A Message to our Camp Community
Thursday, May 7th, 2020
Dear Camp Families,
For me, camp is more than a job. Like my parents before me, I have dedicated my life to Camp Birch Hill and I love what I do. Year after year, families trust us to care for their children and this year I feel the weight of that responsibility more than ever. I desperately want to give our campers the summer they deserve, but I cannot do that unless I am fully confident we can do so in a safe environment. It has taken a lot of courage coming to terms with the possibility that we may not be able to operate this summer. It is very hard to imagine a summer without camp.
In New Hampshire it is likely that it will be up to each individual camp to determine if they will open. In order to make this decision, we need to be as informed as possible. Over the past few weeks I have been involved in meetings with the American Camping Association, CDC, NH DHHS and the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association. I have sought council from the American Academy of Pediatrics and have been advised by our dedicated physician with the support of camp’s head nurse. The CDC is currently drafting guidance for both day and resident camps, and the American Camping Association’s panel of experts is prepared to help operationalize the guidelines. The CDC has asked camp professionals not to make major decisions until they have issued their guidance. I have chosen to support their efforts and will review their guidelines before finalizing changes to our summer sessions.
We will have an update for our camp families after we process these new camp guidelines. Within that update we will offer several options that will include changes to sessions, credits and refunds. It is important to my family that we do right by our camp families and handle this situation with integrity. If camp does happen this summer I promise we will rise to the occasion. If we are not able to run 2020 operations I promise we will continue to support you, our cherished camp community, knowing we will come back better than ever in 2021. The health, safety and wellness of our campers and staff will always come first.