Caroline Furnace has joined the Coalition of Virginia's Overnight Summer Camps. We are urging state representatives to provide financial support for our industry, so that we may continue to serve children and families across the Commonwealth in 2021 and beyond, once it is safe to do so. Over 75 summer camps have been encouraged to contact their state
representatives prior to the August legislative session. Camps are asking constituents to add their voices as campers, parents, counselors, staff, and alumni.
Learn more and add your voice! Quick facts:
1. We are the only small business industry unable to operate in all three phases of the Forward Virginia reopening guidelines.
2. Our industry is seasonal. Most or all of our yearly revenue is earned during the summer months.
3. Family programs and virtual options are a meager stop-gap that will not come close to covering 2020 losses.
4. The eligibility criteria for the Paycheck Protection Program loan was set at a disadvantage to seasonal employers and resulted in reduced funding for Virginia camps.
5. Many of our Virginia camps may not survive to see the next summer season. Any survivors will most likely fail if a vaccine is unavailable before Summer 2021.
The American Camp Association (ACA) estimates a loss of 900,000 jobs and $16B in revenue nationwide.
Since 1915, summer camps have continued to be vital to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of children and families in Virginia. Through summer camp, campers engage in interactions of a kind that cannot be replicated elsewhere, which will be even more important as we join in the fight against the impending mental health crisis arriving in the wake of COVID-19. Summer camp jobs provide skills and leadership development for thousands of young adults, instructors, and other Virginians, as well as valuable childcare during the summer months for working parents.
The coalition is not focused solely on the bottom line; this is a request from thousands of campers, parents, counselors, staff, and alumni, so that their communities and summer homes may be preserved for the future. Virginia’s overnight summer camps require state assistance to keep the legacy, tradition, and value of camps alive and well for future generations. We need a lifeline in order to continue this meaningful and impactful work.