Submitted by Rev. Jeremy Albers, Director of Outdoor Ministry
This past weekend the SCC Board of Directors approved the Decision Tree presented by the SCC COVID-19 task force on Slumber Falls Camp. For the past three weeks the task force took into consideration the many facets of offering or not offering camp this summer. The findings were that a simple Yes or No was not adequate because new information continues to come out and that circumstances outside of our control could have major impacts.
From this came a decision tree that encouraged Slumber Falls to move forward. Support for camps to move forward came from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Camping Association and YMCA, state and local health agencies, and the Texas Department of Health which oversees our state licensing as a recognized youth camp.
The decision on whether SFC would move forward was based on recent events, our ability to mitigate health risks, and enact our health and safety protocols if needed. The overall well-being of our youth and the challenges they are facing, as well as our ability to acquire necessary supplies and support from third parties which are vital to offering camp were also accessed. We also outlined the risks to the camp and conference.
Since there is a financial component to offering camps and the fact that we are offering worry free camping this summer, the burden of costs will initially fall on the camp until the camps occur. If camps do not happen, then the camp and conference will bear the burden of covering these costs if an exit strategy is enacted.
The other section of the Decision tree contained exit strategies if our current resources and supply chains changed, the government and experts pull their support, or if we do not get a critical mass of registration by June 10th of 180 campers.
We believe that summer camps are vital to the wellbeing of our youth, but health and safety concerns of our campers, staff, volunteers and families remain a priority. Changes will be enacted this summer to many of our practices and procedures, and we will be asking our volunteers, camper families, and churches to help by following our suggestions for creating a “camping bubble” that minimizes risks. This information is being finalized and will be uploaded to the SFC website and sent to parents with their camper letter.
Parents are encouraged to sign up their campers before the June 10th deadline. Registration costs this summer are worry free meaning that parents can change their minds at any point. They can move their child to a different camp, roll their registration to the 2021 camping season, donate their registration money to the ministry of Slumber Falls Camp or receive a full refund (including the deposit) this summer. The camp will bear the risks in order to provide our parents a peace of mind. Parents have the choice. More information on worry free camping will be posted online.
Please keep the camp in your prayers, lift us up in your churches, and consider becoming a Friend of the Camp. If you wish to volunteer, please sign up. Slumber Falls is committed to sharing God’s love to all!