YMCA Camp Timbers

Summer Camp 2020 Program Cancellation

Summer 2020 Program Cancellation

For the past two months, we’ve all been working through the challenges and uncertainties brought upon by the COVID-19 crisis.  For us at camp, that’s included closely monitoring recommendations and restrictions, planning a wide variety of possible scenarios and program changes, and consulting a range of professionals, including those with the American Camp Association, the CDC, Y-USA, and national, state, and local health experts.

The health and safety of our campers, staff, and families has always been our top priority.  Our ability to responsibly honor that priority has been, and continues to be, our primary concern.

Out of this concern, our staff and volunteer leadership have made the difficult, but clear and unanimous, decision to cancel our Summer 2020 camps at YMCA Camp Timbers. This includes all of our programs – overnight camps and CITs, day camps, and adventure trips – originally scheduled for June and July.

A video message sharing this announcement is available here: Summer 2020 Cancellation Announcement.

 

Anyone registered for a program within that time frame should have received an email with additional details to the address provided during registration.  Please contact us at 989-345-2630 or Timbers@SaginawYMCA.org if this is not readily available.

We will continue to monitor the changing circumstances and follow to guidance from the American Camp Association, Y-USA, CDC, and other national, state, and local health experts to determine any additional cancellations that may be necessary.  The health and safety of our campers is always our top priority.  As it is safe and responsible to do so, we will reintroduce programs and operations.

This closure only pertains to YMCA Camp Timbers, based on what we believe to be best for our specific camp community.  We recognize that camps vary a great deal in their programs, staffing, facilities, and communities served and each has a wide variety of factors to consider.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Is YMCA Camp Timbers open?

At this time, YMCA Camp Timbers is closed.  Currently, all summer camp programs are cancelled impacting those camps, trips, and events scheduled now through July.  A video message from our Camp Director, Brian Miller, is available here: Summer 2020 Cancellation Announcement.

Anyone registered for a program within that time frame should have received an email with additional details to the address provided during registration.  Please contact us at 989-345-2630 or Timbers@SaginawYMCA.org if this is not readily available.

We will continue to monitor the changing circumstances and follow to guidance from the American Camp Association, Y-USA, CDC, and other national, state, and local health experts to determine any additional cancellations that may be necessary.  The health and safety of our campers is always our top priority.  As it is safe and responsible to do so, we will reintroduce programs and operations.

This closure only pertains to YMCA Camp Timbers, based on what we believe to be best for our specific camp community.  We recognize that camps vary a great deal in their programs, staffing, facilities, and communities served and each has a wide variety of factors to consider.  For these reasons other camps may reach different decisions about what is best for, and possible with, their camp community.

 

Why can’t camp be delayed until later in the summer?

Based on current recommendations and guidelines camp programs this summer would be drastically different from what our campers know and love.   Recommendations for social distancing, limiting group size, avoiding the use of shared equipment, and PPE availability and usage would make camp unrecognizable this summer.  At this time, we don’t feel comfortable that we can meet these new needs in the safe and thorough manner our campers deserve this summer while also maintaining our high-quality impactful and fun programming.

 

If the situation improves, is it possible to have camps yet this summer?

Unfortunately, due to the amount preparation needed to prepare our facilities, programs, and staff for summer camp we are not be able to reverse this decision mid-summer.

As the situation improves, we anticipate offering new opportunities at camp as it is safe and responsible to do so.  While these won’t replace the experience of summer camp, we hope that we can still offer families ways to enjoy camp in other meaningful ways by late summer.

 

What happens to my payment?

We are offering several options for families regarding payments they’ve already made.  While we hope families will be able to apply this as a credit to a future program, we certainly understand if a refund is necessary.

  1. Credit towards a 2021 Camp: For those who do so we will honor our 2020 rate for next year, which avoids likely annual rate adjustments.  Dates for 2021 will be finalized later this summer.
  2. Donation to YMCA Camp Timbers:   As a non-profit (501c3), the YMCA of Saginaw relies on the generosity of families, organizations, and businesses to support our operating expenses and subsidize the cost of camp for our families.  Your support will help ensure the continued operation and upkeep of camp through 2020.
  3. Refund of 2020 Payment: If none of the above options are feasible for your family, we will provide a full refund of 100% of fees paid (including the $50 deposit).

If requested, we’ll provide a full refund of all fees paid (including the $50 deposit).  Payments will be refunded to the credit card used for payment or in the form of a mailed check (for cash, check, or money order payments).  We will process these as soon as possible, and we anticipate having all refunds returned within the next 30 days.

 

What if I apply my payment to 2021 but need to cancel or change sessions later?

These are unprecedented times, and we want to be as fair as possible for families.  For families who wish to apply their previous payment to 2021, we will honor the offer of a full refund through December 31, 2020 should they need to cancel at a later date.  We’ll also offer session changes to another 2021 camp program, as always, for no penalty or loss until the final payment deadline for 2021 camp.

 

One of my children will be too old for camp next year, can I apply their 2020 payment towards a 2021 program for another child?

Yes.  Any payments from this year that are credited towards 2021 will be applied to your family account balance.  This will be available to use for any child in your family.

 

When can I register for next year?

We will be finalizing our 2021 camp session dates later this summer, as well as our 2021 camp fees.  At that time, we will email all previously registered families with an invitation to register, with first priority giving to those families who apply their 2020 camp payment towards 2021.  Additional details will also be available at www.CampTimbers.org.

 

This is going to be really difficult news for my camper.  Do you have any advice on how to talk to them about summer camp being cancelled?

Whether 2020 was going to be your child’s first summer at camp, or whether they planned on it being their final summer after growing up with us for years, we know it will be difficult as one more piece of tough news after months of cancellations and disappointments.  Remember, you know your child best – you are the expert in knowing what they’ll need and how to support them.  Below, are a few suggestions we hope may help.

We think it’s important to let your child know that it’s OK to feel upset – sad, frustrated, disappointed – by the news that camp is cancelled.  As parents it’s tempting for us to want to problem solve or minimize their emotions. It’s OK to sit with them, listen, acknowledge their feelings and not offer solutions right away.  It’s also OK to ask them, “how can I help?”  Perhaps they just need some time and space, maybe they’ll want to talk about camp memories or hopes, or it may be that they have other ideas.

For additional suggestions, we recommend a video created specifically for this situation by Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist and author: https://www.tinabryson.com/news/video-helping-our-kids-manage-summer-disappointments

Additionally, YMCA Camp Tecumseh has offered to share suggestions provided by Dr. Amanda Case, a professor in Counseling Psychology from Purdue University: https://www.camptecumseh.org/talking-to-your-kids-about-camp-being-canceled/

 

Can our family visit YMCA Camp Timbers or rent any of its facilities during the summer?

As it is safe and responsible to do so, we hope to provide several options for families wishing to visit camp later this summer.  All visits will need to be pre-arranged and scheduled in advance with camp staff, unannounced visits or tours are not possible at this time.

As conditions improve, we hope to develop a variety of paid and low/no cost options for families wishing to enjoy time together at camp.  Specific rental opportunities and programs will be shared in upcoming months as this is possible and available at www.CampTimbers.org.  For questions specific about group retreats, please contact us at 989-345-2630 or Timbers@SaginawYMCA.org.

 

How can I help YMCA Camp Timbers?

Camp is the place that it is due to the dedication and support of our volunteer and donors.  We greatly appreciate this support, as well as the continued referrals and positive reviews made by our satisfied camper families.  Thank you for your continued support.

As a nonprofit organization, we rely on donations from individuals, families, organizations, and businesses to support our operation.  This summer, donations will support ongoing facility improvements at camp (such as cabin staining, program area upgrades, and at-risk tree removal) and camper outreach efforts to provide encouragement and connection to our past campers.

Due to the new regulations of the CARES Act, your donation may be subject to a 100% tax deduction for your 2020 income tax (please consult your tax advisor for more details).  A donation receipt will be provided for any donation to Camp Timbers.  For those who are able and interested, online gifts can be made here: Online Giving.

Later this year, we also hope to host volunteers for several project days later this summer and fall.  As possible, these days will include projects for volunteers of all experience and skill levels to support facility upkeep and improvements.  More details will be shared with camper families and posted online in upcoming months.

 

What if I have additional questions?

Hopefully these questions provided some clarity, but it’s likely we didn’t address all of your questions.  If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact our Camp Director, Brian Miller, at BAMiller@SaginawYMCA.org or 989-345-2630.