This is the “hunker down in the tents” part. If you miss this reference, please check out last week’s update. It provides context, as we weather this metaphorical storm together.
It’s been a constructive week around Camp Nicolet. Jeremy here, Director of Operations, with the latest from the north shore of Franklin Lake, now literally. On Monday and Tuesday, in response to a #SafeAtHome initiative launched by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Camp Nicolet made the decision to relocate from our winter business office in Eagle River, to our home offices respectively. For me personally, this change isn’t all that different.
Previous to staffing our in-town office location with Camp Director Mary Anna Thornton, I assisted in conducting camp business for many years in the winter from my basement office. Muskie Matt, Facilities Manager, calls it “The Cave.” So, for the time being, we’re back to that. In the process, Mary Anna has figured out a way to add multiple people to Skype calls, as we continue our staff interviewing process; which is fun and leads to increased excitement for the summer as we continue to plan and strategize. We talked with potential staff members this week about everything from Public Health initiatives relevant to our camp community and youth development, leadership for Northpoint Adventures, coordinating the organic camp garden and providing environmental eduction modules for campers, to mowing the grass, fixing benches, and washing dishes. All very important things for camp!
Next on the docket, after a week’s “staycation” for me; Mary Anna and I will begin to structure 2020 Staff Training for our talented team of 42. That’s when excitement really ramps up for summer! We’re continuing to conduct business as normally as possible, and continue to be optimistic about a strong and successful summer 2020.
The #SafeAtHome initiative is set to expire on Friday, April 24th. We join in with the rest of the world, hoping the COVID-19 pandemic is in a “Deceleration” phase at that time. In reading the latest from the Center for Disease Control this morning, they still classify the United States in the “Initiation” phase of pandemic, so we’ll see. It will be interesting to look back, come a month from now, and examine the ground we’ve covered in 30 days. My hope is we continue to work together to slow (and stop) the spread of Coronavirus – and look optimistically at the rest of the year to come. What opportunities await when we’re finally able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine of summer, with our best friends and family!!
The US State Department, and more locally, the Vilas County Public Health Department, have issued travel suggestions for people from afar. We are aware from information given to us by the international staffing agencies with whom we have a close working relationship that US Embassies in other countries are closed. Some of our international staff have reached out to us, expressing concern they may not have their Visas issued in time for camp. I write these things this morning because it’s acknowledgement that we may experience challenges as we inch closer to the summer. The Leadership Team at Camp Nicolet believes acknowledgement is important.
In a time of uncertainty, however, I continue to offer: comfort comes through supporting one another. The international staffing agencies are taking measures to keep participants in their programs. We’re continuing to be optimistic with our staff members, and through ongoing communication, are able to offer support to those with questions. We continue to be optimistic with our families, and I believe we’re all “Learning to Live Together” during this time, taking the suggested measures to overcome this.
On the financial side, camp’s spring billing (referred to as our “final billing”) is moved to May 1st. This gives additional time to assess the COVID-19 situation, and take into account financial considerations of our valued camp families. Registration continues to be available until just before the beginning of each camp Session this summer; however families will be asked to “pay in full” if registering last-minute (anytime after May 1st). Of course, all necessary forms and the camp physical must be completed prior to attendance, so we encourage families to not wait until the “very last minute” to register this spring or early summer. Planning ahead still makes the going-to-camp process for your daughter much more enjoyable.
Once again, we’re here when you need us. I encourage you to review the two previous COVID-19 Blog entries, as that information still pertains. Please call or e-mail – we’re always happy to hear from you if any questions, or just to say hello. Thinking sunshine!
Sincerely – Jeremy Starz / Director of Operations
715.545.2522 – office (10am to 4pm – Monday through Friday)