Here’s an update on how we have allocated your generous contributions to the Camp Nebagamon Scholarship Fund during the unprecedented summer of 2020.
As you know, due to health and safety risks associated with COVID-19, Camp Nebagamon is not operating this summer for the first time since 1929. Similarly, most of the nonprofit camps that receive Camp Nebagamon Scholarship Fund scholarship support are also not open in a traditional sense this summer. These camps serve children who experience poverty and disability and whose risks of contracting the new coronavirus are elevated.
Our board thought critically and creatively, and sought input from our donors (Nebagamon friends and alumni) on how best to allocate contributions this summer. We decided that saving donor contributions exclusively for the summer of 2021 was not in the best interests of the children we seek to help. Instead, we doubled down on our mission to support joyous summers for kids who need and deserve the benefits that come from camping — for this quarantine summer and for the future.
Following a survey of the nonprofit camps that we support, our board developed a pandemic-adjusted funding model to provide extra support to camps that opened this summer to reflect the cost of their extensive safety precautions. We maintained funding to support program reach and continuity at camps that switched to a virtual-only model. And for a subset of our camps that did not open, or could not operate virtually, we provided operating support for their plans to resume operation next summer.
None of us knows what the future may hold during this time of economic dislocation and societal change. That’s true for the nonprofit camps we support and for each of us. In the face of this uncertainty, our board has chosen to invest courageously in a better future for vulnerable children during this unprecedented summer.
We thank you sincerely for your trust and continued support. We hope you’ll take a moment to read the comments below from some of our recipient camps — a glimpse of how they’re working to support joy and growth for children who need it most.
Letters from Recipient Camps
“We’ve all been pushed to see what we’ve missed and to grow in ways we’ve delayed. That includes us at East Side Neighborhood Services (in Minneapolis). In the aftermath of the protests over George Floyd’s murder, one amazing opportunity has emerged: we’ve been able to open up Camp Bovey to be used as a respite space for the families of the young people we serve in impacted neighborhoods, as well as for organizers of color. It means so much to be able to utilize Camp Bovey as a place of healing, reflection and transformation.”
–Camp Bovey, https://www.esns.org/campbovey
“Thank you for the very generous support from the Camp Nebagamon Scholarship Fund. It really took our breath away. The support of the Camp Nebagamon Scholarship Fund has helped ‘save the day’ for our Y camp and will give hundreds of kids a much needed reprieve, time in the outdoors, and the camp experience we all love.”
–Y Camp, Lake Nebagamon, https://superiorymca.org/
“Our all-virtual Stay Camp 2020 will span the months of June and July, and includes daily online activities to keep campers engaged. We have provided curated ‘Camp-in-a-Box’ kits for each of our 284 kids in grades 1-9. Providing this alternate programming is our way of still serving the campers and helping to create some summer normalcy.”
–Sherwood Forest Camp,https://www.sherwoodforeststl.org/
“The fact that we have promises to keep to young people has remained constant, and they need our support more than ever. Being able to stay connected and provide a virtual summer experience is critical to our ability to stay connected to young people and support them as they adjust to a ‘new normal.’”
“Wow. Thank you so much for your faith in Camp Courageous. We are doing everything we can to stay connected to the campers – can’t wait to get everyone back! Thank you for your wonderful support in word and in deed for the camping industry. In no other field is there such a closeness and bond formed that often last a lifetime.”
–Camp Courageous, www.campcourageous.org
“These are challenging times for us all, and we feel so fortunate to have generous people like you in our corner. We are hopeful that we will be able to resume providing services to our campers and families in the fall. Now more than ever, the families we serve need us, and your contribution will help ensure The Fowler Center remains strong until it is safe to do so.”
–The Fowler Center,www.thefowlercenter.org
“The poverty rate in Moose Lake, MN is 42.8% which is a staggering number, and the poverty rate of students at the public school is 35%. We want to be here to support children with food access for the summer, and a safe environment. The Y has hired an Environmental Health Engineering to consult with all of the YMCA camps to provide a field guide on how to operate camps safely this summer. We believe that this model will offer us the best option to serve families, keep our staff safe, and offer an outdoor recreation experience this summer.”
–Camp Miller, https://www.duluthymca.org/camp/camp-miller