Decision on Summer 2020

It is with profound sadness that we share with you our decision not to offer Camp Akeela’s First and Second Sessions for the 2020 season

The Akeela community means so much to all of us and we know that this news comes on top of so many other disappointments this spring. We share the sense of loss that this outcome brings to our camp families.

Since the fall of 2007, we have spent 9 months of every year planning for our 3 months on Miller Pond. This year was no different. We were so excited to spend our summer with your children and our incredible staff, creating unforgettable camp experiences. What makes Akeela so special is that we all become a part of a community where our friendships are deep and lasting. That will never change. Even though we may not be together this summer, we will continue to remain connected to one another and will be there to support each other. We look forward to the time when we can gather together in person and are committed to making 2021 our best summer yet.


Click On Image For A Video Message From Debbie & Eric

Thank you for your support and patience over the past few months. We know that when you made the choice to send your child to camp, you trusted us to prioritize the best interest of your child. We made this decision with that in mind and are so honored to continue to play a part in your family’s life.

Warmly,

Debbie & Eric

Frequently Asked Questions

How did you make the decision?
We have made this very difficult decision after months of research, contingency planning and consultation with local and federal authorities. When COVID-19 first came into our collective consciousness, we were very optimistic that camps would be the best (and safest) places for children and staff to be. All of us have been surprised and disappointed about the progress made to understand and combat this virus. While testing and treatments are improving, it has become clear, from the perspectives of both mandated state health regulations and best practices for the health and well-being of our campers, that camps would have to look significantly different this summer than ever before.

When we deeply explored the impact that those modifications would have on the Akeela community — the particulars of how they would affect the experience of our campers — what we found did not bear a close enough resemblance to the camp that our families signed up for. At the end of the day, Akeela is about friendship, connection and community. We can’t hold true to those foundational tenets while also adhering to requirements of group sizes, quarantines and isolation periods, and the ongoing social distancing that is required of us this summer.

Why are some camps opening and others aren't?
Many of these decisions are dictated by the state in which a camp operates. Camps must make the decision that is right for them based on their location, program, staffing ability, and their confidence in operating safely. The entire camp industry is navigating these very difficult decisions together. Please understand that each camp is facing unique challenges and must make decisions that are best for them and on their own timeline.
What are my options for my 2020 paid tuition?
There are two options for the portion of the 2020 camp tuition that you’ve already paid.

  1. Roll it over for summer 2021 enrollment at Camp Akeela. (As a token of our appreciation for committing to future summers, we will hold next summer’s tuition at the 2020 rate for you.)
  2. Request a cash refund. Cash refunds will be issued in three installments, beginning with one-third of your payment on August 1, 2020. The rest will be distributed as cash allows, with every effort made to make you whole by June, 2021. If necessary, final payment could be delayed further, with July 2022 as an absolutely latest date.

We have made this form available to our enrolled families to indicate their preference between these two options.

What would be most helpful to camp?
Thank you for asking! If you’re in a position to do so, please consider contributing a gift to help cover some of Camp Akeela’s 2020 costs. Whether you’re applying your 2020 paid tuition payment towards next summer or receiving a cash refund, we invite you to select any portion of your payment and designate it as a contribution to the camp. (Because Akeela is not a 501c3 organization, this would not be a tax-deductible donation.)

You can indicate your gift amount on the same form that you use to choose a credit or a refund.

Could we still have some kind of Akeela experience this summer?
We have not given up hope on creating some form of in-person Akeela community this summer. In particular, we are feeling cautiously optimistic that the public health climate and the federal, state and local regulations by mid-summer will allow us to offer multiple weeks of our Family Camp program. We’ll of course let you know right away if/when we get the green light to do so. In the meantime, we can tell you that we’ve been running Akeela Family Camp since 2012 and it is an incredible experience that you won’t want to miss. Not only will your camper get their Akeela “fix”, but what could be better right now than community, connection, and fun in the wide open fresh air of Vermont? Pencil us in for a week or two of your summer plans and stay tuned for more information!

In the meantime, learn more about Family Camp here

Will Akeela be offering virtual camp?
We will not be offering an official virtual camp program. In addition to our hopes to offer multiple weeks of Family Camp, we will continue to provide thoughtful and meaningful ways for our campers to stay connected throughout the summer and keep the spirit of camp strong.
What if my camper is graduating camp this year?
For many campers, the summer after 10th grade (going into 11th) is their last year in our Vermont camp program. For others, they enjoy an additional year at camp before attending Beyond Akeela after 12th grade. We will speak with each family individually about what is best for their teen, but rest assured that any camper who was enrolled in camp for 2020 will be eligible to return next summer!
Will 2020 count as a year at camp, towards my 3-year water bottle, 5-year blanket or 7-year jacket?
Yes!

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