As we began returning to work and running programs in June, like everyone, I had to ask, “What does this look like for Camptown?” Many of our program partners had cancelled their summer plans and others had reduced their numbers and implement-ed stay in place policies. In other words, no field trips. We did have a few groups that managed to return to a somewhat normal summer. Safety of our youth participants, adult chaperones, and staff has always been paramount. We rolled out our 4 S’s of Covid prevention (Screening, Small Groups, Social Distancing, and Sanitation). This helped us to communicate not only the precautions we were taking, but also the expectation we had of our program partners. As we began our planning to return to programming, I thought it would be very easy to get off mission just to keep busy. Instead, we have focused on our mission and how can we still deliver impact during these times. We already work outdoors with small groups. During the summer, we do typically have some large group programs, but these we even break into smaller groups. With this eye on mission, we talked with our pro-gram partners to see how we might help. Based upon their feedback we started offering more transportation services, took our programs to them, and focused on our small group programs. This has been challenging at times. Typically, we will run 15 days of our Natural Wonders Day Camps each summer; each day is essentially the same activities and we get pretty good at setting up and tearing down. This year we have held 13 Natural Wonders Day Camps at various community centers and Boys & Girls Clubs around the city. With each having different facility assets, every day was different and required custom programming. We also held four Roving Workshops for families at Ft. Harrison State Park and McCloud Nature Park. These were so popular that we are repeating them this month.
Fall is looking like it is going to be even more challenging. Almost all of our fall and winter programming is done with schools. We have already heard from one district that is moving forward with e-learning the first semester and another that is not allowing any non-essential personnel into the school as well as eliminating field trips. We are still waiting to hear what others are doing with their after-school programs and field trips.
We appreciate your continued support and especially prayers as we all transition through these changing times. Please continue to pray for our staff health and that God will guide and use us to His glory.