2020 Summer Camp Update

Dear Piomingo Families,

As many of you know, YMCA Camp Piomingo has a strong 82 year legacy, which is rooted in building community and relationships, as well as creating life long memories. After reviewing the ACA and CDC guidelines, we recognize that the quality camp programming and experience that we have been known for would not be possible. Our inability to provide the high quality camping experience our campers, families and staff are accustomed to have led us to the heartbreaking decision to suspend all 2020 summer programs.

This is a difficult time for all of us! Many campers were excitedly anticipating their 1st experience while others couldn’t wait to return for a 2nd, 5th and even a 10th year. Our counselors are disappointed to not be able to be with their campers and our Leadership Team is disheartened because we know that kids need camp so very much this year. For now, the magic of camp has been suspended, but be assured that YMCA Camp Piomingo will be back in 2021 when we will once again help kids discover who they are and what they can become. Since we endured this hiatus in 2020, we will be even more appreciative of our camp community that affirms the self-identity and independence of each camper.

As all the staff are as well, we know your child will be saddened by this news. Please share the video above with them. This page also has some resources available below to help navigate some of the questions or feelings they may have about this decision.

These are unprecedented times that are particularly challenging for our beloved camp. Since we have already incurred substantial costs associated with the 2020 season, we ask that you consider donating all or a portion of your fees paid. Since we are a 501c3, your gift will be tax deductible, we will be grateful, and YMCA Camp Piomingo will be positioned to serve many future campers.

Please select the option that will be best for your family and camp.

  • Donate all camp fees to help sustain camp operations.
  • Donate a portion of your fee and receive a refund or transfer fees to summer 2021.
  • Transfer all fees to 2021.
  • Request a full refund.

Please complete our  2020 Cancellation Form for each registered camper in Campbrain by June 5, 2020. Please note, all upcoming/remaining draft payments for 2020 have been cancelled.

Please hug your campers tightly for us and let them know that we too are feeling this loss with them but we are hopeful for the future. If you have other questions or comments, feel free to call or email piomingo@ymcacamppiomingo.org. Stay well.

Noonway!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We recognize that you and your camper(s) may have a lot of questions at this time. Here are some frequently asked questions to help, but if you have any other questions, please feel free to email us at piomingo@ymcacamppiomingo.org. Please note as we learn more information this fluid document will be updated.

Explaining our Decision
We have been closely following the guidelines and information provided to us from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the American Camp Association (ACA), as well as our state and local authorities on when and how we can open camp. The unknown status of opening overnight camp in Kentucky does not leave us enough time to prepare the program, staff, or property effectively. In addition, the suggested guidance for operating youth programs in the COVID-19 environment place restrictions on our enrollment and programs, which would be necessary for controlling the spread of the virus, but would change the camp environment and programming so significantly that we couldn’t provide the experience you signed up for.

If the state of Kentucky allows overnight camps to open later, will you reconsider?
This late in the spring, we are not able to shift towards opening our traditional operation. We are beginning to shift on focus on how to offer opportunities such as virtual experiences or possible family programming here at camp. Our goal is to share more information around these programs in the upcoming week.

What about fees that I have already paid?
We recognize that this global pandemic is financially affecting people in different ways. As such, we have several different options for families that have already paid some or all of their fees.

  • Donate all camp fees to help sustain camp operations.
  • Donate a portion of your fee and receive a refund or transfer fees to summer 2021.
  • Transfer all fees to 2021.
  • Request a full refund.

What is the process to indicate my preference? Should I call or email camp?
Due to the number of camper families and our desire to streamline the process as much as possible for you, we have set up a form for you to indicate your preference. You can login to your Camp Brain account here and navigate to your camper’s registration, then complete the “2020 Cancellation Form.” We are asking all families to complete this form by June 5th. Please know that due to the large number of camper families and the complexities with the process that refunds, receipts, and credits will take some time. We will work diligently to have everything processed and changed in our system within the month. Please note our office staff is limited at this time.

What’s the best way to get in touch with camp?
As we have limited staff in the office, please send all questions to piomingo@ymcacamppiomingo.org and someone will get back to you as soon as possible or complete the “2020 Cancellation Form” in Camp Brain.

Why is camp asking me to consider donating some/all of my paid fees? Would this be a charitable donation?
These are unprecedented times that are particularly challenging for our beloved camp. Since we have already incurred substantial costs associated with the 2020 season, we ask that you consider donating all or a portion of your fees paid. Since we are a 501c3, your gift will be tax deductible, we will be grateful, and YMCA Camp Piomingo will be positioned to serve many future campers.

This is going to be really difficult for my child. Do you have any advice on how to talk to them about summer camp being canceled?
We absolutely understand that this is just one more loss on top of what has been a season of losses. Feeling sad, or even lashing out about not being able to come to camp, are very natural reactions for some children. In fact, we see these emotions and associated behaviors every summer when working through homesickness—which is strangely a similar situation only in reverse. This year your camper is likely to be “campsick.” Make certain you are in a head space where you can calmly listen to your child’s emotions. Hear them, understand them, and redirect them. Below are some resources we think could help in a conversation with your camper.

One of my children is aging out of summer camp. If I apply my funds paid to 2021 can I use those funds for a different child in my household?
Yes. Please choose the “other” option on the online form and fill in any special instructions you have.

My child was set to be a CIT this summer—their last year as a camper. They are crushed to miss this iconic tradition. Can they be a CIT in 2021?
We share the heartbreak your teen is feeling. We are so proud of the work we get to do every summer with these young people. Our hope is to have your CIT back in 2021 for a couple of weeks before they are allowed to apply to be a staff member. At this point we are working on plans for 2021 and hope to have more details out in the coming weeks.

Will there be any virtual programming this summer?
We are beginning to shift our focus to how we can offer opportunities such as virtual experiences or family opportunities here at camp. Our goal is to share more information around these programs in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, feel free to visit our Facebook page for past videos of camp activities, songs, and story times.

How can I help camp?
Camp Piomingo is blessed with a community of supporters who care about our mission and know that a camp experience changes lives. We rely on this support and are grateful for all who offer it!

Please consider these ways that you can support camp through this difficult time:

  • Make a donation and let us know if your company provides matching funds!
  • Donate all or a portion of your camp fees.
  • Notify us of any grants, foundations, or other funding opportunities that would provide support to camp (piomingo@ymcacamppiomingo.org).
  • Watch social media (especially Instagram @ymcacamppiomingo) for upcoming virtual camp challenges and opportunities to get engaged.

CAMPER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Can we come visit camp this summer?
Unfortunately, not at this time. We realize that camp is a refuge and a second home to many alumni and families. We will keep you updated as to when we can open our camp gates again.

I’m going to miss a year at camp and not seeing my camp friends.
While camp is the place that you met some of your great camp friends, we encourage you to reach out outside of camp: talk, write letters, and, when it is safe to do so, hang out with them. Our camp community may be physically distant this year, but the friendships, lessons, and memories of camp magic are always cherished and you can hold on to them and bring them home. We hope to organize some virtual experiences to connect our campers throughout the summer.

I really wanted to see my counselors.
Our counselors are feeling the same emotions as you. There is an indescribable wave of energy and emotion when campers come through the gate on check-in days. The relationships that you have with your counselors are incredibly important, and just because you can’t see them this summer doesn’t mean you can’t keep those relationships. Just like with your camper friends, you can write a letter to your counselors; we know that hearing from you brightens their days as much as you enjoy writing the letter. Please contact camp (piomingo@ymcacamppiomingo.org) to assist with getting some of this information.

I was going to be a 1st year camper this year, what about me?
We’re so sorry that you won’t get to have your first Piomingo summer this year, but please know that we are welcoming you into the Piomingo Nation from afar! We hope that you will join us for some of our camper engagement experiences this summer.

I was supposed to be a last year camper or CIT.
If you were supposed to be a last year camper or CIT please be on the lookout for more information to come. We understand completely what these summers mean to you and are working tirelessly to make plans with you in mind.