summer 2020 COvid-19 updates
May 31, 2020
Dear Find Your Path Families,
As a parent like all of you, I have been following the harrowing impacts of Covid-19. In addition to the unfathomable loss, I have great concern for all of our physical and emotional health, particularly our kids. I am acutely aware that the prospect of losing the summer of 2020 in addition to the school year is incredibly anxiety-ridden.
I am writing today to communicate the plan for Find Your Path programs for this summer. As a professional experiential educator, my number one responsibility is risk management and to create a learning space that is both physically and emotionally safe. I have been closely monitoring the discussions and decisions playing out across Utah and the United States so as not to compromise your children’s safety. We are following the leadership and guidelines put out by the Centers for Disease Control, American Camping Association, National Outdoor Leadership School, and the state of Utah, to determine if, and how, we would be able to safely run programs this summer.
It was about 10 weeks ago that schools around the country began to close down to prevent the spread of the virus. It was unfathomable to many to try to predict where we would be today. To that end, it is about 10 more weeks from now that Find Your Path is scheduled to run its first overnight summer program. As we are closely monitoring guidelines for healthcare, social distancing, and youth camps, we are in the unique position of being able to be patient and take a "wait and see" approach in upcoming months for most of our programs.
Therefore, Find Your Path will decide to run its summer programs on a case by case situation. We have, and will, continue to make decisions on running programs based on conservative risk management and the safety of our participants and staff:
Climbing Tween Tour (August 2 - 7): Due to the nature of the physical and social requirements of safe rock climbing, we cannot foresee circumstances in which we could safely run a climbing program so soon after, or during, a pandemic. Climbing requires physical proximity and shared equipment in which would be nearly impossible to meet guidelines to keep safe for our participants and staff. Our climbing guide partner, Arcadia Guided Outdoor Education, has already canceled all of their summer programs and I am in agreement with their director that this decision is in the best interest of our participants. While we would like to take a wait and see approach, we are officially canceling this program so families can make alternate arrangements. At this time, we are not canceling the Paddling Tween Tour. Please contact me if you would like to switch to that program if it runs.
Paddling Tween Tour (August 9 - 14): By its nature, paddling is a socially distant activity and guidelines to protect participants are more feasible. Other factors that still do present challenges in our current health environment include transportation to and from the river, communal sleeping in tents, eating, and emergency protocols. We are fortunate to be partnering with OARS, a national leader in risk management and recreational adventure, and feel hopeful with their ability to run a safe trip if at all viable. That being said, they have yet to run any whitewater trips this year and are waiting to cancel trips 14-30 days in advance of each trip as necessary. With hundreds of domestic trips each year, they are working diligently with their team and numerous local agencies to adapt their protocols to successfully run their trips. Due to the nature of the paddling and our partnership with OARS, we are cautiously optimistic that this program can operate and will hold off on making a determination until late June or early July.
Camp Wasatch (August 3 - 7; August 17 - 21): While social distancing protocols could possibly be put into place to protect the physical safety of our campers and staff, the Camp Wasatch program would be the most dramatically affected by necessary adjustments. Camp elements including sleeping in tents, camp cooking, transportation to and from explorations, and daily structured and unstructured activities will all need to be considered and redesigned. Due to the size and flexibility of our program though, Camp Wasatch may still be viable, but only if the current health requirements are drastically different than they are now. Additionally, we would need to determine if a program that meets all health requirements would still be a valuable and enjoyable experience for our campers. Therefore, we will stay in contact with CW families and hope to make a determination by early July.
In summary, Camp Wasatch and Paddling Tween Tour may still run and we are accepting applications without deposits. Capacity numbers for both programs will be determined based on local health requirements and Find Your Path's programmatic and risk management goals. If these programs do need to be canceled, an additional possibility is that we will run kayaking or canoeing day camps in August on the Jordan River in Salt Lake City. We have partnered with Salt Lake Country Recreation and the Jordan River Commission to run these camps in June, but like everything else, that is currently undetermined, so they could be rescheduled to August.
Please reach out with any questions and feel free to share with others in your community so that if we are able to run, we will be at capacity and able to support as many families as possible.
Find Your Path Experiential Education