Greetings! As I look out the window from indoors, I see God’s abundant creation renewing itself outdoors this spring. As our California-Pacific camp and retreat centers fill with the life of nature, people are not yet allowed to wander the trails, swim in the pools, play in the fields or share time in community around a campfire under starlit skies.
We await with hope for that day, may it come soon. Cal-Pac Summer Camp 2020 will happen either in person with new protocols in place to keep everyone safe or in an on-line version. Should we be able to proceed safely we have cut the fee for in-person overnight week-long summer camp in half to $225 for this year. Fall retreats are planned as summer camp reunions no matter what happens this summer. Volunteer teams are at work now to make these programs happen.
The Cal-Pac camps are currently closed to the public since mid-March through the end of May, following guidelines from the federal and state health officials. Most of our staff have been furloughed or laid off and put on unemployment. The camp directors remain on site with limited help to maintain and secure our beautiful places for when the next campers and guests may come.
Cancellations of group retreats and events have resulted in financial losses of nearly $500,000 for our five sites combined from mid-March to the end of May, so far. We have been able to cut expenses through lay-offs and other cost-saving measures and it’s not nearly enough.
I am convinced that the future holds two things for us to consider – the financial impact of COVID-19 will continue to be significant. And at the same time the need and desire for camp and retreat experiences could not be greater. So we need your help right now to continue to maintain and grow these sacred, natural, outdoor places where lives and communities are renewed and changed.
Please click on this link http://www.calpacumc.org/campdonations and give what you can to the camp site of your choice. You can also give to Cal-Pac Camperships to help increase the opportunity for campers whose families and churches have lost income due to the virus.
May God comfort you in this time of fear, loss and sadness and bless you with health, safety, and peace. We miss you! Hope to see you soon!
Rev. David Berkey, Director
Camp, Retreat, and Discipleship Ministries