Dear Camp Families –
For the past two months, we have been anxiously awaiting word that we would be able to welcome everyone to Melody Pines this summer. This past Friday, the governor announced that day camps will be allowed to open effective June 22nd under the Stay at Home 2.0 Guidelines for Day Camps.
This weekend, we worked tirelessly to find ways to make camp happen within these guidelines. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, there were just some obstacles we could not find our way beyond. At this point in time and have had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel the first half of our summer: Weeks 1-5 (June 15 - July 17).
Our number 1 priority has always been and will always be to protect the health and safety of our campers and staff, both physical and mental. Although the guidelines have put in place protections against the spread of COVID-19, they have put in place other restrictions such as masks, social distancing, and group size that simply do not work at Melody Pines.
We know how much our kids are struggling right now and how much they need camp. For kids, however, camp is about fun and being with the friends and counselors that they love. It is not in their nature to remain socially distant. To welcome children to Melody Pines only to tell them that they cannot join their friends in a game of gaga, swim together on a sunny day, or build a castle together in the sand is not fair to them. To require them to remain socially distant and wear masks in the heat of summer is not practical.
It is our greatest hope, that by canceling the first half of the summer, the COVID landscape will change in time and with it, the guidelines for Day Camps.
At this time, all camp registrations and deposits for Weeks 1-5 will be moved forward to the 2021 season with Week 1 beginning on June 14th, 2021. If you do not wish for your registrations for Weeks 1-5 to be moved forward to 2021, you will have until December 1, 2020, to cancel any/all of your weeks for a full refund, including deposits.
We ask that for now, you refrain from canceling additional weeks unless you know that you do not wish for your child to attend those weeks in 2020 or 2021 and that you refrain from making any additional payments for the Summer of 2020.
Please know that this was not an easy decision for us to make. We are not ashamed to say, we have shed many tears over the loss of the first half of the summer. For our family, camp is not just a job; it is our life. We thank you for your patience, support, and understanding over these past two months. If there is one thing we have learned from this experience, it is how important our campers, staff, and families are to us and how important we are to them.
We miss you all and hope to welcome you back to Melody Pines soon. Stay well.
Steve and Erika