A Letter from Our Director on Winnebago's Covid-19 Response
We had extraordinary summers at Winnebago in 2020 and 2021. Never did we see so much joy and gratitude generated on the part of the campers, staff and parents. We heard anecdotes from parents like "I will never take sending my son to camp for granted again." and "We have not seen such a comprehensive plan that was so well executed as yours."
Many people have asked us why we decided to open and how did we do it? First, both Laura, my wife, and I are committed to and recognize the deep need that children have for the camp experience. In the springs of 2020 and 2021, in the midst of the cacophony of adult voices, we watched children struggling and knew if camp was good for kids in any year, then they especially needed camp these last two summers. Quickly coming to terms with our own personal threshold for running camp, we determined to do all in our power to operate with all possible safety protocols in place.
We enjoy real intrinsic advantages at Winnebago. Our low density of campers (lots of space at camp for 150 campers to realize activities, dine and sleep) allows for us to more easily physically distance. Our size allows us to more easily influence the culture, maintain safety structures and re-structure our program in flexible and adaptable ways allowing us to keep camp feeling like camp.
It was exceptionally helpful that Laura is a pediatrician, public health official and national thinker and leader in COVID planning. She helped formulate the Field Guide for ACA and consulted with many camps on how to use their assets to open safely and healthily. We, along with our Senior Staff, understand the value of uncertainty tolerance and that the basic tenets of camp; physical and emotional safety, connection and learning can take place in a variety of shapes and forms.
Please feel free to read below information that we used the last two summers in formulating camp and some of the results from the summer of 2020.
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Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions you may have.
With all best wishes,
Director/Owner, Camp Winnebago