May 4, 2020
To our treasured Sunrise families,
Since before the COVID-19 crisis began, all of us here at Sunrise had been working tirelessly to design an incredible summer camp program for your children. As the weeks went on and the trajectory of this virus became less clear, we quietly shifted gears to work on a dual-layered program – a virtual program for the beginning of the camp season coupled with a physical camp program towards the latter half of the summer.
Today however, with our opening date barely two months away, and without a clear sense of how and when this social distancing will end, we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we cannot find a responsible way forward in which to operate a physical camp this summer. The variables are just too many; we do not know when it will be safe for the general public – let alone our children for whom we always maintain a higher level of safety and caution – to congregate in large groups. Nor do we yet know enough about this virus and under what conditions it may or may not resurface. Your children’s safety has always been our primary concern, and without clear information, testing protocols, and without full access to our partners in a healthcare system that is already strained beyond their limits, neither we nor our medical staff have been able to find a safe path through which to offer our regular camp program this summer. Needless to say, this has been a heart-wrenching decision for us and one which we did not come to lightly.
However . . .
Our commitment to you and your children is unbreakable, and so although we will not be able to gather at our campsite this year, Sunrise will still be running an interactive virtual camp for your children this summer, and we’re going to do everything that we can to make it INCREDIBLE!!
While it may seem impossible to imagine a summer without the sounds of joy and laughter at our campgrounds, we know from experience that we can make the magic of Sunrise happen anywhere. It is in that spirit of innovation that we have all our camp directors — across all our Sunrise Association camps worldwide — coming together to develop a phenomenal program that will engage, thrill and delight our campers from the comfort and safety of their homes. We are bringing in experts in the fields of programming, video technology and film making, and will be offering both live and recorded virtual content to meet our children’s varied schedules. To complement this, we will be regularly sending home packages filled with supplies and camp lore – everything that our campers will need to fully participate just as they would if they were on our physical grounds. Some programming will be home based while others may give them the chance to get out of the house and into the summer sun. There will also be opportunities for our campers to interact live with their friends and staff. In short, we aim to provide a spectacular summer while keeping all our children safe. Our goal is that, at the end of the day, your kids will still be singing, “Sunrise Day Camp, it’s the best camp!”.
Over the next few weeks, the staff you have come to know will be in touch with details about this new and exciting initiative, enrollment procedures, parent and camper orientations, etc. Our program will run for the entire seven weeks of summer with hours and times being consistently tweaked based on usage and feedback.
Few of us could have imagined that the world would be in the situation that it is today; the disruption that it has caused has left many of us shaken and deeply affected. But for us, we cannot simply sit back and wait for the world to restore itself. For the past 15 years, Sunrise Association Day Camps and Year-Round Programs have consistently adapted to meet the changing needs of both your children and the world at large. And at this moment – with so much unclear and undefined – we intend to continue to be that clarion voice, bringing the magic of Sunrise to all our families in whatever ways we can. This virus may limit our activities, but never our imaginations nor our commitment to your children.
Please watch for additional information in the very near future, and please stay safe and well.
With warmest regards,
President & CEO