DEAR CAMP COMMUNITY,
As we approach the end of 2020, I wanted to take a moment to give you an update on Camp Copneconic. While we’ve certainly faced adversity this year, I want to focus on the positives of 2020, and a look forward to what 2021 will look like here at camp.
We began 2020 with a snowy winter Outdoor education season and hosting the Mid America YMCA Camping Conference. It was an honor to play host to 250 camp directors from across the Midwest. In March, we started our Spring outdoor education season, but partway through our first group’s 3-day trip, coronavirus arrived in Michigan and the rest of our year shifted dramatically from what we had planned.
As soon as coronavirus arrived, we pivoted to continue meeting the needs of our community in new and innovative ways. We started a feeding program making and delivering dinner and snacks for the Flint community. Since March, we’ve served over 130,000 free meals to the youth of Flint. We created a Camp at Home program- sharing over 100 activities, videos, challenges, and stories for families to participate in while isolated at home.
While we were heartbroken to cancel our summer camp programs, we were happy to welcome campers back starting in September. For 6 weeks, we operated School Year Day Camp – a program for students to complete their virtual schoolwork at camp with education support and camp activities. In November, we restarted this program with grant funding through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. We were happy to provide the same program free of charge to 60 youth from Flint. In addition to the academic support and camp fun, we provided transportation from 3 sites, healthy meals, and school supplies for the kids enrolled.
Looking forward to 2021, we are filled with optimism that we will have Summer Camp once again. While we know that we likely won’t be back to “normal” by Summer, we’re confident that we’ll be able to offer a safe, equitable, transformational summer camp program once again. While we’re still finalizing details on how camp will return, we know a few things: right now, we’re planning on operating both day and overnight camp. We’ll have smaller group sizes and fewer sessions, and will have protocols in place to ensure the kids who come to camp are safe while they’re here. We plan to open registration in February, and will continue to update our plans as necessary.
Thank you so much for sticking with us through this year. We are so proud of the work we’ve done, and so excited to keep going next year, and it couldn’t have happened without the support from our camp community.
Happy holidays and we’ll see you in 2021!
Brandon & The Camp Copneconic team