Our Continued Response to COVID-19

As our world goes through unprecedented times, we have been thinking about you and dreaming of welcoming your children and families to camp. Our year-round staff, summer staff, and board of directors have been praying- praying for our collective health, safety, and happiness; praying that this will resolve well and quickly so we can return together to our home away from home this summer.

As camp leadership, we have an obligation to prepare responsibly for the summer of 2020 and to communicate with you about those plans. While our plans are evolving and ever-changing, we want to share with you both where we stand today and some insight into our approach. While we are never able to know what the future holds, and this feels more apparent now than ever, we have always been committed to maintaining the mission of Bear Creek Camp of strengthening individuals and communities through experiences of exploration, celebration, and growth in God’s creation.

One of the most helpful resources I’ve found during this time has been some tips from psychologist Doreen Marshall for taking care of personal mental health in the face of uncertainty:
• Separate what is in your control from what is not.
• Challenge yourself to stay in the present.
• Stay connected and reach out if you need more support.
• Get outside in nature.

I’d like to use the tips above to frame the following information about the summer.

Separate what is in your control from what is not.

Will Summer Camp at Bear Creek Camp happen this summer?

We certainly hope so! We hope for the best, and still we realize that we must simultaneously plan for a variety of scenarios. We’re utilizing the best information we have from government sources, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries and the American Camp Association. At this point, we feel there are enough reasons to continue to plan for the summer together. If permitted to proceed, we know the summer of 2020 will be the most important camp season in our children’s lives. New levels of stress, anxiety, and lack of social connections will necessitate the genuine face-to-face interactions, time in the outdoors, silly fun, and community that only camp can provide.

Challenge yourself to stay in the present.

One of the most important skills we learn and teach at Bear Creek Camp is the ability to think on our feet and plan for the unexpected. So while we continue to be present, we are also strategizing around a variety of possible outcomes for the summer.
• If we need to start late, we will make every effort to adjust.
• If we need to run a shorter season, we will make every effort to adjust.
• If we need to adapt specific programming (such as off-site trips), we will adjust.
• If camp must be canceled or we need to make changes to our summer program, we will work to rebuild BCC looking forward to the fall, winter, and spring retreat season and summer 2021.
• If public authorities permit us to hold camp at a time when regular life has resumed, but the virus is not completely contained, we will exhaust all efforts and resources to implement the best medical practices to keep our campers and families safe.

Stay connected and reach out if you need more support.

Cultivating community is one of the most cherished values of Bear Creek Camp. Having only been here a few months, I have seen for myself that while community is important during the time here at camp, these life-long friendships are even stronger beyond the camp gates. We are here for you and your family. Connect with us, share how we can support you and your family.

Thank you for your on-going partnership. We will continue to share more as we know more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

Your opinions, thoughts, and ideas matter; please get in touch with whatever is on your mind. I hope you all have some opportunity to Get outside in nature and I look forward to when we can all do that together here at BCC.

In Christ,

Collin Grooms
Executive Director

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