Letter to the Editor: The questions we had to ask 

To the Editor: 

We want to thank everyone in the MDI community for standing by Camp Beech Cliff as we deliberated our options for camp this season, and are writing this letter to further explain how we came to the decision not to run our summer program this year. Each camp and daycare program has its own challenges and resources. CBC’s particular circumstances led to our decision and we are grateful that other programs have been able to open on MDI for our community. 

Though there were many hurdles to overcome this year, the primary questions we kept asking ourselves were, “Can we keep our campers and staff safe from infection? And if we can, will the program still be an enriching camp experience?” After conversations with parents, medical and camp professionals, and state authorities, we came to the conclusion that CBC simply would not be able to meet the required safety protocols for our campers and staff while still delivering a worthwhile camp experience. Camp is about making connections with peers, with staff members and with new sides of oneself. A staff focused on masks and social distancing rather than leading campers to new experiences is a limited version of camp that doesn’t allow campers to engage in the way that CBC is known for, or justify the health risks to them or the community. 

Staffing our camp would have brought many issues as well. We rely heavily on highlytrained staff who come to us from out-of-state and live on our property. Sadly, we have already read of camp programs having to drastically alter their summer programs due to staff who brought infections with them, leading to outbreaks. With housing that cannot easily accommodate any kind of quarantine, we could not meet state guidelines, or in good conscience submit our families and our community to an unanticipated closure, or worse, an outbreak. 

While we cannot offer our usual program, we are exploring alternative activities. From online training experiences for local teens, to potential smallfamily activities and volunteering opportunities, we’re hard at work and will keep our community informed. Next year, we’ll be back with the Camp Beech Cliff program you know and love, and we can’t wait to welcome you all. 

Camp Beech Cliff staff 

Mount Desert 

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