Dear, dear Runoia Families,
Our opening day of camp was scheduled for just five weeks from now. As I have mentioned in previous updates, we have had to push back that date into July by according to the mandate of the Governor of Maine. She is not at fault. She is trying to keep people safe. We are still unsure of our start date and we continue to exercise our patience. Thanks for hanging with us. We know this is very trying and we all want camp to often under safe guidelines.
Today we are still waiting for guidelines from the experts. And we are still planning and organizing. Our annual water system start-up, testing and certification and all the other mundane business of facility maintenance and operation is underway. We have three riding staff who arrived at camp and will be in self-quarantine for the next 14 days as our camp horses arrive this week. The animals need care throughout the summer until they can go back to school in the fall. Alex and I still work from our individual homes and plan to gather at camp in June.
If we are able to open or not, we know the consequences and risks are heavy either way. Children need camp more than ever. The sadness of opportunities missed from family gatherings, graduation celebrations, final performances, sporting events and playoff games, the list goes on and I need not remind you. Deep in our heart, we do not want to add camp to the list of sadness.
What is the correct decision about camp 2020?
We have parents eager for us to open camp. We have parents wondering if it’s the right thing to do. Yesterday, our medical team meeting was very positive with two doctors, a doctor in residence and our Maine nurse sharing knowledge about their experience thus far with COVID-19. They are heroes to us because of what they do on the front lines and also because they are providing us with much needed support and ideas about health care at camp. While, in general, children have mild symptoms or do not show symptoms, there is a lot we are still learning about COVID-19. Thank you, heroes.
Can we open camp in a new normal with small groups, contact tracing, physical distancing? Sisters visiting each other with masks? We are flexible and hard-working and we have good ideas about navigating camp with the best practices. It would be a different kind of camp but it would still be our camp. We are capable of adapting. And then we pause and say, which decision is the right decision?
We told you we would know more in mid-May. Well it is almost mid-May and we are still waiting for guidelines and we are told they are coming, maybe early next week. We will be in touch as soon as possible.
We send love throughout our community and beyond. We are with you in spirit and send a virtual yet meaningful hug.
For the Runoia Team with so much love our hearts are bursting