Dear Friends and Families:
It is with tremendous sadness that we share our decision to cancel Camp Treetops this summer. This is very painful news, particularly for our campers, but we must recognize that our most important responsibility is to keep our children and counselors safe. After much thought, we feel the risks are simply too great to open Camp this year.
This extraordinarily difficult decision did not come without an enormous amount of research, planning, and communication with the agencies and organizations overseeing the COVID-19 pandemic response. Since the news of the spread of the virus, Karen and her leadership team have been building scenarios around a safe opening of Camp. Unfortunately, we cannot create a scenario where the Treetops experience will comply with best safety practices. As you know the beauty of camp is built around the close relationships our campers have with each other and their counselors. Our community finds its strength in the sharing of meals in the dining room, singing together at council, overnights in the High Peaks, and storytelling around the campfire. While the prospect of a quiet Round Lake, dry canoes, and backpacks left hanging in the hike house for the summer is disappointing, we know this is the right decision.
At a time when we need Camp the most, we are profoundly saddened that this will be our first summer in 100 years without it. Camp Treetops and North Country School share deeply held values—a sense of connectedness to nature, to our farm and garden, and to each other, as well as a commitment to learning and resilience, to creativity and the arts, and, most of all, to the power of our children. It gives me great confidence in our future to recognize that the values that form the foundation of Camp and School have become even more crucial to our world as we navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The simple, everyday cornerstones of Camp and School—nutritious local food, deep personal and community connections, healthy minds and bodies, joy and laughter—today hold even greater meaning in all of our lives.
While we remain resourceful and resilient, just like our campers and students, the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt in so many different ways. Canceling Treetops’ 2020 summer season will have a significant impact on the institution’s operating budget. I hope that you will remember how Camp and School has shaped your life, and that you will continue to support our students and campers through your generosity.
Also, I know that many of you are planning to join us at the end of the summer for Friends’ Weekend. While we remain hopeful that we will see you at Friends’, we plan to update you throughout the summer as to the status of the weekend.
We are already looking ahead to 2021 and our 100th summer of Camp Treetops. The progressive values first promoted by the Slesingers and Haskells remain intact. Just as our North Country School students will continue their education in September, our campers will be back next year to appreciate the gift of a timeless summer.
I hope you and your family are healthy and safe and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Camp Treetops & North Country School