2020 Update

Update for Summer 2020. Watch the video message from Sue about summer 2020 Read more >

2020 Update

Sadly, Camp Emerson has suspended operations for this summer to keep everyone safe, please watch the video below for our announcement.

FAQs

How did you make the decision to suspend Camp Emerson?

How did you make the decision to suspend Camp Emerson?

This was the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make in our 53 years of owning Camp Emerson. We did it with a lot of research and agonizing. For the longest time we thought we had a chance to make it work. We knew camp would have to be very different and we were prepared to do anything to try. We were hopeful that there would be reliable testing available to all. As we know, that has yet to come.

We also considered how we would handle a sick child or adult at camp. COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms and protocols require that we’d have to treat anyone with symptoms as a presumptive positive. The logistics to quarantine and keep the rest of the population safe became daunting. We couldn’t ask our doctor, nurse practitioners and leaders to carry this added stress and responsibility.

We thought about whether the health facilities in Berkshire County could handle us. Camp children and tourists overwhelm the local system during a regular summer. What would they do if we all started to get sick with COVID-19? What changed for us was the reports of Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. This was a game changer. Even though it was rare, we felt without more information it was too risky. The worries kept mounting. We pride ourselves on our planning and ability to manage every detail. That’s why you trust us to care for your children. With so much unknown and the likelihood that we would have individuals with symptoms and possible positive cases, we couldn’t confidently open camp.

Did you consider any other options other than suspending camp?

Did you consider any other options other than suspending camp?

Yes, we considered multiple scenarios including a delayed start and a whole summer of family camp where each family has their own cabin. We looked at running “cohorts” as outlined by the camping consultants but felt this severely limited camper and staff interaction. Siblings would not be able to see each other, and our model of independent schedules would have to be dismantled. We were ready to put into place extensive hygiene routines and additional health checks. We looked at cutting out outside exposure with no trips, no visiting day, no packages, no snail mail and lining up deliveries except food to arrive 2+ weeks before the campers. We had pages and pages of steps we were ready to take and were open to all options. And while many of these scenarios were achievable, they still would not prevent the virus from potentially entering camp.

If guidelines change mid-summer, will you be able to revisit this decision?

If guidelines change mid-summer, will you be able to revisit this decision?

Oh YES! We’d love it if the world turned right side up and we could be at camp together. However, opening the facility and getting the staff ready takes a considerable amount of time and resources. It just wouldn’t be feasible to turn it on with short notice.

However….if we can see our way clear to a Family Day or something like that later in the summer or fall, we will be announcing that loudly and hoping we’ll see you.

Financial Impact and Options

Financial Impact and Options

We made the decision not to have camp this summer to protect the health of our campers, staff and their families. There’s nothing that is more important. We know you have questions about the tuition you have paid and the future of Camp Emerson. 

We have rolled everyone’s 2020 tuition payments over to 2021. Your enrolled session is secured for next year. In addition, you will receive the 2020 rate for 2021 and not be subject to any tuition increase.

If your family is in need of a refund, we will be breaking our refund policy to give you a full or partial refund. Refunds will be made over the next several months and may come in installments.

We will be contacting each family over the next few weeks to review these options.

I purchased Program Protector insurance. Am I covered?

I purchased Program Protector insurance. Am I covered?

As of this writing, we don’t have the information to advise you. We will be updating this FAQ as we get more details. You are welcome to contact Tripmate too.

What happens with the Camp Emerson Staff?

What happens with the Camp Emerson Staff?

This was very hard too. The staff has been amazing through all of this and have been hanging on to the possibility that camp will happen. As you know, we have the best staff and it breaks out heart to let them down too. The 2020 staff is all invited back for next summer! We hope they will be able to come and we’ll be working super hard to make that happen. The staff are the heart of Camp Emerson! They are the ones who make the allergy safe food, bring the crazy fun to every minute and keep things working smoothly in the background. Thanks for asking about them. They will be missing camp too.

I was supposed to get a 5 year jacket this year. Now what?

I was supposed to get a 5 year jacket this year. Now what?

You will get your 5-year jacket next summer! We’re planning something special for you and can’t wait to bestow that warm-fuzzy jacket on you.

2020 was my Hillcrest/Explorer (last camper year). Can I come back in 2021?

2020 was my Hillcrest/Explorer (last camper year). Can I come back in 2021?

YES! We’re calling a do-over of 2020. Now the tricky part is, do you want to be a Hillcrest/Explorer or call it something else? Or should we plan something unique for your group? We’ll be in touch to discuss the options. Most importantly, we hope to see you at camp next summer and we’re going to make sure you get all of the special experiences – like gold rush bandits/sheriffs, color war, big trip, etc. – that you were looking forward to.

AND we are also opening up a CIT (Counselor in Training) program for campers who were Hillcrests or Explorers in 2019. You’ll be hearing more about that during the winter.

My child is so disappointed about not having camp. How should I talk with him/her?

My child is so disappointed about not having camp. How should I talk with him/her?

We understand. There have been so many disappointments this year and it’s hard to process. We’re here and would love to have a chat any time! Call us at 800-782-3395. We are also planning some camp “touchpoints” to keep us all connected. Some will be in the Bubble (our camper website/app) and some will be on Zoom or in the mail. Stay tuned for more information. The world will get better and together we will get through this. Talking about camp 2021 is a good place to start.

Another resource that’s being shared in the camp community is: Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, Pediatric and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Best Selling Author of The Whole-Brain Child, No Drama Discipline & The Power of Showing Up. Dr Payne has some practical suggestions for parents whose children will be forced to deal with the disappointment of not being able to attend camp this summer.  https://www.tinabryson.com/news/video-helping-our-kids-manage-summer-disappointments

Is Family Camp still happening?

Is Family Camp still happening?

Unfortunately, all of our programs including Family Camp are suspended for 2021. We'll have the dates for next summer asap.

Are the Women's Getaway Weekends still going on?

Are the Women's Getaway Weekends still going on?

Sadly, the 2020 Women's Getaway Weekends are also suspeneded. We will be announcing the 2021 dates asap. 

Still have questions?

If you have other questions, please email or call. We'd love to hear from you.

Contact Us