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
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.