With grave sorrow, The Rev. Robert Lawrence and Bishop Mark Lawrence, announced at the meeting of Diocesan Council on Thursday, May 21, that St. Christopher would be canceling all of its traditional residential summer camp sessions. The first three sessions had already been canceled, while awaiting new guidelines for the safe operation of residential camps. Those long awaited guidelines, drafted in cooperation with the American Camp Association and the CDC, were released early last week. Upon a thorough review of what would be required to fully implement all safeguards, it was regretfully determined that in doing so, “Camp Saint Christopher” as many have come to know it, would be unrecognizable. Restrictions on groups size, numbers in cabins, cabin ventilation, wearing of mask, food service, group interactions, and more were simply too much. One only has to imagine a first time camper not having a parent be able to accompany them to their cabin on check in, facing daily temperature checks, eating many of their meals from takeout bags, and only interacting with their own cabin group to realize this would not be camp. To borrow from what was so aptly stated by David Schnitzer, Camp Kanuga Director, “social distancing is the antithesis of what we do.” Indeed it is.
In the wake of this cancelation, St. Christopher is encouraging all of those that have made summer camp arrangements, to allow their payments to be converted to a charitable contribution. Additionally, any monies already paid can be used as a credit for any future booking at St. Christopher to include personal retreats, Day Camps being developed now for this summer, or as a credit toward Summer Camp 2021. Anyone that does allow their full credit to be held specifically for Summer Camp 2021 will also be offered priority in early registration next year. “We want to salvage as much of this summer as possible, and reduce the sting of this bitter news” said Bob Lawrence. “We will survive this painful time, but we need your prayers and continued contributions to see us through.”