Dear Sangamon families,
We’re writing today to announce that we’ve made the difficult decision to suspend operations for the summer of 2020. The guidance made available to us shows a number of paths to some sort of physical operation, but none of them allow us to open in a way that we feel works for us, or for you. Camp Sangamon values the safety of each member of our community, and it has become clear that with the current state of scientific knowledge about COVID-19 we cannot find a safe way to operate camp.
Getting to this point was a complex process and we waited as long as we felt was possible before making the call. The guidance we received from the American Camping Association, the State of Vermont, and the Centers for Disease Control was all taken into account as we ran through various scenarios. Unfortunately, each new answer raised more questions, and when the decision-making dust had settled it became clear that we don’t have enough accumulated knowledge to open this summer.
For those of you who have made payments beyond the initial deposit, there are several options available: you may choose to receive a refund, you may choose to apply your payments towards programing in summer 2021, or our nonprofit partner, the Vermont Campership Fund, is willing to accept any payments as tax deductible donations. We usually use these payments to open camp and, if you are able, rolling over your payments to 2021 will be significantly helpful to us. If you would like to credit your payments to next summer or make a donation, please let us know. If we don’t hear from you, we will process the refund and you will receive it as soon as possible. We are committed to providing refunds as quickly as possible, but please be aware that our Spring operating costs come directly out of your tuition payments. That is true this year, and many of our fixed costs will still exist this summer even without campers. Because of this, we will need to liquidate some of our “rainy day” assets in order to issue your refunds. We will do our best to be expeditious, but please bear this in mind as we work through the process.
Camp Sangamon will not go virtual or offer a daily online program. We will, however, be regularly updating our Home Learning Resources Page on Facebook, sharing electronic editions of The Chirrup, and working to create new ways for our community to feel unified in this difficult time. Sangamon’s community and ethos has always operated beyond the physical space of camp and we hope that you will find ways to connect and support each other. Please reach out if you need contact information for any of your son’s camp friends or staff and we will help to make those connections happen. We will be here for each other, and for you, and we will look forward to next summer when we can again adventure together in Vermont.
This decision is the most challenging Camp as an entity has had to make during our time leading it. It hurts our hearts and our souls to not offer camp to you all this summer, but we will get through this and camp’s sense of community will remain fierce and strong. Please reach out with any questions, thoughts, or anything, really. We’re here to support you, and we appreciate your support.
Best to all of you.
Jed & Darcey