18 May 2020
Friends and Supporters of Metigoshe Ministries,
I want to begin by thanking you for your continued prayers during this difficult and stressful time. Please know you and your communities also remain in our prayers regularly. Today, I am pleased to be able to share some more far-reaching (in the context of these rapidly changing pandemic times, at least) plans for both summer camp and our retreat ministry.
Our staff and board have been working diligently to create a plan based on the best recommendations available from a wide variety of sources including: First District Health; ND Dept. of Health; the CDC; the American Camping Association (ACA); as well as state and national governmental recommendations. Much of that guidance just arrived to us on Friday (ND Dept of Health), and over the weekend (ACA).
The health and safety of our campers, retreaters, all guests, and staff are of the utmost importance. Our decades-long holding of ACA accreditation is testament to our commitment to uphold the highest standards in the summer camp world. In the midst of a global pandemic, those commitments take on an even greater importance.
SUMMER CAMP PLANS
In order to have sufficient time to not only plan and implement additional health and safety protocols, but also to appropriately train our summer camp staff, we will not be ready to welcome any campers on-site until June 28th. That means the first three weeks of our original camp season will no longer take place.
We have updated our summer schedule, and placed a pause on accepting any new registrations in order to give those who are already registered the first chance of rescheduling for a week of camp later this summer. They will have until this Thursday to update their camp registration; general registrations will re-open at the beginning of next week (Monday, May 25th). All registered campers have been sent an email and will receive a call in the coming days from one of our staff members.
Our new camp schedule is posted on our website, and shows us running camp an extra week longer than initially scheduled. We will finish the summer with our 32nd annual Ojibwa Week camp from August 10-13.
We are also excited to share that our summer staff is also preparing a wide variety of digital, online Camp Metigoshe experiences for the coming summer. We want Adventure Anchored in Christ to be available to all people. It is already clear that some families will choose to keep children at home, and we understand and respect this choice. In addition, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel a handful of our summer programs. Providing an online alternative keeps open the possibility of staying in touch with Camp Metigoshe even when you might need to stay at home.
As mentioned above, we have had to take the difficult decision to cancel 3 programs for the 2020 Camp Metigoshe season. Voyageurs Camps; congregation-based Day Camps; and confirmation camp will not take place this year – we look forward to bringing them back next summer. And – depending on how safety and health screening options develop in the coming months – we are also actively preparing for the possibility that we might be able to offer some shortened program options later this summer and into the fall!
For those whose camps have been cancelled, or who otherwise determine they won’t be able to come to camp this year, there will be three options for camp deposits and other fees already paid:
- Apply it toward Camp Metigoshe summer camp 2021 registration
- Re-designate some or all funds as a donation gift to support our ministry
- Receive a refund
For those able to consider either of the first two options, it would be an immense blessing to our ministry during a year of great uncertainty and financial anxiety. But we also recognize that many families are experiencing these same burdens, which is why we have made all deposits & registrations fully refundable throughout the 2020 camp season. Those who choose option three, fees will be refunded to you no later than the Friday immediately prior to when your camp session was scheduled to start.
Further updates with details of updated protocols and approaches to programming based on the guidance we have received from health and governmental agencies will be provided in the coming weeks.
The Christian Center remains closed to guests at this time. However, we are actively working on a plan to reopen our retreat center space as soon as we are able to implement health and safety protocols as recommended by the ND Dept. of Health and the ACA. At this time, our goal is to be ready to receive guests again by the middle of June. More specifics regarding exact reopening dates will be provided as soon we are able to do so. We will continue to be in regular communication with already-scheduled retreat groups so they are able to make appropriate plans.
As recently reported, all spring and summer special events remain postponed with no rescheduled dates announced at this time. Those events include: Annual Meeting; Work Day; Quilt Auction; Summer CIII Donor Banquet; Dedication of Christian Center Addition. Once it is appropriate to do so, we will announce rescheduled dates for these events.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding throughout this process. Don’t hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or concerns.
Anchored in Christ,
Rev. Jon Halvorson