Camp Quest Texas and COVID-19 Update – Camp Closure Notification
Dear CQTx Extended Family,
The Board along with camp Senior Staff met on April 9th to discuss the route to putting on a fun, fulfilling and most importantly safe camp experience in June 2020. After much discussion and emotional introspection we came to a unanimous decision that we must suspend our 2020 season for the good of our entire camp family.
Like many of you, we are disappointed to not see our friends in person this year; but we felt the only responsible decision was to make this commitment now so all our families would have the time to adjust as needed to the announcement. As Board President, I do want to specifically thank our camp volunteers for their commitment to work with the Board and each other over the last several months to do all they could to prepare for camp this session in spite of the wildly shifting constraints we were trying to navigate. I also thank you, our CQTx family, for your patience and trust as we wrestled with this difficult decision. Finally, I want to thank the YMCA in working with the Board to try and come to a workable solution that made financial sense for both parties. The YMCA is a valued partner in how we create our week of “fun, friends and freethought” every year and we look forward to many, many more years of camping with them.
In each disappointment, however, there is an opportunity for growth and something new. I am excited to say that our staff have quickly shifted gears and are working to have a virtual camp experience in mid-June. Their ideas about how to engage our campers to try and create our “camp magic” remotely are truly heartfelt and I know we will hear more exciting news from them in the coming month. While we await the awesome programming from our CQTx staff, I want to ensure everyone is aware of CQ National’s free online programs and other activities found at http://www.campquest.org/quest-at-home.
I have been asked a few times about CQTx’s financial health and ability to weather this storm to ensure we will be here in the future as it relates to cancelling this camp season. Like most CQ camps (and nonprofits in general) we work with razor thin financial backstops – preferring to spend all our income on improving our camp program experience, training our volunteers and doing our part in the support of the CQ National Support Center. Financial risk did play a part in this decision, but CQTx remains sound enough to continue into the 2021 session based on current expected spend. Unfortunately our current finances do not allow for us to offer travel assistance to our staff to attend the yearly National Summit, and will severely curtail our ability to offer camperships in 2021 and potentially beyond. I say this not to cause concern, but to instead communicate the reality of where we are as an organization. We value the continued financial trust you have placed in us to ensure the future of CQTx and Camp Quest more generally.
For our camp families we will begin the process of offering full refunds for any deposits already received; you should expect emails from our registrar in the coming weeks. I will ask though, if you have the means, CQTx would be grateful for any donations to contribute to our financial health for our 2021 session and the CQ National Support Center. Those donations will be used to ensure we can provide camperships to our families in need and help defer the costs taken on by CQ National on our behalf with our vendor partners coming into the 2020 season that will not be covered due to our cancellation. The National Support Center is constantly adding new resources for the camps in our network to utilize and we thank them for their tireless support while the camps are working through their decisions about this season and more generally in providing year round support and services to improve the entire Camp Quest family of camps year after year.
I hope that everyone is safe and healthy. From the Board and all our volunteers: we look forward to seeing you next year!
Board President, Camp Quest Texas