It is with heavy hearts and careful consideration, that we inform you that Camp Daniel’s Leadership Team and Board of Directors have made the difficult decision to cancel all summer camp sessions for 2020. Because the safety and well-being of our campers and volunteers is Camp Daniel’s number one priority, we believe this is the prudent response to the coronavirus pandemic. For our campers and our volunteers, being close is a part of how we do things at camp; close quarters, physical care, swimming, high fives, hugs, meals, and activities. The fun and quality of care that is standard at Camp Daniel is not possible with the current safety restrictions. Above all, we believe it is our responsibility to lead in love, value, and protection of the disability community by putting the health and well-being of our campers at the forefront of our actions.
It is devastating to imagine our brand new campus sitting empty this summer. We know our campers, volunteers, interns and summer staff who were planning to spend the summer with us will be deeply disappointed. We share in that disappointment and grieve the loss of our time gathering this summer with our camp family. However, after consulting with public health officials, medical personnel, leaders within the disability community, and at the recommendation of Camp Daniel’s insurance company, we believe this to be the wisest decision for everyone involved.
The last consideration of our decision has been the completion of the dining hall. Since the restrictions implemented in March, we have lost all volunteer labor, which is crucial for completion of the dining hall. Additionally, we have not received some of the financial pledges that were designed for construction. These funds, are critical to make the dining hall operational. The extra hours our missionaries and interns are working have compensated for some of the volunteer shortages, but that cannot make up the financial shortcoming of 20%.
Now more than ever, we need the prayer and support of our community. We have launched a new online shop with merchandise to give you an opportunity to support Camp Daniel and bring a piece of camp home to you. We also ask, if you have the ability, to prayerfully consider a donation of any size to help us make up for a financial shortcoming. We are dedicated to wisely stewarding all resources and continuing to provide the best programs and opportunities for our campers.
It is with great sadness that we share this decision with you, as we know the disappointment it will bring for so many, especially the campers who desperately need the love of Jesus shown through the relationships built at camp. This was to be our 25th year of camp, finally on our own campus. But because it is not to be, that does not mean we will lose trust in God’s plan. We will be looking for God’s blessings as we work our way to the other side of this pandemic.
An email explaining the next steps in the cancellation process has been sent to the login emails used in the submission of 2020 camper applications. Each camper will need to fill out a 2020 Cancellation Form by June 5th. The form will tell Camp Daniel how you would like to proceed with your camp fees that have already been deposited. For all volunteers: No further action is needed on your part to cancel applications.
Again, we love each of you and we share in your disappointment. Still, we hold fast to our trust in God’s plan for Camp Daniel and we are thankful for this community that supports us through these unprecedented times.
While we are not able to meet in person this summer, we are working on ways to gather online with our Camp Daniel family. We are hosting weekly video calls via Zoom every Wednesday at 3pm CT to help connect while social distancing. It’s in no way a replacement of our time spent together at a week of camp, but we are already thankful for the campers and volunteers who have joined these online meetings. Head to campdaniel.org/events/zoom for more information.
We launched an online camp store, The Trading Post, to help bring a bit of the magic of Camp Daniel to your doorstep. Check out all the Camp Daniel merchandise at shop.campdaniel.org! The Trading Post offers brand new camp apparel, mugs, hats, framed prints, stickers, bags, teddy bears, a Camp Daniel adult coloring book, and more. All profits from the shop will go to dining hall construction.
Any further events on the Camp Daniel Campus will be based upon the recommendations of public health officials, medical personnel, leaders within the disability community, and our insurance company. We will continue to do our best to be transparent as new information is released and decisions are made. While we are cancelling our summer sessions, we are holding out hope for our camp family to reunite on our new campus in 2020. We look forward to a Grand Opening Ceremony and launch of a brand new vacation program as soon as it is safe for all.
Handling Of Camp Fees:
We are offering several options on handling fees already paid to Camp Daniel. Please consider which option is best for you and let us know by filling out the 2020 Cancellation Form (link). This Form must be submitted by June 5th. Please allow 4 weeks for processing. We appreciate your patience during this time.
Agency Payments – If an agency was responsible for the camp fee, we will notify them of summer camp cancellation. If you sent additional money to Camp Daniel for snack stand and/or gift shop, then a Cancellation Form must be filled out for that account balance.
Donate – Would you consider donating a portion of camp fee payments you’ve made to help us navigate this unprecedented financial challenge? Camp Daniel is a 501-(c)3 charitable organization. This option is tax deductible and you have the option to receive a tax receipt.
Gift Card – You can use all or a portion of your account balance to buy a Camp Daniel gift card in any amount. A new camp t-shirt can soften the blow of camp being cancelled and offer something to look forward to! The digital gift card can be used on merchandise at the online shop, The Trading Post. You can also buy a gift card for someone else who would love some new Camp Daniel gear.
Partial Refund – Interested in a combo plan? A partial refund will give you the opportunity to customize your account balance.
Partial refund options:
1. Donate a portion of your account balance to Camp Daniel. Indicate the amount to donate. Any amount is tax-deductible.
2. Spend a portion of your account on a Camp Daniel digital gift card to be used at the online shop, The Trading Post.
3. Receive the remainder of your account balance as a refund by the same method used to pay.
Full Refund – Receive a full refund by the same method used to pay.
If you have any additional questions, please email email@example.com or call 715-757-3880.