Summer 2020 Update

To Our Beloved Robindel Family,

It is with a profound sadness and disappointment that we are writing to inform you that we will not be opening Camp Robindel for the 2020 season. Since our first Robindel summer in 1977, this has been the most difficult decision we have ever had to make. Like you, we have been hoping that Robindel could provide a sense of normalcy for your daughters during this most difficult time. As we promised to do in each of our recent emails, we made this decision with the best interest of our campers and staff in mind. In choosing Robindel as a summer home for your daughter, we recognize that you were choosing us as summer parents for your child. This is what ultimately guided us to the decision to close for the season.

We have spent the last two months in daily meetings with our staff, medical team and other camp directors and medical professionals. We have listened to and read every recommendation from the CDC and the American Camp Association. We have made contingency plans for every scenario we could possibly imagine. Unfortunately, the consensus amongst all of our medical professionals is that there is no guaranteed way to protect our campers and staff from a case of the virus occurring at camp. In addition, the recent speculation about complications from this virus in children is especially concerning for us. At a Senate hearing last week concerning COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated “I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune from the deleterious effects.” There are too many medical and operational unknowns for us to feel confident in our ability to properly care for our camp community. We feel that we must be humble about what is unknown about this virus.

Camp Robindel was founded in 1951 and has been a welcomed part of the Lakes Region community in New Hampshire for the last 70 years. We have good relationships with our local community and support many of their businesses. As we listen to every press conference with Governor Sununu hoping for him to address residential summer camps, we also recognize that his job is to protect the people in his state. Welcoming thousands of campers and staff from other states is not in their best interest at this time. To date, he has been purposefully vague and we feel, if he should allow us to open camp, his guidelines for us to operate camp will be extremely restrictive. We don’t know what his final decision will be or when it will be made. During his press conference on May 15th he stated that he will need several weeks and more data before determining if resident camps can open. We have decided that his final decision will not change our decision in this matter.

We recently had a Zoom meeting with the Juniper 2020 girls. We were overwhelmed by their compassion, empathy and maturity in understanding the situation and concern for campers of all ages. These girls showed their true CR Spirit guided by Robindel’s core values. They understood that this summer would look and feel very different from past summers and they handled the idea of these changes with grace. They shared some creative and wonderful ideas. Leaving that uplifting meeting we felt optimistic about the summer. Our extremely bright, creative and devoted team could surely create an exciting camp program while complying with the restrictive guidelines. However, soon after this meeting, we realized that the Robindel experience that we have come to love and cherish is much more than one of our beautiful sunsets. It is sitting in one of the gazebos shoulder to shoulder laughing with friends. It is walking back from campfire hand in hand with the feeling of a profound sense of community. Sunsets will always remain a constant on our lake, but when the shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand are removed from this loving equation, the spirit of Robindel is greatly diminished.

We wish to thank all of you for your trust in us and for being so supportive and encouraging during this most difficult time. As disappointing as this must be for you and your daughters, our wish is that we can all begin to heal while looking forward with excitement to the summer of 2021 – the summer of the embrace.

Love,
Ann & Nat