May 18, 2020

Greetings from Camp Jorn YMCA:

We have made the necessary big decisions regarding our three primary programs for the summer of 2020. The process has been an intense and deep dive into the abyss of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lots of meetings with other YMCA, ACA and Camp leaders, health care professionals, state and county licensing representatives and long days of reading CDC and other related guidelines, recommendations, and policies. At the end of the day and at this moment in time, we have committed to Day Camp and Child Care which will both start on June 15th. We are not going to offer Resident Camp sessions this summer. Unbelievably hard to put that in written form but necessary at this time so we can do our best to communicate with summer staff and the hundreds of kids and families that are affected.

This summer would have been the 67th season – quite a milestone and we will be anxiously awaiting summer 2021 when we can continue the traditions of overnight camp for kids. Tough decisions but at the end of the day we have chosen the path that allows us to continue our mission of serving kids and families to the best of our ability. Child Care and Day Camp serve many working families and that is a high priority at this time. Both programs will require many staff behavior changes and program modifications. We are committed to making as many changes as possible to minimize the risks of infection. We decided to cancel the resident camp sessions due to the safety concerns of bringing a diverse group of kids and staff together from a wide geographical area. Such things as busing from Illinois and pickups around the state would have been challenging. Some of the modifications necessary would have impacted the actual relationship experience that is so important. And finally, we realized that sharing the facilities, staff and program areas with hundreds of resident and day campers was too risky and a bit overwhelming. We will do what we can – and do it with all our energy and focus.

We will be sending out an email shortly to all families who were registered for resident camp sessions on how to process cancellations. As with many organizations and households, this is an extraordinarily challenging financial time for us. We still have many fixed costs we need to cover this year and want to be in a position to make sure camp remains accessible to all kids in 2021. With this in mind, we hope you will consider donating your 2020 deposit to Camp Jorn or choose to leave it with us as a credit for a session in 2021. But if you need a refund – know we will process it as soon as possible.

We look forward to the day when we can all gather around a campfire on opening night to sing songs and share stories. Until that time, we wish you the strength to hold strong and for everyone to be both physically and emotionally well.


Dennis Lipp
Executive Director