Updated May 20, 2020
The Camp Kubena overnight summer camp program for 2020 has been canceled. The decision was announced Wednesday, May 20 by the Camp Kubena Advisory Committee. This was a difficult decision especially in light of Governor Abbott’s announcement on May 18 that would permit summer camps to open on June 1 with restrictions.
The decision was based on input from health experts, program leaders, and our years of experience managing successful camps. After a careful review of the American Camp Associations’ Field Guide for Camps, the CDC guidelines, and the guidelines from the State of Texas; to implement the restrictions placed on our groups and staff for safe camp operations during the COVID-19 outbreak would be impractical at this time.
Under these restrictions, social distancing would continue. Also, guidelines mandate that there would be daily health screenings, the use of masks as well additional personal protective equipment. Additionally, cabin populations would be reduced, and all activities would segregate by cabin groups which would not be permitted to interact with each other during their stay at Camp Kubena. Activities including cultural group dancing, hayrides, opening campfires, and closing programs would be canceled or dramatically limited.
From the operational perspective, opening for the summer would place significant and additional burdens on camp staff. This would have included quarantining camp staff on site for 7 to 10 days before the camp season begins. It would have also necessitated that camp staff remain onsite except for supervised visits to town while wearing masks. The added stress placed on our camp staff and group leaders would have been enormous.
The hardest part of our decision has been to think about the impact on our children. It is devastating that our overnight summer camp program will not happen this summer, but we believe it is the safest choice for the health and well-being of our groups, our staff, and our camp. That gives us great comfort we are making the correct decision.
Economic considerations also factored into the decision to cancel the overnight summer camp program for 2020. With 75 percent of the groups canceling, we are going to refocus our efforts to our surrounding communities so we can be a resource that exemplifies our values of benevolence, humanity, and brotherhood. This will include working with individual small groups, families, and youth organizations that would like to utilize the camp throughout the summer as a day camp with limited activities.
I know this news does not come as a welcome relief to our camp families, and I am deeply sorry for this complex situation. If you would like to talk or have any other questions, ideas, or feedback, please let me know. I will be here for you.
Camp Kubena Executive Director