FLINT — The staff and board of the YMCA of Greater Flint and Camp Copneconic have elected to cancel programming for the summer of 2020.
According to YMCA officials, this has been, and will continue to be, incredibly difficult. In arriving at this decision, the organization followed three benchmarks, each one building upon the ‘green light’ from the others:
1. Can we guarantee the safety of our staff and campers?
With so many uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we are not confident we are able to operate our summer camp programs without putting campers, their families and staff at risk of being exposed.
2. Can we provide a camp-like experience while managing those risks?
We have spent weeks pouring over guidelines and best practices from the ACA, CDC, Y-USA, our local health authorities and other camps. For us, the changes needed to provide a safe environment would lead us to a program that would be so different that we wouldn’t be able to provide the camp experience that would be fun, fair and attainable for all in the ways that Camp Copneconic has come to be known for over the last 105 summers.
3. Can we provide an equitable experience?
The short answer is no. Current guidelines are to only serve your immediate communities. Since we’re typically regional we would not be able to serve campers from scholarship agencies around the region. One of the greatest values of the Y is that we’re open for all. We would not be able to say that this summer.
What comes next?
Families who are registered for summer 2020 programs will receive an e-mail from camp outlining the next steps.
“Camp has always been a safe place to grow, be independent, and create connections – with others, with nature, and most importantly, with oneself. These missed opportunities for connection saddens us, but we take comfort in the belief that our decision is what’s best for our Copneconic community,” said Executive Director, Brandon Dreffs. “While every camp is different, this is the best decision for our organization.” — G.G.