Dear Farm & Wilderness Community,

I’m writing to share with you that after much consideration, Farm & Wilderness’ Leadership Team and our Board of Trustees have decided to pause Tamarack Farm camp’s operations for Summer 2021.  This was a hard decision that comes as a result of the work of the Leadership Team and our 2021 Re-opening Task Force’s assessment on how we can best operate safe, healthy, and engaging camp programs next summer in light of COVID-19.

I want to share how we got to this decision.  Although COVID-19 vaccines may be available, we can’t assume that healthy children and adults will have access to them, and that means we must envision camp for next summer differently. This will likely include social distancing (a need for more space per person, even outdoor space), hand-washing and other disinfecting measures, mask-wearing when indoors and in proximity to others, testing for the virus, and, likely, pre-arrival or on-arrival quarantining.

We envision each camp will operate so as to minimize contact with other camps and folks outside their camp “bubble.”  In all likelihood, these are the same measures that the pre-schools, schools, colleges and universities, and workplaces that you and your family attend have in place now.   We will be following guidance from sources including the CDC, the Vermont Department of Health, the American Camp Association, and camps that operated in 2020 to develop and then adjust our COVID-19 related policies and practices over the coming months. We will use our website as well as email to keep you updated on this important work.

As we began to look at how each of our camps could operate under these new conditions, we recognized the need for a buffer zone between Indian Brook and Timberlake camps and that we would need additional indoor space to isolate and treat symptomatic individuals.  We can adapt Tamarack Farm camp’s facilities and outdoor space for these purposes.  Additionally, we recognized that the Tamarack Farm camp program, more than others, would be compromised by these new conditions. While it was a very hard decision to come to, we believe that pausing Tamarack Farm camp for 2021 will ensure that each camp can be safe and healthy while still offering exciting, engaging, and somewhat different opportunities to our campers.

We will be in touch with you and your family to discuss your options if you are a prospective or returning Tamarack Farm camper. Know that we are planning to run Questers next summer, and we are looking at other opportunities for teens during the summer.

There have been many disappointments and losses over the last year due to COVID 19. This news may land as one more loss for you, and one more way our lives have been disrupted.  I understand and share your disappointment. However, this pause is temporary, and it does play a vital role in increasing the health and safety for all Farm & Wilderness camps next summer. We hope you understand our decision amidst the challenges ahead.

If you would like to talk to me about this decision and our plans going forward, please reach out to me at frances@farmandwilderness.org or call me on my cell phone at 978-837-2738.

 

With great appreciation,

Frances McLaughlin

Executive Director

 

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