A Letter from Camp Celtic
Well everyone, it’s official. For the first time since opening in 1984, there will be no children at Camp Celtic this summer. We here at Camp are experiencing a range of emotions about this week’s announcement. We feel great sadness, that we will not see so many of the campers, counsellors, parents, and friends that we love and care about. We feel unsure about what a summer without campers even looks like – for Lumpy and Haney it will be their first summer without camp in some form in about 50 years! We feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of correspondence coming into the office, especially since we are technically ‘closed’. Ultimately, we are understanding that the governments decision to keep summer camps closed was made with good intentions, and with the health and well-being of children at the forefront. And finally, we are optimistic. We here at Celtic are a resilient and resourceful bunch, and the wider Celtic community consists of some of the most caring, compassionate, intelligent, and loyal people on the planet. Barring the absolute worst, we are confident that we will persevere through this rough patch, and will be patiently waiting for 2021 (or perhaps sooner!) when we can sing, laugh, run, explore, learn, and create once more with all of our favourite people.
Here are some thoughts for the (would be) campers out there whom this decision truly affects the most. If this was going to be your first year at Celtic, we are sorry that our meeting will have to wait another 12 months, but we will be eagerly awaiting a good handshake or high-five (no gloves necessary!) when the time does come. If you have been counting the days until Camp since you left last year, we are confident that you will know how to act on the advice you are about to receive to make each of your respective corners of the world a little brighter, and we look forward to hearing all of your stories when you return. And, to those of you who have been deprived of your last year as a camper at Celtic, we are deeply sorry and this following message is especially for you: Camp, in many ways, is a state of mind. Yes, the property here is beautiful and full of fun and exciting facilities. Yes, the counsellors are spectacular, funny, and kind people. And yes, many friendships are formed and maintained only at Camp. However, if you have ever been to the last campfire of any session at Celtic, right after we sing ‘Linger’ you have probably heard a director say, “Although you are leaving Camp tomorrow, Camp does not have to leave you.” This sentiment is truer and more important now than ever. Be kind and empathetic towards everyone; you do not know their circumstance. Get outside whenever and however you get the chance. Sing more, play more, learn more – you will be a better and happier person for it. Invent silly games. Show gratitude for the many things to be grateful for. Respect and appreciate nature. Take chances to expand your comfort zone, and support others who are doing the same. Enjoy silence and darkness – they are key to our well-being. Gopher other people’s dishes and make your own bed. Camp is more than the flagpole, more than the dining hall or the radio tower, more than capture the flag or cabin clean-up; Camp is a spirit created by the people who occupy it, and it’s truest value is defined by how those people embody that spirit when they leave – there’s a reason you know right away when someone is a ‘Camp Person’. Camp people are good people, and right now the world needs good people.
For those of you seeking some direction about refunds, options, etcetera, a ‘de-registration form’ will be available on our website in the coming days. One of the options will be to apply your payment to a session of your choice next year – if your family is able to do this, it would greatly help with the ongoing upkeep of camp that occurs year-round. Unfortunately, private summer camps do not qualify for much financial assistance from government grants or agencies. If you do choose this option, it will give you priority registration for next year, it will ensure that Camp prices will not increase for you and your family for the next three years, and finally, our gratitude will be expressed through the planting of a fruit orchard celebrating all the families and friends who help us through this difficult time. Further, our website will also soon include an online store with new commemorative Celtic items for this strange time in our history. If you were meant to participate in one of Celtic’s Leader in Training (LIT) program this year, we are currently working with our LIT directors to assess the interest in a set of online seminars and activities. This would not replace your LIT experience, and you will have the chance to re-register next year, but it may be a way to build leadership skills, connect with old friends, make new ones, and have some fun over the summer. Stay tuned to our website and social media if you are interested in further updates on any or all of these fronts!
Until next year.
Lumpy, Haney, Bubba, Scooter, Gump, and the rest of the Celtic family.