Dear Summer Camp Directors,
The world is a chaotic place right now. We see it on the never-ending news cycle, we hear the stress it in our loved ones’ voices over FaceTime, and we feel anxiety well up within ourselves. Uncertainty creeps around every corner, and it may feel as though decisions demand attention before you can have all the information on hand.
I wanted to write this note, from a fellow lifelong camp enthusiast, to encourage you. You’re not alone. I heard a sermon message lately that explained, “We’re not all in the same boat, but we are weathering the same storm.” I may not understand how to help your small camp in the Carolina mountains that may be struggling to meet payroll or be able to support your top-notch conference center in California, but I can offer a few comforting words and a healthy dose of empathy.
In a season that would normally be filled with preparation for our most intense time of service and ministry, we now stay up at night wondering if there’s enough money in the bank to support a potentially shorter camping season. We wonder how to tell our staff about upcoming decisions. We think about how to send camp to guests virtually. So many questions, so many variables. While we cannot claim to intimately understand each other’s specific struggles and worries, we are all in this together.
In times like these, I always find it helpful to come back to the core things I know to be true in my own life. For example, I serve a God who is not surprised by the latest news updates. My camp friends truly are some of the best friends, even when distance forces us apart. I believe in the gifts of eternal grace and love. Things always look better after a good night’s sleep. I still know that staring at the stars, the mountains, the sea, or the trees helps put everything back into perspective.
Focusing on the good, not the unknown, is what will help get us through these times. Whatever your own list may be, I encourage you to write them down and put them in your phone, by your #SaferAtHome workplace, or by your bedside. Let your list permeate your mind and calm you when the anxiety starts to rise.
While our camper beds lay empty, and our phones are quieted, let this be a time of intentional rest and Sabbath for ourselves, our staff, and our land. Spring is coming. Better days are ahead. Camp will forever be camp. And we’re in this together.
A fellow camp enthusiast
PS There are resources out there to support you and your camps. Check out: