The last month has been brutal for the camp industry. I don’t have a better way of putting it. Just forty days ago, 85% of you were planning to open camp, and today that figure stands at only 36%. I’ve read your letters, I’ve watched your videos, and I’ve been moved to tears numerous times. Whether you’re running camp this season or not, these days have been grueling.
Dealing with COVID-19 has been an overwhelming and intense rollercoaster ride for all of us. We’re all experiencing an immense mental and emotional – not to mention financial – toll. I think about you every day, and I hope you’re doing okay. I hope you are taking good care of yourself and your loved ones, and I hope you’re able to find peace and acceptance with whatever your present reality is. Please know that my team and I are here for you, whether you need help with CampMinder or you just need someone to talk to.
Despite the struggles of the day, never in my nineteen years serving camps have I felt this proud of, this connected to, and this inspired by our beautiful industry. Even with all the chaos and uncertainty that continues to cloud our vision, one truth has remained crystal clear to me: your sense of purpose.
You are in this for your campers, your families, and your communities. If you’re not opening, it’s likely out of love. And if you are, the reason is probably the same. Regardless of your outcome, the perseverance, passion, courage, and love you’ve displayed has been magnificent. And that is why I believe so deeply in our industry’s future.
While COVID-19 has been the centerpiece of our shared experience since early March, I also have to acknowledge the recent devastating events in Minnesota (and elsewhere) and their aftermath. The incredible injustices the Black community has shouldered for years have, once again, been plainly exposed for all to see. Between this and COVID-19, our world is going through a transformation of epic proportions. In every transformation there is crisis, but there is also hope for reform, recovery, and renewal. I believe our field has a critical role to play in this process.
At camp, we create community, we build relationships, and we extol the value of each and every human being – regardless of our differences. We have a tremendous opportunity to help shape today’s children into empathetic leaders who reject the unjust and inequitable ideas of the past. We have the power to bring people together by facilitating honest conversations and connections.
As we look toward the future together and dig deep to forge ahead, we can all be inspired and motivated by the meaning of our work. The power of camp is real, and it will help us heal.
With love and admiration,
Founder | CEO, CampMinder