June 15 Update
To start out this post, I’d like to thank all of those who have supported Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca in these past few months. It’s humbling and inspiring to see how God has provided for Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca through such gracious givers. It’s been nearly three months since we’ve had any retreat groups and, aside from our campground revenue, we have been able to generate very little income on our own as we’ve been planning and hoping for the best possible outcome. From all of the Camp staff, from our full-time staff, to our hourly and summer staff, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Our mission at Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca is to provide Christ-centered education, recreation, and inspiration for our campers and guests. Preparing to accomplish this mission in the midst of this pandemic has been among the greatest challenges faced in the history of Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca. There are ways we will accomplish our mission this summer, and we are excited for the opportunities we have before us, and for our campers to participate in them. Even though they may not be what any of us were hoping for, we pray God would bless our efforts this summer as we seek to serve our campers and their families.
On May 20th we announced our June plans to continue our day camp program but to suspend our overnight camp programs through July 5. In the time since that decision was made, and as we’ve tried our best to apply the guidance we’ve received from the CDC and the American Camp Association, it has become clear our decision was the right one. With that, we’re very sad to report that all overnight camps for the summer of 2020 are cancelled. This was a very difficult decision to come to, but we know it is the right one. We know this is disappointing news for so many campers and their families. A combination of challenges regarding camper and staff safety, human resources, camper housing and capacity, and camper experience made it clear that overnight summer camp just wasn’t going to happen.
This makes way for a new opportunity where campers who donate their deposit (or more!) will receive a family day pass, where their whole immediate family can come out to Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca for a full day to enjoy their favorite camp activities from the climbing wall and zip line, to horseback riding and swimming. All of our regular cabin group activities are ready for the whole family to come out and enjoy. We’ll be able to take up to four families per day, and you can come for as many days as deposits you donate, so if you have two children and you donate both deposits, you’re eligible to have two family day passes to be used on separate days. You can also request a full refund. Go to our website to donate your deposit or to request a refund. We’ll be sending Family Day Pass emails out within the week to begin starting June 23. All of our Bible studies, campfire skits, and WOW will all be posted online and emailed out to our campers for them to have, regardless of whether their deposit was donated or not.
We are actively making the decision to prioritize our campers’ health and safety over Camp’s finances. This decision mean we could be in for a pretty tough year. As I said my previous letter, we’re asking you to donate your existing summer camp deposit and/or fees in support of Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca so that we can continue in whatever limited way we are able to right now so that we can come back strong next summer. As I said earlier, you’ll also receive a family day pass to enjoy what God has given us here at Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca. We believe it will be great for campers to come out, even if it is just for a day. You can sign up for that here!
Finally, we’re not only continuing our day camp program, but expanding it to allow for campers who are going into 6th grade and adding more openings. As we’re not able to meet our standards for a safe and quality overnight experience, we can meet the requirements of a good day camp program. We’ll be able to take up to 30 campers per week, and there are openings in each week. We’ve also added a session over July 6-10. If you live in the area and still want a camp experience, please transfer over to one of our day camp sessions. We’re even going to bring components of our overnight program into the day camp to make it even better!
To recap, our all overnight camps for the summer of 2020 are cancelled. All day camp sessions are still on and we have added a session over July 6-10. We hope those who have lost their overnight camp session will be able to switch over to day camp or come enjoy Camp with their family under our Family Day Pass program. As the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic improves and progresses, stay tuned for updates at our website or on our Facebook page.
We sincerely hope you’re able to come out to Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca sometime this summer. As we sing each night to close campfire, may the Peace of the Lord be with you, my friends…