Summer 2020 FAQs

What is the status of Shrine Mont Camps in 2020?

After much study, prayer, and conversation, we made the difficult decision to suspend Shrine Mont Camps' normal operations for the 2020 season.

So, will Shrine Mont Camps do anything this summer?

Yes! We aren't exactly sure what it will be, but our creative and loving staff is already hard at work dreaming up ways to share the values of community, faith formation, and joy with the diocese and beyond this summer. Please sign up for our newsletter to get updates as we have them, and follow us on social media (@shrinemontcamps on Facebook and Instagram). We will not be offering "zoom camp" that puts everyone in front of a screen this summer, but will be looking for a variety of different ways to connect with each other and share some "camp spirit" far and wide.

What factors did you use to decide to suspend camp operations for 2020?

Our three guiding questions were: what is possible, what is responsible, and what is consistent with our mission? We deeply studied guidance offered by the American Camp Association, other camping professional organizations, medical professionals, as well as those from local and national health departments and authorities. We considered how to accommodate smaller group sizes, programs which incorporated social distancing, enhanced health/cleaning/safety protocols, and protocols should an outbreak occur at camp. We also envisioned -- and took seriously -- the traditions, programs, and activities that would need to be seriously modified or eliminated this season. The impacts our ability to offer an authentic camp experience that was both consistent with our mission of inclusion and love while maintaining high levels of safety to all ultimately determined that we could not gather as a camp this summer.

Do I get my money back?

Shrine Mont Camps is committed to refunding all balances and deposits paid. We are also asking families that if their individual circumstances allow, to consider transferring a portion or all of their paid tuition into a donation. This will allow us to cover some of the cost of the low to no-cost summer plans we have in the works for 2020. If your tuition was paid through a scholarship, that money will return to our or the church/organization's scholarship fund to be used in future years. If you registered for camp in 2020, please fill out this questionnaire to indicate to us your preference for refunds this year.

How do I break the news to my camper?

We know that this news may strike campers in many different ways. Please express to your camper that this was not an easy decision, that no one wanted our summer to go in this direction, and that all possibilities were examined in the decision-making process. We love our campers, their families, and our communities too much to put anyone at risk during this time, and the number of uncertainties we still have directed our choices.

We have included a brief list of suggestions to help families approach this conversation with care, which can be accessed here. We've also included resources if your camper is having a very difficult time with this cancellation, or with other aspects of this time in our lives. Please click here to learn more.

Does this mean Shrine Mont is closed for the summer?

Shrine Mont and Shrine Mont Camps are two separate entities, and both may take different directions this summer. Please see Shrine Mont's website for up-to-date information about their status this summer.

What if it becomes safe to have camp later this summer?

We cannot guess about what may happen this summer, but the circumstances that would have to change in order to allow us to safely run Shrine Mont Camps this season are highly unlikely. If we reach a point this summer where we are able to bring groups together safely, we may announce alternative options for people. We also are looking into the fall and spring of next year as possible times to have "camp pop-up" events. Please sign up for our newsletter to get any updates as they are available.

What about camp next summer?

That's our intention-- and we've already begun thinking about 2021! There are many things we do not know yet, so we will do the best with the information we have as we get it. Our main goal will be to return to the mountain for another wonderful summer in 2021.

I love Shrine Mont Camps and I want to see it continue for years to come. How can I help?

Donate what you can, either to the scholarship fund or to support this year's efforts to keep our camp family connected. Follow us on social media (@shrinemontcamps on Facebook and Instagram). Sign up for our newsletter. Come to camp in 2021!

This was supposed to be my camper's last year, is anything being planned for them?

We're thinking about how this impacts all our campers, and especially those for whom 2020 would have been their final year at a beloved camp. Currently no firm decisions have been made, but we are committed to honoring them and offering them special ways to be together with their camp community in the future. We'll continue to dream and plan, and will update families as soon as decisions are made!

OUR MISSION>

The Diocese of Virginia’s summer camp program at Shrine Mont promotes the emotional and spiritual development of children, youth, and young adults through the fostering of a safe and positive environment for all. It is the goal of this program to encourage the growth of relationships with self, others, and God.

At Shrine Mont Camps, we strive to create a diverse and safe community that welcomes campers and staff from all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation in the administration of any of our programs. All camp activities will promote and maintain the personal and emotional safety of all campers and staff.

CONTACT >

Paris: (800)DIOCESE x.1042

          pball@thediocese.net

Megan: (800)DIOCESE x.1043

         mnolde@thediocese.net

Sierra: (800)DIOCESE x. 1023

         sgore@thediocese.net

FAX: (804) 644-6928

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110 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220