The Pivot from On-Site to Virtual Camp Programs

In late March, our core value, Campers First, guided the decision to cancel traditional spring programming and suspend in-person summer camp sessions.

This decision was necessary to ensure the health and safety of our at-risk campers. At this time, we surveyed camper families to determine how camp could best serve them during the stay-at-home order and a longer period of physical distancing.

While summer camp was not scheduled to begin until June, current demands on statewide and national healthcare systems will limit physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals from volunteering at camp at least through late summer.

In addition, training 40 seasonal staff and thousands of volunteers to ensure a medically safe and emotionally supportive camp experience requires four to six weeks of lead time.

We take our responsibility to meet campers where they are seriously and continued our mission of providing happiness and healing for children living with serious illness and their families through a virtual Camp at Home program.

Based on feedback from campers and their families, the primary goals of the Camp at Home program are to build meaningful connection and sense of belonging, offer camp-quality entertainment, and provide access to resources for navigating the pandemic.

With a spirit of optimism, we are dedicated to making on-site camp possible again. We will continue to follow the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a decision to begin in-person programming will be made in partnership with our healthcare partners throughout Ohio and our sister camps in the SeriousFun Children’s Network.

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