Even before school moved online, before zoom meetings became the norm, before lockdown and limited social gatherings became “best practice”, alarming statistics existed about the need for children and youth to be connected to nature. Studies show that being outside can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and influence mood; outdoor activities can increase energy, stamina, and generally increase health and wellbeing. Which means the presence of camp has never been so needed, but Sacramento has never met so many obstacles in being able to be camp.

In our desire to meet government requirements, to be compliant and safe (or at least do what is being called “safe”) we have bent our ordinary operating procedures and scaled back what was supposed to be some very big summers. We have researched, listened to our board, sought council among other camps, and decided to suspend conference camps. And believe us, this was no easy decision. We know many high school seniors of 2020 that wanted to have one last camp experience, and now we must again turn away many who would have wanted the same. It hurts us to our core. It hurts our bottom line. It hurts students who need camp and nature and social connection. It hurts thriving youth groups and the opportunity to bond. And the truth of the matter is that we will never truly know all the things that have been lost due to this shutdown.

But there is a bright-side, a huge beautiful bright-side. We can still serve families and day groups. And just recently we’ve been able to allow indoor dining again! We can still serve churches; we can still serve groups. WE CAN STILL SERVE, and that has never once during the pandemic-lockdown-crisis-of-2020-and-beyond, ever been in question. Our calling has not changed! We are still holding retreats, still booking guests, still feeding people’s souls and bellies, still out in nature (in-fact you still can’t get a cell-phone signal from Sacramento). We encourage folks who want to know more about opportunities at Sacramento to call us!

Here are some ideas we threw around in our meeting the other day: Family Work Weekend, Back to Basics-Camp in a Tent Week, Family Adventure Camp, just to name a few! And soon, very soon, our Family Life Center will be filled with guests as well. This is our 90th year, and while we have been asked to slow down, camp matters and ministry matters can’t be stopped! Will you join us in a new way this year?