April 13, 2020
Dear Camp Family,
We received the following update from the campgrounds in which we rent for our overnight camp sessions:
“Tall Oaks Camp and Conference Center is impacted by the spread of coronavirus, as we are impacted by federal and local government actions to limit the spread of the virus. To ensure the safety of our campers, staff, and guests and to ensure the long term viability of Tall Oaks Camp and Conference Center, the Tall Oaks Board of Directors, along with the members of the Executive Committee of the Christian Church – Disciples of Christ of Greater Kansas City have decided to suspend the operations of Tall Oaks Camp and Conference Center at least through July 31, 2020.”
This means that the heart of what we provide–our summer camps–cannot take place as planned in June and July. Although we understand the decision and, for the safety of our camp family were leaning toward that difficult direction ourselves, it is absolutely heartbreaking.
We are missing our campers, our volunteers, and our supporters. We miss the quiet trails, the early morning fishing, the campfire singing, the s’mores, the bedtime stories, the photo slideshows full of moments parents never thought their campers would do, silly carnival booth photos, warm days at the pool, and so, SO much more.
But our staff is committed and steadfast, our community of supporters is strong, and our organization is stable. Yes, this will be a huge hit to our hearts and to our nonprofit but we are excellent stewards of the support we receive, are detailed planners, and feel confident that when we are able to gather together again, the moments will be even more impactful and meaningful.
Parents of our summer campers and all volunteers have been sent an email with further information. Please be sure to submit the online form and visit the list of helpful answers to questions you may have.
We encourage each in our community to take care of yourself and one another in these upside-down days. We have been holding and will continue to hold each of you in our hearts. May you find peace amid the uncertainty. And may you know that we are here for you. Even in these challenging times, Camp Encourage will continue to be a space for encouragement and growth.
Be watching our social media outlets for encouragement, for reminders of the goodness that will come, and for (free) virtual opportunities for growth and social connections.
Our hearts are broken but brighter and healthy days are ahead.
Kelly Lee, Executive Director