Let’s start with the hard news first. After prayerfully considering the information available to us, we know that we cannot provide the Summer Together Family Camp experience that we all love.
This means no ClubCove or CrossWalk. No spaghetti time after great Bible teaching. No Night to Forget, family shows, hymn sings, or family worship. This is not what any of us wanted, and we can feel sad about it, alongside the various other losses we are grieving.
Having said that, I want to shift to what we can do, but I need to start off with a disclaimer: I don’t want you to view what I am about to present to you as “family camp lite” because it can’t live up to those expectations. Instead, think about us as a hotel – you can even name it, if that helps. Maybe the “Bay Harbor Hotel”… or “The Happy Place Hotel”?
So I have a hotel I’d like to invite you to. It’s a pretty nice hotel, and it has a few amenities that might make it appealing to you. Besides a friendly staff, this hotel has great views of the North East River, and above average views of the sunset. It has 220 acres of property for your social distancing use. This hotel also conveniently provides take-out meals three times a day. We are happy to accommodate special diets including gluten-free, low-sodium, low-sugar and basic vegetarian. You are welcome to bring your own food if you have more restrictive needs.
Some other amenities this hotel has is a pool that they can open each afternoon, and a marina where you can borrow kayaks and canoes to paddle on the river. There’s a Frisbee golf course there too, and tennis courts, soccer and softball fields, and a basketball court for outdoor family fun. And if you like to fish, we have a free license for fishing off the pier.
There are even some staff who can run a few activities like a cargo net climb, slingshots and archery, pedal karts for the kids, and they can help you build and launch rockets made of paper. Also, there will be a few options for some spiritual encouragement for you and your family along the way.
Plus, if you are willing to spend a bit more, there’s a craft shop where you can purchase various projects, and a boat to take your family tubing.
That’s what this hotel has to offer. But remember, even if it sounds like a place you have been before, if something is not on the list above, it is probably not an option, though the list has the potential to change a little as regulations shift.
So if your family is ready to get out of the house, let someone else take care of feeding you, and have lazy days of relaxing together, near (but not too near) other families doing the same thing, this might be a good option for you!
We want you to come to Sandy Cove healthy and stay healthy, which will require all of us working together and making some adjustments. Some of this includes:
Please take time to CLICK HERE and read through the specifics on what we will do, and what we are asking you to do in response to the threat of COVID-19 and the desire for us all to be healthy.
If you are uncomfortable for any reason with these things, or unable to participate in any of the expectations we are asking of the community, we ask that you wait to attend until a time when fewer restrictions may be required.
But if you have read through it and agree that we can make it work together (but apart) then we hope you will think about joining us.
This experience (we call them Power Boosts when we’ve offered them in the past) at our “hotel” will cost less than the regular family camp rates. If you still came for your 5 days (Sunday – Friday) the rates are as follows:
$1550 is the “family max” rate if you registered under that.
First Timer 50% off or Second Timer discounts, and other discounts do not apply to these rates – this is as discounted as we can make it.
If you are registered through Operation Oasis, you are still welcome to come through that program.
If you have received a scholarship for Family Camp, we will call you next week to confirm whether or not you plan to join us this summer.
If you were family camping in the campground, you can still come and camp – your rates will be $945 for a log cabin, $350 in a rustic cabin, $225 for an RV site, and $175 for a tent site for the 5 nights.
This is all big news and changes, so take some time to process it carefully and decide what would be best for your family.
Here are the options we would like you to consider:
If you choose any of these 4 options, we will not only be grateful, but will grandfather you in to get Family Camp in 2021 at the 2020 rates.
No matter your choice, it will not put your preferred room selection in jeopardy, provided you secure your Family Camp 2021 reservation by July 30, 2020.
What about refunds? Why are you asking us to donate balances?
As you can imagine, when income stopped for Sandy Cove in March due to Covid19 restrictions, and expenses did not, it has placed us in front of some significant financial challenges. We have looked at the long-range impacts of the lost revenue and the road to recovery. As we have created a strategy to weather the long-term impact of the shutdown, any money that “stays with us” either by people attending, moving balances forward, or via donation is a huge help right now. Conversely, refunds in this season are very damaging to us, so we are asking you to help us avoid that and leave those as the last resort. Actually, the resort beyond that one…
We do understand everyone has been impacted differently by this whole situation, so if you can’t come and can’t afford to leave money with us, let’s talk and see what we can work out.
Once you have thought through your options and made a decision, let’s get the process started by having you fill out this form that will help our reservation agents to make the changes needed.
Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this email, but more than that, thanks for sticking by Sandy Cove in this season, and cheering us to make it through to the other side. I hope that many of you will come to our hotel this summer, and that I can give you a virtual hug from 6 feet away!
Director of Program Ministries