In discussions with our Board of Directors, Camp Directors, and Staff, these are the conclusions we came to in our decision to “go virtual” again this year.
- Currently our venues are allowing 50 people (not families, people) to gather. They are hoping that by summer that number will be more like 100, but they cannot give us any definite numbers at this time. For context, our smallest camp had 177 people participate in 2019 and our largest had 678. This includes family members, counselors, presenters, etc. It’s hard to fathom any camp without our beloved counselors, community volunteers, and presenters who make camp the authentic experiences they are.
- We went through the math – 50 people would be about 12 families with NO counselors or presenters. 100 people would be about 24 families with NO counselors or presenters. Our smallest camp had 44 families in 2019, our largest 161. The majority of our families would not be able to attend. Who would be able to come? How would we make it fair?
- We’d have to develop a lottery system to determine which families could come to camp. Our thoughts are that it would be much, much harder on a kid/family to sign up for the camp lottery and NOT get in, then to know now that we’ll ALL have the chance to be together virtually. How would you explain to your child that their best camp pal gets to go to camp, but they don’t, even though you did everything you could to make it happen?
- Even if Colorado reached herd immunity by June with 80% of the population vaccinated (the CDC is currently projecting that vaccines will not be open to the whole population until summer, with no set date). That is not enough time to effectively plan any of our camps. The directors asked for and deserve that time. Camp planning is a BIG task, and it takes much more than a month two to do properly and effectively. Our devoted volunteer Camp Directors and Coordinators want to be able to plan an AMAZING virtual camp, rather than trying to plan for a vastly different looking in-person camp that may end up not being possible in the long run.
- Our organization runs with a small staff of four, and a slew of volunteers we can’t do without. Constant temperature taking and monitoring of children (and adults) trying to stay 6 feet apart and wear masks is simply not within our bandwidth to do. We also run on a shoestring budget, so that camp is as affordable as possible for all families. Many of the camps around the country are 4 times the cost of one of ours. Another year of virtual camps will be a financial hardship for us we have not faced before, but we are determined to make it through with resilience and strength. We are grateful for every donation.
- This year, Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families is celebrating 30 years. Not being able to do that in person is SO hard, but we’ll make up for it 2022, and have some fun with it virtually as well! In those 30 years, a guiding tenant of our organization has been inclusion of ALL families who want to attend camp. Holding an in-person camp would preclude us from doing that. Our virtual camps will make it possible for all families to be included, and guarantees that we’ll still benefit from the incredible presenters, entertainment, activities, workshops, even food that are essential to who we are as Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families