Updated May 19, 2020
Thank you for all of your wonderful messages of support during these unprecedented times. If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s how incredible our community is at coming together to support one another. Your heartfelt words shine light on the dark thought of not being able to return to Birch Island this summer. All of you have shown incredible empathy, patience and compassion with your replies to our previous communications.
Traditionally, during this time of the year we are focused on site preparation and maintenance, staff training, program development as well as reviewing camper medical and information forms. Instead, each day has been filled with obtaining advice from numerous health professionals, government representatives, and other camp professionals to determine what summer might look like for Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da and our community.
Unfortunately as a result of the orders given on May 19, 2020 by the Provincial Government due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are forced to cancel all camp sessions for the upcoming Summer 2020 season.
There are a variety of emotions that accompany this announcement – this decision goes hand in hand with the high standards in which we set for the safety and well being of our campers and our staff. No matter the expert we spoke to or how many fingers and toes we crossed, we knew that camps would continue to be considered a significant risk factor for spreading COVID-19.
You chose Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da because you trust us, and we are committed to ensuring our families are safe to maintain that trust. Our community’s safety has remained our number one priority throughout this entire time. We are deeply saddened by this announcement as we were all looking forward to seeing each of you in person this summer.
Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da has been and always will be a camp that takes great pride in building resilient young women through taking healthy risks. However, from the very beginning of this pandemic we posed the question, “Will we be able to guarantee the safety of staff and campers from COVID-19?” and as tough as it is to admit it, it is clear: to attend summer camp is not the time to test this risk.
Registrations and Refunds
Please understand that the financial impact of this decision is considerable to us. Yet, we must make sure that our families are not negatively impacted from the cancellation of camp. We understand that some of you are experiencing financial challenges right now and we remain committed to our previous statements regarding cancellations. Each family has two options:
- Forward payments made to date to Summer 2021.
- Receive a full refund of all payments made to date.
By May 25, 2020 please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if you would like to forward your payment to Summer 2021. If you do not contact us, we will assume that you would like a full refund. For all international families, please contact us for how to arrange how you would like us to handle funds on your account.
On June 1, 2020 we will begin sending out refund cheques. Please wait 10 business days for your cheque to arrive as Canada Post has been overwhelmed these past few weeks with shipping requests.
At Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da, we spend all year planning for the summer just as our staff and campers spend all year counting down the days. Knowing that our campers and staff will lose this summer on Birch Island is heartbreaking.
The sadness we are all feeling is immense and without precedent. It is important for us all to recognize that the pain we feel is real and we can still come together as a community to support each other. Over time, and when appropriate, we will be able to turn this emotional distress into an important teachable moment and discussion about resilience.
We know for parents this news is just as difficult for you. Your role as a parent has likely been stretched and tested in ways you never imagined during this time of self-isolating. It is understandable to be just as disappointed over this news as your daughter(s).
Although this pandemic has required Birch Island to be closed to us for the summer, we have been busy preparing and developing a way to keep the spirit of Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da alive in the comfort of all your homes. As we put plans in place stay tuned as we will release details for some exciting news shortly. We know that many of our campers, parents and staff may have more questions about what a summer without camp means for you. In our upcoming communications, we hope to be able to address your questions and answer them as best as we can.
In the meantime, we wish all of our families good health and wellbeing as this situation continues to progress. We are here to continue to support our campers, families and staff anyway we can. We look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions.
Pam, Katelyn & Brandon