Coronavirus Update 05-09-2020

OverProject 34

Dear Camper Families,

Thank you for all your calls and emails this week as we continue to gather information on safely operating camp this summer. We miss you. Camp has been far too quiet for too long!

While our early information suggested we would have most of the guidance needed to discern a way forward for summer by now, it became apparent this week there is still more to come from the American Camp Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then, the state of North Carolina and our local health department. In the meantime, we are using the guidance we do have to prepare to offer summer camp that not only meets all the recommendations, but exceeds them where we can. As always, safety for our campers and staff is our top priority.

Thus, we want to extend the deadline again for final payments from families to June 1st so you have ample time in this uncertain environment of COVID-19. Based on current guidance, we recommend any campers with underlying conditions, including diabetes, autoimmune disease, or respiratory conditions, should consider not planning to attend camp this summer due to potential serious illness from the virus. Please email me at and we will work with your family on options for your camper.

At this time, please know our intention is to offer summer camp programming this year. It may look a little different, but we would like to offer the ministry to our campers and staff if we believe we can do it safely.

If you have questions, the best way to reach us is at Please be patient as our staff is working reduced hours. It may take 3-4 days to hear from us, depending on our work schedule.

Thanks for sticking with us during this challenging time and we will share more updates as soon as we have them. Until then, God bless you, have a wonderful Mother's Day and please stay safe.Grace and peace, 

Kate Cooper Metts, Director
Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center

He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.
-Deuteronomy 31:8

Coronavirus Update 04-25-2020


Dear Camp Family,

We hope you and your family are well and safe. These are extraordinary times - you've been homeschooling, working remotely and stockpiling toilet paper - things we could not have imagined when we were registering for camp in the Fall. Please know you and your family have been in our thoughts and prayers as we've all adjusted to this new reality.

We also know camp is on your mind and we cannot thank you enough for all of your support. Like you, we are continuing to closely monitor developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and make adjustments: from cancelling our spring school group and retreat season for thousands of participants, to understanding recommendations for screening people and sanitizing facilities, and considering various possible scenarios for our summer camp programs.

As we approach the Summer, we want to update you on our decision-making process and status moving forward. Establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy camp community remains our top priority. The American Camp Association (ACA) is working with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to develop specific guidance for day and overnight camps, and we will follow their guidance when it becomes available. We will also work  with our state and local health officials as they lay out the conditions with which we will have to follow. We also will consult with our Summer Medical Staff who understand specifically how we operate to make sure we are delivering the camp experience in a manner that is safe for campers and staff.

By mid-May, we hope to share broader updates regarding our Summer plans. Per earlier communication with parents, we have extended our deadline for final camp payments until May 15th. Should we need to alter the camp schedule or cancel summer camp sessions due to COVID-19, we will offer a number of options to camper families, including refunds. We remain hopeful that camp can be delivered this summer!

For those of you who are on the frontlines of this crisis: a special THANK YOU for your service during these challenging times.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have specific questions or concerns at or see our website for additional information.

Grace and peace,

Kate Cooper Metts, Director
Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center

Coronavirus Update 03-18-2020

NCUM Coronavirus Message

From the Executive Director of the NC UM Camp & Retreat Ministries, Inc.

Dear Families and Friends of Camps Chestnut Ridge, Don Lee and Rockfish,

For over 70 years, the NC UM Camp & Retreat Ministries has considered the health and well-being of our campers, guests and staff to be our utmost priority. As part of our camp community, I want to make you aware of steps that we are taking to continue that care as we respond to COVID-19.

Because of the fluidity of this virus and the ever-changing developments, we are closely monitoring reports and guidelines from the CDC, the President’s task force, the North Carolina Governor, the American Camp Association (ACA,) the Bishop of the NC Annual Conference and our own local Health Departments. We have always taken great care in developing and upholding practices to address a variety of communicable diseases. Yet COVID-19 has presented an unexpected, unprecedented, and rapidly emerging dilemma in our country, in our state and certainly at our camps.

In response to the state’s cancellation of schools, Camps Chestnut Ridge, Don Lee and Rockfish have also cancelled environmental education programming, afterschool and our preschool program. We have also cancelled or rescheduled retreats at each of our sites pending further information and developments of state mandates and guidelines. We have been working closely with retreat leadership and the school groups we serve in making these decisions together. We regret having to come to these conclusions, but in consideration of the health of our guests and staff, this is a necessary step.

As we maneuver our way through the uncharted waters and unforeseen impact of COVID-19, we will continue to pay close attention to updates provided by the various agencies mentioned above. At this time, we are continuing plans for another exciting, full 2020 summer camp season. Over the coming weeks, if information necessitates a change to this plan, we will make sure that you are informed. Camper families will be hearing directly from your children’s camps as we move through the next few weeks.

In the meantime, we hope that you are staying healthy and safe in the confines of your own homes. We hope and pray that the measures we all are taking will “flatten the curve” and decrease the spread of this outbreak. And, finally, we ask for your own prayers for our camp and retreat ministry as we work diligently to uphold and sustain this ministry and our loyal staff. We also extend our love and prayers to you and yours.

Dail D. Ballard
Executive Director
NC UM Camp & Retreat Ministries, Inc.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
    -Deuteronomy 31:8

Sunday Dinner Take Out!

OverProject 25

Make Holiday Meal Prep Easier - Order From The Don Lee Kitchen!

This holiday season we are offering a very special Sunday Dinner opportunity - three of our favorite Camp Don Lee 'sides' will be available to take home, just in time for your Christmas lunch or dinner!

Available For Pre-Order:
-Macaroni & Cheese (9-inch pan, $10.00)
-Collards (1 quart, $12.00)
-Shrimp Bisque (1 quart, $12.00)

All orders will be pre-order and pre-pay only, with quantities limited to 300 total units sold, so please place your order early. Products will be refrigerated and can be frozen with heating directions on the label.

PICK-UP IS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20th BETWEEN 8:00am and 10:00am

All proceeds benefit Camperships at Camp Don Lee. This need-based fund provides financial aid so every child can have the opportunity to experience our Summer Camp ministry.


Or, contact Missy at 252.249.1106, ext. 21 to place your order.