There has been so much happening at camp in the last year, and we just found out many of you were not receiving our updates. Did you know that camp has been open the whole time? We just went virtual! So here is the best way to stay up to date on what’s happening at Camp Tatiyee: You can search your email for anything from Pam@CampTatiyee.org or Daron@CampTatiyee.org and see everything that we have previously sent you. The best way to make sure you are receiving our emails is to add Pam@CampTatiyee.org and Daron@CampTatiyee.org to your contact list. This will prevent our emails from going into your spam folder. The next step is to go into your email settings and turn oﬀ the promotions tab.Then any new emails that get sent to you will go into your inbox.
We have never stopped serving throughout 2020 nor 2021. It just looks diﬀerent. Last season we were able to work with staﬀ who agreed to come back this year and hired them to make videos from their homes. We kept it relatively simple and did things that had easy supplies for our families to get in the middle of a pandemic. We felt it was important to stay familiar and connected with our campers and their families so that when they returned to camp they would feel safe and remember their counselors. We loaded our videos to a private camp you-tube channel and campers were able to watch all summer long. We also had 15 minute sessions that staﬀ would sign up for to meet with our non-verbal campers and tell them stories or sing and play guitar for them. For our ortho-Adults and Blind campers we added a social time to ﬁght the depression caused by isolation.
This year, in early 2021, we surveyed our camp families to decide whether we should attempt to have in-person camp this season. The reason we weren’t sure is that ﬁve out of eight of our weeks are for our young campers who were/are too young to receive the vaccine and at a higher risk because of their medical issues. Our parents responded with an 85% majority that we should wait until 2022. There were very few commitments of attendance if we were to run this season. Between those numbers and the fact that our donations have dropped by 48% since Covid started, we felt it would be ﬁscally irresponsible to try and run in-person camp this year. We were also concerned with the many maintenance issues that have been popping up at the camp. This summer we are on-site at the camp with 50% of our staﬀ who have stayed with us throughout the last 2 seasons. We are currently making videos for campers, utilizing our camp resources and working on our maintenance projects at the camp. We have a contractor on our board who has been volunteering several weekends every month for the last 2 years, who is now leading our team in projects at the camp every other weekend, all summer long.What a blessing he is!
We will be repairing or rebuilding all of our ramps, railings and bridges throughout the camp, painting and sealing all of our buildings and buﬃng and sealing our ﬂoors. Believe me, the list could go on forever or at least it feels that way! We are pulling our usually 12-14 hour days up here, as our staﬀ says, it’s ‘camp culture’! A couple of our goals are to prepare the camp for campers and and for both Air BnB’s and rentals to start back up this fall. We have 3 smaller cabins sleeping 4, 8, and 16 (Aspen is the newest cabin that no one has gotten to see yet!). We are also interviewing caterers in town to partner with us on our rentals, they can provide food while we provide lodging.
This summer we have a really strict Covid mitigation bubble with our staﬀ. We rearranged the work week so that we’re oﬀ on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in order to limit our exposure on the weekends to out of town visitors. For the summer, we aren’t allowing people who aren’t vaccinated in the camp as this allows our group more freedoms inside camp (no masks). Since many of our kids may not be able to get the vaccine, we’re experimenting this summer to see if we can make a diﬀerence health-wise. The change in our work week also helps us to be available for our volunteers who are here over long weekends. In the fall, we hope to have some work weekends and would love to have you attend. We are currently planning to start those in October.
Next year (2022), we will start by running at half capacity because we need to increase our staﬀ and get the new people familiar with camper care as well as rebuild our donations back up.Usually we have 6 staﬀ in each dorm so the goal is to have 8 in each next year and then expand back out the following year to 4 dorms and full capacity. This will help us be sustainable ﬁnancially and deliver the quality of care that our campers and their families have come to expect from us. We also understand that some parents will need some time to adjust to being away from their kids again.
We sent a letter out recently to have a liaison for camp in every club, someone who doesn’t already have an active role in leadership. Our intention is to keep in touch with those Lions on a monthly basis. They will help their clubs stay informed about the camp. Please send an email to Daron@CampTatiyee.org with a name, address, and email for the liaison from your club. We are proud of what we’ve done through this process and love the feedback we’ve gotten from our families. Our campers were engaged throughout the entire 2020 summer through our videos, and our parents sent heartfelt messages about how engaging our counselors are. We even had campers send us videos they made that we shared.
If you would like to see our videos for this summer, you can log into our web site at: https://sites.google.com/camptatiyee.org/camptatiyee2021/home
We aren’t doing the social groups or one-on-ones right now because the rest of our time is consumed with maintenance on the camp, but we hope to pick up the social groups in the fall.
Thank you for all you do and please know that your camp is always working hard to serve.
Kathleen King, Board President
Pam Swanson, Executive Director
Daron Beck, Assistant Director