A Letter from Our Director on Winnebago's Covid-19 Response
It was an extraordinary summer at Winnebago in 2020. 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." We are pleased to have over 95% of families already re-enrolled as testament to these experiences.
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 spring of 2020, 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 in the summer of 2020. 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.
The result was a summer to remember and we left camp with the shouts of joy in our ears and the happiness of our community warming our hearts. We know summer of 2021 will bring other sets of challenges related to the pandemic and although we can't know what they will be, we feel confident in our experience and knowledge to realize another successful summer in 2021.
Please feel free to read below information that we used last summer in formulating camp and some of the results from the summer.
Will your child join us in 2021? Register now!
Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions you may have.
With all best wishes,
Director/Owner, Camp Winnebago