After I wrote my first blog, I had all sorts of ideas of things I could write about for future months. Most importantly, I wanted to share with you some really cool stuff happening at Camp Quality USA and how our Illinois team has been involved. I’m going to do that, but I can not do that without first acknowledging the uncharted waters we are attempting to navigate regarding the coronavirus.
On behalf of everyone at Camp Quality Illinois, I want to wish you all the very best as you deal with your individual challenges, as we know this situation is impacting every household differently. With the loss of structure, possible financial impacts, time-management issues for those still working while attempting to provide learning opportunities at home, and managing the fear of all the unknowns, we know you are all under significant amounts of stress and we empathize with you.
I wish I had some answers about how this will affect Camp Quality Illinois’ programming over the course of the next couple of months, but if I gave you any specifics, I would just be guessing. The only thing I can tell you for certain is that the safety of our campers, their families, and our volunteers have always been and will always be our first priority. You can rest assured that any decision we make about hosting programs or fundraisers will be with that in mind and, regarding the coronavirus, will be in accordance with any information we have from the CDC and our local public health authorities.
In a time of great uncertainty, here is one thing I am very certain of: we have one heck of an amazing team here at Camp Quality Illinois! I’m so proud of this group and so thankful to be working alongside them.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, Camp Quality USA is in the process of regionalizing. Our region includes the camps in Heartland (Omaha, NE area), Black Hills (Sturgis, SD area), and Minnesota. We have hired a Regional Director named Sue Olstad and I am very excited to have her support! Back at the very end of January or beginning of February, I received a call from Patty, our CEO. She asked me if I thought we might be able to find a way to have a training workshop for our newly developed region 2 team and the new members at the other camps. I would be lying if I said the thought was not a bit overwhelming to pull this together within a few weeks!
So, I sent out a message to our team and asked for availability. I could not believe the overwhelming response I got, although I should have known that we have the most amazing group of volunteers and they would do anything in their power to help others, especially others with Camp Quality! We set out to create a training, and that we did. We crammed so much information into a day, but we sent our cohorts back to their camps with resources for the future. Huge shout out to our entire COC and support team who were willing to help, but specifically to those who I called up to create presentations and help pass on that information: Anne Hennigan, CJ Moore, Colleen O’Connell, Dawn Winters, Jasmine Renwick, Jen Stewart, and Mike DeGeeter.
It is because of this type of teamwork that I have all the confidence in the world that Camp Quality Illinois will take whatever challenges we are being presented with over the coming months and come out stronger.
Again, I wish you all the best as you face all the challenges life hands you. I will communicate any and all decisions made as we are able. As always, I am here for any questions you have. Please feel free to reach out. Stay healthy and safe!