Summer 2020 Status
Dear Flat Rock River YMCA Camp Family,
For months we have been planning and gearing up for summer. Several weeks ago, we realized that in the face of the COVID-19 virus this would not be a “normal summer”. As such, we have been proactively and diligently working to make it a great “new normal” summer. In these efforts to maintain the safest possible camp program, we have engaged in weekly calls with and have been monitoring evolving guidelines with several national entities.
- YMCA camp directors, and others, from across the country
- State Government and Department of Health
- American Camp Association
- YMCA of the USA
Our team explored numerous options to keep camp divided into small groups and continually keep separated. We evaluated those same models to see if they could hold up through a couple rainy days.
When families send their children to camp, we fully grasp the level of trust placed with us to provide a safe, fun and transformational camp experience. We strive to make sure we uphold these expectations – to protect campers and staff and to make sure that Flat Rock River YMCA Camp is positioned to continue serving campers, families and guests for years to come – we recognized that we are unable to truly fulfill those expectations. With this reality before us, we determined we must cancel camp for the summer of 2020.
This was a heart-breaking and incredibly difficult decision and was not entered into lightly by our staff. There were some tearful moments. While it was a hard step to take, we feel it is important to remain consistent with orders, recommendations and guidance from government officials and healthcare professionals. Due to the many unknowns of this virus, and the trust that so many have put in Flat Rock, we have determined we cannot deliver the high quality experience that we promise and you expect.
We have also provided a video, from Mark, with the hope that your family will be encouraged as we move forward.
We appreciate the conversations, emails, patience, and support you have extended to us during these past few months as we worked towards the best next steps. If you would like to speak with someone at Camp, we as a staff welcome your call! We are here in the office Monday-Friday from 9 AM – 4 PM (EST) at 765-525-6730.
Mark Scoular, Executive Director
and the whole Flat Rock River YMCA Camp Team
Camp Executive Director Mark has a message for you!
We did. We looked at a variety of options including starting camp later in the summer with smaller sessions, reducing camper capacity, only certain age groups, smaller cabin groups, changes to schedules to limit the possibility of groups mixing, removing large group gatherings like chapel, campfires and a variety of options around meals and the dining hall. After thoughtful consideration, we decided none of the options could provide the safe and enjoyable high quality experience at Flat Rock River YMCA Camp that we promise and families expect.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to change course mid-summer. Due to the amount of preparation that goes into getting facilities ready and staff fully trained, we simply cannot safely open mid-summer. Additionally, for our seasonal summer staff, it would be unfair to think that they would put everything on hold in waiting to see if anything changed. BUT we are exploring possible late summer Family Getaway options and will keep you posted.
We absolutely understand this is just one more loss on top of what has been a season of losses. Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, Pediatric and Adolescent Psychotherapist, 2014 ACA Keynote Speaker and Best Selling Author of “The Whole-Brain Child, No Drama Discipline & The Power of Showing Up” has some practical suggestions for parents whose children will be forced to deal with the disappointment of not being able to attend camp this summer.
We are planning for a fall season of Outdoor Education and Groups & Conferences. Our staff team is working on any changes needed to provide an appropriate experience for all groups. If you are the primary contact for a fall group and have questions about your fall visit to Camp, please feel free to reach out to our staff team.
Flat Rock River YMCA Camp relies on donors and a community of supporters who care about our mission. With the entirety of our Spring and Summer programs cancelled, camp is going to need help to remain sustainable for the remainder of 2020. We’re sure you can imagine the financial strain Flat Rock in now under to meet the operational expenses of ongoing utility bills, upkeep of 270 acres of buildings, grounds and trails and the support of our full time staff team. For these reasons, this year, all annual campaign gifts will be directed to meeting these needs which will give us the ability to be ready for possible fall activity and 2021 programming. Making a gift to camp is a generous way to ensure that Flat Rock River YMCA Camp remains strong and ready to reopen.
- Keep some of our camp routines alive at home! At Camp, we start our mornings at Chapel, we know it helps set us off on a good path for the day. Reflective messages and prayers make a difference. Feel free to join us in this practice and add a little camp to the day. As with so many across the country, we’re praying for the spread of the virus to stop, for the health and safety of front line workers and medical teams and for those families impacted by the virus and all our Camp families.
- Enjoy some family-style meals and table chats just like we do at Camp. Pick some great conversation starters, maybe some fun family memories or stories about camp moments.
- Volunteer! When we can, we will have several volunteer days for our camp families and alum who wish to help us with projects around Camp. A variety of projects will be available including family-friendly options.
- Make a donation for the reasons listed above. Flat Rock River YMCA Camp needs and appreciates your help. Please remember Camp if your company offers matching gifts. We’d be honored to be your match!
- Notify us of any grants, foundations, or other funding opportunities you are aware of that could provide support to Flat Rock River YMCA Camp during this time. Please email Engagement and Development Director Debra Scoular or by phone at 765-525-6730.
Yes! Flat Rock River YMCA Camp is a not-for-profit charitable organization and all gifts are tax-deductible. Due to the new regulations of the CARES Act, your donation may be subject to a 100% “above the line” tax deduction for your 2020 income tax. Please consult your tax advisor for more details on this.