Hi everyone. I’m coming to you today with sadness and disappointment, and also believing we are making the best decision.
Given the impact of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel all of our traditional summer programs, including Laity Lodge retreat center, youth camp, and family camp. All Foundation Camps are also closed through the end of July.
As you can imagine, we’ve agonized over this decision. For weeks, we’ve been paying careful attention to guidance from medical professionals and the CDC. We’ve debated options and prayed for wisdom. We’ve reached out to many of you to hear your thoughts about the summer.
It is heartwarming to hear how much you and your children care about Camp and what it means to you, and to know how much retreats matter to you as well.
We have erred on the side of caution and safety. We are making a decision that we believe helps protect our campers, our staff, and our families and communities.
We have also relied on our tradition, mission and legacy to guide us. Camp has always been a place of freedom, spontaneity, togetherness and fun with just a few boundaries. And retreats at the Lodge are a place to build relationships as much as they are about rest and reflection.
The protocols for hosting large groups right now compromise so much of what makes camp camp, and what makes the Canyon a place of restoration. This is not, however, a “See you next year!” message. We won’t have summer as we know it, but our teams are working on all sorts of creative ideas for bringing people together as soon as possible. If some type of new programming becomes possible, we’ll make further announcements. But for now, our camps and retreats are cancelled.
Each program will be in touch with you right away with more details about what this means for you. Look for emails and social media from youth camp, family camp, Laity Lodge, and Foundation camps later today. Answers to many questions about refunds and registration for future camps and retreats are already on our program websites — which are all linked from hebfdn.org.
Let me add this: Our mission is to serve God by cultivating wholeness in people and institutions for the transformation of communities. We’re not shrinking from our mission at all. It’s just going to look different this summer.
We are grateful for you. We’re praying for you, your families, and your communities. And we hope and trust that we’ll be able to see you again soon.