Dear Camp Nicolet Families and Friends –
Jeremy Starz, Owner and Director of Operations here, with the latest information from Camp Nicolet regarding our procedures and protocol in light of recent news about the spread of Coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Foremost, if someone you know is affected, please know we send our best to you, your family, and friends. We believe in supporting one another in our camp community – even from afar – and we wish good health and continued safety for all.
Even with the increasing severity of the situation, Georgi, Mary Anna, Muskie Matt, and I are taking a “business as usual” stance on the matter. We are working to keep ourselves educated – from credible sources like the local Health Department and the Center for Disease Control website – and will work together to make collective, informed decisions over the next 11 weeks (thankfully, it’s awhile yet before summer begins) regarding our summer programming at Camp Nicolet. These decisions will take into account the highest standards of health and safety for our campers, families, and employees. At this time, we aim to begin our Staff Training for Northpoint Adventures staff on 6/4, followed by the arrival of Lifeguards and Area Directors on 6/8. The remainder of our Counseling/Instructional Staff is scheduled to arrive on 6/14, and Session I will begin as scheduled on Sunday, 6/21.
If circumstances with COVID-19 heighten to a point where evidence proves that summer operation jeopardizes the health and safety of our campers and employees, we will carefully evaluate that decision when the time comes, and will then inform our registered families. I emphasize we are not to that point, and again are continuing with “business as usual” around camp and our offices.
Georgi, Mary Anna, and I have collectively discussed and agreed upon that camp continues to be one of the safest places a person can be during the summer season. The town of Eagle River is removed from the cities of Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Minneapolis/St. Paul – and while that can sometimes be a hassle to be far away from “big cities,” in this case we believe it is a blessing. Nicolet is located away from the populous of cities, the air is clean, the water is pure, and the summer sunshine abundant. We feel, with our already high level of community health standards in place, and a few extra precautions, that Nicolet is a low-risk place for your daughter to be this summer. I will write a separate blog next week about the “few extra precautions” and will also review with you our “community health standards.”
I’d like discuss a final point here, and that is Nicolet’s protocol for refunds and cancellations. There is much in the news currently about airlines offering flexible options and waivers, and of course people are changing their plans for vacations and traveling abroad; in an attempt to socially distance from one another and slow the spread of COVID-19. We are conscious of this and want to offer our families the following options, should you desire a change from your original Session selection:
> Adjust your daughter’s 2020 registration to a Session later in the summer; no charge.
> Delay your daughter’s 2020 arrival at camp, but keep the Session in which she’s enrolled; we will pro-rate tuition by the day.
> Cancel your daughter’s 2020 registration at camp, and request a refund; a full refund will be given minus a $300 service charge.
> Cancel your daughter’s 2020 registration at camp, and commit to 2021; everything you paid for 2020 will be credited to 2021 with no service charge. You will be responsible for any difference in tuition, depending on the 2021 Session and options you select (it’s like transferring an airline ticket; think “fare difference”).
> If the Camp Nicolet Owners/Leadership Team elects to cancel 2020 programming entirely, or if Federal or State legislation prohibits camp operation; we will fully refund tuition paid to original form of payment OR give families the option to apply the amount paid for 2020 to the 2021 season without a service charge. This is the worst-case scenario, and we do not anticipate this happening at this time. This portion of our refund policy is updated; 5/18/2020.
We thank you for your understanding of the $300 service charge, in relation to our cancellation policies. Please know this service charge is partially what supports camp operation during the winter, and helps pay overhead costs associated with our insurance policies, the online camp registration system, and keeps the lights on and the office staffed. If you have any questions, I’m always happy to discuss and assist.
I close today by reemphasizing that we are taking an educated “business as usual” approach to summer 2020. Working to make Camp Nicolet a safe and healthy place, with assistance from our natural location in the North Woods, we will continue to make decisions in the best interest of our campers, families, and staff members in light of the emergence of the Coronavirus. Expect continuous communication with our camp community over the next 11 weeks; please check our website and social media for updates.
Very sincerely – Jeremy Starz, Owner & Director of Operations