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SUMMER 2020 

Dear Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert Alumni, Campers, Parents, and Staff Members,

The time has come, and this really hurts.

We are, with great reluctance, but with clear conscious and conviction, writing to let you know that we have decided to cancel the 2020 Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert Summer Season.  Like us, many of our campers, parents, and staff members have held onto the anticipation of camp to help them get through the past several months, and this news pains us deeply. We are so, so sorry to take away yet another opportunity from you all during these unprecedented times.  Please know that here in the office, all of us have worked tirelessly since this pandemic first appeared to find a way forward.  Through the ups and down of this spring, your calls, letters, and text messages of encouragement and expressions of hope for camp kept us highly motivated and optimistic.  Thank you to all that reached out to us. It is your very inspiring words that make this decision all the more painful.

As extremely difficult a decision this is, we know that in our hearts, it is the right decision to make for our two camps.  Our year-round leadership team have spent the past months working through numerous plans to operate camp while keeping our campers and staff members safe.  After weeks of lacking information and changing guidance, these last few days have brought us enough clarity to feel that it is time to close our camps for 2020.  The American Camp Association released their Field Guide for Operating Camps under the Covid-19 Environment this past Monday.  Our camp directors, with the help of a number of our summer leadership team members, have been pouring over these recommendations nonstop since their posting.  While reading each one and considering how to manage the change to how camp operates, we felt like “We got this!”. However, when we took a step back and considered what camp would look like, it was quite sobering to us all.  Each change, taken on its own, was fine.  However, when putting them together, camp, for us, would no longer be the camp we have enjoyed since 1909.

Too much of camp as we know it, would not be able to happen under the guidelines.  It is strongly suggested that cabin groups only interact with their own members – no mixing with other campers, including siblings.  Activities, free time, meals, everything would be done by cabin groups.  This would mean no activity choices for campers, group campfires, division activities or special days like Color Wars.  Time spent in activities would be reduced in order to give the necessary time for cleaning and disinfection protocols.   Meals would be eaten in shifts, with a handful of campers at each table.  Too, there would be no beats or singing camp songs throughout the summer.  It is so hard for us to imagine camp without the sound of campers singing Blue Sky or dancing along to The Alligator Song. These things and so much more would be affected.  Making any one of the changes that would be required, and camp would be fine.  Making all of these changes collectively, and camp would no longer be recognizable.

Many of the strengths that have made Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert great in the past, now have become complicating factors.  One of our proudest hallmarks is the vast diversity of our campers and staff members.  We love that our campers and staff members come from over 45 states and 13 countries.  This diversity becomes problematic in a Covid-19 World.  Similarly, travel is a serious issue, as is the mixing of so many communities experiencing different levels of infection rates and social restrictions.  Our leadership team and doctors average over 35 plus years of experience working at Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert.  Normally this level of experience is a bragging point.  Under Covid-19, it unfortunately puts the leadership of the camps in a high-risk group.  It is important to consider the ramifications of running the camps if members of this team were to become ill this summer.

Please know that we have held on, waiting for some degree of certainty as to how to safely and effectively run camp this summer.  We have researched, planned, and debated along the way, dissecting each nugget of information that has come along the way.  We felt that we owed it to our campers and camp families to try our best to make this summer happen.  We know how much the camp experience means to you.  More than in any prior years I can recall, camp has been a light at the end of the tunnel of isolation and social distancing.  In talking with the other directors, we all feel like we have failed you and are so sorry that we do not see a safe pathway forward to make camp happen this summer.  Unfortunately, this is the right decision for Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert.

This news will be profoundly disappointing to your child.  As parents, you no doubt have a lump in your throat when thinking about breaking this news to your camper there at home.  The cancellation of camp is one more disappointment in a line of disappointments in 2020. Here is a link to Dr. Tina Payne Bryson’s short video with suggestions on how to talk with your camper about this loss of camp (Click HERE). Our leadership team, and my family, are heartbroken over this conclusion.  However, we are all 100% dedicated to pivoting to planning and preparing for 2021.  Rest assured, there will be campers on Lake Hubert next summer and with 12 months to prepare, we believe 2021 will be one of our best yet!

As soon as our final decision was made, we wanted to reach out to you right away so that you could start planning.   More information will be coming shortly as we sort through the process of closing for the summer.  In the coming week, we will be calling our camp families to discuss the cancellation of the 2020 Season, check on how you are doing, talk through the refund options, and let you know of our plans for 2021.

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you for your support and patience as we worked through the new reality this pandemic has evolved into this year. We will get through this together and will be back next summer. Take care and be well.

Regretfully,

Ruggs, André, and Stacey

COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is it camp's preference for families to roll their tuition payments to date forward to 2021?

Operating two excellent summer camps require year-around spending.  Part of this investment is maintaining our 800 acres as well as supporting the 14 members of our full-time leadership team.  Refunding the 2020 Tuition Payments will put a financial burden on Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert.  Choosing to roll your camper’s tuition payments to 2021 will allow us to manage our cash flow as we prepare for next summer.  If you need to change your plans at a later date and cannot come to camp, our 2021 Cancellation Policy will apply.  If we receive notification prior to October 1st, 2020, you will still receive a full refund. Therefore, there is no risk involved in rolling your tuition forward now.

If my camper is not able to return next summer, what are my options?

If you would like to donate all or a portion of the funds in your camper’s account to our Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert Scholarship Fund, it is considered a tax-deductible contribution.  All you need to do is to complete the COVID-19 Cancellation Form and check the appropriate box.  You will be sent an acknowledgment from the American Camp Association for your tax records.  If you are not able to do so, we completely understand and will refund your tuition payments.

What if my camper will be aged out of our preferred session in 2021?

We have changed our session offerings for 2021 to include more grade options throughout the summer.  This includes a new 10-day traditional session in August that will accept grades 2 through 9.  2W1 and 2W2 will also now accept campers in grades 2 through 6.  Our hope is that our 2020 Campers may attend one of these sessions in 2021.

What if I had a camper on a waitlist for 2020?

Any camper on a waitlist that left their deposit in their account prior to our cancellation of the 2020 Summer Season will have priority enrollment June 13th – 19th, 2020.

What is the cancellation policy if I roll my tuition payments to date to 2021?

Our 2021 Cancellation Policy will apply.  If we receive notification prior to October 1st, 2020, you will receive a full refund. Therefore, there is no risk in applying now.

If I have multiple campers, do I need to fill out the COVID-19 Cancellation Form for each one of them?

No, you may complete one form for your entire family.  If you are a grandparent that pays for grandchildren with different parents, please complete the form for each nuclear family.    

COVID-19 Cancellation Form
Doesn't camp have insurance to cover these types of situations?

COVID-19 is an uninsurable event.  Our Business Interruption insurance is voided in the event of a pandemic.  Consequently, any support you can offer by rolling all or part of your tuition payments to 2021 is greatly appreciated.

What does this mean for campers that were enrolled in the Leadership Training Program?

Those selected to the Leadership Training Program are some of our most dedicated and loyal campers.  We are working on developing a modified program to allow our LTs that would have been at camp in 2020 to attend in 2021. André and Stacey will be reaching out to our Leadership Training Program Participants soon to discuss options.

We miss camp! Can we come visit this summer?

We are working on plans to offer some visiting days this summer.  Should Minnesota increase its group size restrictions, we will be able to know what we can do in terms of organizing events throughout the summer.  These events will be by reservation only.  Please watch your email for our announcement of dates and reservation details in the future.

What happened to the Intro 1 and 3 Week Sessions?

Intro 1, normally held at the start of the summer, has now been combined with Intro 2, held in August.  The three-week option has been dropped.  Instead, we have added 6th graders to the 2W1 and 2W2 Sessions at the start of the summer, and the new traditional session in August accepts campers in grades 2 through 9.

What happened to the Coed and Family Camp Sessions?

In 2021, we have opted to host a ten-day traditional camp session in August. This offering will be done in place of a coed or a family camp session.  This new session will allow us to allow more of the campers that missed out on camp in 2020 and will also allow us to lean on our strength of traditional residential camp programming.  We look forward to hosting families at our camp reunions held every 5 years.

What are the 2021 Camp Session Dates?

4W1 June 13 – July 8      Grades 2nd – 9th
4W2 July 11 – August 5  Grades 2nd – 9th

2W1 June 13 – 25             Grades 2nd – 6th
2W2 June 26 – July 8     Grades 2nd – 6th
2W3 July 11 – 23              Grades 2nd – 5th
2W4 July 24 – August 5 Grades 2nd – 5th

10-Day Traditional August 7 – 17 Grades 2nd – 9th

Intro August 7 – 11           Grades K – 2nd

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FAQs

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