Delanco Camp Community,
I hope that this letter finds you and your families well in the midst of these crazy days we have been living in during the spring of 2020. As you are certainly aware, the effects of Covid-19 have been felt across every aspect of our society. Even now, as plans are put in place for “reopening” and whatever “our new normal” looks like, there are still so many unknowns.
The Board of Directors met last night via Zoom. Our last meeting in March was just at the beginning of this season in our country’s life. At that time, we had hoped for a minor disturbance to the camp’s ministry, with the possible cancellation of Spring Retreat. That seems like ages ago! Our May meeting focused upon where we are now, what it would take for us to have camp this summer, and the necessary steps to get there.
Everyone present loves Delanco. Everyone present desperately wants to have camp. Everyone present felt the inescapable frustration between what we want to be true and the reality of the current situation. We spoke for over an hour, and every conversation kept coming back to one central point: We do not know how we can plan and execute Delanco 2020 in light of where we are currently. Specifically, a few key areas surfaced:
–Delanco is primarily volunteer driven in terms of our staff. Will our staff feel comfortable serving this year? Do they have the necessary vacation time to serve? What added stress upon our program directors, health directors, and counselors will come in 2020?
–Can we meet the expectations of parents, and parents of first-time campers in particular? While there are many who eagerly await “reopening,” we also know that many have a greater reluctance and concerns when sending their children away for a week.
–What rules, recommendations, and procedures will we have to incorporate in terms of masks, sanitation stations, visitor restrictions, testing, and social distancing? Can we meet these challenges while preserving the “Delanco experience” for our campers?
The reality is that we cannot proceed with confidence with our current summer program. Our board voted unanimously (with deep regret) to suspend the 2020 program. We will be meeting again in June to consider what, if any, alternative programming may be possible. If things rapidly improve, it is likely we plan and launch summer ministry in some form. It is also possible that we may simply open the camp for smaller groups (families, churches, etc.) as deemed appropriate by government and health authorities.
I will miss Delanco Camp this summer. My three kids will miss Delanco this summer. The youth group at the church I serve will miss out on opportunities to grow in Christ because there is no Delanco this summer. This is not what any of us wanted or hoped, and yet it is the place in which we find ourselves. I am confident that God will continue to use this crisis to advance His church. I am further confident that Delanco’s future is bright as we seek to come alongside families and churches in the work of the Kingdom.
Thanks for your ongoing support of Delanco Camp. Please continue to pray for our board and leadership as we attempt to navigate this current season. As you are able, I would invite you to consider supporting the ministry of the camp. There are ongoing expenses associated with the camp’s operation that are present whether we have summer camp or not. Thanks again for being part of the Delanco family.
May God continue to be glorified in all things!
President, Delanco Camp