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Reviving Our Roots: Small Group Summer Camping

Message to our Summer Campers:

We miss you and can’t wait to see you at Caroline Furnace soon! We understand that all of

this is new, scary, and confusing (it is for us too), and that you really need Summer Camp

right now. We are working hard to make camp happen in a way that still keeps you safe and

healthy. Summer Camp may look a little bit different this year, but we promise that it will still be a highlight of your summer!

Message to All:

Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center has been providing small group Summer Camp experiences for over sixty years. For generations, campers have been returning to Fort Valley each summer to share a welcoming, prayerful, playful space - a simple environment disconnected from the distractions of technology and the world. We believe in the power of small groups, the importance of time spent in God’s creation, and the life-changing potential of Summer Camp.

Caroline Furnace is committed to providing unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God’s creation for all God’s people. Although we are not yet ready to safely gather, we will continue to build a Christ-like community in new and creative ways.

Thank you for your patience and grace as we develop the best course of action and continue to adapt to this ever-changing situation. We are creating plans to provide the best experience possible through a combination of Camp at Home (virtual camp) and overnight, on-site Summer Camp - once it is safe to do so.

1. Summer Camp will continue as scheduled but with modifications, beginning with Camp at Home on June 14. Look for more details to come soon. This is a new program; registration opens May 22.

2. On-site, overnight Summer Camp is suspended until July 5. Look for a new schedule to come out soon. This is based upon the anticipation of Virginia being in Phase 2 by July 5.

3. We will work with area churches to consider Camp on the Go, a small group, mobile day camp or VBS led by our trained camp counselors and hosted at churches regionally.

Online registration remains open for our on-site camps beginning with Week Three (July 5-10). If you are already registered for Summer Camp, you will receive a second email with further details and options. Please be patient with our staff as we coordinate with each camper family.

In order to provide a safe experience, we are making a few changes to overnight camp, to include:

• There will be additional steps and precautions in health screening before and upon arrival.

• Check-in and check-out will occur outdoors and at scheduled times.

• Overnight camp will be one night shorter to allow time for our spaces to rest between users.

• Each cabin group will co-isolate together for the week as separate, small group units. Picture this: small group community, faith building, and adventures.

• All overnight out-trips will be replaced with on-site or local day-only adventures. We have learned so much in the past two months and expect to see more developments in the coming weeks.

Our staff and Board of Directors have been learning, discerning, consulting, and brainstorming with many other organizations and industry leaders across the country. We will continue to implement new standards and guidelines as recommended by the American Camp Association (ACA), CDC, and the state of Virginia. We are following the ACA Field Guide for Camps, which offers guidance from experts in OSHA, CDC, and EPA.

We’re doing the best we can and trust you to make the best choice for your family. Please continue to gather your information from reputable sources and follow the guidelines shared by the CDC and state of Virginia. We miss you and look forward to welcoming you back to Fort Valley soon!

Peace and Blessings,

Caroline Furnace Staff and Board of Directors

Stay tuned! We’ll share further updates about overnight Summer Camp by June 22 once more information is available. The anticipated July 5 start date is dependent upon being in Phase Two in Virginia.

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