Coronavirus Update 05-23-2020

OverProject 11

Dear Don Lee Families,

We are thrilled the NC Governor has ordered the start of Phase II of the reopening of the state, which includes day and overnight camps. Our minds are focused on options for Summer Camp as we review the guidance from the CDC, the American Camp Association and other expert recommendations to determine our best way forward for the summer.

We also know that camp is on your mind, and we cannot thank you enough for all the support. While some families have already informed us they cannot be at camp this summer due to health concerns or financial reasons, the vast majority of families still have registrations with us. We appreciate you waiting with us.

While we are finalizing our plans and will be sharing them with you soon, I want to give you an update. Here are some things we do know and want you to consider. Camp will be different this summer, but we are committed to offering a variety of camp experiences to as many campers as possible. We intend to offer the traditional Don Lee experience - sailing, swimming, faith formation, friendships and more - but with modifications needed due to COVID-19. Here are a few items we want to share so you can begin thinking more about summer and discussing it with your camper:

  • There will be increased cleaning procedures prior to camp and daily at camp completed by staff, not campers. Campers and staff will be required to wash their hands many times daily and use hand sanitizer frequently at the various program areas.
  • We will do as many activities outdoors as possible, so increased sun and insect protection will be suggested, including sun protective clothing, insect repellent and rain gear. Campers and staff will wear masks on the rare occasions we have to be indoors for extended periods of time, except when sleeping.
  • As many of you know, Don Lee provides a small group camp experience and has for more than 70 years. Campers will be required to stay with their group at all times and social distance from other camper groups at camp.
  • Parents will need to agree to and be available to pick up their camper from camp should they run a fever or display symptoms of any illness. As in past summers, we will have an RN or physician on site and have adequate resources to safely isolate a symptomatic camper or staff member and appropriate PPE for our staff. We will share more details on our procedures soon.
As a reminder, final payments are not due until June 7th. This has been a very challenging time for all of us and we ask for your continued patience and grace as we work to respond to questions, answer emails and phone calls, and issue refunds. We are a small full-time staff handling more than 1,000 camper families registered this summer. We have more seasonal help arriving in the coming weeks and our response times will improve.
We expect to share more definitive plans with all of you sometime next week. We know that, especially in these times of uncertainty and exhilaration, we can offer camp, Jesus walks with us. Join us in our joyfulness that we have opportunities to provide our ministry this summer.

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