelled (or even shortened) camp season could have for our campers and their families. It is clearly something we wish to avoid.

We all know that camp would be just what children need right now!  Don't hesitate to be in touch with questions.

Recruitment of new campers

Although we are suspending any recruitment travel or camp-related events or gatherings, our recruitment efforts are continuing.  If you know of families still looking for a camp, this is a great time to learn more, by contacting Doug or Kate (directors@northcountrycamps.com). We will happily conduct online video meetings with families and can still share our slide show with potential campers. So please be sure to remind friends and families to think ahead to the summer.

Entertainment

We are all going to start getting creative about how best to keep our children engaged and fulfilled while remaining home from school.  We will create a list of fun ways to pass the time and welcome input and suggestions from you. Let us know what you are doing with your families (directors@northcountrycamps.com) and we can share those ideas here for our community to benefit.

Stay tuned!

Imagining so many of you cooped up at home, we have had some grand schemes and ideas about how we can stay connected on a virtual level. Perhaps some online Wheezing, Blogging, activity planning, maybe even a virtual concert.........?!  Social distancing is an important physical concept, but doesn't have to apply to our collective camp spirit!  More to come …

Leave No Trace
ACA

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