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.
Day 4 at Island Lake and camp is now in full swing! It’s our third day of activities and everyone is getting settled into the majors/minors routine. The weather has been warm and sunny, except for a couple of quick rain showers after lunch today and a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon.
Excitement filled the air when the buses rolled into camp on Saturday afternoon. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces come off of those buses. Campers new to ILC started developing friendships almost immediately with other new and returning campers. Our staff has been fantastic thus far, helping their campers settle in immediately.
Summer kicked off with a new tradition- an “Opening Ceremony” down at the waterfront on the first evening. There we introduced our key staff and gave out 5- and 10- year jackets (and boy were there a lot!). We then had our usual make-your-own-sundae (aka “make-your-own-mess”) at canteen that night.
The following day was our 4-minor day where campers took deep water tests, tried out for the musicals, and were tested for levels in a variety of activities such as dance, music, horseback riding, and tennis. It was an opportunity for them to see what activities they wanted to sign up for as their majors, too. In the afternoon we had a big slip-and-slide party and opened the pool for a free swim before everyone signed up for their majors.
Yesterday was our first day of our regular schedule of majors and minors and the kids are now settling into their activities. Energy is high and there’s a great deal of spirit here at camp. We are confident that the weeks ahead will be the most exciting ones ever for our campers. Enjoy our daily photos and weekly videos on CampMinder, as well as our daily tweets and videos on our Facebook page. Until next time, ILC U THERE!
Three days until the Open House when we get to meet some of our new campers. We can’t wait. Camp looks sharp and we are ready. The weather today is perfect working weather and we are getting ready for a couple of hundred people to be here Saturday. The menu is set and the food will be delicious just like our Visiting Day buffet. We have been working hard these past two weeks and it will all pay off when everyone starts to arrive on Saturday.
Hey ILC Parents…This is it! Summer is just about here and we are happy to report that we are back at camp once again! It feels wonderful to return to our home away from home. We are sooooo EXCITED for your children’s arrival on June 22nd. We have amazing plans for this summer including new evening activities, Tribals in our 1st session, an awesome Color War theme, a teen trip to Cleveland, Ohio in session 3, and much more. Let us just say, we have some awesome plans to make summer 2013 the GREATEST, and we cannot wait to share it all with your children!
Summer 2013 parents, have you sent us all of your forms yet? Please make sure we have received your children’s profile, medical, and transportation forms, as well as your travel itinerary if you plan to be away while your kids are here at camp. You can fill out the profile and transportation forms directly online by logging into your CampMinder account. The medical form is not on our website so please be sure to fill out the form enclosed in your folder. If you misplaced it, just click “Forms & Mailings” in the “Families” section of our website to download a new one.
Speaking of photos and emails, don’t forget that by registering with CampMinder you can view our daily summer photos and weekly videos, as well as send emails to your children. We ask that only immediate family members email our campers because too much information from home can create unnecessary homesickness.
If you are checking out our website for the first time, enjoy your navigation while checking out all of our fun-filled activities and smiling faces. Our camp offers a program that furthers your children’s growth, independence, and sense of decision-making while simultaneously giving them the responsibility to create their own exciting summer. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions after browsing our website: 570-798-2550
Well, that’s about it for now! We look forward to meeting many of our new families at our OPEN HOUSE here at camp on Saturday, June 8th, at 11am sharp. We cannot wait to see the rest of our Island Lakers shortly afterwards! ILC U HERE!!!