[Beckwith newsletter, May 21, 2020]
From the Collect for Pentecost - In the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things…
We are blessed by the love and support that you have shown to us during the emergence of COVID-19. Since the crisis began in March, we have continued moving forward with plans to open Beckwith summer camp to our families. Rachel continued to work with her staff, develop staff training, communicate with deans, and create the camp theme and t-shirts – all preparing for the “Best Week Ever” in God’s front yard.
At the same time we were doing research and actively seeking guidance from the CDC, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the American Camp Association. We began planning based on the guidelines being discussed and communicated about camp operations. These guidelines covered opening day procedures, dining hall adjustments, capacity reductions, counselor screenings, and many different ways to run activities safely.
During this time we postponed the opening of camp by three weeks, cancelled and changed some of the session dates, adjusted the camper capacity all hopeful that we could not only meet but exceed the expectation. We have been strategic, creative, and open to a new way – bust most important we have been prayerful about Beckwith summer camp.
We are heartbroken to let you know that we will not be opening summer camp this season.
Over the past several weeks, the American Camp Association has slowly been releasing their guidelines for residential summer camps. On May 18th they released their final draft. After 2 months of adjusting camp operations to meet these guidelines, we have determined that we cannot offer the Camp Beckwith we all know and love.
Camp is about creating and living in community – playing America ball on the games field...sharing meals and announcements in Wilson Hall...jumping arm in arm from the pier with a new friend...hugging up together in the chapel for praise and worship. Camp Beckwith has certainly made changes over the years, and while it’s not unusual to adjust policies and procedures, the restrictions needed to open camp this summer don’t allow us to give you the best of Camp Beckwith.
For the past eight weeks, we have discerned our options with the Beckwith Board, the board camp committee and Bishop Russell. Though this is not a decision taken lightly, we are confident that this is the best decision.
Beckwith has been very quiet and lonely for 2 months. We grieve the absence of our guests and summer campers – hospitality and welcome are who we are and what we do.
The Beckwith staff will now move forward in planning alternative programs for this summer. Our goal is to provide some creative opportunities for friends and families to spend time in God’s front yard in June, July, and August. Keep in touch with us through our website and social media platforms.
For our families who are currently registered for summer 2020 please click here to access our refund request form.
Until we meet again my friends, may God hold you in the hollow of his hands.