As you may have heard, the provincial government cancelled Summer Overnight Camps for 2020. While we had a glimmer of hope that Camp could be open in some capacity this summer, we were also preparing for this sad situation.
Camp Couchiching is an independent, not-for-profit camp and over the past 74 years we have taken the spirit and culture of our wonderful summer overnight camp and expanded that reach to a very broad community, seeing over 4,000 kids throughout the year. We are heartbroken to know that we won’t be welcoming your campers this year and imagine that some people in your family will sad as well. As a not-for-profit, managing without any revenue for the foreseeable future will be considerable challenge. But a challenge we are prepared to undertake to bring Summer 2021 to all of you.
Please ensure that there is time and place for the grief that some of your family members may be feeling. We know so much has been removed from them already. It is an additional hardship for us at the Camp to know we’ve caused suffering, since we typically do so much to bring joy to people.
If you are looking for a resource to use while talking to your children about the loss of camp this summer, please consider this: https://www.tinabryson.com/news/video-helping-our-kids-manage-summer-disappointments
De-Enrollment Process and Options
We have four options available for de-enrollment which we will process over the next four weeks. Below is a summary and more details are available through your Camp Brain account (the same account you registered for camp with):
We will process over the next 4 weeks. If you log into our account and the form is completed then we have received it at our end. If you wish to change it after you first enter the details, please contact us to do this. Connect back with us if you haven't had follow up after 4 weeks however we hope to have your requests fulfilled before that time. This process is something we've never done before so we have to be careful as we do it. If we haven’t heard from you by the week of June 20, we will send a reminder email.
Here are the specific steps which we ask each family to take:
None of us ever imagined we would see a summer without our beloved overnight camp but we know we will be there for you again in the future and the cancellation of our 74th season puts a fire in our belly to be extra awesome next year!
2021 is our 75th Anniversary season. We will ensure that we’ll run a camp that will be extra incredible, and we hope to spend time with your family members on the shores of Lake Couchiching at that time!
Please keep us in your thoughts and hearts and we'll keep you in ours.
Hello Camp Families!
We hope this message continues to find you and your family in all aspects of good health! We’re sure it’s been tricky to figure out your new “normal” with everything that is evolving. We are seeing so many various things in communities that remind of us of Camp Spirit (painted rocks, shout outs to front line workers, bears and rainbows in windows).
Please extend a hearty hello to all our campers at your homes!
Many of the current restrictions in place at this time may not seem favourable for Camp but we still have a few months so there is still hope! We are still planning that we’ll be on the shores of Lake Couchiching with you in 2020.
While we continue to closely monitor the situation and work with Public Health, we are starting to wake our property from hibernation with the fewest number of qualified people practicing social distancing, planning great details for awesome programming and care, and connecting with you all through exciting social media interactions!
Because things remain fluid, we are extending our “pay in full” and “no refund” date from May 1 to June 1. This means refund and cancellation policies that typically expire May 1 will continue in effect until June 1 and we won’t process pending payments we have for May 1 yet. We also won’t process any more campership applications at this time.
We are preparing multiple "refund" options if we’re banned from running camps or conditions are so limited that we can’t operate camps this full/part of the summer.
Until we know these situations exist, we continue to have our current refund policy which is if you choose to withdraw your camper/LDP at this time, we will process your request less a $150 administration fee per camper/LDP. We typically need about 10 business days to process refunds.
Should we find out of restrictions or limited conditions that affect us directly, we will be in touch with all of you again. We will need a day or two to figure out how the insight is affecting Camp, but we will reach out to you in a very timely manner.
We post our communication & some other updates to families in one spot on our website: https://www.campcouchiching.com/program-rates-dates/updates/
Please continue to follow us on Social Media (mostly Instagram & Facebook with a few posts on Twitter and LinkedIn) and for artists/designers in your family, please watch your email for some interesting opportunities to participate in some contests to design camp clothing and other “merch”.
Finally, thank you so much for sticking through this with us! More than any other time, youth need camp this summer! We’ll continue in our quest for Excellence in Camping!
Jen Dundas, Executive Director
Our main task at the moment has been trying to provide meaningful camp content via our Social Media channels. We know that many of our families feel "stuck" at home so we're hoping that our activities and content have helped the timing go by. Alex is doing morning flagpole on Facebook Live every morning at 9:45 a.m. including the bell ringing.
To date, we have not heard from any sources that we can or can't operate Summer Camp or our Fall Outdoor Centre. Most schools/groups are cancelling on us due to Board of Education directives to cancel field trips/excursions so a lot of our May/June business has been depleted.
We continue to monitor government and camping industry resources as to what we should do for July & August.
We are still committed to communicating to Summer Camp families by mid-April regardless of having full insight as to whether or not.
Hello Camp Couchiching Families!
Our thoughts are with you during this strange time. On behalf of the Camp Couchiching team, we extend best wishes for good health to you and your families. Please let our campers know we’re thinking of them!
If you follow our social media, we have lots of plans for fun “campy” things to do so please watch over the next few weeks:
At this time, we are working with Public Health to determine what our actions should be in reaction to COVID-19 and are following the Ministry of Education to see what they’re stating about any extensions of school into the summer. The entire international camping community is watching, reporting, sharing and we’ve bonded together via social media to share verified fact-based insights.
Currently, our camp has cancelled our March Break program. All of our employees are now set up to work remotely from our homes. Our team will have paid sick time that can cover illnesses as well as paid time to take care of loved ones if required. We are holding off on all larger expense decisions so we can wait to make the most informed and best decision by you, your family and our staff team.
We also wanted to proactively answer the question of “will camp still run in July & August?” and address our current deposit/refund policy.
Camp Couchiching’s main goal is to provide excellent summer experiences for children and youth. We’re a charitable organization and we’re not looking to profit from retained deposit fees. If we’re receiving income, we want to have it because we traded off a great experience for it. We will strive to be as fair as possible as we feel that is part of what being an excellent camp provider would do.
At this time, if you decide to withdraw from camp between now and mid-April, we will refund your money less a $150 CDN administration fee. This is our standard refund clause for any length of program for Summer Overnight Camp and has been the same for 4 years. We are continuing to receive applications and our summer camp population is growing. If you withdraw at this time and you’ve received an incentive but then you choose to re-register later, you may no longer be able to get the same incentive. The other consideration is that we've sold out of some programs so you may not get back in if you do withdraw and then try to re-book later.
With all this said, we will make further decisions about cancellations by mid-April which allows camp families two weeks to decide what to do before May 1 which is when everyone’s full fees are due and refunds are no longer available. At that time, we may be able to offer a different refund model &/or incentives. Right now, we can’t commit to what we will do in mid-April as we are still considering our best and the fairest move forward with this situation evolving so quickly.
Thanks for choosing us as your place for your campers to have their Summer Camp experiences! We look forward to doing this again soon on the shores of Lake Couchiching, our summer home.
Sincere wishes for the best health for all of you!
Jen Dundas, Executive Director
Alex Roth, Summer Camp Director
LastUpdate: 2020-05-20 16:43:29
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