We were really sad to read the news that a trio of one hundred year old Summer Camp institutions serving mostly working families and less privileged children and teens in New York and New Jersey are to close forever, with the property being sold as a direct consequence of financial impact of Covid-19. 

This story is about more than the closure of an American Summer Camp. It is another example how Covid affects those already worse off to a greater extent, and in the end that really is to the detriment of everyone.

As a young man I was fortunate to enjoy several years of life affirming experiences, valuable lessons learned, life long friendships formed and values realised – as a counselor and leader at Frost Valley YMCA, and a year as an Outdoor Ed Leader working with schools at the YMCA of Greater New York’s Camp Greenkill – one of the properties announced to be sold.

That decision is a result of the massive financial hole caused by Covid. Likely thousands may now miss out on experiences, relationships and perspectives that benefit lifetimes, and would reach far beyond just New York and the US.

The better news is that other summer camp programmes like Frost Valley YMCA are able to continue and open for business this summer. It also seems they and other camps will offer some help to those affected by the Greater New York camp closures.

There are initiatives to try and stop the closure which I support, such as that led by Emily Van Ingen.

See the announcement here http://ycamps.ymcanyc.org

Read the New York Times article on this
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/08/nyregion/ymca-summer-camps-closed.html 

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