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Camp Catch-A-Rainbow COVID-19 Update

 

We at YMCA Storer Camps and Camp Catch-A-Rainbow hope that your family has remained happy and healthy during the challenges of COVID-19.

For the last 35 years, Camp Catch-A-Rainbow has provided laughter, deep personal connections and the opportunity for kids to just be kids. After careful consideration and discussions with medical professionals and oncology camping professionals, we have made the difficult decision to alter programming for Camp Catch-A-Rainbow this upcoming summer.  The safety of our campers, volunteers and staff is our top priority and was the fundamental basis for this decision.

Instead of in-person camp, we will be having “Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home” this summer.  A blend of virtual programming and activities sent home in care packages will still give campers an opportunity to experience the magic of Camp Catch-A-Rainbow taking place August 3 - 7.

You can follow along with us throughout the summer on the new Camp Catch-A-Rainbow Facebook page.  Though we may not all be together this summer, we are sending our love to you and hopeful to see you in October for our Family Weekend.  

Please read below and click each section for more information regarding this decision.

 

Important Information

Is Camp Catch-A-Rainbow cancelled?


Programming for Summer 2020 is shifting from in-person at camp to virtually at home.  Virtual camp programming will be posted on the Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home website through the week of August 3 – 7.  Activities will feature a blend of pre-recorded videos and live segments.  Each participant will receive a free activity kit to help follow along with the week's fun!

Who is eligible to participate in Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home?


Children ages 4-17 who have had a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.  Date of diagnosis does not affect eligibility.  Remaining space is very limited.  To sign your camper up, please contact us at ccar@ymcastorercamps.org.

Will there still be Overnight Camp, Young Campers and Leader-in-Training?


For Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home, all campers will be part of the same program for the entire week.  Anyone who would normally be a Young Camper for a single day will be included in the full week of activities. 

Campers who were in the Leader-in-Training program in 2019 will be given the opportunity to assist in the production of a virtual program if they choose, but are not required to do so.

Summer 2020 was going to be my camper's last year before aging out.  What will be done for them?


We do not want anyone’s last CCAR experience to be a cancelled week of camp.  Those campers who would have aged out after Summer 2020 will have the option of participating in Overnight Camp or to apply for the Leader-in-Training program in Summer 2021.

What does "virtual programming" mean?


Throughout the week of Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home, we will be posting videos on the Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home page led by volunteers and staff of activities for campers to partake in.  Activities might include and arts & crafts project, a visit to the reptile room and a live campfire.  There will also be opportunities for campers to have “cabin-specific” activities to recreate the social aspect of Camp Catch-A-Rainbow.

Videos will be available to view any time after they are posted, so campers can follow along live or whenever best fits their schedule.

I do not have readily available access to the internet. Can my camper still participate?


Yes! We are currently working on ways to make Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home accessible to all participants. Many of the activities through the week will be pre-recorded and can be distributed in the activity kits through an offline medium.

This was my camper's fifth year.  Will there still be a special ceremony for them?


Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home is going to be considered a “standalone” program.  Participating in Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home will not count towards your camper’s years spent at camp.  There will be no “Thunderbirds”/fifth year ceremony this year.  Summer 2021 will officially be your camper’s “Thunderbird”/fifth year at camp.

Is Camp Catch-A-Rainbow at Home still free?


Yes!  As with every year, all Camp Catch-A-Rainbow programs are free to participants due to our generous donors.  If you are interested in supporting Camp Catch-A-Rainbow, you can make a donation by clicking here

Is there still a need for volunteers?


Yes!  Our volunteers will be instrumental in delivering quality programming to our campers this year.  We hope to have volunteers lead many of the virtual activities.  There will also be a need to assist in the logistics of creating and delivering the activity kits. 

Will there still be a Family Weekend in October?


We are very hopeful that we will be able to offer Family Weekend October 9 - 11.  We anticipate larger enrollment than previous years and are currently planning on how to incorporate some aspects traditionally found in summer programming.

How should I talk to my child about camp being cancelled?


We know this news will be hard to share with your children, but always remember that you know your child best.  Here are some tips for when you tell your child.

Acknowledge and respect their feelings.  Many children are currently overwhelmed by changes and cancellations in their life.  However they may respond, please be understanding of their reactions.

Locate camp alternatives.  The Camp Catch-A-Rainbow Facebook page will be adding content throughout the summer to keep campers and volunteers engaged with one another.

Continually check-in.  Though the shock may wear off after a few days, your camper may still need your support leading up to August 2 when they anticipated coming to camp.

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