Camp Edge Community,
I hope that this finds you and your families well in the midst of these unprecedented days we have been living in during the spring of 2020. Recently, I was introduced to the song Nothing I Hold Onto, and these lyrics have resonated with me every day since hearing them.
I lean not on my own understanding,
My life is in the hands of the maker of heaven.
I give it all to you God,
Trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me.
As you are certainly aware, the effects of Covid-19 have been felt across every aspect of our society. Even now, as plans are put in place for “reopening” and whatever “our new normal” looks like, there are still so many unknowns.
The Board of Directors of Ranch Hope, Inc. met last Thursday night via Zoom videoconferencing. Our May meeting focused upon where the Ranch Hope ministry as a whole is right now, and as part of this discussion, what it would take for us to have camp this summer, and the necessary steps to get there.
Everyone on our Board of Directors and leadership team at Ranch Hope believes in the mission of Camp Edge. Everyone wants to have camp this summer. Everyone is feeling frustrated, and at times anxious about what is the right decision pertaining to moving forward in our preparations for offering summer camp opportunities this summer. But as with so many other camps throughout the country, we cannot get beyond one central point: We do not know how we can plan and execute Camp Edge 2020 in light of where we are currently.
- Can we meet the expectations of parents, and parents of first-time campers in particular? While there are many who eagerly await “reopening,” we also know that many have a greater reluctance and concerns when sending their children away each day.
- What rules, recommendations, and procedures will we have to incorporate in terms of masks, sanitation stations, visitor restrictions, testing, and social distancing? Can we meet these challenges while preserving the “Camp Edge experience” for our campers?
- Is it fair to recruit and hire summer staff not knowing if we will have the necessary number of campers and resources available to maintain our budget for the summer of 2020?
- We still have renovations and repairs that have not been completed on our Ropes Course, Mess Hall and electric to our staging area due to both financial, state regulations and access limitations. Can we have these issues rectified in time for camp this summer?
The reality is that we cannot proceed with confidence with our current summer program. Our board voted unanimously (with deep regret) to suspend the 2020 program. Camp Edge will remain open for individuals and small groups (under 10 people) to enjoy its walking and biking trails, utilize our picnic tables and field area. Port a pots will still be maintained and available for use. But we will be unable to provide staff support, inside facilities, swimming or boating opportunities.
The Board of Directors will be meeting again in June to consider what, if any, alternative programming may be possible. If things rapidly improve, it is likely we plan and launch summer ministry in some form. It is also possible that we may simply open the camp for smaller groups (families, churches, etc.) as deemed appropriate by government and health authorities.
I, like you, will miss Camp Edge this summer. I will miss providing Campers, Camp Counselors and Volunteers with opportunities to grow in Christ because there is no Camp Edge summer camp. This is not what any of us wanted or hoped, and yet it is the place in which we find ourselves. I am confident that God will continue to use this crisis to “make something beautiful”.
Thanks for your ongoing support of Camp Edge. Please continue to pray “giving it all to God” for our board and leadership as we attempt to navigate this current season. As you are able, I would invite you to consider supporting the ministry of the camp. There are ongoing expenses associated with the camp’s operation that are present whether we have summer camp or not. Thanks again for being part of the Ranch Hope/Camp Edge family.
Dave Bailey, Jr.
CEO, Ranch Hope, Inc.