Camp Echo will continue to update this space regarding COVID-19 and preparations for Summer 2020:
Update: March 31st, 2020: We're Here To Help
We hope this message finds you well, in good health and spirits.
Each day as we prepare for Summer 2020 with our leadership team, we are reminded of the special community that we all share. This is especially true during challenging times. We love hearing the stories of Echoites virtual meet-ups on Zoom, families dancing together for our Instagram dance parties, counselors from around the world checking on their campers, and Alumni offering a helping hand. Simply...it's special and we are forever grateful.
It is also true that in these times, the biggest burden falls on you -- parents. Please know that we are not just partners for the summer months but year-round and are here should you need anything...just ask.
While not much has changed since our email from March 17th...through our conversations with local/state officials, our own medical professionals, and colleagues in camping - we remain incredibly optimistic and are counting down the days until summer. We realize there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the news and our world but please know we have Plans A-Z on the table. Each of these options prioritizes the health and safety of our campers and staff and the quality of our childcare. We will share these with you in greater detail as we inch closer to the camp season.
All of this will pass and as one of our campers beautifully shared with us this past weekend "we all need something to look forward to, and camp is that for me." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. It's why we do what we do and it's the reason we will adapt and adjust as needed to bring an incredible Echo experience to our campers.
As always, we will continue to keep you informed by email, our coronavirus update page at CampEcho.com, and across our digital communities.
Stay healthy and know we are here for you...
All our best,
Jeff and Cindy
Update: March 17th, 2020: Why Are We So Optimistic? Steps We're Taking Towards Summer 2020
Firstly, how are you holding up? We realize these are challenging and uncertain times for all of us. As camp directors, we are constantly reminded of the incredible camp community that is Camp Echo and we are thinking of you all, especially our campers as we navigate these weeks together.
As we mentioned in our update from last week, we are incredibly optimistic for Summer 2020 to go on as planned. We realize the constant stream of news and changing guidelines bring unknowns to tomorrow, let alone 100 days from now but we are confident, and we feel it's important to share with you why:
- We have time on our side. As of today, camp is 102 days away and we are confident that the drastic steps taken now will help slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Camp is the safest place for children to be. Overnight camps are isolated without people coming and going and without presenting a risk to individuals in the high-risk categories. We have the ability and the resources to refine arrival processes if need be (to include medical screenings) and we will continue to work with our medical team to make adjustments as summer approaches.
- Camp Echo has more American staff than we have ever had in our history (that's 96 Years!). This gives us the coverage needed for all of our cabins and program areas to run as we would in any other summer. Our staff applications remain open at CampEcho.com and we encourage those interested in working at camp this summer to apply.
- We have the best on-site medical team who provides tremendous TLC to our campers and staff each and every summer. This year will be no different and we are so grateful for their time and support over these past few weeks in developing an 'Action Plan' that can be put into place if required.
We need to take this day by day - together, and we will. Camp Echo has implemented the following:
- We have established a Coronavirus Update Page at CampEcho.com. Our team will work to update this as frequently as possible and as new information comes available. We will continue to send you emails with pertinent information as we move forward.
- We are adjusting our final payment schedule and changing the final payment due date from April 1st to May 15th. Please know, no payment will be processed unless it is authorized by you.
- We know there are camps that have sent Insurance Policies to families for purchase. We do not feel that this is necessary, and/or insures you sufficiently.
- Working and learning from home is hard! Over the coming days and weeks, we will be using all of our digital communities to provide some relief and entertainment...including our Palance Dance Party on Instagram LIVE this Wednesday at 8 PM! If you don't know what this is...ask your campers and be ready for a workout! Be sure to film and share your experience with us!
Please know, we're in this together. We will always do what's right for our camp families, campers, and staff. For 96 years, Echo has been providing memorable summers to thousands, because the work that we do is important. Our children need camp, and we are continuing to work around the clock to ensure that Summer 2020 is the safest and best one we have ever seen.
Please continue to check CampEcho.com for updates. We'll be back in touch soon!
Jeff and Cindy
Update From March 12th, 2020
Like you, we have been carefully monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the US and abroad and know that you may have questions and concerns as the summer inches closer.
As you know, the safety and wellbeing of our campers and staff is at the forefront of everything we do. We want to provide you with a brief update to share the steps we have taken (and will continue to take) with this developing situation:
- Camp Echo works very closely with the NYS Department of Health and will continue to do so leading up to the summer. We are using the CDC guidelines and recommendations to develop procedures and protocol in collaboration with our own medical team of Doctors and Nurses as a precaution.
- Echo has sent a team to The American Camp Association's Tri-State Camp Conference to learn more about COVID-19 and the best practices leading up to camp.
- We are in constant communication with our international staffing partners who work with agencies on a state and federal level to vet and regulate international staff working at camp. We have the highest level of confidence in these partnerships and can/will make changes if necessary.
- We are carefully monitoring cases in communities where our camp families are and will continue to do so.
We know that things are moving quickly but we have every expectation that Summer 2020 will go on as planned. Rest assured, Camp Echo will always prioritize health and safety and keep you updated as we move closer to opening day. We are counting down the days.
Jeff and Cindy