Camp Wekeela Updates
Update as of May 22, 2020
We hope this email finds you all safe and healthy! We thank you for your patience, it has been a challenging time for all of us. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, Camp Wekeela will be opening this summer! We have been in Maine since early March working on a plan for opening and we are confident that we can operate as the place we all call home for the summer.
Our Own Wekeela Bubble
Camp Wekeela 2020 will run for five weeks, July 9th through August 13th. Staff members must arrive two weeks ahead of the campers for extensive training and quarantine, while campers will be asked to quarantine at home during this time – this is really important to the success of a healthy camp experience.
Upon staff arrival through departure, no one will come in or out of camp, other than for food deliveries, and essential business. Any deliveries will be handled from a separate area of camp and under serious safety guidelines. We’ll maximize the use of our large campus as if we lived on an island, with only our Wekeela family members coming in contact with each other. We have a team of administrators working hard on programming so that we can enjoy both new and old traditions using safety measures to protect each one of our family members.
We have gone to great lengths to protect our campers and staff, with many adjustments in order to mitigate risk. Our COVID-19 plan will be shared soon and will include clinical checks by our health center staff. We have learned all about COVID-19 as we sheltered in place. We know unfortunately that the virus still exists. We also know other things – the percentage of cases for healthy children world wide has been a little over 1 percent. We also know that Maine has consistently been a state with very low cases of COVID-19, with the majority recovered. Much of our Wekeela family is healthy and under the age of 25. Which puts us at a very low risk and which is why we decided to open. We also know that while the world opens up all around us, children will be at malls, pools, friends houses, the beach, and will be at far greater exposure than they would be at camp. We honestly feel that camp is one of the safest communities for all of us this summer. If we did not truly believe this, we would not be opening. As we often say, we are in the business of taking care of children, and safety is our number one priority.
Every summer we are responsible for caring for your children and we are committed to providing safe and loving care for all of our children and staff. We will follow all CDC procedures and guidelines that we received specifically for overnight camps in Maine. Understand that Wekeela is by no means a medical facility, but we have twice as many health professionals working with us this summer, two fantastic medical hospitals in our town,who are ready for the summer and whatever it may bring.
Why is Wekeela Opening While Others Have Opted Not To?
After many months of meetings with our colleagues, medical professionals, our own leadership, and personal reflection, we believe opening is the best thing for our campers. We have always tried to mitigate risk and follow safety precautions long before this virus came along. This is what camp directors do.
We know that many of our friends in camping, both in Maine and around the country, have already made the difficult choice not to open this summer. This is a very personal decision for each camp and director, and our hearts go out to them, their campers, and their families as they grieve the loss of camp. There is no right or wrong in the decisions we have all had to make.
We have decided, based on many factors, that we wanted to open and here is some of our thought process:
- Oxford County, Maine has been very safe since the beginning of the pandemic.
- We have an extremely low population for risk.
- We have hired double the amount of health professionals.
- We have purchased ample amounts of PPE and cleaning supplies
- We have committed to our strategy of quarantining and best practices – which include following CDC and ACA guidelines.
- After four months of being home and being on screens, the mix of sunshine, the outdoors, friendships and fun are what we all need right now.
- As the world opens up rapidly, risks of getting sick at malls, pools, beaches, etc are far greater than being at camp.
- Some semblance of good news and something for us all to look forward to.
This was not an easy decision for us. It has been months of emotions and soul searching, but as we have continually said, we are not only camp directors in the best of times, we are camp directors always.
We know some of you still may be apprehensive about sending your child to camp this summer. This is a personal decision that you must feel comfortable with – we do not want anyone to feel worried about sending your child to Wekeela. If you or your child has anxiety regarding this summer, or if your child is at high risk for COVID-19, we respect your decision to wait until 2021. We only wish for a camp experience to be one that is filled with joy. Whatever tuition you have paid through March will remain in your account until next summer. We are not refunding money at this time due to the expenses incurred in order to prepare for your child’s arrival this summer.
Even though we will have modifications in order to keep your child safe, our summer camp is still based on the foundations of family and friendship. We emphasize kindness and respect and fun and love. The Wekeela you all love will be the Wekeela of 2020.
Dates & Rates
- Opening Day is Thursday, July 9. All campers must arrive on this day only. Details regarding travel options will follow next week.
- Closing Day is Thursday, August 13.
- Tuition for the 2020 season has been modified and will be adjusted on your bill:
- Full session July 9-August 13: $11,000
- Rookie session July 9 – July 23 : $4,400
- Three Week Session July 9- July 30: $6,200
- Four Week Session July 9- August 6: $8,300
Your child may opt for a longer session if you choose this, but we must be notified immediately.
Payments will resume June 1st, which is when all balances are due.
If you are paying by check please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for your final balance. Our mailing address is: Camp Wekeela 1750 Bear Pond Road, Hartford, Maine 04220. We moved to Maine and camp in March. Please do NOT send anything to the NJ address.
We will be sending you a complete COVID-19 safe at “home” plan as well as a waiver under a separate email very soon.
Please fill out all forms at our website www.campwekeela.com and use the password cwparentportal — it is vital these forms get filled out as soon as possible.
We will make sure to communicate any and all things Wekeela throughout the next few weeks. We will continue to keep informed and pass on any news related to COVID-19 and Maine. We will make sure to prepare for meeting all guidelines set out by the state and the CDC. Most importantly, we will prepare for your child/ren’s arrival on the shores of Little Bear Pond. We are so excited to see your children!
With gratitude and love,
The Caflun Family