Summer Camps

  • 1.  Summer Camps

    Posted 03-31-2020 10:03
    Hello Everyone,
    Has anyone made decisions about Summer Camps at this time?  If decisions have not been made yet, do you have a date where the decision will be made?  Thanks,


    Brian McGahan
    Director of Campus Operations I Smyth Hall 60 I O:(585) 389-2324 C:(585) 802-7489 I Website

  • 2.  RE: Summer Camps

    Posted 04-01-2020 10:36
    Hi Brian,

    This is a tricky question to answer, as each state and each campus seems to have their own guidelines and restrictions to adhere to. Add that the COVID-19 situation is fluid and quickly changing, it is nearly impossible to predict when we will return to some normalcy, leaving many in the dark and needing to make major decisions based on anticipation.

    That all said, our anecdotal evidence shows that most campuses have chosen to or have been mandated to cancel events through the middle or end of May and most are looking to reassess their summer conference and camp season at some point during the month of April. It seems to me that these decisions are being made based on when the summer conference/camp season was planned to open.

    Sorry this isn't more specific, but I hope it helps. If only there was a crystal ball! Good luck to you and your team.


    Corey Salem
    Unique Venues
    Director of Sales
    Charlottesville VA
    United States

  • 3.  RE: Summer Camps

    Posted 04-02-2020 15:16
    Warren Wilson College has cancelled summer programming through June 30.

    Liz Brace | Director of Auxiliary Services
    Warren Wilson College
    CPO 6243
    PO Box 9000
    Asheville, NC 28815-9000
    (828) 777-4132 cell/text (often the best way to reach me quickly)
    (828) 771-2012 office

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  • 4.  RE: Summer Camps

    Posted 04-02-2020 09:48
    I would echo Corey's perspectives.  We have cancelled everything through May - summer school has been moved to a virtual environment for the entire summer - in both the Student Centers and Conferences.  We hope to have an answer about June by mid-April (the 15th actually), but even at that point, there are still questions and framework related concerns.  For those of us that manage lots of minors camps/conferences, do we really think families are going to want to send their kids to our campuses very shortly after all of this is over?  For large academic related programs or other similar clients - will they be able to travel both in this fiscal year or next?

    I think the reality for us is that we will lose the entire summer, both programmatically and financially, and we have to be OK with that and figure out next steps.
    Many of us are working through what we do now - how do we work from home, what services can we provide in the near term, etc.  I think the next step is for us to start thinking about what our worlds, campuses, businesses and processes look like in a post-Covid world.  How we evolve our work, our expectations, and ourselves is going to be critical for personal and organizational success.

    Lots of work to do for sure - but for now, we are planning on limited to no revenue for the summer and looking at other ways we can manage the back end both operationally and financially - with a very person-centered, humanistic perspective.


    Jason Levy
    Temple University
    Director, Student Center Operations & Conferences
    Philadelphia PA
    United States

  • 5.  RE: Summer Camps

    Posted 04-02-2020 11:30
    Very true, Jason. It's needing to find that right balance of optimism and realism. I want to hold out hope that June-August will be open, but there is a real possibility that we won't be, and, as important that it is to prepare for groups and camps, it's equally as important to prepare for cancellations and what that means for your operations.

    In the meantime, there are several ways that you can prepare for what comes next, whatever that might be. Eventually, business will return, but it won't be business as usual. It'll be business in the post-COVID world. Do you think there will be many groups wanting event insurance without a pandemic/stay at home order stipulation anymore? Even now, 'Force Majeure' clauses are being pushed to the limits and tested like never before.

    Additionally, now is the perfect time for you to get on the phone and connect with this summer's clients. It is a great way to build a relationship and trust. The reason that now is a good time is that we ALL have something in common (as morbid as it is) and you can speak to your campus' preparedness and response, easing any concerns that groups may have. Connections that you can make now will be remembered once we are past this and can lead to more partnership opportunities in the future. Another indirect way is your online presence. With less to do in the evenings, people will be spending more time with their smart phones in hand and on social media. Take this time to market your venue in creative and personal ways. This may include a highlight of your staff, past group testimonials, and food and cocktail recipes from your catering team.

    Corey Salem
    Unique Venues
    Director of Sales
    Charlottesville VA
    United States

  • 6.  RE: Summer Camps

    Posted 04-02-2020 11:33
    I would echo Corey and Jason's comments. (Hey Jason, hope all is well.) Here at Winthrop University, we have canceled all events through May 9th as our main focus is still on the semester and the SC Governors executive orders. The SC Governor closed all schools, K-12 and public colleges, through April 30th. Either way, 90% of our current external clients in May have requested reschedule dates, which we are honoring. Concerning summer camps and events, we are still proceeding as a go for all camps and events in June and July. The University will make another decision concerning the summer camps and events closer to April 15th, similar to other institutions. Concerning summer academic programs, the University has decided to extend online only for Summer 1 (May) and Summer II (June) with resuming face to face in Summer III (July).

    Hope this helps.

    Neal Miller
    Winthrop University
    Executive Director of University Events
    Rock Hill SC
    United States