I am indebted to all of our campers, staff and camp families for putting their trust in us to accomplish what many people thought could not be done. By instituting stringent health and safety protocols, modifying activities to allow for social distancing and engaging everyone in the process, we were able to provide campers with the much-needed social interaction and physical activity that are so important to healthy development – and which have been limited for so long due to the pandemic.
How We Did It…
As the coronavirus hit communities across the U.S., causing many overnight summer camps to shut down, Camp Robin Hood made what turned out to be a precedent-setting decision. Determined to continue its 93-year legacy of creating unforgettable memories for generations of campers, camp counselors and camp families, the camp set to work developing a science-based response plan that would allow it to safely open without sacrificing the camp’s treasured traditions and wholesome activities.
With guidance from infectious disease specialists and under the direction of Camp Robin Hood Medical Director Dr. Arash Babaoff, the camp used a multi-layered combination of testing, cohort bubbles, social distancing, mask-wearing, and mitigation strategies to accomplish a 100% healthy rate among 308 campers and 117 staff members throughout the summer session beginning in early July. This innovative camp model created a safe bubble for campers and staff on Camp Robin Hood’s stunning 180-acre lakeside campus in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, serving as a blueprint for keeping the virus at bay among young people in group settings.
Prior to their arrival at camp, all campers and counselors were required to quarantine for 14 days, and were tested for COVID-19 in the week leading up to camp. Staff members also arrived two weeks early to quarantine ahead of campers’ arrival. Once on-site, campers and staff were tested again and also participated in daily symptom checks, with most activities held outdoors or under an expansive array of outdoor tents. Virtually every aspect of camp was re-imagined, from significantly upgraded medical facilities complete with isolation tents to socially distanced outdoor dining; daily sanitation of all touchpoints throughout the property; a multitude of hand-washing stations, with hand-washing encouraged on the hour; frequent cleaning of sports and other shared equipment; and a strict policy prohibiting campers or staff from leaving the property once they arrived at camp. In addition, campers were grouped by age in small cohorts for the first few weeks and wore masks at all times, until it was deemed that all campers and staff members were illness-free – at which time rules were relaxed while still maintaining sanitation and health protocols. Even sleeping arrangements were modified, with campers sleeping head to toe in bunks to allow for social distancing…and the results speak for themselves.
“It is a testament to how much our families love Camp Robin Hood that everyone arrived at camp excited to be in The Realm, enthusiastic about embracing our new protocols, and just thrilled to return to some normalcy,” said Woodstein. “The majority of our counselors were former campers themselves, and this really helped to make everything run smoothly.”
Woodstein attributes much of the success to Dr. Babaoff, who took Woodstein’s “crazy” vision for opening during the 2020 camp season to fruition through thoughtful planning, reliance on science, and an unwavering commitment to ensure the health and safety of everyone at camp.
In The News
NPR | September 9, 2020
Campminder News | August 28, 2020
What Parents Are Saying
About Summer 2020 at Robin Hood
How can we even put into words how grateful we are for everything you did to make this summer happen? Thank you so much for your hard work, determination and dedication to help create a bubble for these children to get just what they needed, time to be kids. You and your team worked miracles to be able to open Robin Hood, and bring normalcy to our children's lives. Our kids had an incredible summer...They both have been talking nonstop about camp memories, silly moments, remember whens..., and singing their green and white songs. They loved the special activities, like beach day and goldrush, but mostly they loved being with their friends and making lasting memories. They got 4.5 weeks to feel like kids in the best place in the world and we are eternally grateful to you and your team for making that possible.
– Camp Parents
I will be the first to tell you I gave this a 5% chance of being pulled off. I figured there would be so many irresponsible parents who wouldn't follow protocols and there would be 10-15 kids with COVID that first day or that got it after that first 5 days. I have never been so happy to have been wrong. This all starts and ends with you. How you were able to pull this off is miraculous. With all of your successes in life, this has to be your greatest accomplishment. My kids (and all of these kids and parents for that matter) needed this so badly. The summer of 2020 will never be forgotten. As you said on the night Green and White broke... NOTHING STOPS ROBIN HOOD!
– Camp Parent
I wanted to take a moment and thank you for everything this summer. I appreciated the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful community. Thank you so much for all that you did to allow kids to have a sense of normalcy in the midst of this time of uncertainty. What Camp Robin Hood was able to accomplish this summer was truly incredible and I am so thankful to have been able to be a part of it.
– Parent and Camp Nurse
I can’t thank you enough for creating such an incredibly safe, amazing environment for the kids to spend the summer. Thank you for fielding all of my questions prior to camp and insisting on taking the best care of our children. I’m crying as I watch the videos from the last few days...I wish we all could have been at camp with you!
– Camp Parent
I just want to say how much in awe of you I am. I have enjoyed, with tears in my eyes, watching the kids this summer more than almost anything else. I know it would have been a very difficult position to make that decision at the beginning of this summer, to send or not to send one’s children to camp this summer… and to watch you all pull it off – has been an absolute joy for me this summer. I absolutely cannot WAIT to have my three kids there
– Parent and Camp Staff
Words can not express our gratitude to you and your staff for creating a memorable summer for our children. They needed camp more than ever this year, we certainly needed this break too. Facing the covid challenge head on with realistic plans and staying focused on opening and creating a healthy bubble was clear. You exceeded everyone’s expectations. This was our boys 5th year at CRH and it is truly a special place thanks to your leadership and kindness of all that work at CRH. Thank you for taking such good care of all and for keeping the legacy that CRH represents alive. Our boys have these amazing childhood memories of CRH and they realize how lucky they are to be a part of a special community and for the camp friendships they made for a lifetime.
– Camp Parents
My son cannot stop talking about what an AMAZING place Robinhood is and how much he enjoyed his time there! He’s already planning on returning as a counselor once he’s too old to be a camper! Thank you for such an incredible gift.
– Camp Parent
I know that my kids got more out of these last 4.5 weeks than they could have over the course of several summer sessions. I have to believe that this summer was one of the most special in the history of Robin Hood...All we can tell them though is that they are already signed up for the summer of 2021! Thank you again for making this such an incredible summer for both of our boys
– Camp Parent
Highlights of Summer "Woodchucks" Correspondence
- Woodchuck from Woody - September 2, 2020: 2 Weeks…
In a blink of the eye 2 weeks have passed since we closed our 93rd and most successful summer ever at CRH. I miss the non-stop energy and laughter of camp. I miss the smiling faces and constant movement of our days. The ability to live our best lives together in uncertain times was the end game. We came together and prepared for camp weeks before opening day. Doing whatever it took was our rallying call. Every member of our Robin Hood Family took the risk but did the work needed to overcome every obstacle.
When I think back to early June when we decided to open, our focus was on the scientific facts. We had the knowledge that as a family we could overcome anything TOGETHER. The first and biggest thank you has to go my staff and administration. Our 2020 general staff consisted of over 75% former campers and most members of the support staff have spent many summers at camp. My administration has over 250 Robin Hood summers worth of experience and knowledge. I would bet on them anytime!
The moment I woke up on day one and walked past the junior camp boys bunk I saw everyone wearing a mask and I felt very confident. 100% success on the first Covid test took us to stage 2 making me feel even better. Who will ever forget the moment Doc Arash announced the all NEGATIVE 6 days later. The celebration that erupted would continue for 4 more magical weeks.
The last but biggest thank you goes out to all of our camper parents. Your trust and support before, during, and after camp will never be forgotten. I know as a parent how hard it is to give up control under normal circumstances. The summer of 2020 was not normal in any way but will never be forgotten by any of us. We checked off every box and accomplished every goal.
Thanks as always for sharing your kids with me and for giving us the opportunity to get it done…
- Woodchuck from the Bards - August 9, 2020: Summer Recap
When the fourteen Bards of 2020 rolled into the realm on opening day, emotions were high for all different reasons. Some of us, excited to return for another jam packed summer, others, nervous for joining what was obviously such a close-knit community. But all, unsure of what COVID would do to our safe-haven. The virus took so much from all of our years at home, it was hard to believe in camp. We all climbed out of our cars, leaving behind our parents and the things that separate us, to join together with group leaders Anna Hermacinski and Julie Brockmann. The flurry of unpacking and settling in began immediately, and dinner flew by. We then took a walk to the chalet. Where we enjoyed delicious s’mores, a gorgeous lake view accompanied by the best company there is. The next morning, and the several ones that followed, we adjusted to wearing masks and playing sports in cohorts. All with the goal of keeping each other safe. After five days, we all took tests to determine if the 400 of us were negative for the third time. Whispers of uncertainty from behind masks were spreading up and down the quad and through the new dining hall tents. Finally, those hidden whispers ceased with Arash’s announcement of 100% negativity, and turned to full-flown screams of excitement and thankfulness. Chuck cried, and many of us did too. We all will remember those huge first hugs, forever.
Once the masks were off, normal camp began with the fourth of July, led by our oldest campers in the realm. It was such a perfect way to kick off normal camp by seeing our scribes, who were so worried about missing their last camper summer, enjoy their fair food and carnival games. Along with their boys group, the saxons. That night we had So You Think You Can Dance, an occasion to shine a light on the beautifully awful dance moves of the Robin Hood family. The event was broadcasted around the world for all to see. Our production of Copacabana stole the show with our fast feet and radiant smiles. Even though we were devastated by not being able to spend a day at Ogunquit this year, we still had our very own boardwalk that took place on the quad and a beach party on the shores of Lake Ossipee. Our nights were spent happily running all over camp during games of infection and hunger games. We also spent time in the lake as the sun set above us, making memories that will never fade. As the stars appeared every night our group was left to wish upon them that this summer would never come to and end. But sadly, for two beloved members of the group, the three week point came and they had to say goodbye.
After the three week mark, everyone knew Green and White could break at any moment. There were many nights one of us would hear a plane or boat go by, and immediately start screaming. Luckily, feelings of sometimes irritating anticipation didn’t last too long, as August 2nd came fast. We all gathered in the Barn to honor Chuck on his 55th summer in the realm. After all campers and staff were awarded their shirts, vests and fleeces, Woodys’ speeches and many standing ovations later, a video was projected. This video was made from all of Chuck’s closest friends, past campers, and Robin Hood Legends. The last thank you came from Natalie Noel, a Scribe of 2012, along with Youtube Star David Dobrik. They were standing in front of a beautiful California sunset, that can be spotted in many of their videos. Immediately, everyone started screaming when Natalie appeared, and then louder when David himself popped in the video wearing a RH shirt and judge hat, a hamburger one, to be specific. Woody shooed everyone out of the barn while fireworks shined bright through the trees of the Far Far Field. Once on the soccer field, a full firework show started, complete with green and white ones. From behind the grandstand, judges (on-camp ones only, of course) in all black with glow sticks appeared, leading everyone back into the barn. Monday morning after breakfast, everyone gathered on the quad for the bean picking ceremony, which decides the teams for the four day war. With green captains Kendall Brown, Jonathan Suna, Andres Zubillaga and white captains Sophie Goldberg, Ava Morolo, and Joey Licht, it was time for an intense war. All activities were so competitive, yet sportsmanship was always in the picture, especially for us. Our heads were carried high, green and white teams always congratulating their friends. Night three was the Talent Show, with glee, skit, and dance acts from Jr. and Sr. camp. Judges from all over the world came on Zoom to watch the immense talent of both teams. The following evening was Song night, or the last night of the stressful yet fun war. Both teams sang so loud, all proud of the work they put into the whole war. Unlike most of the war, song night swayed to the white, as they won both the original fight song and alma mater, much to the dismay of green team’s drummer and fellow Bard, Linley Grosman. With their amazing comeback on night four, the White Galaxy won the war by a margin of 48 points, or one original song. Once the score was read, both teams were full of so much emotion, everyone either crying, screaming, or hugging anyone and everyone in sight. With the war over, groups came back together as one, embracing one another and appreciated the time they had left together. One of the things our group did to really feel like one again was a Bonding Scavenger Hunt. Our consulers gave us a list of things for us to do all around camp, including singing at the top of our lungs on the Far Far Field and telling eachother our happiest moments from this amazing summer.
Finally, we thanked Woody from the bottom of all our hearts for making camp open this summer. Woody, you heard it last night on the New Quad, but we’ll say it again here. We appreciate you so incredibly much. This year, you have fostered an environment of doing your part, while having as much fun as possible. We embraced that when serving, the scribes and saxons did so as well when they worked tirelessly all around camp, and so did Arash, the hero of our summer. The infirmary will forever be yours Arash, thank you for everything. We could put so many more individual thank yous here, but we feel as though we have to simply thank Robin Hood. The culture, love and openness. We are forever indebted to everyone who has ever passed under the sign, you have made this place what it is. As we all drive out on wednesday, with teary eyes and masks on we all will look forward to rolling in once more, for another fun summer in the Realm.
The Bards of 2020
- Woodchuck from Woody - August 2, 2020: Founders Night/Green & White Break
We honored Chuck Illig on his 55 summers at CRH tonight. We had his favorite dinner banquet style under the tent - MEATLOAF. We then went into the playhouse to honor those who have spent many summers at the Realm with gifts. We had 37 campers and staff members get 5 year shirts. We had an incredible 13 people get 10 year vests with one being a current Saxon. This is the first time in CRH history that a camper who didn’t have parents at camp achieved this milestone. We honored 3 staff members with 15 year jackets one staff member for 30 years of service to the Realm. And then we ended with Chuck who has spent 55 summers at camp spanning every owner. Chuck has been an inspiration to over 13,000 campers during his career.
We had all of his friends and campers record a tribute to him that included many funny stories and more tears then we could count. The last tribute was a former camper and current YouTube star who announced the beginning of green and white. This was followed by a 9 minute fireworks show on the soccer field before we were all led back to the playhouse to what can only be described as pandemonium! The energy was amazing and totally out of control. It made all the long days and hard work worth every second. Standing on the stage feeling the energy and seeing the crying faces made me so happy and proud.
I am proud that I have known Chuck since 1973 and happy to be a part of such joy and happiness. We are all so lucky to be experiencing this every day. The summer of 2020 will never be forgotten.
BTW – all our senior campers said it was the greatest break ever…
- Woodchuck from Woody - July 20, 2020: Day 8 in the Realm
I am sitting alone at my desk listening to music booming from the playhouse as I catch up on calls and emails. The place is rocking as we celebrate the parties you missed this year. We had every person who graduated from middle school, high school or college walk across the stage to get a diploma from Chuck. We also honored our campers who had Mitzvahs over the spring cancelled by COVID.
This happened after an incredibly hot but perfect day here at the Realm. The waterfront was filled all day with kids swimming, boating ,laughing and playing. The fields rocked as all groups played sports getting ready for Green and White which is closer than we know at this point.
I have to pinch myself all day up here. The energy and enthusiasm with everything we do is amazing. I asked 5 Shires today to help gather all the garbage in 32 cans around camp. We laughed and told stories for 90 minutes. In what other summer could that happen. We have truly become one family. We all help out and do what needs to be done every day. That was actually my dream when covid broke in the spring. As other camp directors asked how we would pull it off I always answered the same way. That as a family we can accomplish anything. I knew your kids would react this way and be so thankful and happy to be up here. They understand what you parents have given them and will not waste a second of it…
Thanks again for trusting us and for sharing your kids with all of us here at CRH.
Sweet Dreams from the Realm,
- Woodchuck from Woody - July 11, 2020: Opening Day
What a day here at the Realm. We went to sleep last night fearing an all-day rain-out. What we got was 8 hours of sunshine, mixed with 25 minutes of heavy rain. As we checked in our last 2 boys, the skies opened for a 12-minute rainstorm. I thought to myself that 16 weeks ago, who would have thought this would be my biggest worry. Who would have thought that for the 93rd consecutive summer, kids would arrive at the CRH to escape the outside world. What started as a concept to get children away from cities in the summer surrounded by mountains and fresh air has become a great option for escaping the global pandemic. It was so powerful to see everyone enter the Realm today with a smile. Each car full of people reminded me why we fought so hard to open.
Watching your children tonight at dinner in tents on the quad in front of the dining hall was life the way it should be. They were all smiling, laughing and enjoying life. The laughter made us all forget the troubles in the outside world. As usual, CRH is the perfect medicine for everyone.
After I said good night to everyone and walked back to house, it hit me that each one of you is our partner in the most important summer in generations. What we will accomplish together with the best staff ever assembled will be talked about for years. Just as alumni tell me how they remember watching the APOLLO moon landing in 1969 huddled around a small TV in the dinning hall, so will each one of us remember the opportunity given to us this summer. I will never forget the trust you have shown in us and will work like crazy to give you all the break each one of you deserves.
This is the first of many nightly Woodchucks of the summer. Thanks again for sharing your kids with us and reach out to me with any and all questions.
Sweet dreams from the Realm,
Previous COVID-19 Communications
Robin Hood wants to reassure our entire camp family that we are determined to continue our planning and preparations with the hope of opening camp this season. We are all aware that this is an evolving situation and we are committed to providing you with ongoing communication. Acting in transparency, we are publishing our communications to families. Please check back for the latest information to be posted here.
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - June 21, 2020
It is hard to believe that I have been up here for 2 full weeks now. I am sitting at my desk this morning thinking about what might have been...and my mind keeps jumping to what will be. This would have been our first full day of summer 2020. Instead the Realm sits quietly awaiting the arrival of our staff on Thursday which is a full 16 days before our new start date. Diane has not left her desk since I got here. She has documented everything perfectly as she always does to make sure that every camper and every staff member is ready for this summer. I have never seen anyone do more work at the highest standard of perfection. Our medical team has started to arrive and is preparing for every possible scenario the next 8 weeks will bring us. Our 2 new staff housing units are 3 days away from being finished allowing 8 adults to live in the center of camp in 6 separate units. The lake temperature is still a little cool but clearly getting warmer as each 90 degree day does it's job. Our chefs are here preparing for the summer changing and adapting as needed. Their food rotation will include all the campers favorites.
So maybe the more things change the more they stay the same. For the 93rd straight summer kids will arrive at the front gate on opening day. They will move to their cabins greeting old friends while welcoming new campers to our CRH family. 80% of our staff this summer has been at CRH before and my administration has over 350 Robin Hood summers combined. That as always is our secret sauce. It is the reason we will open in 3 weeks. It's the driving force behind all our efforts the last 13 weeks. I knew that our staff and campers could adapt to anything.
Andy's dream burns in every camper/staff/alumni's love for the REALM.
Thanks as always for your support and guidance...
Happy Father's Day
- Video for Robin Hood Families - June 11, 2020
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - May 29, 2020
Dear Camp Robin Hood Parents,
We have received the news this afternoon that our governor of New Hampshire has agreed to allow overnight camps to open and will be releasing their guidelines next week. As I have stated, this is the second of three steps needed to welcome your children back to the Realm. Once we receive the guidelines I will meet with my medical team to evaluate our ability to run Robin Hood within the guidelines mandated by the state of New Hampshire. I will be making a final decision following that meeting and promise to look at every angle and arrive at the safest place for our entire community.
I promise you that no camp team has worked harder to get to this point, and that no camp cares more about the health and welfare of our campers and staff. I will make my final decision based on scientific, reality-based facts, and we will only open if we can do so safely and in accordance with all governing bodies.
I appreciate your patience and look forward to updating you soon.
All the best,
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - May 20, 2020
Dear Robin Hood Families,
This week always feels like the kick off to my summer at the REALM. The piles of clothes on the floor in my office grow each day, waiting to be packed. I usually run a few extra miles each week to get into camp shape.
Enter today's new normal; we are all so worried about our world and waiting for the news that camp can become a reality. As I said last week, we need three things to happen. I am happy to report the first thing went our way yesterday. The NH reopening task force voted unanimously to reopen summer camps. This was a great outcome for us in many ways. Our attention now shifts to the governor's office, as he must decide if he will follow their recommendations. Once he says yes, the next decision will be based on advice from our medical team and the ability to acquire the necessary testing equipment. I do not want to release a plan prematurely before we know what is possible based on the state government's decisions. I do not want to send our families a plan that I am not 100% sure is possible. We have waited this long and had step 1 go in our favor, we just need a little more time to get the Governor's decision.
I hope this quick update brings some hope to everyone. The long road to opening still lays ahead of us, but together, we will figure it all out. My main goal, as always, is a safe and happy summer at the REALM. Although it will be different, the smell of the pine trees and the laughter of our children will resemble the previous 93 summers in every way.
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - May 12, 2020
In light of recent events, with some camps deciding to close for this summer, I wanted to reach out and give a very clear understanding of where we stand at Robin Hood. In order to open, we must receive permission from the Governor of New Hampshire. We then need to finalize our medical plan and implement all the correct protocols. Our goal is to secure the necessary equipment to meet these standards. As I said before, the longer we can be patient, the clearer the path to opening or closing will be. With hope of a magical summer at the Realm, I am still holding off on making a final decision.
Unfortunately, the dates for Summer 2020 are going to shift and opening day won't happen on June 20th. I currently see three options for this summer:
OPTION 1 - Camp opens in July for an incredible 5 week summer. We will include most every experience the last 93 seasons have provided for our campers and staff. We will make it an unforgettable experience in every way. The friendships and relationships that can only be fostered at CRH will grow even stronger under these conditions.
OPTION 2 - Week long Family Camps - all summer long. We're exploring options with details to follow.
OPTION 3 - It will break my heart, but we may have to cancel this summer.
I wake up every day eager and excited to plan for the 2020 camp season. The hurdles in front of us are a test to our fortitude and ability to think outside the box. My dad used to say that the toughest challenges are given to those who can overcome them best. I know that my father and Andy Friedman are watching out over us and I am confident that we will land in the correct place. With the guidance of many medical experts, and those who have spent their lives at the REALM, I am confident we will make the best decision possible.
I know how hard this is to digest and can't thank everyone enough for their patience and support during these uneasy times. We will get through this together and come out stronger on the other end...
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - May 8, 2020
First, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. As virtual class work is winding down and summer is around the corner, like all of you, I am anxious to begin making plans. Nothing sounds better right now than sitting at the waterfront listening to camper's laughing and seeing their smiling faces. With that said, the safety of our camp community has and will always be our number one priority, we will only open if we are absolutely sure that it will be safe to do so.
I am in close communication with the NH reopening task force, the American Camp Association and other government agencies to monitor the changing landscape and how it may affect our operations. My goal is to come up with a plan that allows us all to enjoy everything Robin Hood has to offer in the safest way possible. We have mapped out a few different scenarios for how camp might run, and appreciate your patience with us as we wait to see how things play out. The longer we wait, the more our decisions will be based on scientific facts driven by real time data.
I get up each day hoping that the world will have changed, and that the NH governor will have given us the green (and white) light for the summer. If ever we needed The Realm, it's now. Kids need camp more than ever, and I know parents need and deserve a break too.
Please give the process a few more weeks so we can all get the answer everyone is yearning for.
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - April 22, 2020
As a parent myself, weeks into homeschooling and short order cooking, I know our community has a lot of questions. Will camp open this summer? Can it safely open on time? What will that look like?
The safety of our campers and staff remains our number one priority. To achieve this goal, we must be patient and wait as long as possible into the spring to make a final decision regarding the opening of camp. The American Camp Association (ACA) has consultants working directly with the CDC and state health departments to develop protocols and guidelines to keep ALL summer camps safe. Once these have been completed, and we have a clearer understanding of what safety around COVID-19 will look like closer to summer, we will then be ready to share all of the details surrounding our 2020 summer season with you.
In the meantime, we will do our very best to keep an open line of communication with our Robin Hood community. We have come up with three (3) possible scenarios for this summer at this point:
Scenario A: Camp Opens on Saturday, June 20, as Scheduled
We remain hopeful and cautiously optimistic that camp will open on June 20. The safety of our camp community will unquestionably remain our highest priority, but opening as scheduled is our number one goal.
Scenario B: Camp Opens in July - Date To Be Determined
In the event we do not open on June 20, we will be organized and equipped to run an abbreviated summer. If this happens, it will be an amazing season... different, yet grounded in CRH traditions. If we go this route, we will provide families with specific details to prepare for an adjusted season.
Scenario C: Camp is Delayed Until 2021
While still unthinkable, there is the possibility that we will not be able to safely open in 2020. Camp Robin Hood will persevere and be ready for 2021 and future summers. Trust me when I say I can relate to how your children might be feeling right now. I can't imagine a summer without time in The Realm. Your family is my family! With that said, the health and safety of our family members will remain at the heart of our final decision. Another three to five weeks, and as Andy used to say, with "G-d willing," we will have more clarity and a better understanding of what the world looks like.
Regardless of what happens with Summer 2020, please know that we are here and will continue to support all of you in every way possible. Please call me directly with any questions or concerns.
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - March 27, 2020
It's week two - how is everything going at home? Hopefully the weather in your area enables your kids to get plenty of recess time during those virtual classes.
I'd like to extend our gratitude to all of our camp parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and alumni who are working in the medical field, as well as those supporting these professionals on the front lines. We know it's a tough go right now, and wish everyone the very best. Remember what we have taught our campers for the past nine summers during Robin Hood Gives Back Day: THANK everyone for their service and be kind to others!
This is one of those situations that we just don't have many answers just yet. But barring any unforeseen events, camp is ON! Just this week the Brass had an all hands Zoom meeting! Chuck struggled a bit but joined us late by speaker phone. We had several dogs interrupt the chat but it sure put a smile on our faces. Aren't we lucky to have technology that lets us make video calls so we can stay connected with people outside our family units?
It feels as if we could all use camp now more than ever. There is a quote by Albert Camus being shared between camp leaders, "In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer..." I'm hoping we are going to be able to help provide our campers with that very type of summer!
Please don't hesitate to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call anytime at (312) 404-1828. I'm at home self-isolating trying to help teach grade school subjects and limit all of our screen time.
Stay safe, healthy and positive that we'll see each other soon!
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - March 19, 2020
I realize this is a challenging and trying time for all of us. How are you and your kids holding up? You're all on my mind as I'm currently at home watching school lessons happen virtually. (Round of applause to all of the teachers out there checking in on their students and giving them at-home lessons!)
As I said in my last email, we are full steam ahead on planning summer 2020. We believe that camp will be the best place to be this summer. It might be a different kind of summer, but I am going to do everything possible to make sure we can all experience the magic in the trees!
I've received many calls from parents and they all keep telling me the same thing - all of the junior campers are saying they will walk to camp if they have to! Anyone else getting those comments from kids? I'd love to hear about them too. Only a few days out of school for some and our campers are already telling their parents they want to be in The Realm. And I'm here to tell you that camp will be there for your kids!
Love that all the kids have The Realm on their minds and they know camp is their safe place. My mom's first experience at summer camp over 70 years ago was similar to this year. It was because of a polio outbreak on the East Coast. To protect young kids, parents sent their children to camps where they could be away from disease while being protected by caring staff and have fun with peers. We have come full circle to today.
I know that the constant stream of news and changing guidelines are making it hard to plan for tomorrow, let alone 100 days from now. I am here for you and your kids always . If kids have questions about summer or get bummed about being stuck at home, send me a note and let's schedule a video call for me to answer any of their questions! (I'd love to see their smiling faces these days too!) If you feel yourself getting anxious or overwhelmed, give me a call and we can chat about your concerns too. As parents we need to stick together. We can lift each other up and be there for each other now more than ever!
We may not be Scouts, but we are always prepared! I am working all day, every day, with our leadership team and I am confident that we will be in The Realm together this summer.
Wishing you and your families all the best,
- Letter to Robin Hood Families - March 12, 2020
Dear Camp Family,
We know that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been at the forefront of everyone's mind. We too are closely monitoring the latest updates and developments and will continue to do so. The health and safety of our campers, families, and staff is always our top priority.
We will take into consideration all the information and guidance we receive from the CDC, as well as the American Camp Association. We will continue to partner with our local Health Department before, and throughout the summer on how best to manage this situation.
Robin Hood , as well as the camp industry as a whole, have successfully managed public health crises in the past. Most recently, we navigated the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009. This current challenge is new and evolving, but our past experience will help us respond to and prepare for how this may impact our camp community. It is important to remember that our camp season is more than three months away, which allows us ample time to see how the situation develops.
We will keep you updated in the coming weeks and months with more specific measures we plan to take to ensure camp continues to be a healthy and positive experience for all. At the bottom of this email, we included links that are helpful resources for talking with your children about Coronavirus.
Summer camps were originally designed in the late 1800's to get kids out of crowded cities so they could be safe from diseases. We are confident this summer will be no different and the fresh air will do us all some good! We are counting down the days until the buses pull in and looking forward to yet another fabulous summer in the Realm!!!
All my best,