Dear Island Lake Parents,
In our 35 years of owning and running Island Lake we never thought we would have to send this letter. Due to restrictions placed on our operations, Island Lake will be unable to open this summer. We are heartbroken by this.
The guidelines that have come out from the American Camp Association and their consultants say that social distancing is a recommended guideline for 2020. Island Lake cannot be Island Lake with these restrictions so we have made this difficult decision.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is in a phased reopening; Red, Yellow, & Green. Wayne County is currently in red which means stay at home. When it goes to yellow there are restrictions in place that will not allow us to open. The Green Phase has yet to be defined; the rules currently say follow current CDC guidelines. We are sure those will include distancing and mask requirements through the end of the summer. In fact, the criteria that will be used to move a region from the Yellow Phase to the Green Phase are still not determined. A region could be moved back to yellow or red if there is a resurgence of the virus meaning that even if we don’t have an outbreak at camp the Commonwealth could shut us down.
To give you an idea of how important camp is to us, for Matt this will be his first summer not at camp since 1985 and second since 1972. Wendy has also only missed one summer since 1972 and she was very young at the time. The worst decision that we could make would be to open and then have to close because of an outbreak at our facility or in our region.
COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in some way. As adults, we have all had different emotions and difficulties dealing with this pandemic. It is impossible for us to understand the emotions our children are going through as a result of this decision. We were so hopeful to be able to have our campers come to camp and erase some of their fears, anxieties and day to day worries with good old fashioned fun. We are heartbroken that summer will not be a reprieve for them, and for you.
As stated in an earlier email, all registrations for 2020 will be honored for 2021. Campers who would have been entering their last year as campers will still be allowed to be together, as campers, for 2021. If anyone would like to be a CIT, they may choose that option. Please hold off on letting us know your decision until we ask for it. We are still absorbing this in our minds.
It seems surreal to be writing this to you and I’m sure it seems the same to be receiving it. I press the send button with great sadness. We wish you and your families health and happiness in the coming months. And of course, ILCUTHERE 2021!
Wendy, Ricki and Matt, Bev
P.S. Please watch the video below with your campers. It is with heavy hearts that we put this together, along with making the decision, to not open Island Lake this summer. We wish you all good health and happiness this summer.
Island Lake is located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania. The picturesque setting of our 550 acre property includes two large lakes for our abundance of water sports and many trails to accommodate our Equestrian, Mountain Biking, and Pioneering programs.
Our campers are housed in comfortable cabins which include a bathroom containing two showers, two stalls, and three sinks. Each cabin has a covered porch and glass windows with screens. The beds are separated by half-walls, affording each camper extra privacy. There are cubbies and hanging space in every bunk with a dresser and an outlet next to each bed, making all of our campers' living accommodations as comfortable as possible. There are approximately 12 campers living in each bunk with 3 counselors, ensuring proper supervision of every child.
Enjoy your meals in our modern, cafeteria-style dining room. Our breakfasts include a choice of cold cereals as well as a hot entrée ranging from bagels to pancakes to French toast. For lunch and dinner we offer a choice of several main courses, overabundant salad bars, fresh fruits, juices and milk. Of course, we also offer a vegetarian course with each meal. Our meals would not be complete without our homemade desserts prepared daily by our own baker. We are able to accommodate all special dietary needs and our dining room is nut and peanut free. Bon Appetit!
Island Lake boasts a huge, new, air-conditioned infirmary furnished with modern equipment. Our doctor and nurses are prepared to handle any medical needs that may arise.
Island Lake has an Olympic-size swimming pool in addition to our 2 on-campus lakes. Campers participate in all swimming, waterskiing, and boating activities, or they can relax on the beach with their friends. The 20,400 square foot athletic center, ball fields, volleyball courts, archery center, hockey rink, mountain biking center, batting cage, basketball courts, gymnastics center, a 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art skate park, 13 tennis courts, and 18-hole disc golf course accommodate our athletes. Art is located in a pavilion-style building so the children can spend their creative time in the fresh air. A circus building invites the children to participate in the many exciting activities along with indoor and outdoor flying trapezes. The equestrian center houses 24 horses along with an outdoor ring and many trails throughout the camp. The Island Lake Theater contains digital lighting, professional sound and attached technical theater departments and rehearsal rooms, allowing the campers to perform in a professional setting. Dance studios, a magic building, three music studios and science center, including digital video programs and cooking, are additional facilities for the children to enjoy. The pioneering program includes a 17-station challenge course, 2 climbing towers and the exciting giant swing as well as a zip line.
Each night, after evening activity, we all head for the canteen where you can have snacks and socialize with your friends. The canteen offers you hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, soda, ice cream, hot pretzels, popcorn, nachos, and a large selection of your favorite candies and healthy snacks. It's a great way to end your fun-filled Island Lake day!