On April 25, the Camp Leadership Team and The Commission of Camping and Retreat Ministries (CCRM) unanimously voted to cancel all physical IGRC programs and guest rentals until August 1st due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes all East Bay, Little Grassy, Epworth, Beulah, and all other IGRC Camping in-person programs. Beulah Camp leaders made the decision to cancel their summer programming last week, and the CCRM Committee affirmed and supported their decision.
When considering the coming summer season, our top priority and guiding principle is to make the best decision possible to protect all those impacted by our ministry. It is because of this priority to the safety and health of summer participants and staff that we felt the need to make this difficult decision. The CCRM will be meeting monthly throughout the next several months to continue to evaluate, assess, and consider the best way forward.
In support and response to this decision, Bishop Frank Beard writes, “While we regret the closure of our Summer Camp ministry, I remain confident that local churches will discover new ways to engage and involve youth throughout the summer. I look forward to hearing the reports of God touching and changing lives through our collective ministries.”
Your IGRC Camping and Retreat Ministries exist to connect people, nature, and Christ for the transformation of the world. Each year, thousands of children, youth, and adults visit our sites and leave having found renewal, rest, community, and spiritual growth. The IGRC CCRM strives to provide these meaningful experiences in a way that prioritizes protecting the physical, emotional, and spiritual safety of every participant.
In unfamiliar and uncertain times like these we find ourselves struggling to reconcile the need to prioritize the health and safety of our campers and the deep grief we are experiencing as a result of making this decision. However, as Easter people we know that God can take grief filled moments and use those to change everything in ways that overflow with love and joy. Our hope rests on this and we look toward this Fall and 2021 to see what new thing God is doing in our midst.
Your Leadership Team is working on a variety of ideas for the near future and look forward to sharing those with you soon. We anticipate you will be able to connect with us virtually, but we are also developing a variety of experiences to begin gathering at camp again as soon as it is safe to do so. During this pause of normal operations, our time will be spent enhancing your Camping and Retreat Ministries on several fronts.
In these challenging times we ask for your prayers and want you to know that you are in ours. We look forward to the day we can reconnect with you in person.
Your Camping and Retreat Ministry Family