Summer Update

August 1, 2020

All good things….

…must come to an end. Still, we were hoping our summer season would come to an end in a few weeks. But with Governor Inslee’s late Friday mandate closing summer camps, we are concluding our camp activities today (Saturday, August 1) with the departure of this week’s campers, as scheduled.

On behalf of our awesome summer staff and year-round staff, we are so grateful to have had the six weeks of camp we’ve had this summer! Our campers have had a blast playing in the water and in the woods: rock climbing, cool craft projects, mountain biking, swimming and boating, archery and more! (And the masks? A dad called me to report that his two teen sons – longtime campers – said that this summer’s high school camp was “the best ever!” Even with masks). Especially this year, we believe there has been great value in kids disconnecting from their devices, taking a break from the stress of this cultural moment, and to explore, create and experience classic summer camp adventure through nature-based, hands-on activities. And all the while, they have been interacting with fun, spiritually solid staff role models as they hear, discuss and consider what life with Jesus looks like in their world. What a privilege to see Jesus move in kids lives all summer!

To those families who chose to sit this summer out: When we reach the other side of this health crisis, Camp Spalding will still be here, eager to welcome back your camper to a week of life-changing summer camp fun! We still need you for Camp Spalding to continue to thrive in the years to come. And a special thanks to those of you who donated your registration fees upon cancellation – we are touched by and grateful for your partnership with us and God’s work at Camp Spalding.

To those who sent kids here this summer: we count it a privilege that you entrusted your child to our care during this season. While so many of you expressed gratitude to us for staying open and providing a week of memorable summer camp fun, know that we saw this summer as a partnership with you. Thanks for jumping through the many, but necessary, hoops to keep camp safe. Our staff has many fun, spiritually significant memories from time spent with your kids this summer!

To those campers who had their camp cancelled: we feel that keen disappointment, too, with much sadness among our staff to have to miss being at camp with you! With universal cooperation with our protocols and no signs of COVID at our camp this summer, it is especially disappointing to have to close down with just a few weeks to go. We are sorry! Please see a separate, prior email sent to you with more information, including instructions for refunds.

We are grateful for our team of MDs and RNs (special thanks to Kristi Sims RN, Dr. Sam Palpant (ret) and Dr. Henry Arguinchona) who helped us develop smart protocols that significantly minimized the health risk and allowed kids to experience the wonder, fun, sense of belonging and connection to Christ that Camp Spalding provides. And to the many MDs, RNs, PAs and other medical professionals who sent their own kids to Camp Spalding this summer: your vote of confidence and words of support were an on-going source of encouragement to me personally.

With you, I am fervently praying that this stressful season will be behind us by next summer. We’ll be ready to welcome your child and many more back to Camp Spalding for a week of classic summer camp fun and spiritual purpose!

In Christ,

Andy Sonneland

 Executive Director