The Des Moines Y Camp has suspended our overnight and day camp programs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please watch this video and read our letter below.
At camp we welcomed the New Year in January with excitement and hope for another life-changing summer, however, these unprecedented times and the effects of the COVID-19 virus have brought those plans to a halt. It is with a sad and humbled heart that I announce that the Des Moines Y Camp has suspended our overnight and day camp programs in 2020. I have struggled to come to terms with what that means for the kids, their families, our staff and our partners since we came to this decision. My heart aches for the countless could-have-been’s and missed opportunities this year, but I know that this is the best choice for our kids and families.
For 101 years, Y Camp has been home to countless new friendships, new experiences, stories of personal growth and great adventures, and we haven’t missed a camping season yet. Accepting that this year will be the first summer without cabins full of campers is difficult. I do believe, though, that once we have seen this crisis through and made the sacrifices necessary to move past it we will be positioned to return in 2021 stronger than ever. I have learned to never take summer for granted and when the cabins fill up and the valley fills with laughter and singing again it will be an emotional and joyful moment.
We aren’t closing our doors entirely, though, as we aim to serve our community and families by addressing one of the many needs that exist: time outdoors. This summer we’ll adapt and change our programming by offering a family-focused camp experience that is based on social distancing guidelines and the need to connect with nature and one another. We’re excited to still show up for our local community and do so in the safest way possible despite the loss of our traditional summer programs.
In light of all of these changing and unprecedented times, I wanted to close by saying thank you. Thank you for sticking with us, for partnering with us and for your commitment to role camp plays in our lives. Thank you for trusting us with this decision and for understanding the value of camp even through this crisis. Camp is a home to many and we look forward to the day we can see our campers again. I like to imagine our kids and their families walking in the door to check-in, the noise of excitement echoing through the building as others arrive for the start of a great week. We’ll lock eyes, smile and say “Welcome back, we’re happy you’re here,” and know it has never been more true.
Stay safe, stay hopeful and remember to Do All the Good You Can.
Des Moines Y Camp