A Letter to our Parents

Thank you parents for your patience and understanding as we navigate these difficult decisions. Your support has been paramount to us during these times.

Dear Parents,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce today that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of our regular summer operation.

With your blessing and input, we have spent the past two months brainstorming ideas, researching everything Covid, consulting with medical professionals, sounding out health departments and governing bodies, and networking with camps and camp associations across the country.

Through that process, we have created an extensive plan for how to operate in a Covid-19 pandemic in a manner consistent with the CDC guidelines for summer camp operation, the American Camp Associations Field Guide, and the expected state guidelines. While there are still unanswered questions, we feel our plan has the potential to address and minimize the risks enough to be able to achieve our collective goals at camp, albeit in an altered fashion.

However, the ongoing unpredictability of the pandemic and related data, and the resulting length of the state and local approval process for overnight camp operation, delayed our decision enough to put us in a position where we simply wouldn’t be able to implement that plan in time for us to run our regular programs, even if they were approved. As one friend so aptly put it, this big plane has made a few adjustments and is moving. But it has run out of runway.

We are still exploring options for smaller planes with much shorter runways in the form of Pathfinding and possibly some 10-day CSC trips with a few days before and after in camp for 6th-9th grade completed campers. Here again, at a minimum this will require approval by state and local health departments with guidelines that we can manage logistically.

We took this time, pushing to the end because we care. We know what camp means to you all because it means the same to us. It’s a home, a family, a place to be ourselves. A place to shine, and a place to connect. And we know this has already been a difficult year with so many losses that make camp that much more important to us all.

But in the end, we made this decision, also because we care. We care about the safety and health of everyone in our community and at this time this was the only decision we could make.

We practice thinking on the fly in our program. With the mission always as our guide, we value flexibility and innovation in our staff and their capacity to adjust course in camp and on the trail and create entire worlds and ways of thinking in the moment according to the situation and the people at hand.

Come what may, we make it happen. In this case, there was just too much to implement, too much unknown, and too little time, to fully trust that we could AIO our way to a successful regular program. (Adapt, Improvise, Overcome)

Our TEAM here at camp has shown a spectacular commitment to the mission with their tireless efforts to make it happen, exemplifying the characteristics just mentioned to navigate our way through this. As I write this, I can hear them deep in another impressive planning discussion about testing as we continue to explore our remaining options. If those options prove impossible, we are also excited to use the next year as an opportunity to strengthen our organization, build stronger relationships with our community, and plan exciting opportunities for the future.

To our SUMMER STAFF, we could tell from our hiring process and our online meetings. That you were going to be amazing! You have already exhibited incredible dedication to the idea of providing the CSC experience for our campers. We are so grateful that you stuck with us and so sorry that the anticipated summer can’t happen. We want you all to know that your job offers are extended to next summer. We can’t wait to see you reach the potential we saw in you.

To our CAMP FAMILIES, you have supported and inspired our efforts in ways that make us both humbled and proud that you have chosen us as your summer adventure partner. You made our continued search for a summer possible and we are so sorry that we are out of time to have a CSC summer.

You and your campers will likely be feeling the challenging array of emotions that we all feel when considering the loss of our summer – sadness, anger, confusion, and disappointment – especially in the face of so much loss already and the clear need for an outdoor community experience. It is natural and important to just grieve for its loss.

We understand, and we offer our love and support. If you’ll allow some informed advice, we recommend that you let your campers sit with their grief without placating them, minimizing or redirecting their feelings, or problem solving, as it is so easy for us to do when our children are upset. Simple empathic statements, allowing them time to come to you, and sincere expressions of your own emotions will help them get through this. We have provided some resources below that should be of help.

To EVERYONE, including our family, friends, vendors, partners, alumni, and community members who have been part of CSC for years – thank you. Thank you for your understanding and your support. We send our most sincere gratitude and best wishes that you and your loved ones are safe and secure during this challenging time.

We will miss you all this summer. But what we know to be true in all of this uncertainty is that the magic of camp transcends our physical setting and what really creates Colvig Silver Camps is what is in each of us. We will all look forward to the fun and friends and freedom of CSC summer 2021 and the 50+ reunion celebration.

These will be challenging financial times for all of us and we feel it is important to suspend our usual cancellation policies and offer a full range of options. We will be asking for help to move us into 2021 in a healthy way if you are able. To help you move forward to 2021 we will also offer any amount of refund you decide. In the next few days, we will send you an email explaining the few remaining possibilities for the summer for older campers and your 2020 tuition options and processes.

We want to stay connected with you even if we aren’t going to be together this summer. You can expect a phone call from us over the next few weeks to see how you are all doing. You may also check in to set up a video call with me, Clay Colvig. I’m going to miss you all this summer and would love to see all our campers. Please feel free to contact us anytime. You will also find many answers to specific questions by visiting Frequently Asked Questions. We will restart our Friday Rendez-Zooms next week and will be developing other ways to keep us all connected this summer.

Thank you all for being a part of the CSC family. We send love and peace from the Red Creek Valley. Be well. Be strong. Be caring, thoughtful, and responsible.

Clay Colvig and the CSC Crew