This is Camp Director and Owner Jud Millar from Stone Mountain Adventures (SMA). First, I want to start off by thanking you all for your continued support, patience, and understanding during this difficult time. We are incredibly grateful for all the positive phone calls and e-mails in response to the video that my daughter Molly and I made addressing the “What If’s” of the SMA summer of 2020. I’ve always said we’ve had the greatest families at Stone Mountain Adventures and this was even more evident during this extraordinary time.
While waiting to make a decision about the summer, we have been closely monitoring and in communication with the American Camping Association, the CDC, and the PA Department of Health as well as participating in sometimes daily zoom meetings with other summer camp directors and healthcare professionals. Recent developments have brought some clarity to our situation:
- Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf has implemented a Red, Yellow, Green Phase system to reopen the state county by county.
- We recently received the good news the Huntingdon County will move from Red to Yellow on 5/29. Centre County, located to our north where Penn State University is located, will move from Yellow to Green on 5/29
- The PA Department of Health recently issued a statement that overnight summer camps may operate under the green phase.
Today is Wednesday, May 27th, approximately one month from the start of SMA Session 1 on Saturday, June 27th. After much thoughtful consideration and given the uncertainty of current conditions with regard to COVID-19, we have come to the difficult decision that we will be cancelling SMA Session 1. The health and well-being of our camp community continues to be our highest priority.
What about SMA Sessions 2, 3 and 4?
We are 100% committed to running camp this summer, and we are optimistic that in the weeks ahead we will get more good news and move from the Yellow Phase to the Green Phase. I am extremely confident we will run SMA Sessions 3 and 4 with SMA Session 2 still a little bit up in the air. In order to give enrolled families time to work out summer schedules, we plan to announce the status of SMA Session 2 on Thursday, June 11th which is a month from the opening day of SMA Session 2 on Saturday, July 11th. Depending on the situation, we may or may not announce the status of SMA Session 3 and 4 at that time.
We are still working through the protocols for a safe and COVID-free summer at Stone Mountain Adventures. We are waiting for further guidance from the American Camping Association and the CDC, and expect that guidance to be forthcoming. I was recently connected to a Public Health Epidemiologist at Penn State University, Cara Exten. She is currently working on COVID-19 response with the Department of Defense and PSU. I am happy to report that she is now working with me and my staff on the details of running a safe and responsible summer program. After our first meeting, we are more confident than ever that, if regulations allow, Stone Mountain Adventures will run! Cara is using her expertise to help us develop protocols which will cover Prevention, Detection and Response. They will be in keeping to our promise to deliver a safe and classic Stone Mountain Adventures experience.
With the constantly changing COVID-19 climate, we understand your hesitation to submit final tuition payments before the start of camp. For this reason, we have decided to move the tuition balance due date back to 25 days prior to the start of your session:
- Tuition Balance Due Date SMA Session 2: Saturday, June 16
- Tuition Balance Due Date SMA Session 3: Wednesday, July 1
- Tuition Balance Due Date SMA Session 4 and 4-1: Thursday July 16
- Tuition Balance Due Date SMA Session 4-2: Wednesday, July 22
We hope, given the extra time, that you will be able to make the best decision for your family, while still giving us enough time to prepare for camp. If you can make a tuition balance payment sooner, please do so as it would be very much appreciated and help us get the SMA Summer of 2020 off to a great start!
Registration is open and ongoing, and we do still have space in all our summer sessions. We are willing to be flexible if you want to switch sessions or add on a session. We do expect an influx of new campers as many other camps have chosen not to run this summer and there will many families searching for an overnight camp experience for their child.
I would once again like to express my gratitude for your patience and understanding during these uncertain times. My wife Anne and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to potentially have a positive impact on your child’s summer. Now, more than ever, we all need some positivity and we need summer camp!
Please feel free to contact me any time via phone or e-mail. I am happy to chat and give you some clarity about the SMA Summer of 2020 if I can.
Stay safe and healthy and try to have a great Wednesday!
Jud Millar – Owner and Camp Director
Stone Mountain Adventures