Please visit this page often as information will be added and updated as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop
Important Announcement Regarding Summer Camp 2020
Dear Friends and Families of the Wisconsin United Methodist Camps:
Above everything else, we hope and pray you are all safe. We think about our campers every day and during these last few months, that has never been more true.
After much thoughtful consideration and prayer, the Board of Camp & Retreat Ministries voted unanimously to suspend all summer camp programs at Pine Lake and Lake Lucerne United Methodist Camps for 2020. Over the last two months, we have wrestled with this decision daily. Our staff has consulted experts in the medical and camping fields as well as county and state health officials to try and make the best decision possible.
In over 70 years of continued operation, this is the first time anything like this has ever happened. We considered multiple operational models including shortening the summer or working within the restrictions and we could not reduce the overall risk to our campers, our staff, and their home communities to allow running a program that requires a closeness to be effective.
With all the factors, known and still unknown about COVID-19, we ultimately know that we must first and foremost keep our campers and communities safe. We hope you understand how difficult this decision is and how it weighs heavily on all of us as a time of great loss.
Acknowledging that this is a time of financial difficulty for many families, we want to be as flexible as possible with all who have registered for summer camp this year. We also want to invite families to consider supporting camp in a time that will be of great financial need as well. With that said, all families will have a few options to choose from and will hear from us via email on these options shortly:
- Transfer a deposit to a summer camp experience at Pine Lake or Lake Lucerne in 2021
- Receive a refund (full or partial) for payments made towards summer 2020
- Offer your deposit or payment as a sustaining gift to Pine Lake or Lake Lucerne
While we know that the decision of safety is always the correct choice, it does come at a financial cost to the camps. In the coming weeks and months, we will be inviting supporters to join us in financial sustainability giving opportunities to ensure that the long legacy of camp impacting lives at these sites may continue long into the future. We hope you will join us when the opportunity arises.
As we work our way through what may feel like a lost summer, please know that we are still actively looking at opportunities to bring the joy and message of camp to as many people and communities as possible this summer. We are already working on providing online and local programs that can help support families, churches and campers as we all continue to seek God’s love and grace each day. If a reduce in restrictions occurs, we may consider more and more programs that look like the camp we are used to.
Please be in prayer for the staff of the camps as we work through this unusual time and seek to continue to serve in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, for all the people we can, as long as ever we can. Of course, we will be praying for all of you until we can gather around the campfire again.
Site Director – Pine Lake Camp
Director Connectional Ministries – Wisconsin Annual Conference
Chair – Board of Camp & Retreat Ministries
What role will camp have once COVID-19 has passed?
After a time of social distancing and loss of connection through school and work, there is a need for relational connection. There will be a need to outdoor activity and deep breaths as we all process this experience.
Camp is designed to meet these needs. In addition to a return to “normal” life, a week at camp will encourage your camper to connect with others as we enjoy the camp activities that will stretch their legs and soothe their soul. Moments around campfires singing songs and sharing stories will be not just a camp experience but it will be a way to restore all of us to the fullness God has for us.
What resources would you recommend for our family in relation to COVID-19?
We are doing our best to provide resources on an almost daily basis through our facebook pages which can be found here:
Wisconsin Annual Conference Resources: https://www.wisconsinumc.org/