Camp Wekeela for Boys and Girls 2020 -Why kids need camp!
We hope you and your family are healthy and enjoying the summer. We hope you saw our recent COVID-19 (all-negative) announcement video where we could get rid of masks. It was quite an emotional moment. I am not afraid to say I held back tears. Lori, not so much. In our 24 years at Wekeela, it was an absolutely surreal and amazing moment. We are just super grateful that our campers and staff are safe and healthy and having a memorable experience. Thank goodness for that!
This weekend was supposed to be our mid-summer, with our annual Visiting Day taking place yesterday. However, to keep our bubble of safety, no one can visit this summer. No parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, or alumni this year. Nobody. Sure we missed the line of cars proceeding down our winding camp path as the cars through the throngs of kids and staff yelling and screaming as the families came down the hill. Seeing those kids waving, cheering, and crying tears of joy is a priceless moment and a great Wekeela tradition. Hopefully we can bring it back next summer. In 2021, we hope to send our campers to places like the beach, water theme parks, amusement parks, and Portland Sea Dogs baseball games. The teens will hopefully visit places such as New Orleans, Boston, Montreal, Vermont, Bar Harbor, and Acadia Mountain to
name a few. However this season, our campers and their parents understand the priority at Wekeela is safety, staying healthy, and being COVID-19 free.
So instead of it being midsummer weekend, it’s College Weekend! And it has been fantastic. The campers and staff are having so much fun. It’s just another example of why it was so important to go through all the measures we did to open. Lori and I have never backed down from a challenge our entire life. Kids needed camp, and we are doing it! We did what most camps did not do, would not do, could not do, we opened!! We were faced with a daunting task and did not get intimidated; we got to work!! For the past few months, Lori and I have worked tirelessly making plans to ensure Wekeela would happen. We took precautions related to COVID-19 here at Camp Wekeela. In particular, our single session camp (no new kids coming in after the initial arrival date) and abiding by the State’s checklists that are on the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development website for businesses like ours that are open at this time. After a whole lot of safety measures and hundreds and hundreds of COVID-19 (negative) tests our camp “bubble” is COVID free!!
We are grateful to our parents who had the confidence and faith in us to open. Your children are resilient and amazing. They have reunited with friends, are forming new relationships, enjoying Little Bear Pond like never before, running (literally) all over camp, and playing fun games. Kids needed camp this summer more than ever. In our 24 years at Wekeela and every summer going back to 1922, camp has provided children opportunities for foundational social and emotional development, such as independent decision-making and self-reliance, environmental conservation and stewardship, and principled and ethical participation in communities. For our incredible counselors their first substantial job is an incredible opportunity where they have real responsibility and another crucial step on the road to a productive adulthood. This summer all staff are wearing capes. They are superheroes!
We wrap up our 24th season on August 13th. Thankfully, there’s still so much fun coming up. Our camp play, Lobster Bake, Gladiator, and Color War (1, 2, 3, 4 …) to name a few!!
Have a safe, healthy and fun rest of the summer.