Greetings camp friends, families, and community!
We are hoping that everyone has found time to do things that bring them joy over the past few months. We miss you all very much here at the farm and are anxiously awaiting the days when we can share our beloved space with you all! Until then, the show must go on! As a team, the Bowers Farm staff has shifted to keep things moving along. We have been using this time to get some big projects done for the farm! All the while, summer camp has been weighing very heavily on our minds. We have been keeping a close eye on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Camp Association for guidance in making a decision about our camp options for this upcoming summer.
Last week, various administrators within the Bloomfield Hills School district, including myself, met to discuss these options. Our biggest concern during this discussion, of course, is the safety of our campers and the camp staff if we were able to run camp in-person. Unfortunately, based on the current guidance from the CDC, we felt that it would not be in the best interest of our campers or our program to run our June sessions of Farm Camp. We also felt that we would not be able to fully meet the recommendations for our youngest campers and, unfortunately, that means we will not be running any Barnyard Buddies programs for the summer of 2020.
At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to safely run camp sessions in the months of July and August on-site and in-person, but this may change in the coming weeks pending further guidance from the CDC, ACA, and Governor Whitmer. The BHS administrators and I will be meeting on May 29th to reassess and solidify our plans for July and August.
Although we do hope that we will see some of you on our grounds this summer, we are also working on creating virtual options for our campers to take advantage of if we cannot be together. We aim to provide families with a little piece of the farm while they are away, with the intention of fostering a sense of curiosity and love for animals, plants, and natural spaces. We recognize that your children have been working virtually since March so our goal is not to provide video instruction but rather activities that can be completed away from technology.
As someone who has invested many years into the camp industry, as a camper, a counselor, and now a director, I feel so strongly for the campers who will be missing us this summer, especially since we have been so isolated over these last few months. Summer camp provides a ready-made community for our campers - and we need community now more than ever. We have been working over the last few months to get a camp scholarship fund established so we can be inclusive to all families and allow greater access to our camp experiences for those who otherwise would not be able to afford them. As a part of our community, we hope that you will consider donating to this fund, and specifying in the comments that you would like your donation to go into the Camp Scholarship Fund for future use.
I am truly hoping that we will be together soon but until that time, know that we are thinking of our community and wishing you all the best! Stay home, stay safe, and we’ll be here to welcome you with open “barns” when we can be together again!