I'm writing about my current thoughts and hopes for summer 2020. With the unprecedented changes happening to prevent the spread of Covid-19, so many things are up in the air and if/when things change, I will keep updating this post. Please bear with me and know that my #1 goal is to provide meaningful play opportunities for children and that I'm doing my best to make that happen despite circumstances completely beyond my control.
All summer camps and pop-up events for the months of June & July are cancelled. We will miss you all so much and are actively seeking ways to support play from afar. Please get in touch if you have an idea you'd like us to explore. More soon.
Video from Kelsey found here.
I'm writing this a day after the UI Chancellor sent an announcement cancelling all summer camps affiliated with the University through July 10. This means that our summer camp weeks 1-6 are officially cancelled. If you've already registered or paid for these weeks, we will be in touch with you directly by email soon.
We will keep registration open for weeks 7-10 which are July 13- August 7. Because of these additional limiting factors, we are scaling back the number of campers we will allow for the 4 weeks we hope to have camp. If you want to change your registration and enrolled already, please email Kelsey directly. If you are enrolling for weeks 7-10 for the first time, please follow the form found here. The UI Chancellor said in his announcement that it is possible that camps would be cancelled after July 10, depending on the situation surrounding Covid-19 and the status of cases in our local area. We promise that if we're allowed to be open, we will be open and if that changes, we will communicate with you immediately.
Our hearts hurt for the kiddos who have grown to know and love KOOP. Some of you come every year, some of you have been waiting for your chance to come or for your kiddo to be old enough... I'm so sorry this is happening!
Summer camp is magical and our absolute favorite program. We start prepping for summer as soon as we finish the previous summer and our team of playworkers are jointly grieving this loss. So many kids who depend on us to be their once a year deep dive into self-directed play, whose development we've watched spanning over years now... We're so sorry this is all happening. We miss you, we hope to see you at the end of summer unless we are required to close by the University for safety against Covid-19 again.
We also currently don't know what this means for our community pop-ups. We will keep updating this post as we learn more.
In the meantime, keep up with our "Playing Through a Pandemic" page and our social media accounts for invitations to play, community play initiatives to keep playing from a distance and for support for parents who are stretched in unfair and impossible ways like never before. Being a working parent has never been easy and what is being asked of you is impossible. We stand with you with support and advice that play and connection are still the bedrock of what we all need- kids and adults alike- as we navigate a collective traumatic experience. Stay in touch, let us know what you need and how we can help support you and your kids.
We're in this together. #PlayNoMatterWhat
3/23/2020-- OUT OF DATE NOW, SEE ABOVE FOR MOST RECENT INFO Right now summer camp plans are still "on" in the hope that this entire endeavor is behind us. We truly don't know what the recommendations will be come June so right now, we're going to carry on as best we can. We're a small non-profit and our programs are crucial for staff and for the community. We're going to hold onto hope as long as possible as this unprecedented situation unfolds. Currently, the governor's directive that schools remain closed through April 8 still applies to our programs which are run out of a school. Here are the changes I'm making in light of all this uncertainty:
Sign-ups for camps remain open. You can still enroll at the times you will need. I do ask that you only sign up if you actually intend to attend camps, assuming camps can be offered. Enrollments are capped at a certain number and your sign up serves as an agreement to pay that amount.
Payment will not be collected until May, when final decisions are more clear. Right now I'm asking for enrollment to continue (thoughtfully) and I will hold your spot until we know more.
If you've submitted payment already, we are holding it for now and holding your spot as planned. Email Kelsey@KoopAdventurePlay.org for questions.
Pop-Ups: We had ~20 community pop-up play events planned. At this time we are uncertain of our ability to provide those. Our hope is to still meet you in your neighborhoods this summer, but we simply don't know.
Again, KOOP is a small non-profit and we could use your help. One way to help is to only sign up for camps if you truly intend to pay for the spot. I'm holding the spots for circumstances, but if we turn away folks and then have some who don't show up it negatively effects us every time.
Another way to help us continue providing play opportunities is to donate money, our Paypal link is on the website.
In the meantime, we're here. We're posting content, hosting events and having conversations with folks daily and we're holding out hope that we'll have the summer we planned. But even if we don't-- we'll still be here to support and provide meaningful play opportunities.
Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read this. We'll update it as things progress. Hang in there, friends, and #PlayNoMatterWhat