Mask Talk A message from the Camp Director

Hi Friends! Let’s talk about masks.

We have all heard or read that the CDC recommends wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. It has even been proven to work in other countries, as well as communities around the US, where we have seen numbers of new cases go down when everyone works together. Some countries are opened up and back to normal (or as close to normal as they cautiously can be). Meanwhile, here we are in Wisconsin with people testing positive more and more each day. More people are getting sick, and sadly, more people are passing away than most areas of the country. When you look at the map of hot spots, Wisconsin is bright red! What can be done? Wear a mask if you go out in public, and stay home if you can. It’s pretty simple actually.

Think of the Campers with Compromised Immune Systems

You may have heard that we cancelled camp for the summer – it was one of the most difficult and awful decisions we have had to make. All of us that work at camp do so because…well, we LOVE camp. We love when camp is full of happy campers having the time of their lives in the pool and singing songs around the campfire. Taking long rides on the tractor wagons. Many of our campers have compromised immune systems and could get very sick if they came in contact with the virus. We knew we wouldn’t be able to follow the social distancing guidelines and make sure everyone was safe in places like the pool or tractor wagons while at camp. We definitely knew we couldn’t control what anyone did outside of camp, so we decided to cancel to keep everyone healthy.

Moving Forward

Now it is October and the virus is still spreading rampantly in Wisconsin. We are committed to doing what we love and started offering camp on the weekends again. As we rethink everything we do at camp to keep our campers and staff members safe while they’re here, our biggest concern continues to be what happens to our campers and staff while they aren’t at camp. Who are they coming in contact with? Is everyone they are around wearing masks when in public areas? Is everyone we, as staff, come in contact with getting tested and quarantining when needed?

Wear a mask!

This brings me to my plea. Wear a mask! It really isn’t difficult, and they really aren’t that expensive. There are disposable ones you can just wear once and throw away. Now you can even get cool masks from many of your favorite retailers representing sports teams or other things you love. They are the new, cool t-shirt, if you ask me. Some of us have a mask that grandma made out of one of grandpa’s old shirts – cool! Check out the CDC website if you want to review guidelines or have questions. We’ve been hearing about this for a while. By now wearing a mask should be a common thing, but strangely and sadly it isn’t.

Why the plea?

To be honest, I am not afraid of getting COVID-19. I am fairly healthy, and those I live with and around are all healthy. What I am afraid of is bringing this deadly virus to our camp, and passing it along to one of our campers. It would take just one case and we’d have to close again. And it isn’t even about us. The hard truth is that someone could die because someone brought the virus to camp. It is that simple. While you who are reading this may be thinking “I don’t work at camp, it doesn’t affect me and I don’t need to wear a mask,” you know what? You may come in contact with one of us who does work at camp! Or maybe someone who works at a day services program, a group home or nursing home, a hospital, or someone who lives with loved ones with compromised immune systems – the list could go on. Out of respect for all of us who just want to do our jobs and provide the services we love providing – please, wear the mask.

In camp spirit,

Carissa

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