Dear Fleur de Lis Community,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that our Fleur de Lis Board has made the difficult decision to close camp for the summer of 2020 due to the threat of COVID-19.
We know this is difficult news to hear. The Board and staff have spent a tremendous amount of time weighing different scenarios and considering numerous options and variables. In the end, the most important responsibility we have as a camp is to provide a safe and healthy experience for our campers. This is just not possible at this time.
The joy and magic of the summer experience at Fleur de Lis is something we wish we could safely provide for our campers. We recognize that it is just what they are craving and needing at this time. Camp provides a setting which is the opposite of social distancing – a worry free environment where we gather together and connect deeply, emotionally and physically. We truly hoped that camp would be the much needed light at the end of this long tunnel we are in. Fleur de Lis has provided this joy and magic for 90 seasons. It breaks our hearts, as we know it will for our campers and their families, not to be able to gather at camp for our 91st season. While words cannot adequately express our sadness, our Executive Director, MJ Parry, has prepared a special video message about this news to share with our community.
We have considered possibilities for opening camp for even a shortened season and have monitored closely the requirements for each phase of reopening. We know that we can not offer our typical standard of programming. So many of the aspects of camp that we value would be compromised, such as Evening Programs, mixing together in varying age groups, meals together, and much more. We would need to isolate small groups of campers and staff, restrict contact within and from outside of camp, and provide for effective, continuous sanitation and daily monitoring of campers and staff to ensure the health of our camp community. These are changes we tried to work out because providing any kind of camp experience might be better than none. But in the end, we know that the risk to our campers and their families is still too great.
Our Fleur de Lis families are a top priority for us. We have let them know that Fleur de Lis will provide a full refund for their deposits and tuition payments. Families may choose to take a refund or to apply this to next summer’s tuition, and/or to make a donation to camp.
Many of you will be wondering about the financial stability of Fleur de Lis. That is certainly a priority for the board as well. We are committed to ensuring that camp continues to operate well into the future. We will provide more information about this in the near future.
We have been fortunate to have board members and advisors helping with this decision process including those in the medical, government, education, and business fields as well as information coming from the CDC, World Health Organization, state and local health departments, the American Camp Association, and regional camp organizations. Some of us are also parents of campers and staff. We, along with a growing number of camps in the region, have had to face the difficult truth that we cannot provide the necessary screening and distancing still required during this national health crisis. It is a decision we made unanimously after weighing all the factors. I want to personally thank our board for their exhaustive and thoughtful work during this time period. Fleur de Lis is fortunate to have such a strong group of volunteer leaders at its helm.
I also want to thank our Executive Director, MJ Parry, and her staff, who have done such an amazing job keeping us all connected with one another during this time, while also preparing for the potential scenarios for the summer. Their focus will now shift to ways to make sure that Fleur de Lis can be a part of the lives of campers and staff this summer, in safe and fun ways. MJ has been a tremendous leader during this time, for us and through her work in state and regional camp organizations. We are grateful for her steadfast leadership and guidance.
We know you may have questions as you process this decision. Our staff has tried to anticipate some of those and provide answers in a special section of our website.
Please know that you are all in our hearts.
Diane Foster Fleur de Lis Board President
On Behalf of the FdL Board
Libby Williams (Vice-President) Christine Cressey (Treasurer) Liz Ramos (Secretary) Ingrid Scanlon (Member-At-Large) Allison McCartney (Member-At-Large)