Camp 2021 Covid-19 Update

July 6th Update:

I recognise that the PMs recent announcement (5th July) may have thrown doubts on our decision, but the changes to guidance have not yet come into law and with this not happening until 19th July at the earliest it is unfortunately still too uncertain for us to be able to plan and commit to running Camps. The National Youth Agency (the body that releases guidance for youth services) is yet to release their updated guidance. Although they have many hopes, we have historically seen their negotiations with the government to release restrictions to be unsuccessful, and therefore cannot rely on anything until it is firm. This will sadly be arriving too late for it to impact this decision. 

Irrespective of the law or guidance, as I am sure you are aware the infection numbers are still increasing and the government are expecting these numbers to increase further after the restrictions are lifted. The facilities onsite make it very difficult to give people the space to feel safe should they require it due to this increase in cases; please note we are working on solutions for this to alleviate this situation for the future. 

Although I am not “happy” to be cancelling Camp, I do still feel it is appropriate to do so. I would far rather operate with caution and disappointment for another year than put over 500 people at risk across the summer. 

I personally know the major positive impact all the camps have on the spiritual and mental wellbeing of those that attend, not just for that summer but how God uses the experiences for years to come. I am faithful that this will continue when we are able to meet again from 2022 and beyond. My prayer is that those feeling the strain of Covid on their mental health like myself, both because of the impact of lockdown and the effect of the release would find peace and rest in Gods presence where they find themselves this summer. 

I am sorry for the disappointment I recognise this is causing but look forward with faithful anticipation to Camp 2022. 

July 1st Update:

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the cancellation of all Suffolk Christian Camps residential events for 2021.

We are making this decision as we feel it the most appropriate action to protect our guests and minimise the risk of the spread of Covid-19.

I recognise that this will be a huge disappointment to many, just as it is to us. We understand there may be frustration as the government are saying that we are on track for restrictions lifting on the 19th July. However, after discussions with government guidance bodies and other organisations it has become apparent that “Freedom Day” will be for private citizens, but organisations will most likely still have restrictions imposed upon activities. This information, paired with the rising cases of Covid-19 especially in the younger age groups and with the challenges for social distancing onsite unfortunately drew us to the conclusion that we would be unable to guarantee the safety of our guests and team on site during this pandemic.

Whilst we could wait until the announcement on July 19th to make this decision, this would only give some teams a matter of days to complete the planning and preparation, and that is assuming all the guidance is confirmed promptly, which historically has not been the case. We feel this short notice would not give us the opportunities to ensure Camp is what it should be for all our guests.

Just as we trust that God has us in His hands as individuals, we believe the same for Suffolk Christian Camps.

We have put together three options for those of you who have booked into Camp 2021 – please note all options require your action:

Option 1: Your booking for 2021 can be carried across to 2022, assuming you are eligible for the same camp. If in 2022 you are no longer eligible for Junior Camp you will need to choose between option 2 and 3 and rebook in 2022 for Summer Madness should you wish to. If in 2022 you would be too old for Summer Madness, I am sorry to say we will not be able to extend the age bracket and therefore you need to choose between option 2 and 3.

Option 2: You could choose to support the ongoing work of Suffolk Christian camps by donating your deposit to us. Should you wish to re-book in 2022, a new deposit would be required. The secretary will supply you with a Gift Aid form as we are able to claim a percentage back from the government if you pay sufficient income tax.

Option 3: You can request a full or partial refund of all monies paid. Our wonderful secretary is expected to be very busy at this time so please be patient – If you have requested a refund this will be processed in due course in the form of a cheque and mailed to your postal address. Refunds will only be made payable to the person who paid the deposit and posted to your contact address on the application form. If you request a partial refund and desire the remainder to be a gift to Suffolk Christian Camps, please contact the secretary for a Gift Aid form as we can claim a percentage back form the government if you pay sufficient income tax.

Rachael Wallace, our wonderful secretary will be in touch with everyone who has booked into Camp 2021. Please do not contact her until she has been in touch with you – we promise we will be in touch as soon practically possible.

On a personal note, I am very sad to have to be cancelling Camp 2021. In my short time as Chair this is the second time I have had to convey this decision and it is not how I wanted things to go.

I want Suffolk Christian Camps to continue to facilitate people, young and old, to come to know and love Jesus. We will be working hard in the coming year to see what we can do to improve the service we offer and protect the SCC legacy.

Last year was a tough one financially for many people, SCC included. Even after the generous gifts we made a loss of over £2,000 and this year we are expecting the same if not slightly higher. Any and all donations you are able to make will help in protecting SCC to ensure we can continue to run for years to come to see many more people come to know Jesus on a personal level.

Should you have any questions that aren’t answered above, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can get in touch with me directly at henry@suffolkchristiancamps.org.uk

Thank you bearing with is in these unprecedented times. Suffolk Christian Camps will be back with a packed summer in 2021

God Bless, stay safe and well,

Henry Matter

Chair of the Trustees