COVID-19 UPDATES

Update #6: May 28, 2020

Dear Shwayder Camp Community,

In the month since making the decision to not open camp this summer, we have been busy reading through your suggestions from the survey and planning what is possible for the 2020 Shwayder experience. Your feedback has been incredibly helpful and gave us a clear vision in creating meaningful ways to keep our community connected this summer. While some of the details are still getting ironed out, we would love to share with you our schedule for this summer. 

Starting on June 15th, we will be offering three 2 week alternative program sessions. Based on the feedback we received, we heard from you that the priority for programming this summer was that campers connect with other kids their age and with whom they would have been in a cabin, as well as participate in some of the special Shwayder programs that are unique to the Shwayder experience. To create the camp atmosphere, we will be hosting virtual gatherings by age group and doing some all-camp activities (like game day) throughout the two week period of time. 

To achieve these goals, we will provide the opportunity for campers to participate in the two week session that corresponds with when they were registered for Shwayder. For example, if your child was registered for Session 1 (June 15-July 5), 1a (June 15-21) or 1b (June 22-July 5), they would participate in Session 1, June 15-21 of the new Shwayder experience. Session 2 will be July 6-19 and Session 3, July 27-August 9. 

We have employed a handful of amazing Shwayder Camp staff to help facilitate these experiences and bring the Shwayder Magic this summer. There will be no cost to participate in the Shwayder experiences though any additional donations we receive throughout the summer will go directly to paying these wonderful people. You can email me if you would like to increase your donation or add one to your account. 

Below you will find the schedule as it stands right now. At this point the schedule is all virtual experiences. We are hoping to add some small group or in-person gatherings and will know more in the coming weeks as regulations regarding reopening of religious institutions become available. We will email the final schedule next week. Your camper will be guaranteed a spot for the session in which they were initially registered. If you are interested in signing up for a different session, we will let you know if there is room and take campers on a first come, first served basis. Once we have received your registration, we will email you a confirmation with details, instructions and zoom links. Please complete the registration form as soon as possible and no later than one week prior to the start date of the session. 

Additionally, we want to thank you for your patience with our refund process. If you requested a refund, the checks are being signed and should be mailed out the first week of June.

Sincerely,

Jodie Abrams Schafer, Director

Update #5: April 30, 2020

Dear Shwayder Camp Community,

For 70 years the health and safety of our campers and staff has been our number one priority. In times like these, the wellbeing of our community is more important than ever. Following thorough consultation with and guidance from medical professionals and local, state, and national agencies, the senior leadership at Temple Emanuel and Shwayder Camp have concluded that due to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be extraordinarily difficult to ensure the health and safety of every camper, staff member, and their families at home this summer. These challenges include the inability to properly screen people before coming to camp and upholding the strict social distancing regulations in a residential summer camp setting. Providing the traditional Shwayder Camp experience to our families was something we were so hopeful to do but unfortunately, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel our 2020 summer sessions in order to protect our community.

This is not the outcome for which we had hoped but if there is anything that we have learned in the last several weeks, it is that Shwayder Magic is so much more than the physical space we occupy at 10,200 feet. As we look to the future, we will aim to provide alternative Shwayder experiences this summer through virtual and small group gatherings. In order to best meet the needs of our community, we ask that you complete this short survey so that we can move forward in ways that serve our community best. 

For each Shwayder Camper, there are important milestones that occur each summer. Whether that is spending your first summer away at camp, achieving Peak 3, 5, or 9, are anticipating giving your LYD speech this summer, or making the transition from camper to staff in the SIT program; we know how important these milestones are. We are committed to being able to provide at least some of these as best we can this summer. We will be in touch with more information about how we will provide these experiences in the coming weeks and want to assure you that we are thinking about how we can best honor our long-standing traditions. 

We are grateful for the outpouring support from the Shwayder Camp community we have received as we navigate these unprecedented times. Moving forward, we have a few options that we would like to offer you as a family as it relates to camp tuition.

  1. We know that Shwayder Camp means so much to our community and while many of our expenses occur during the summer season, a significant portion of our costs are fixed and spent regardless of operating during the summer. We feel very strongly that offering refunds to our families is the right thing to do, however, this will have a serious financial impact on us. Your generosity at this time will allow us to come back for a spectacular season next year. Any tuition that you donate back to camp will be matched 1:1 with a grant from JCamp 180, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. For example, if you donate $750 to camp, it will become a $1500 donation to us. Also, any donation to camp is eligible for the Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit. It provides a 50% state income tax credit for gifts to Shwayder Camp. This is a powerful credit on your state taxes. This option can be combined with either of the two following options. 
  2. Knowing that many of our campers return year after year, we are offering the option to roll the tuition that you have paid for this summer to the 2021 season. You can roll forward any portion up to the full amount. We do not yet have the 2021 session dates but will make these available as soon as possible.
  3. You can request a refund for tuition you have paid. Third-party scholarships and One Happy Camper grants will be refunded to those organizations directly. Regardless of previous payment method, refunds will be sent within 6-8 weeks via paper check. Each camp family can designate one person to receive the refund.

To confirm your next steps chosen from the above options, please complete the online form. If we do not receive a form from you, we will default to option 2. We ask that you submit your request form by May 15th.

Spending a summer at Shwayder Camp is an experience like no other. It is where we grow as individuals, make friendships that will last the rest of our lives, and where we can truly be ourselves. A summer without camp is going to be difficult but know that we are here for each and everyone of you. Shwayder Camp has proven to be a strong community for over 70 years and we know that we will get through this together. No matter where we are physically, we are always Shwayder connected. 

We will be bringing the Shwayder Camp community together this Friday, May 1st at 7:30pm MDT for Siyuum (our nightly circle and blessings). Please join us on the Shwayder Camp Facebook page so we can stand together as one community and show our love and support for one another.

Sincerely,

Jodie Abrams Schafer, Director

 

Update #4: April 13, 2020

Dear Shwayder Camp Community,

We hope you and your family are staying healthy and have been able to celebrate Passover in a meaningful way this year. I am reaching out to let you know that we remain optimistic about the 2020 summer. With regulations and guidelines changing so frequently, we feel it is still too early to make any final decisions regarding our ability to operate with our scheduled session structure. I have spoken with many industry experts as well as other camp directors to ensure that the information we are basing our decisions around is accurate and in line with the camping field across the country. The American Camping Association, a leading authority for summer camps and youth development by which we are accredited, has informed us that they are working with the CDC to create a new set of guidelines for camps operating this summer and have requested that we wait to make any decisions regarding this summer until they are able to distribute their recommendations. 

As such, we are heeding their advice and gathering more information to continue to make informed decisions about camp. We are assessing our current health procedures and will evaluate each element of camp as it relates to the health and safety of our community members for this summer. We are diligently discussing contingency plans that may include a delayed start date or altered schedule as well as creating meaningful experiences from afar. We are moving ahead with planning for this summer but do want you to know that we are assessing different options should we need them. 

As we previously mentioned, if for any reason we were unable to operate this summer based on public health recommendations, we will be providing the option to apply 100% of your 2020 tuition paid towards the 2021 season or issuing refunds by request.

I am hopeful, as I am sure you are, that we will be able to operate this summer and revel in the Shwayder Magic we are so looking forward to this year. As soon as we have any updates or new information, we will reach out to you. You can also stay up to date on all of our correspondence and find some fun camp activities right her on our website.

Sincerely, 

Jodie Abrams Schafer, Director

 

Update #3: April 2, 2020

Dear Shwayder Camp Community,

As we enter April, we wanted to reach out and let you know that in addition to extending the final payment deadline to May 1st, we will also be extending the forms deadline to that date as well. We understand that with the current situation regarding COVID-19, getting appointments for routine physicals and forms completed will take extra time. We also acknowledge that families will want to wait to make final travel arrangements. Please know that we understand and if you are unable to submit these forms, especially the medical examination form, immunization records, and transportation form even by the May 1st deadline. If you need more time, please just let us know by email. 

We hope you are staying healthy and want to remind you that you can stay up-to-date on all of our correspondence and find some fun camp activities on our website right here. 

We wanted to share with you one of our favorite prayers we sing every evening at camp that marks day turning into night, Ma’ariv Aravim. With so many of us being home every day, we hope this prayer helps you find a meaningful way to distinguish between the transitions in your life. Daniel Stellini, one of our all-time favorite song leaders, wrote this particular melody, and is singing it here for you.

Sincerely,

Jodie Abrams Schafer, Director

 

Update #2: March 19, 2020

Dear Shwayder Camp Community,

As we continue to navigate our day-to-day lives during this unprecedented time, we want to provide opportunities to bring the Shwayder Camp community together.

In partnership with the Colorado Jewish Camps, over the next few weeks on Tuesdays and Fridays we will be offering experiences for you to bring a little camp into your home. We will sprinkle extra chances for Shwayder magic moments during this time as well. We hope you join in and participate as much as you are able, and encourage you to involve the whole family. The best way to follow along is through our Facebook Page. Be sure you “like” us and receive notifications when we post and go live. You can also find all the communication and activities on our dedicated web page: shwayder.com/covid-19-updates

This Sunday, March 22nd @10:30AM MDT, Rick Recht, a Shwayder Camp favorite, will bring the camp community together with a special virtual concert. It will be streamed live from Shwayder Camp’s Facebook Page.

Building community has always been a top priority at Shwayder. It’s times like these that we see the Shwayder community grow stronger than ever.

Sincerely,

Jodie Abrams Schafer, Director

 

Update #1: March 13, 2020

Dear Shwayder Camp Community, 

We know that the current situation as it relates to COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty and caution with planning upcoming events. We want to emphasize that we are closely monitoring the situation as it relates to our time together this summer at camp. While nothing has changed at this time concerning summer operations, we are exploring options to allow our camp families to plan ahead. 

First, we are committed to letting you know that if for any reason we were unable to operate this summer based on public health recommendations, we will be providing the option to apply 100% of your 2020 tuition paid towards the 2021 season or issuing full refunds by request. 

In order to give you time to plan and make decisions, we will be moving the final payment deadline from April 1st to May 1st. If you are on a monthly payment plan the last payment will be run May 1st rather than April 1st. 

To this effect, we are extending the scholarship application deadline to April 17th. We understand that some families find themselves with new financial concerns and we want to assure you that we are ready to work with families and are committed to make it possible for every camper to attend camp this summer. If you would like to apply for scholarships and have not yet received an application, please let me know and I will email you the scholarship application information. 

As we do before every summer, we will be revisiting our already rigorous cleaning and safety standards. Camper and Staff health is our number one priority and we are always adapting to ensure best practices. We are still in full swing of planning a fun and memorable summer for all of our campers. 

While it is still very early to be making any decisions about operating this summer, we hope that this information will provide a bit of peace of mind in this time of uncertainty. Please know that we are here as a resource and, as always, our goal is to provide a safe and meaningful experience for each camper and staff member this summer. While we expect to be fully operational this summer, we will remain flexible and know that the situation remains fluid. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Sincerely,

Jodie Abrams Schafer, Director