North Star Camp for Boys

Friday, May 1, 2020

Talking to the boys about camp

As we turn the calendar to May, I know that you and your boys are anxious to know what will happen with camp this summer. I am feeling it too. In hearing the campers’ questions, I wanted to communicate my thoughts for you to share with your sons.

Is camp going to happen?
We hope so, and we think there’s a good chance, but there are still many things outside of our control. Dan, Robyn and I know that a camp season filled with friendship, activity and the great outdoors would mean the world after these months of social distancing and isolation. That is why we are going to continue to fight for the opportunity to provide our boys with a safe, fun summer. We are mindful of the hurdles we must overcome in order to run camp this summer, but we don’t want to give up hope and we don’t have to at this time. 

Why don’t you know the answer yet?
There is still a lot of information that we need to make a good decision. The CDC has still not released its guidance for summer camps, and we expect that will come out in the next week. The American Camp Association has retained a
top public health firm which is set to provide camps with protocols for mitigating the risks of Covid-19, and that information should immediately follow the CDC guidance. And we are still working with the State of Wisconsin through the Governor's Office, statewide regulatory bodies, and our local health department to make sure we have permission to run camp and the community resources to do so safely.

When will you know the answer?
As soon as we have all that information from the outside experts, we will use it to guide our process for the summer. We have been working on in-depth plans for a wide variety of possibilities and will be ready to operationalize them in order to create the safest and most optimal camp experience.

But seriously, when will you tell us?
I can only ask for patience. I know other camps have canceled, but we feel that we owe it to our campers to take the time we need to make good, sound decisions based on the most current scientific data. If taking that extra time allows us to safely provide our boys with the empowering experience they deserve and need, then it will have been worth it.

What if I get Coronavirus at camp, or if somebody else does?
We will only open camp this summer if the expert guidance is that we can both medically care for campers with Covid-19 and continue to provide them with a positive experience at camp. There is a lot of research taking place to uncover why
children are less vulnerable to coronavirus, and we are tracking the data that shows that children generally present with mild symptoms. We are working with our own medical experts to ensure that our protocols at camp are strong and based on the latest scientific data.

Will camp be different this year?
Yes, absolutely. Coronavirus has caused us all to make changes in our lives and that will be true at camp as well. It may mean different schedules, dining procedures and alternative activities. But it will still be awesome. It will still include great friends, great counselors and fun activities in a beautiful outdoor setting. And I promise it will beat the pants off of playing Fortnite in the basement.

To reiterate:
1) We will only take campers or staff this summer if we are in a position to both adequately care for them and provide them a fantastic experience.
2) We will continue to live by our values, and always strive to do the right thing for the right reasons. 

I know I am asking for a lot of patience and flexibility. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t think it was important. I am so grateful for your trust and support and we will continue fighting for your boys.

Carry On,