Important Announcement about Summer 2020 at Annunciation Heights
“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.’ ” – Genesis 9: 12-13
– May 11, 2020 –
Dear Annunciation Heights Family,
Greetings to you in Christ the Risen Lord!
I have some bittersweet news to report regarding our 2020 Summer Camps. I’ll start with the bitter news, but please make sure you read on to hear the sweet news!
Since the COVID-19 crisis emerged in March we have prayed, hoped, and worked through several potential contingencies. At the heart of our mission is a summer youth camp designed to draw youth into an experience of freedom in Christ, life-giving adventures, and fun and laughter with new friends they will never forget. With this in mind, we held out hope to the last possible moment to make a decision. We have arrived at this moment.
On Monday, May 4, in collaboration with Archbishop Aquila, Fr. Randy Dollins, V.G., and Keith Parsons, COO of the Archdiocese, Annunciation Heights has decided to cancel all Youth Camp programming this summer. The decision became inevitable for a few primary reasons:
- We knew with certainty that we would not be able to reasonably operate a youth summer camp given the various mandates coming from the State and County authorities.
- As a licensed Residential Camp, we had to weigh what the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services would say regarding the fate of programs such as ours, though concrete directives have been slow to come.
This is a difficult decision for us—it means we cannot host the hundreds of youth already registered for camp this summer; it also means we had to inform our thirty plus summer staff members that we could no longer hire them. Our ministry to our college-aged summer staff is as important and fruitful as our ministry to the youth themselves. Despite the bitterness of the decision, we think it is the right one.
For those of you who have a camper(s) registered for Youth Camps this summer you will be receiving an email on Monday, May 11 regarding options for getting a full refund, rolling over your deposit and fees to next summer, or, if possible, donating these fees to the camp in this difficult time of ours.
But there is sweet news as well! Our primary mission here at Annunciation Heights is to the family. As I’ve stated many times, we are a Catholic Youth AND Family camp. Christ’s mission to youth goes through the family, and vice versa. Especially in this time of nationwide quarantine, families have been tested in a unique way. We see Family Programming as a direct answer to the needs of the day – to unite the family in an experience of faith, fun and adventure in the beauty of the Colorado Rockies! We believe we are still able to offer a robust menu of programs for families this summer. Here’s why:
- Families come to camp as singular units, housed as such with their own bathrooms.
- Our land and facilities allow us the flexibility to enjoy meals and activities outside or in our open-air pavilion. We can even celebrate Mass together in our outdoor chapel.
- Annunciation Heights has implemented a rigorous sanitization plan to keep guests and staff as healthy as we can. Please see our website for more details.
- Family programming will allow you, the parents, to supervise and manage your own children’s interactions as you see fit in light of the coronavirus, while also engaging with other families in a dynamic and safe way.
These and other factors will allow us to conduct and safely manage any social distancing and group gathering size requirements that are set forth by the state and county authorities. In this way, we can carry on with a dynamic camp experience while also holding health and safety as our highest priority.
For those of you interested in bringing your family to Annunciation Heights this summer, please stay tuned to learn more about our menu of family options next week.
We look forward to seeing and serving you this summer at the Heights!
Grace and peace,