Dear Winadu Families:
It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we write to inform you that we will not be opening Winadu this Summer. We know this is not the outcome any of us had hoped for but through all the optimism, desire, and preparation, we feel this is the right decision for our Winadu camp community. After weeks of careful consideration and deliberation, reviewing guidelines by the ACA and the State of Massachusetts, we felt it would be incredibly difficult to open. It would not be possible to live in full compliance, keeping everyone healthy and safe while running Winadu the way we want and the way our campers deserve. This decision comes with the sensitivity that our campers needed camp more than ever this summer, and we wanted more than anything to provide them with an everlasting magical Winadu summer. While many have encouraged a different decision or asked for us to make our decision known sooner we were committed to being patient, working through every hurdle and ultimately doing what was best for camp.
For over 90 summers Winadu has been a summer home for thousands of boys, positively impacting them and allowing them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. As the final bus rolled out last summer, and all the boys arrived safely home, the preparation for Summer 2020 was underway. We made program changes, created new trips, and improved the facility, all while we travelled across the country and internationally meeting our new campers and hiring amazing staff members. When our world quickly changed in March, our team continued to work tirelessly to make this summer happen. We continued to hire staff, plan for every “what if,” recreated the program in case our summer was shortened, and discussed best ways to keep our camp family safe – we wanted to be ready for anything. We did our best to support our campers and staff virtually, to give them some strength and happiness during these unprecedented times. Our hope and determination along with the support from our camp families, allowed us to never give up and keep fighting for camp. No matter what, we wanted to be ready – ready to welcome our boys at clap-in. We all hoped for a very different outcome, we also hoped for more answers and certainty by now.
The planning and love we gave to this summer and the ideas we developed for the past 10 months will have to wait. We are committed to making 2021 a summer to remember. The plans we made for this summer will carry forward, and we commit to each of you to take this extra time to start our planning earlier, to be more responsive to the needs of our campers and camp families, and to think even more creatively for 2021.
We choose to move forward and there is more to looking ahead then just next Summer:
Our campers may need to connect, ask questions, share their feelings – our team is here to speak to each of you or your son at any time. We can meet over Zoom or in person over the next several months as permitted;
We will not wait until 2021 to laugh and smile and share our brotherhood together. As guidelines permit, we intend to organize appropriate size gatherings for us to be together and build the excitement towards 2021, including to make camp available for families to visit this summer.
With a focus on the future and as a reminder for our campers that the Winadu spirit and magic carries forward and what we love so much about camp we share this video for them, our campers, we hope you will watch it with your son(s):
On the opening morning in anticipation of our first tradition, clap-in, there is an energy to the anticipation of what is about to unfold, an energy to the stillness of camp, an energy to the getting ready for the moment, an energy to the collective excitement we are about to experience with our campers. This energy and excitement of being back together as one camp family is simply on pause and in 2021 we will be together. #mysummerhome.
With much love,
Jared, Jill, Alissa and Mike