In ninety-nine summers of operation no director before me has ever had to make an announcement like this. So it is with great sadness that I have to announce that due to an abundance of caution on what we currently know about the COVID-19 situation, we won’t be able to hold either Mother-Daughter Weekend or Mini Camp this summer.
For now, we’re still planning to hold Term Camp, perhaps on a delayed schedule. More on that below.
We will be counting down the days until next summer when we can have all of you on the banks of the Greenbrier River with us, whether that’s back again as in the case of alumnae moms who were slated for Mother-Daughter Weekend, or for the first time for first-time ‘Ghany moms and our youngest Mother-Daughter Campers and Mini Campers. You will be ALL missed this summer!
I want to explain a little bit about our reasoning for this decision, and the timing, and also touch on how this affects Term Camp this summer, too. I invite you to watch my video announcement about the cancellation (below), and urge you to please read the entire blog post on this, too.
Best Practices for Unusual Times
As you all know from experiencing these extraordinary times, information, decisions, and action on many issues in our lives have come fast, altered life as we know it quite quickly, and often changed on a day-to-day basis. There’s so much information on quarantine and re-opening schedules in different places that it’s sometimes difficult to keep up, and it can all feel overwhelming.
The almost daily changing nature of information on closures and best practices recommendations is one reason we waited as long as we did to make a decision on Mother-Daughter Weekend and Mini Camp. Both programs are slated for mid-June, and it seemed precipitous to make a decision about that on April 1st or 15th when it was still two and half months away.
Even now, pushes for opening the world as we know it come fast and are met with equally strong recommendations to not risk public and personal health by moving too quickly into a possibly life threatening unknown.
At Alleghany we’ve followed the changing predictions and recommendations every single day.
Our advice and guidance are provided by non-political agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, the American Camp Association, the West Virginia Health Department, and the Health Department of Greenbrier County where ‘Ghany is located.
And while we’re still a little over a month away from what would be our Mother-Daughter Weekend and Mini Camp sessions, we recognize a need for your family’s scheduling and planning, as well as our own planning for the actual structure and events of those camp sessions, staffing, and supplies.
At what is a reasonable cutoff date for us, in terms of all we’d need to do to confidently make those two sessions happen in their full form, we’ve concluded that without a more definitive go ahead from the agencies named above for those camp session dates, we regretfully must cancel those two early programs.
Families enrolled in either Mother-Daughter Weekend or Mini Camp will be receiving e-mails today, May 15th, 2020, concerning:
- Rolling over your camper’s place at ‘Ghany for next summer.
- Your financial and enrollment options (and incentives).
- Options for donating paid funds if desired.
- Withdrawing and getting a refund with no rollover registration for 2021.
We urge you to review that information and follow the steps outlined in your e-mail which includes responding to our Google Form about your choices.
Our greatest hope is that you’ll decide to roll over your daughter’s enrollment to next summer. After all, you had decided to invest in summer camp to help your daughter enjoy a summer of personal development, connection to nature, social and emotional connection to peers and counselors, physical fitness and fun. Keeping her enrolled is a vote of confidence for ‘Ghany during these tough times, as well as a continued investment in your daughter’s outdoor education. When next summer rolls around, summer camp will be more needed than ever!
In the meantime, we ask that you watch the video messages from our Mother-Daughter Weekend Heads Ace Dandridge and her daughter Mae Dandridge and/or the Mini Camp video message from Mini Camp Director Beth-Anne (B.A.) Clark Thomas.
We’ll be posting a blog shortly with coaching and helpful tips about how to talk to your camper about this cancellation. Please watch for that and as always, share with us any of your comments and concerns.
So what does this mean for Term Camp?
Just as we hesitated to make a decision too quickly about our early programs, we’re equally cautious about making a decision about Term Camp until we have more clarity about what’s likely to happen in the summer. And given that limited roll-outs for opening various businesses are happening even as we speak, it seems to us prudent to wait a couple more weeks, until June 1st, to decide what might happen with Term Camp.
This also gives us time to process the nearly 100 campers and camp families affected by our decisions about Mini Camp and Mother-Daughter Weekend.
At this point we’re looking at various scenarios for Term Camp, such as a delayed opening, shorter terms, or the regrettable (but understandable) need to cancel. We will be making our Term Camp decision and announcement on June 1st, and will outline the plan for you then. In the meantime we’ll send you an email today about the Mini Camp and Mother-Daughter Weekend cancellations just to keep you further in the loop on that.
Since we’re coming up on our 100-year anniversary in 2022, Camp Alleghany for Girls is almost a Century Camp! We’re strong, we’re vital, we have rich traditions, and an amazing community of friends, family, and supporters, a top notch staff both year-round and for the summers, and beloved campers who make the whole project the joy that it is.
We ask that you join us in holding ‘Ghany in your hearts as we navigate these unusual times.
Please do stay tuned for our June 1st announcement about Term Camp.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and hold your loved ones close!
— Elizabeth Shreckhise, Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls