We have all faced a great deal of uncertainty and unease since our country began battling the COVID-19 crisis, saddened by the loss of life for so many, and coping with the challenges of social distancing, remote schooling and working, and for many, loss of jobs.
At the same time, those of us here at Camp Fire First Texas and Camp El Tesoro de la Vida have been researching how we might be able to carry on safely with a summer camp program in a whole different manner.
Camp is inherently a social experience; it’s a community designed for children, youth and adults who live together, play together, learn together, and laugh together. Camp is a community based on hugs, pats on the back, high fives, and helping each other. The very essence of camp is incompatible with the strict form of social distancing, which at this time is our only weapon in fighting COVID-19.
The safety and health of our campers is, and always has been, of utmost importance. It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that our Board of Directors, at the recommendation of the leadership staff, has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s overnight camp.
We recognize that you as camp parents – and especially your children – will be very disappointed. For some, 2020 would have been their final year as a camper. Still others would have been attending for the first time, excited about the opportunity to stay overnight, ride horses, fish, swim, and make new friends. This blog will help as you talk to your child about this change to their summer plans.
We share your disappointment. Camp Fire has had overnight camping every summer since 1922, before we purchased the land that would become El Tesoro. We’ve held camp when the country has been at war, when flooding washed away the swinging bridge, and even when the temperatures reached 114 in the shade. Each year, the benefits of a summer camping experience have enabled tens of thousands of girls and boys to grow in the out-of-doors, become independent, find normalcy and healing and truly discover who they are at El Tesoro.
The volunteers and staff are discussing ways to offer some of the core experiences unique to El Tesoro de la Vida to your child throughout the summer. Please watch your email for additional details. Finally, If you have made payment toward the camp fee, you will be contacted regarding your funds and cancellation options.
If you have additional questions, please email the vice president of outdoor, Brian Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get back with you as soon as possible. Our office is closed and most staff are working remotely from their homes, so please bear with us – but we will respond.
Thank you for your support, patience and loyalty. Until we can all cross the swinging bridge into “ET, our second home”, we wish you health and happiness all year long.
Chair, Camp Fire First Texas Board of Directors
President/CEO, Camp Fire First Texas
Vice President, Outdoor
Volunteer Camp Director,
Camp El Tesoro de la Vida