Final Reflections on Summer 2020

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Almost two months ago, when we celebrated Camp George’s ‘virtual’ Opening Day for Summer 2020, we challenged you to ‘think camp’. We didn’t think this would be an easy task. We knew that you were grieving the loss of your summer home (or first time summer home!), heartbroken about not being able to be with your camp family, feeling a loss at not being able to do all the things you imagined yourself doing at camp this summer.  While a summer beyond the shores of Maple Lake was difficult for any of us to fathom, you showed us quickly that Camp is more than just the physical place we travel to each summer, rather, space is what we make it – through our actions, our relationships and our memories. While we anticipated this summer might be full of grief and loss, you proved us wrong – and we are so happy that you did!

What we have accomplished together over the past few months is nothing short of amazing. Including….

  • Over 40 virtual camper programs
  • Over 1600 clicks through RJ On the Go programming
  • 8 social media challenges
  • A virtual CIT program
  • 40+ staff involved in leading and assisting with virtual programs
  • 50+ alumni involved in various virtual alumni engagement opportunities
  • 9 staff participating in specialized staff training fellowships
  • 2 staff participating in internship programs
  • Three programs designed to open the conversation about racial injustice
  • 50 Shabbat bags given out at our Drive-Thru Kabbalat Shabbat
  • 8 new families who toured camp at our Maple Lake Bound tour
  • Shabbat…havdalah…campfire…and more!

Beyond these accomplishments we have been blown away by your personal successes and actions this summer. We see you finding ways to be together (at a safe distance!), to work towards change in your community through various projects, to support and raise up others. Most importantly, we take pride in your understanding that not running camp in person this summer was the right thing to do – for our own families, for each other, and for our larger community. As hard as it was for each of us, you helped us stay true to and live our values. This commitment to a greater good will help ensure that we can get back to Maple Lake as quickly as possible.

We owe a great deal of gratitude to the many staff who helped make camp come to life virtually this summer. Our Cornerstone and Nachshon Fellows, our Rosh Mishlachat, our CIT Directors, our Unit leadership, our songleaders, and countless other staff and alumni who supported and showed up for programs. We are indebted to you for energy, creativity, and commitment.

We know that for many of you, our virtual programs helped keep camp alive for you. We also know that others found ways to stay connected beyond our virtual programs. Whether you participated in our programs, engaged with our social media, or just kept camp in your hearts, we thank you.

So, what’s next? While our Summer 2020 program will conclude with Saturday night’s Closing Banquet (don’t forget to register HERE), you will hear more from us in the coming weeks. As you can imagine, we are busy working on registration for Summer 2021. While there is much to consider, it won’t be long before you hear more about our hopes and plans for reopening.

Until then, we wish you good health and a wonderful few weeks before the school year begins. As so many of us have done throughout this historic time in our history, we have looked for and found silver linings. If there is one silver lining we leave you with, it is this – no camp laundry to do!!!

Wishing you well and looking forward to seeing on Maple Lake for Summer 2021.

-Jeff and KK