To our valued campers and supporters,
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in rapidly, and more changes seem to come daily. The ECM Camps board has worked to respond quickly to these changes, and we want to let you know about several significant decisions that have been made.
- Stayner Camp and Camp Mishewah have been closed until further notice. With the announcement of a state of emergency and closure of non-essential businesses by the Ontario government, we believe it is our responsibility to put the health and safety of our staff and campers first, and follow these instructions. Discussions of the use of private trailers and cottages by campers in the coming months is ongoing, and we will share more information as we have it.
- We have made the difficult decision to temporarily lay off our staff, including managing directors. Because of the financial stress that the COVID-19 crisis has placed on small businesses and not-for-profits, we have struggled to make ends meet without rental revenue and lower registration numbers. We are humbled by the grace that our staff have shown at this time, and their continued commitment to our camps. We are blessed to have such dedicated, high-quality staff working at our camps, and look forward to having them working again as soon as we can. We would invite you to reach out to camp staff and offer your encouragement as they navigate this uncertain season.
- Summer camp has NOT been cancelled at this time. However, the board and staff are having ongoing discussions regarding the viability of running kids and youth camp programs at Stayner and Mishewah. In this time of uncertainty, it is a challenge to make decisions that will affect the long-term trajectory of our summer. We acknowledge that this is a new situation for everyone, including health professionals and scientists, and new information comes to light daily about the virus, its effects and possible timelines and outcomes. We will continue to monitor reports and information, and communicate with local health authorities, other camps, and supporting organizations such as CCI Canada, and will keep you up to date as these decisions are made.
None of these decisions are made lightly. We acknowledge that this may feel like a heavy time in our world, and camp may seem like a light at the end of a tunnel. We all love camp too, and we are hoping and praying for a swift end to the crisis at hand, while remaining aware of our responsibility for the health and safety of our campers, staff and volunteers.
In this time of financial uncertainty, we know that many of you may be struggling. We feel the weight of this as well, and we humbly ask that those who are still able would consider financially supporting Mishewah and Stayner. Donations to our general operating budget are particularly welcome at this time. More info on how to donate can be found on our Donations/Payments Page.
We especially appreciate your prayers at this time. Prayers for wisdom in decision making, and peace as decisions are made. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Paul says: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We invite you to pray continually with us for our camps, for our local, provincial, federal and world leaders, for healthcare professionals, and all those who are sick, anxious and burdened at this time. We know God is still sovereign, and are trusting Him to lead us through.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We want to support and pray for you, our campers, even as you support and pray for us!
Thankful for your continued support,
The ECM Camps Board