|We were excited to be able to run camps this summer, and especially excited to kick off our new "Creativity" and "Gallimaufry" camps. We were looking forward to bringing joy to the kids who registered, serving alongside our church family, and most importantly, learning together about God and sharing the message of His gospel.|
Although we knew that our camps would be different because of COVID, we were hopeful that we could still run a compromised camp program this year.
However, in recent days, the complications created by COVID have made it no longer feasible for us to run camps. Some of these complications include the strict guidelines which require much additional planning and policy, the prohibition of offsite trips, the emphasis on camper and staff social distancing which would limit the interaction ability of all participants, and the requirements for extensive sanitization which would require a large body of volunteers and much time. All of this comes at a time when we are working out what it means to gather again as a church. In addition to this, many camps, with more resources and experience than we have, are cancelling their operations this summer. At this point, running camps would put a great strain on the volunteers, campers, and staff involved.
With all this in mind, after much prayer, research and wrestling, it is with regret that we write to inform you that we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel all three weeks of summer camp. This has not been easy, but we think it is the wisest plan.
Now, just because camps are over does not mean we will not get to share the gospel with families! Our camp staff are finalizing a plan to still bless families this summer. We are planning to make a personal visit to each of the families who have signed up for camp. We will spend some time with them, share gospel truth with them, and equip them with some activities for this summer (we are bringing a couple games, prizes and other surprises). More details on this alternative will come out soon!
Although this is not the outcome that any of us wanted, we are trusting that God has purposes and plans that are greater than ours. We are praying that He will use our staff to bless and reach out to many families this year. We are praying that connections between our church, community, and Christ would be forged in this season, and that God would be glorified as we sacrificially serve out of love.
Thank you to all of you who were praying for us, supporting us, and willing to spend your time serving at camps. We are incredibly grateful for your support. We are hoping and praying that next year we will be able to serve alongside all of you at Camp HBC!
Nathaniel Beach and Josh Slotegraaf