Parent Update #6 5-23-2020
Thank you for your patience and understanding over the last 2+ months as we have gathered information and waited for guidance from health officials and trusted resources. The health and wellbeing of our camp community has always been our top priority and has guided our decision-making process. In addition to considering health implications of operating this summer we have also been considering the barriers to running a camp program while maintaining social distancing practices.
After many conversations with local and State Health Officials we know that there would be significant limitations on the way we could operate this summer. At this time, we know that we would not be able to offer the quality of program that we are so proud of here at Catalina Sea Camp and that you have come to expect. It simply would not be possible for us to gather at campfire, in the dining hall, or even play large group games. Camp, as we know and love it, is not possible right now.
It is with a very heavy heart and after much consideration, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel our 2020 summer season.
Our hearts are broken, but we are confident that this is the wisest decision for our campers, our families, our staff, and the hundreds of individual communities from which our campers and staff come.
Please watch this video and share with your camper(s).
As you can imagine operating without our summer income will provide some distinct challenges. We ask you to seriously consider rolling your tuition forward to 2021 or if your family is in a position to do so to make a donation of part or all of tuition that you have paid to help camp bridge the financial gap until our next season. A donation may ensure that Catalina Sea Camp will be here to serve more children for years to come. Your donation will be tax deductible as we are a 501c3 non-profit organization.
As for the next steps, early next week, we will email each of you with details about your next steps, including your different rollover and refund options. For now, we want to give you all some time to process this news.
We have always known what makes camp so special is the campers. We can all carry the spirit of Catalina Sea Camp with us until we can gather together again. We will get back to all the things you love about camp – the laughter, the ocean, the friendship, the fun, and gathering around the campfire. We can’t wait to see you all here again!
Catalina Sea Camp Leadership Team
Parent Update #5 – 5-13-20
Greetings from Catalina Sea Camp! We thank you and your family for your understanding and flexibility during this uncertain time. Many have sent very warm emails of support and encouragement which have been much appreciated by our team as we all navigate through some seriously uncharted waters. It is important to remember that our environment is ever changing. This information is the most current but can change based on government guidelines, CDC protocols or other factors.
We strive to give our families the most transparent and frequent communication that we can provide regarding camp this summer. Camp is by design an experience that promotes social engagement, and we are working to modify that experience to the best we can. This continues to be a moving target as news and local orders continue to change frequently and often contradict each other. Catalina Sea Camp is continuing to move forward with preparations for operating in a modified fashion this summer as permitted by local and state health officials. We know that many of you are looking to make decisions regarding your summer plans. To help inform your decision, we wanted to explain some of the specific challenges we are facing:
- Camp Safety Protocols: Our team is still awaiting some key information that will allow us to finalize our protocols and modifications that will have to be made for this summer. That key information will come from the detailed field guide that the American Camping Association is creating in collaboration with expert consultant Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc (EHE) as well as guidance from our local health department. Once this information is released, our team will be reviewing and evaluating what adjustments need to be made to our current practices and communicating those modifications with our families.
- Program Details:
- We feel that we will not be able to run programs in June, which means we will have to reschedule our 1-week programs for July and August. We are currently working on those options for our 1-week registered campers and will be presenting them very soon.
- We are unable to provide airport pick up this summer. Campers will need to be dropped off at the boat terminal in Long Beach, CA by a parent or guardian. We will be reaching out directly to all families that have indicated airport pickup in their registration.
- Families that remain registered will have the ability to cancel for any reason at any time and receive the below options.
- It has been advised that campers travel in cohorts. Traditionally, campers had the option to choose their activities with groups mixing each day. In order to reduce cross contamination between groups, our campers will likely stay with their cabin groups for their daily activities.
- We are watching guidelines for group capacity sizes, social distancing requirements, and restrictions on location-based populations. We feel these things may be the biggest factors that could alter this summer. This includes the possibility of cancelling our summer program.
While we plan to continue to update our families on details regarding program modifications, we did want to share the options available to your family – please read through carefully:
Option #1: Remain In Current Enrolled Session and Await Modification Updates
As mentioned above, we are hopeful to run a modified program this summer and are working to provide full details to our families soon on timing, duration, safety, and programming protocols soon. Please note: you will be able to cancel for any reason at any time this summer.
Option #2: Roll Deposit to a Future Summer with Additional $100 Credit
If you choose to roll your deposit to Summer 2021 and on, we will credit your account an additional $100 to be used for a future summer.
IE: If you credit your $300 non-refundable deposit to Summer 2021, we will credit your account $400 for future summer and your spot will be secured for next summer.
If you have made additional payments or paid in full, you can roll the entire payment amounts, or just the $300 non-refundable deposit and the remaining balance will be refunded.
Option #3: Full Refund (including Non-refundable $300 Deposit)
We understand that the current situation has created many unknowns for our camp families. If you need to cancel your camp session for any reason, we will refund your $300 non-refundable deposit. Please bear with us as we work on a timeline to refund these deposits to families.
Option #4: Donate Your Deposit to our Financial Aid Fund
During these tumultuous times, we ask that you consider donating your deposit to the Guided Discoveries Campership Fund in any amount. Many of you may not know that Catalina Sea Camp is operated by Guided Discoveries which is a charitable non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization. This year, all charitable donations, regardless of the amount, are 100% tax deductible.
Each year, our programs operate enrichment summer camps and also engaging outdoor education school programs. Nearly 1,500,000 young people’s lives have been positively impacted by their experience at one of our programs during the past 42 years. With your support we will continue operating for years to come. We are in need of benefactors to help us during these times of recovery. If you are interested in additional charitable giving opportunities, please email our founder, Ross Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please review these options and let us know what your family would prefer. Again, we are so appreciative to our Sea Camp community for their support during this difficult time. It is with heavy hearts that we communicate these updates to you. If your family is not able to attend this summer, we sincerely hope to see you next year.
Please know that we are doing everything within our power to run Catalina Sea Camp this summer. We are aware how important camp will be for our children this year. However, due to governmental policies and guidelines that are out of our control, there is a real chance that we will not be able to run our programs this summer.
We are disappointed we cannot offer a full summer. We are hopeful to provide a space for campers in July and August. While it might look different than previous years, the magic of Catalina Sea Camp will remain. We appreciate everyone’s understanding while we make these challenging decisions. We are working our hardest to be able to serve our campers this summer. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
We hope your family and loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy.
Paul “Butterkup” Kupferman
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