Summer Update – May 11, 2020

Dear Campers, Parents, CILTs, Staff, and the entire Camp Kinneret Community,

I am sad to announce that we must cancel camp for this summer. Over the past many weeks, we worked hard to learn as much as we could to find a way to provide another great (albeit heavily modified) Camp Kinneret summer. We sought guidance from outside experts and thought creatively about how we could make changes to allow camp to take place as safely as possible. The session changes and other modifications that we shared in April were all a part of that effort.

It was our hope that with the passage of time, more would be known that would help to guide us, that our public health officials would learn more about how to prevent the spread of the virus, and that the Los Angeles County Health Department would have been ready to issue the annually required camp operating permits. (As of Friday, they were still not issuing these permits to camps, and had not provided a timeline to do so.) However, as much as we hoped, those things have not come to pass and camp was scheduled to start in just 5 weeks.

When you send your children to Camp Kinneret, you are entrusting me, the Leadership Team, and our staff with your children. You place your faith in us and count on us. We take that responsibility very seriously. It is as foundational to us today as it has been for the last 65 Camp Kinneret summers. Safety is always at the core of every decision we make and at no time in our history has this ever been more true. It is for that reason that we know this is the right decision. Even with all of the ways in which we looked to modify camp, we ultimately could not find a way to safely operate camp this summer at a level to meet our standards and your standards.

While we know that this is the right decision, it doesn’t mean that it is an easy one. It means disappointing campers. It means staff who were counting on summer jobs and CILTs looking to develop their skills will not have those opportunities. This decision’s impact on camp, our small year-round staff and me and my family who earn our living operating camp each year will be significant. But, we move on knowing that we have made the right decision, the safest decision. And as we do, we look forward to turning our attention to creating an amazing summer in 2021.

In preparing to share this decision with you, I wanted to do more than just announce it on our website, please take a few minutes to watch the video below of my personal message.

    To our Campers:

    We will miss you more than you know. You are the reason we do this! We miss you already, and we are sad we can’t be together for songs, games, and our afternoon juice bars. But, we’re counting down the days until next summer! We wrote you a letter and you can read it here.

    To Parents and Guardians:

    Thank you for your trust. We are so disappointed that we can’t move forward with our 2020 summer plans and look forward to next summer. We wrote you a letter and you can read it here.

    CILTs & Staff:

    For some, this was to be your first summer. For others, this was to be your last. We’ve tried everything to make this summer happen because we value you and care about you. It’s because of those reasons that we can’t ask you to take a risk that we don’t fully understand right now. We are so sad for each of you. You are the heartbeat of camp and we will miss seeing you grow and learn this summer.

    Friends, Family, and Camp Colleagues:

    Thank you for your understanding, support, and appreciation of what we do, how we do it, and why.

If you want more details, have questions, or just need to talk through it, please email me, as always.

I hope you stay healthy and safe,

Director & Owner

P.S. If you’d like to send a message of support, we welcome them, thank you.