Latest news from Forest Lake Camp

Coronavirus Updates

5/5 Plans for Summer 2020

Over the past couple of months we have seen a lot of change and we have all had to make adjustments that we probably never expected. We have heard from so many parents about how much they want camp to happen this summer and how much their child needs FLC more than ever this year. We are pleased to share with you our plan to offer a 5 week summer beginning on July 11th that balances the health and safety of our campers and their families while providing an amazing summer at FLC. The 5 week summer also allows us to move forward confidently with our plan for Family Camp and our USHThis camp to begin as scheduled on August 15th.

 We are making this decision now to provide us with the time we need to make camp the safest possible place for your child. The extra weeks mean extra time for our staff to isolate before campers arrive, time to procure the necessary PPE and equipment, and to make the changes around camp that we feel are required. We still await the guidance from the CDC and American Camp Association and the State of New York still needs to announce its plans for opening, but have begun our own preparations preemptively with outlines of safety plans soon to be reviewed by our Medical Advisory Board. 

In the next 48 hours we will be sending out another message detailing the session dates, tuition adjustments and specifics surrounding this change to 5 weeks. We are also going to be reaching our families in the coming days to check in and discuss what this summer will look like. We will begin those communications with those families most affected by the schedule change. Even with our new camp start date of July 11th, we are still beholden to the timeline and decisions made by the state and local authorities. We will continue to monitor the information from the government and update you on any adjustments that need to be made. 

 We are filled with hope for the summer and confident that the change to 5 weeks brings us another step closer to making camp possible. Making this decision now is allowing us to be excited about the amazing and safe summer to come at FLC. Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

The FLC Team

4/29 Update- Introducing FLC Medical Advisory Board

Even during these difficult times we are so encouraged by our camp community and the messages we have received. Hearing about how much our campers need to be at FLC this summer has only affirmed our belief that Camp is going to be more important than ever. We are continuing to do everything we can to open camp and make it as safe as possible. The CDC is releasing guidance this week for camps but it does not appear they will include specific information for overnight camps, so we will wait to hear from the ACA as they develop operational guidance for camp. In the meantime, we are proceeding with our own plans to ensure the health and safety of our campers this summer:

Forest Lake Camp Medical Advisory Board

  • We have gathered a team of doctors and experts from our community who have agreed to review our health and safety plan and help us make sure it is as robust as possible. The four members bring a wealth of experience as health care professionals and as members of our extended camp family. For more information on the members of our advisory board, please read the bios below*. We are extremely grateful to have them join our team.

We are preparing for program changes that MAY include:

  • The possibility of a shortened summer. We are continuing to revise our program and make adjustments in the event that we have to move to a 5 week season.
  • Restricting or eliminating of off camp activities for campers and staff
  • Possible density restrictions in cabins and activity periods
  • Extending staff training to incorporate 14 days of quarantine before campers arrive
  • Potentially forgoing visitor’s day this summer and minimizing change-over days

We will be making several health and safety additions to protect everyone at FLC. This includes:

  • Proceeding to source health and sanitation supplies such as extra sanitizer stations for installation around camp, tests, thermometers and oxygen readers
  • Sourcing extra PPE for our nurses, kitchen staff
  • Planning for potential changes for our arrivals day requirements
  • Establishing hand washing stations outside Mess Hall

We are determined to be as prepared as possible and know that the addition of our advisory board and program adjustments will only help to bring us closer to our goal of providing camp for our kids this summer. As additional guidance becomes available and our plan evolves based on that guidance we will continue to update you. We anticipate the next communication to be within the next week.

Stay well,
The Forest Lake Camp Team

*Advisory Board Members:

Dr. Chris Davison is the Medical Director of Greenwich Hospital in CT which has cared for hundreds of Covid-19 patients since the initial outbreak in neighboring New Rochelle, NY. Dr. Davison has been a practicing ER physician for over 20 years and has attended FLC for Family Weekend with his family for 10 years. He is very familiar with both the demographics of our campers and staff as well as our FLC facilities.

Dr. Michelle Karten joins our advisory board as a Pediatrician, specializing in pediatric medicine where she has worked in both urgent care and primary care settings. Dr. Karten brings nearly 20 years of experience providing care in her community and working closely with families. She currently practices at Nemours DuPont Pediatrics and is the Medical Director of the Nemours Population Health Management team. In these roles, she has been very involved in the response to the pandemic, creating safe systems of care to keep patients, their families, and staff safe. Dr. Karten’s experience with children and first hand knowledge as an FLC parent brings a very personal point of view to ensuring the safety of campers and staff at Forest Lake this summer.

Dr. Bennett Lorber joins our task force with a lifetime of experience working with infectious diseases and immunology. He has recently retired as the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Lorber sits on the American Board of Internal Medicine Subspecialty Board on Infectious Diseases and has a particular interest in the impact of societal change on patterns of infectious disease. Dr. Lorber is an active Alum of Forest Lake Camp as well as an Alum parent. He is very familiar with our FLC infrastructure, programming and demographics and is eager to help in any way he can ensure the health and safety of our campers and staff.

Dr. John Rugge is the founding CEO and Executive Chairman of Hudson Headwaters Health. HHH is a system of 17 community health centers that serves residents throughout the Adirondacks and has served the health needs of Forest Lake campers and staff since 1974. Dr. Rugge is a supporter of Forest Lake Camp and joins our board with an awareness of the local and seasonal medical topography arguably better than anyone in the world.

4/16- Update from FLC

To our FLC Family, 

 We hope you and your families are continuing to stay safe in your homes and are enjoying your extra time together. Our camp family is always on our minds as we continue to work towards providing an amazing summer for our campers. This summer could be more important than ever for our campers and we remain hopeful that camp will run as normal (or as close to it as possible). Our ongoing preparations include:

  1. Furthering our construction projects
  • New tennis court
  • Arts center
  • Facility improvements
  1. Completing staff hiring
  2. Arranging our Food Services, horses and camp vans
  3. Turning on our water systems and beginning water treatment and testing
  4. Developing a comprehensive staff training week

We also understand that everyone is facing a lot of uncertainty about this summer, and we are acutely aware of the implications of the current health situation on summer camp. While we are hoping with all our hearts that this summer goes ahead as intended, we are currently planning many possible outcomes, including:

  1. Opening camp as scheduled

If we are able to open as scheduled, we will adhere at a minimum to guidance and procedures set by the Department of Health as well as the American Camp Association for setting up camp, leading up to opening day and throughout the summer. We also will be actively considering ways that we may need to go above and beyond the outside guidance to make FLC the safest possible place for your child to be this summer. 

  1. Shortening the summer schedule

If we need to delay the opening of camp to insure the safety of all our campers and staff then a shortened schedule will be arranged. In this case, a new start date will take into account our staff training program, any procedures set by the Department of Health as well as the expected last day of camp set as August 14th. If this option becomes a reality, we will reach out to the camper families affected by the change to make sure we are taking into account the best way to adjust this schedule. 

  1. Closing camp for the summer

This is not the scenario that we are hoping for but nonetheless it is one for which we have to be prepared. Our commitment to you is that we will do everything possible to open camp safely this year. While some camps have made the decision already to not run summer camp programs this year, we remain steadfast in our belief at FLC that if we can open camp safely we will. With so much uncertainty we do not believe we know enough today to make a decision on a camp season that remains more than 10 weeks away. As May unfolds we will evaluate all of our options and will make a final decision on what we think is achievable for this summer.

Updated Tuition and Payment Policies

In our previous communication we let parents know that if we have to make the decision that camp is unable to open this summer in light of COVID-19, all tuition and deposits are refundable. This remains our policy. With that commitment as a backdrop, we have added additional detail to our payment terms and conditions for this summer.

Should camp be in operation but a family decides not to attend:

  1. Deposits – our current policies state that deposits are non-refundable after January 15th. While this remains true, we will offer to roll over your deposit to summer 2021 
  2. Tuition – if you pay your tuition and decide to cancel after May 1st, your tuition will be rolled over to 2021
  3. If you purchase Payment Protection you have the option for a full refund or to roll over to 2021. 

Should camp be unable to open in 2020: 

  1. Deposits and tuition are 100% refundable
  2. All fees can be rolled over to 2021 to secure your bunk and lock in 2020 prices guaranteeing no rate increase for next summer

 Tuition payment deadline

As we continue to plan for summer 2020 we would ask those who are less affected right now to meet the tuition payment deadline of May 1st. We understand that this may not be possible during this time for some families, and so we have decided to waive the fee for late payments that come in after that date and will maintain your child’s place in their bunk. Please contact Brenda if you intend to extend the payment deadline for your family ([email protected]). 

Online Activities

Finally, as we live through this unsettling time we are continuing to stay connected to our camp family online to keep the camp spirit alive and provide social engagement while we remain isolated. Our daily Instagram Live get-togethers have been really fun and are something we look forward to each day. We invite you all to join in and ask you to encourage your kids to tune in as well! Current online activities include:

 Daily Activities:

  • 12:00 Free Time with Caroline. Tune in to hear conversations with current staff or alumni and hear about different people’s experiences at FLC. 
  • Tea at 3pm with Brett. Enjoy your afternoon tea break in the company of others while enjoying some fun Q&A.

Fridays:

  • 5pm “Quoops” Quiz night! Join in for our 30 question quiz night (plus a music round!) for a chance to win some amazing prizes. 

Sundays:

  • 11am Virtual Chapel in the Woods. Enjoy the amazing view from Chapel at FLC and listen to some uplifting stories about camp, life experiences, and ways to reflect. 
  • April 19th at 4:30pm- Virtual Campfire. We will be hosting a Campfire over ZOOM, complete with campfire acts and stories! RSVP to receive the link and password. All are welcome! (RSVP: [email protected] or [email protected])

We will continue to communicate proactively with you as the situation evolves. Our next update on the summer will be shared by April 30th. Please stay in touch with us in the meantime and join in online whenever you can! We hope to see you at camp for Summer 2020.

With fond memories of summer days and crossed fingers,

 The FLC Team

4/9 - Update from FLC

Forest Lake Camp is continuing our preparations for Summer 2020. Like the rest of the world, we are learning more about COVID-19 everyday and are monitoring and planning accordingly. The safety of our campers and staff is paramount and will be the basis of all the decisions we make. We continue to monitor information from the CDC and WHO, and are receiving guidance from the American Camp Association and local health authorities to help us determine best practices this summer and under what conditions we will be able to safely operate. The usual springtime preparations are underway, with additional protocols, staff hirings and facility improvements progressing.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update our website and camp community as we gather more information in the coming weeks. Despite all the uncertainty that still threatens our summer plans, we are doing what we can to plan and make informed decisions so we are ready for whatever comes.

As camp people, we are used to dealing with both the expected and unexpected challenges that come with running a camp. In the meantime we will stay at home and ride out the next few weeks with all of you. Camp will be as important, if not more, for kids to have this summer, and we will do everything we can to make sure our campers have the chance to come home to FLC. In the meantime, stay connected with us on Instagram for daily activities and virtual gatherings

Thank you for your continued support of Forest Lake Camp. We look forward to another amazing summer.

3/24 - Update from FLC

Dear Forest Lake Family,

We hope that you are taking some solace in time with family during these troubled days. We are all dealing with the unprecedented effects of Covid-19 in our personal and professional worlds and adapting to information that changes daily. At Forest Lake, we are, to the best of our ability, continuing to prepare for a fantastic camp season to come. We continue to believe that under the right circumstances, Forest Lake can be the best and safest place your child can spend the summer of 2020 and we are doing everything in our control to be ready for that to be the case.

This is also a time for transparency. As such, we will continue to provide you with any updates on our plans for the summer season and we hope to establish an open dialogue with our Forest Lake family as we work through all of this together. This will include sharing with you in unprecedented ways how we are coping with some of our financial decisions at FLC given this difficult environment.

There is no doubt that we are living in trying times for small businesses. While of course we are a bit nervous as to what lies ahead, we also know that as a community we are strong, resilient and look after each other.  In light of the uncertainty of the time, we are immediately amending our refund/cancellation policy as follows and until further notice:

    • If FLC Summer 2020 can NOT go forward due to a government mandate or our own decision at FLC, ALL tuition and deposit money will be FULLY refundable by your choice of check or by rolling it over to the following summer.
    • For additional certainty on your end, we will extend by 2-weeks the ability to purchase the Tuition Payment Protection Plan through April 15th for all past and future enrollments. This would add to the policy above by allowing you to cancel your camp plans up to the day before arrival by your own choice for any reason. If you are interested in purchasing Payment Protection please contact [email protected].
    • All other terms and conditions as outlined in FLC’s policies with regard to deposit and tuition payments remain in place and can be found at: https://forestlakecamp.com/parents-info/rates-dates/

We are making this change in policy now to take away any near term fear of losing your significant investment through no fault of your own or losing a spot in your child’s cabin because of the uncertainty. We feel this is the right thing to do and want to assure you that your investment is protected in full should we not be able to open.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be reaching out via phone to check-in with you on this and to see how your family is weathering the storm. In addition to the practical business issues, we have begun efforts to bring the FLC family together in this time through a series of online activities and events on Instagram that began with last week’s Friday Quiz and are continuing this week with more contests, trivia and social gatherings.

We have also launched a dedicated page on our website for coronavirus updates and news on any online camp activities.

3/18 - Update from President/CEO of the American Camp Association

3/9 - Coronavirus Update from FLC

To our FLC Family,

It is unavoidable and appropriate for all of us to be concerned with the news we are getting every day about the COVID-19 Coronavirus. In our case, that means making sure we are prepared to deal with the effect the virus could have on a summer at Forest Lake Camp.

Like all summer camps we are closely monitoring the developments of the virus but it does not currently threaten our ability to run camp this summer. In fact, we hope that Forest Lake Camp will be the safest place your child can be this summer. We have the great benefit of being on our own 800+ acres of land, with our own lake, at the end of a dead end road, with very little exposure to the outside world during the camp season. In past years, we lightheartedly reference arriving at the end of Forest Lake Road as “entering the camp bubble”. This year, we intend that expression to have real meaning making it the best possible summer option for your children to be safe. Our intention is to keep the virus away from Forest Lake. To do this, we will at a minimum be following the recommendations of the American Camp Association, WHO, DOH and the CDC in addition to adding to our robust health policies and asking for your help in the run-up to opening day at camp.

Already at FLC our arrival day screening procedures include a detailed health check. This year, we will be adding to our check-in process and will be requiring a pre-screen for potential virus symptoms. We will outline these steps in detail prior to your arrival at camp. As news, regulations and best practices continue to evolve as more information on the coronavirus becomes available, we will evolve our process in real time.

At FLC, our activity structure has always been child-centered and flexible. This provides the added advantage of allowing us, if necessary, to take other steps in the moment to minimize risk. This could include limiting camp activities that occur off of the camp premises including inter-camp competitions and/or camp attendance at other large functions. We will be in further communication about these policies and any potential changes as the summer approaches.

As a practical matter, we still understand the concerns that exist regarding the larger world that is outside of our control and we would remind you that we are one of the few camps that has its own payment protection policy. This is available for just an administrative fee (6%) if you decide to cancel attendance even if camp is in session. Payment protection is available through the online enrollment form and guarantees a full refund if you cancel for any reason until 9:00 am on the day prior to your child’s scheduled arrival at camp.

At FLC, the safety and health of our campers and staff has always been the highest priority. This year, this takes on special meaning and import and we will work together with our entire community to make sure our campers have a summer free of worry or concern about the virus or any other health issues.

If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call or send an email to [email protected]

Stay healthy and well

The Forest Lake Camp Team