Dear Church Ministry Partners,
It is with an extremely heavy-heart that I write this letter to you all today. Due to the ongoing health concerns with COVID-19, we will not be hosting in-person camps this summer, 2020. Information will be sent out to parents and our larger community momentarily.
We know this will be incredibly difficult for our campers and their families to hear. We also hope and pray they will see and understand why we had to make the decision we did.
We also know your church communities are experiencing their own loss as well during this time and we hope we can support you with our ongoing efforts to create community in this new [temporary] normal.
Attached you will find a letter with a preconceived FAQ that you and/or families may want to know. Please distribute as you see necessary. In addition, our site currently has a slightly expanded FAQ and we will continue to update that area as new questions or concerns arise. (Montlure.org/covid-19)
However, as we have been monitoring this situation closely, and as I personally went through an emotional roller coaster, I have become excited about the new possibilities on our new horizon. This summer, we are not canceling camp, we are reimagining camp. We will be hosting virtual summer camp online in June, followed by several weeks of small group check-ins, and additional/optional camp workshops.
Montlure Virtual Camp registration will be open this Sunday, Easter, April 12.
June 7-12 for campers entering 7-12th grades
June 14-19 for campers entering 1-6th grades(the following 4-6 weeks will be comprised of camper check-ins and camp workshops)Cost: $50 for Tier 1, $95 for Tier 2, $135 for Tier 3*
We are offering camp based on a self-selected Tier depending on financial circumstances. We know many families are going through financial difficulties or are uncertain about their financial future. With this in mind, we are offering Tier 1 at just $50 per camper, where Tier 3 is closer to the actual cost for camp. This camp fee includes the week of camp, the program materials, and the check-ins for the rest of the summer.We encourage families to pay more if they are in a financial place to do so and to be able to help keep the costs lower for other families.
Each camp will have various times to log into large group connections, energizers, songs, games, and teachings as well as breakouts for small group discussions, games, sharing a meal together each day, and more. This will be our biggest “community” aspect as we learn how to be authentic and vulnerable in a new way. Intertwined into the times campers will login online, they will be given self-directed activities and tools to use to unplug and engage Sabbath practices and our teachings.
One of Montlure’s values will always be “unplugged.” While we have to make some concessions to use technology in order to connect with campers, we are committed to providing opportunities to unplug and hopefully for most campers, even engage nature; albeit through their backyard, out on an apartment balcony/patio, or even through looking out the windows. We will work with what a camper has. This past month, while I have been encouraged with how many online resources are being provided to families, it has also made me realize how even more important it will be to learn how to unplug. We will do everything we can to make sure this message, as well as the experience, is practiced at camp this year.
They say in the face of crisis, you learn to take risks. Fortunately, I am confident these are risks worth taking right now. I am incredibly fortunate to work with a team that is creative and adaptable, let alone the passion to carry through this adversity. If you ask any camp staff (or even volunteer), you will know that the nature of camp simply demands adaptability. Hardly anything goes as planned, and nearly everything is adapted depending on unforeseen variables. Of course, the variables unforeseen due to COVID-19 are off the charts…but…I still see an incredible opportunity for growth and the ability to creatively explore how to build authentic community in the midst of our circumstances. When camp staff already knows what it’s like to go from Plan A to Plan K on a moment’s notice, we are now working very hard to reimagine camp completely and bring the best of our talents and resources to our community. It may not be the camp experience we originally imaginge, but it will be one we never forget.
Finally, we know that churches are also being hit hard with the impacts of this virus and we know budgets may be strained beyond what we could have ever prepared for. Recognizing that, we humbly ask you to consider if your community is able to give to Montlure. 100% of what is given during this time will go directly to our summer programming as we are trying to keep costs at a minimal to the families who are experiencing financial hardships at this time.
Together we join you and your communities in prayer that we all may find transformation in the midst of these circumstances and that the Church may continue to offer healing, restoration, and reconciliation to those around us.
Together in these uncertain times,
Kellie von BorstelMontlure Camp DirectorCamp@Montlure.orgMontlure.org
C: (480) 516.4631