Sky Lake News Archive for March, 2020

Peace Be Still: An Update on Summer Preparations in Upper New York

Peace Be Still: An Update on Summer Preparations in Upper New York

Like many of you, we are finding social distancing to be rather challenging. We are camp and retreat people after all and bringing people together is core to what we do. As we continue to pray for you and all those impacted by COVID-19, we remain hopeful and excited for our 2020 Summer Camp Season.

Last week we announced an update to our cancellation policy to allow for cancellations up to two (2) calendar days before the start of a given session for health and safety reasons related to COVID-19. Full refunds will be issued in this case, however, our standard cancellation policy for other reasons remains in effect.

Today we are extending our early-bird discount deadlines. Registrations received by May 1st will automatically receive a $25 discount, while registrations received by June 1st will automatically receive a $10 discount.

Our refer-a-friend and sibling discounts remain the same.

We are also working diligently to secure additional funding for camperships to ensure that our programming remains accessible to all. Please do not hesitate to apply for a campership.

May the joy and hope of the summer camp experience continue to sustain you during these uncertain times.

In Christ’s Service,
The Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries Leadership Team

Posted on March 25th by David Wood

March 18th Update from UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Leadership

March 18th Update from UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Leadership

The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, is often attributed as having said, “Proceed with much prayer and your way will be made plain.”

After prayerful consideration, Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries will close our sites to retreat guests effective immediately until Monday, April 13th. As we continue to monitor the current situation closely, this date could be extended. However, we believe by implementing these precautions at this time, our actions will contribute to flattening the curve and allow us to continue serving the guests we love.

We continue to work diligently to prepare for this upcoming summer season. In order to best support our camper families and to help them make summer plans, we have amended our refund policy and health and safety procedures to the following:

⚬ A full refund for cancellations for health and safety reasons related to COVID-19 will be granted until two calendar days before the start of the session. Our standard cancellation policy for other reasons remains in effect.

⚬ A member of the site staff will contact the parent/caregiver of the camper to complete a verbal pre-camp health screening at least 48 hours prior to arrival. This will be in addition to the screening already a part of our check-in procedures

At this time, we continue to accept registrations and applications for the summer season as well as guest-group bookings for the remainder of 2020 and 2021. We also continue to accept applications for open positions on our summer/seasonal staff teams.

While our sites are closed to retreat guests, our year-round staff teams will be working remotely or practicing safe social distancing as we deep clean our facilities and work on those “rainy day” projects that will enhance your next visit!

We continue to pray for our local and global communities as we forge ahead through uncharted waters. We also pray for your continued good health and look forward to serving you when we are all safely able to be together again!

The Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries Leadership

Posted on March 18th by Matthew Williams

UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Responds to COVID-19 Outbreak

UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Responds to COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Valued Guests, Campers, Participants & Families,

We strive to provide a time and place in which all who attend our camp and retreat centers in Upper New York, can get away from the hectic pace of the world and just be… with God, with Creation, and with one another. One of the things we do to ensure that this sort of experience can safely continue is to keep an eye on what’s going on in our region, our country, and our world.

Like many of you, we’ve been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) over the past few months. As you likely already know, all of our centers operate under American Camp Association standards. In addition to setting the standards for the camping industry, the ACA also provides its members with some incredible resources—most recently on COVID-19. We are also fortunate to have a great working relationship with our County and New York State Departments of Health, which also continue to provide us with valuable resources. We are focused on staying informed and taking proper precautions during the current climate, while continuing to host our spring guest groups and prepare for our awesome upcoming summer season!

While we monitor the news, we are even more conscientious about continuing to do the things we always do, like disinfecting surfaces in between retreat groups, staying home if we’re not feeling well, and washing our hands a lot! We are adding sensible precautionary measures as well, including a daily sanitization of high traffic surfaces while guests are on site, increased guest and staff education around CDC recommendations for effective handwashing and safe sneezing/coughing, an increased availability of hand sanitizer/hand washing stations in our buildings, and heightened staff awareness to our personal and communal health. We are also currently reviewing our summer procedures, including check in, and will let you know if/when we make any updates to those.

In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation closely as it evolves and follow any and all applicable recommendations put out by the CDC, ACA, and New York State Department of Health. We commit to keeping all our guests, campers, participants and families informed throughout the coming weeks of any further steps taken in response to this concern. The continued health, safety, and well-being of all our guests is our top priority, and we look forward to serving you both through and beyond this current situation. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any concerns further, you are welcome to call or email us at any time, we’d be happy to talk with you!

Sincerely,
Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries Leadership

Posted on March 14th by David Wood

A Hand-Washing Playlist

A Hand-Washing Playlist

We strive to provide a time and place in which campers and guests can get away from the hectic pace of the world and just be… with God, with Creation, and with one another. One of the things we do to ensure that this sort of experience can safely continue is to keep an eye on what’s going on in our region, our country, and our world.

Like many of you, we’ve been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) over the past few months. As you likely already know, Sky Lake is one of only 25% of summer camps in the United States which is voluntarily accredited by the American Camp Association. In addition to setting the standards for the camping industry (and helping us stay accountable to the standards that revolve around health, safety, and programming,) the ACA also provides its members with some incredible resources—most recently on COVID-19. With so much information out there, we are grateful for the ACA cutting through all the noise on our behalf so that we can focus on preparing for our awesome upcoming summer season! We are also fortunate to have a great working relationship with the Broome County Department of Health, which also continues to provide us with valuable resources.

While we monitor the news, we are even more conscientious about continuing to do the things we always do, like disinfecting surfaces in between retreat groups, staying home if we’re not feeling well, and washing our hands a lot! We are also currently reviewing our check-in procedures and will let you know if we make any updates to those.

It seems coming up with alternatives to singing “Happy Birthday” twice to encourage washing hands with soap for a minimum of twenty seconds has become a popular way to deal with the stress of everything. However, there seem to be no lists that include camp songs (which we believe is a travesty) so we’ve gone ahead and created a list of our own!

A Playlist to Wash Your Hands To

A Ram Sam Sam
If nothing else, you’ll be able to get at least twenty seconds of laughter while you wash your hands!

All That I Am
The chorus from one of our favorite Rend Collective songs is the perfect length to wash your hands to.

Do Lord
For our campers who are big Johnny Cash fans, here he is singing “Do Lord”...

Fruit of the Spirit
Again, twenty seconds of laughter may be all that you’re able to utter while washing your hands to this song.

Good Night
One verse of this beloved song is just a tad bit longer than twenty seconds, but… it’s the Goodnight Song, so it’s okay. (Also, we’ve added “create our own video of campers singing this song” to our must-do list for this summer!)

Jesus is the Rock
Might we recommend a slight change to the lyrics? What about “Jesus is the Rock and he rolls my germs away”!?

This Little Light of Mine
This Soweto Gospel Choir version is apt to keep your toes tapping while you thoroughly wash your hands!

We look forward to you remaining healthy so that we can spend some time with one another at camp this summer!

Update, Monday, 3/16—we sang a few of these songs during a pop-up campfire last night! Here you go:

Posted on March 10th by Matthew Williams