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.
At Island Lake we have three Lazy Days during first session and two during the second. On Lazy Day there is no formal wake-up, you are free to get out of bed anytime before our 10:30am brunch. Breakfast is available early for those who want it. In the afternoon you will take a trip to the movies, a bowling alley, or an amusement or water park.
We take various "field trips" for different activities, as well. Each session we take our baseball enthusiasts to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Canoers and kayakers who can paddle strongly have the opportunity to take an overnight trip down the Delaware River each session. Campers who enjoy science can go on trips during the summer to an observatory and a coal mine. Magicians have an opportunity once a summer to go to the Houdini Museum.
We have a three day Color War during our second session. Each summer we create new theme names for the two teams and they use those names in imaginative ways throughout their three days of fun. All campers and staff are divided into these two teams to compete in all aspects of camp. If you’re a camper with no interest in sports, there are other ways to get involved and truly love Color War!
There is a "Teen Trip" each summer during our second session, as well. We rotate between Cleveland, Toronto & Niagara Falls, Boston, and Montreal & Quebec. Any camper in attendance during the second session who is entering ninth grade or older is eligible for this. Check out our “Teen Trip” link to the left for more details.