A Message from Bryant Pond 4-H Camp Directors
Dear campers and families,
It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of our regularly scheduled summer camp programs. This decision has weighed on our hearts and the reality of having to publicly state this is quite emotional. Many of your children have been part of our Bryant Pond 4-H community for years, and we’ve enjoyed watching them grow and challenge themselves season after season. Some of you have chosen Bryant Pond 4-H for the first time this season and were anxiously awaiting the opportunity for your child to experience the excitement and adventures of their first experience here. We are thinking of all of you and your families, and the disappointment that this news brings.
We had hoped that summer would be different and that we could all enjoy long days of fun, friends and splashing around on Lake Christopher. We had looked forward to the laughter and silliness of campers and staff, of camp songs and campfires, and weeks full of new adventures. The thought of a quiet waterfront on a hot July afternoon, or a silent dining hall when it should be full of hungry, happy campers enjoying a meal together is almost too hard to imagine, but for now, this is our reality.
These decisions were difficult to make, and there were many meetings, policy reviews, and guidance sought from leading professional organizations as it pertains to camps. We had remained hopeful that things would change and move in the right direction sooner, but unfortunately they did not. As this news is difficult to learn, we currently have a lot of energy going into what we can offer in the near future, and although we don’t have any details as of yet, we are hopeful that we will be able to stay connected throughout the summer.
Please find the attached official letter from the Dean of Cooperative Extension and the Director of the Maine 4-H Centers. They have indicated that families have the option of being fully refunded, applying deposits to 2021, or making a donation to the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. We will begin this process beginning the week of June 1st. If you have a preference, please let us know.
We will miss each and every one of you this summer. On behalf of the entire staff here at Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, including the leadership team, our health center and kitchen crew, and all of our field teachers and camp counselors, we can’t wait to see you again! We wish you a healthy and enjoyable summer and hope that you can find some time to reconnect with friends and family and share many special moments and outdoor adventures together.
Ron Fournier, Program Director
Bethany Pelletier, Manager of Operations & Finance
A Message from the State 4-H Center Director and Dean of Cooperative Extension
For forty years, young people from Maine and beyond have come to University of Maine 4-H Camps to live and learn together. It’s no exaggeration to say those experiences have changed thousands of lives for the better. From Bryant Pond in the mountains of western Maine to Tanglewood along the banks of the Ducktrap River to Blueberry Cove on the tidal flats of Tenants Harbor to Greenland Point in the lake country of Washington County, Maine 4-H Camps are special places close to the hearts of all of us. Because of this, it is difficult to have to announce the cancellation of the 2020 summer camp season.
Just two months ago we were gearing up for another incredible season. However, we are clearly in unprecedented times that require careful and responsible decision-making. Our statewide 4-H Camp team and UMaine Extension administration have been monitoring the pandemic and the resulting policy guidelines from the state and federal CDCs, the University of Maine, the University of Maine System, and the state of Maine. As guidelines for the reopening of youth camps become clearer, we may be able to provide limited-enrollment opportunities in late summer, and we intend to offer school-year programs in accordance with health and safety protocols.
We are waiving our refund policy and offering full refunds for summer 2020. If you choose, we can hold your deposit for 2021. As a nonprofit camp network, the cancellation of the season will have a serious financial impact on our operation. Those who are able may donate their 2020 camp fees, which we will accept with heartfelt thanks. Individual camp directors and leadership team members will be in touch with some special opportunities to remain connected to camp and are available to answer your registration and refund questions.
We understand this news will be difficult to hear, especially for our campers who were looking forward to their first summer at 4-H Camp or to returning to a place they have come to think of as a summer home. We believe deeply in our mission of providing affordable outdoor learning experiences, in community with others, which is why this decision was extremely difficult. Thank you for your understanding. We’re already looking forward to seeing the smiling faces of our campers in summer 2021.
With the sincere hope that you and yours are well and safe,
Ryder Scott, State 4-H Center Director
Hannah Carter, Dean of Cooperative Extension