Monthly Archives: May 2020

June Parent News

Hey ILC parents!  This is not my typical June blog that I always post with excitement each summer.  This is usually the time when I tell you that we are so excited because we just arrived at ILC and we are working hard to prepare camp for your children’s arrival in a few short weeks.  This is when I usually tell you about waking up to smell of the country air, the sounds of the birds chirping, and the cool crisp June temps (which are all a nice reprieve from my South Florida humidity and heat).  This is also when I usually remind you to send in all of your forms, set up your CampMinder accounts, set up your Waldo accounts for photos, and start labeling items and packing your children up for camp.

But sadly, in the world we are currently living, we have to put sleep away camp on hold for a year.  It’s heartbreaking,…truly devastating and heartbreaking.  We share in your children’s sadness as this is just as difficult for us, if not more.  As I’ve previously mentioned, my parents started working at sleep away camp in 1973 when they were school teachers.  I turned 2 years old that summer and between 1973 and 2020 my family missed only one other summer when I was about 5 or 6 years old.  Other than that, I have been attending sleep away camp just about every single summer of my life.  Camp is in my blood, it is my bones, and most of all, ILC is in my heart and soul.  I am still mourning the loss of summer 2020 and feel that I’m still going through the grieving process.  I know I will be ok, as will all of you.  We will get through this and hopefully we will come out stronger on the other side.

So what will we do all summer to keep our Island Lakers in contact with one another?  Well, we will Zoom but of course!  We have some Zoom sessions set up for the first week of June and we’ll have plenty throughout the summer months.  We’ll send emails out to our camp parents to let you all know about these sessions.  We’re going to plan some activities with our department heads and some hang outs with our counselors.  We hope all of our summer 2020 campers will join us so we can see all of their smiling faces.

Below are some Opening Day photos from last summer.  These pictures aren’t meant to bring sadness for what we will be missing this summer, rather they will hopefully put a smile on all of your faces as we count down to next summer.

Stay healthy, stay well, and before we know it, ILCUTHERE in 391 days!!!

Summer 2020

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, Matt, and Bev

P.S.  Please click the link below and watch this video 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.