Closing our June Sessions
As we enter May, no words can express the sadness we feel as we announce the closure of our June sessions (June 6 – 26: Main Camp A+B, Mountainside MS1A+B, Riverside 1, and Young Leaders 1). Knowing how much all of us need camp right now, we explored many options to be able to open in June. After considering Governor Cooper’s three-phase reopening plan and dialoguing with numerous medical and camping professionals, we believe this difficult decision is the right one for our campers, staff, and community.
Closing our June sessions was an extremely difficult decision to make, and we know you must be as heartbroken as we are. It is hard to imagine not greeting our staff in May and welcoming our first campers to Gwynn Valley on June 6. Canceling sessions has both an emotional and financial toll for camp, and we suspect many of you are facing hardships equal to or greater than ours.
What about the rest of the summer?
The State of North Carolina, the CDC, and the American Camp Association are working to release guidelines and recommendations for camps, which we hope to see in the next two weeks. These guidelines may or may not allow for the operation of camp later in the summer. As we all know, opening camp will depend on many factors relating to the pandemic.
Our sincere hope is that the forthcoming guidelines will permit us to host at least a portion of our summer. We will continue to make decisions based on recommendations from the CDC and the NCDHHS, current information, and what we feel is best for our campers and staff. If there are to be any further changes to 2020 summer sessions, we will let families know with as much notice as possible.
The top scientists worldwide are working on treatments and a vaccine for coronavirus, and we are all doing our part to help decrease the spread of this illness. Although it feels far away right now, we will gather together in community again. One of the great life skills learned at camp is resilience, and this pandemic is giving us many opportunities to discover new ways to meet our mission. If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll celebrate the simple joy of singing camp songs by joining one of our virtual “singing in the lodge” sessions or participating in other online camp programs that will be offered this spring and summer. If there is a part of camp that you or your campers especially enjoy, let us know! We’ll see if there is a way to show or involve you remotely.
We want to reassure our families whose sessions just closed that we are committed to working with you to either roll over tuition paid, provide a refund, or a combination of the two depending on what is best for your individual family.
In conjunction with any of the refund options above, you may elect to allocate a portion of your refund or tuition rollover as a donation to the Gwynn Valley Campership Foundation. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your donation is tax deductible.
About Gwynn Valley Campership Foundation Donations
We believe strongly that camp should be made available to children across socio-economic lines. The Gwynn Valley Campership Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit, helps realize this value by providing scholarships to campers. In 2019, the Campership Foundation allocated $37,000 in scholarship funds, and an additional $100,000 of Gwynn Valley’s operational budget supported camper financial aid. This funding may be more important than ever for the 2021 summer, since we anticipate that the year ahead will bring financial hardship for many in our country.
How Can We Help?
We imagine you may have questions. If so, please feel free to call or email us. We appreciate your patience as we move through this process and thank you for your support. We are holding each member of our Gwynn Valley community in our hearts.
Our best to you and your family,
Anne and Grant (Owners and Directors)