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WMC 2020 Fall Newsletter


Creating a Covid-Conscious Camp

We have continuously consulted the Morris County Health Department, resources from the UCC-Outdoor Ministries Association, American Camp Association, and a virtual community of camp professionals to implement strong and safe practices that we can use for our camp going forward. The cleaning and germ prevention tactics we’ve used for Covid-19 will be in place at WMC from now on, allowing camp to stay proactive on disease prevention. We’ve updated our Health and Safety manuals and our Emergency Action Plan includes a clearer sense of how to monitor and manage communicable diseases.

We canceled all camps and large events for 2020. To keep the camp spirit alive and find alternative revenue that was in line with our mission, we opened our doors to families and small groups to rent cabins and activities. Our hope was to provide respite from the chaos and an opportunity to get outdoors. Thanks to our spacious grounds and facilities, groups can isolate by household and keep distance from others by staying in different cabins. We opened our pool to on-site renters with no lifeguards on duty and followed guidelines recommended by Red Cross. We adapted our High Ropes Course and Archery to meet CDC guidelines. We allowed at least two days between cabin use for sanitization which helped keep our staff safe. Guests were provided pre-mixed bleach water spray bottles and notified of health expectations prior to their arrival. We require the use of masks, social distancing, and handwashing.

This summer was possible because groups were responsible for their own well-being. But what about those that are in our care – our campers? We will be monitoring methods used in schools. If we cannot open fully, then we may offer alternatives like weekend-long family camps, limit event sizes to smaller groups, or offer weekend Day Camps. We will research and implement tactics from camps that remained open and safe in 2020. Read below to see tactics successfully safe camps used this summer that we may consider implementing.

  • Share health screening tips for parents
  • On-arrival temperature checks for campers and staff
  • Set aside a room for quarantine away from others
  • Daily temperature checks for staff
  • Maintain social distancing indoors (staggered eating groups, limit group size, etc)
  • Frequent scheduled handwashing breaks
  • Daily cabin sanitization done by staff
  • Travel and interact in cabin groups only
  • Require and provide facemasks for staff to wear at all times and campers to wear when interacting outside of their cabin group.

A camp is successful when it is operating at its safest. Safety brings comfort, and comfort causes the community to grow and creativity to thrive. We want campers to be able to disconnect from the world of over-stimulation and negativity and have fun. So while implementing extra procedures and structure may seem counterintuitive to our goals, it is the means to success by providing our staff and guests the foundation that we all need to feel at ease and have a positive camp experience.

For 2021, We will set “decision deadlines” to share if and how we will proceed based on information we have at that time. We welcome an open dialogue about our hopes and expectations. In the meantime, we’re here to answer any of your questions, provide clarity, and encourage you and your camper to stay involved with camp.

Click to read the rest of the Fall newsletter

Tell Your Story

With the summer of Covid-19 finally coming to an end and the fall upon us, things at camp are starting to slow down. However, with the unprecedented summer we had, we are missing our campers and staff a bit extra this fall. So, we have been reminiscing on some of our favorite camp stories and we would love to hear yours too!

It’s simple, just think back to anything that makes you smile about your time at White Memorial Camp. It can be a first memory, funniest moment, life lesson, most memorable person, something you want to share with future campers, or even a story that a family member has shared from their time at camp.

Thought of one? Great, now send it to us!

The ways to share your story with us are nearly endless. You can send us a direct message or tag us on social media using @ExperienceWMC. You can email us at info@whitememorialcamp.com or call us at 620-767-5165. Shoot, you can even mail us a letter about your favorite story at 1271 S. 1050 RD, Council Grove, KS 66846.

Your story can be written, shared through video, or told by pictures. None of those work? We would love to set-up a quick interview to hear your story. Whatever the method, we just want to hear about the great moments created through WMC.

We are looking for stories from everyone. Whether you were a camper, volunteer, guest, staff member, parent of a camper or your grandparents went to camp here: we want to hear your story!

Time is irrelevant. Our history as a camp stretches all the way back to 1963, so we would love to hear about the fun moments had at WMC from the very beginning to today.

Fall is here and things at camp have begun to slow down for the time being, but that does not mean the camp spirit dies. As we prepare for next season’s camps, keep the camp spirit alive with us and share your favorite story from WMC!

Checkout our Facebook for more information: https://www.facebook.com/ExperienceWMC/videos/2751679805044880 

Directions to Share Your Story:

  1. Think of a fun story or memory you have from WMC. 
  2. Share it with us by messaging or tagging us on Facebook at @ExperienceWMC, email us your story at info@whitememorialcamp.com, call us at 620-767-5165, or send your favorite story through mail to 1271 S. 1050 rd. Council Grove, KS 66846.
  3. Stories can be shared with us through writing, told through video, or demonstrated through pictures

Local Kids to Camp FAQs for 2020

• Registration Deadline: JUNE 15th! This lets us know who is interested and allows us enough time to prepare.

• Who qualifies for this free camp? Local Kids to Camp is a FREE camp for youth that have completed grades 3-5 (or going into grades 4-6 in August of 2020) in Morris and Wabaunsee Counties, that attend local elementary schools at White City, Council Grove, and Prairie Heights. Home-school students from these areas are also invited.

• Will there be “camp store?” No Camp Store (Snack Shack) but WMC will provide afternoon snacks for everyone. 

• Why allow Local Kids to Camp to operate? This camp consists of a clear separation of groups by grades, which limits group sizes. All youth and families are from a similar geographic area monitored by local health departments and sharing similar COVID-19 case rates and testing.

• What activities will be allowed at camp? Most everything will be available to do at camp, however we will have smaller groups and more cleaning to do which might slow down our pace. That being said, we plan on swimming pool, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, high ropes course, campfires, and all of our fun stuff. 

What safety measures will be in place for Local Kids to Camp?

During Camp:

•Staff will take temperatures and perform general screenings during check in and check out.

•General group sizes of approximately 20 people.

•Eating meals in shifts to keep indoor gatherings small.

•Scheduled breaks to wash hands, sanitize toys and equipment

•No “low ropes” course activities since spotting and working closely with each other is required. We WILL do high ropes course with extra cleaning measures. 

•Encourage general social distancing. 

Drop off and pick up: 

•Limiting extra guests during drop off (have extra family wait in the car with the AC or linger on benches in front of the office away from the main check in area.)

•Drop off kids and luggage at the dining hall. WMC staff will help campers take luggage down to cabins to help in limiting outside exposure. 

•Scheduled drop off and pick up times for campers, to limit large gatherings. 

What if Local Kids to Camp is cancelled?

If we do not receive enough interest from our registrations to meet the needs of our grant/donor funding, we will cancel camp for 2020. We will then prepare Local Kids to Camp for 2021 and hope to see you there!

Cancellations and Continuations 2020

2020 Vision: Camp’s Plan for This Season

2020 Camp Cancellation Letter

Greetings White Memorial Camp Family,

After much soul-searching, debate, research, prayer, and communication with health and safety
organizations, WMC has concluded that we are unable to operate our 2020 Camp Season with a
quality camp experience our campers have come to know and love, while still keeping everyone safe
during the current COVID-19 Pandemic. We have made the decision that most White Memorial Camp
sessions and partner camps will be cancelled for the 2020 season. Currently, we plan to operate Local
Kids to Camp, because it is limited to our local population. WMC will be contacting campers over the
next two weeks to discuss the options available regarding registration fees and deposits.

White Memorial Camp Cancellations Include:

  • Arrowhead
  • Cottonwood
  • Last Blast
  • Cornerstone Camps
  • Young Adventurers
  • Prairie Run Cross Country
  • Camp Celebrate
  • Family Camp
  • Ag Camp

WMC serves youth of all ages, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and individuals
with a wide array of health needs. Camper safety has always come first at WMC and now is no
exception. The safety guidelines and recommendations set forth for Resident Camps are well thought
out. When considering the logistics of adapting our camp to this structure, it did not add up to an
enjoyable WMC experience. If we could have figured out a way to run our traditional camps, we
would have. Instead, we have set our sights on the future and developing an incredibly awesome
2021 camp season!

COVID-19 has proven to cause difficult and disheartening times for many. Please know that you are
not alone— we are all in this together. Camp is not just a place. Camp is the people. Camp is the
experience. You can still capture the camp magic this summer. Try reaching out to your WMC
friends, sing some camp tunes, play camp games with your friends or family, and show us your best
s’mores recipe from home!

WMC wants to bring as much connection into your lives as we can. Checkout our social media, call or
email us, and stay connected. We will offer videos, pictures of camp, staff, virtual hang-out sessions,
family staycation packages, camp kits, discounts on 2021 registration, contests, and more.
We thank you for your continued support— for your phone calls, emails, answering our surveys, and
sharing & liking our social media content. We miss you. We are wishing you all the best. As soon as
we can be together again safely, we will. And it will be so much fun!

Justin Whittaker, Director
director@WhiteMemorialCamp.com

Camp Goes On- Safely. Slowly. Someday. Soon?

As discussion is growing about COVID-19 and the upcoming summer, we thought it was time we reached out to you, because no matter what information we are hearing and observing, it is YOUR opinions and preferences we NEED to best serve our unique community.

PLEASE take a few minutes to give us some feedback. Here is a link to the WMC Summer Survey:
https://forms.gle/6ncjE4yCJJPZa1pD6.

We want to know how our WMC Family is feeling about this upcoming 2020 season.

WMC is continuing to work with our partners and the Morris County Health Department to plan and understand our road ahead. We want to ensure that when the time comes, and we re-open camp to the public again, that we are ready and can ensure the safety of our campers.

Thank you for your continued support, patience, and input as we do our best to make decisions about our 2020 season!

P.S.- Amongst all of this grim news, and the seriousness of this outbreak – our hearts and prayers go out to anyone aaffected by the illness, social or econimic struggles, and of course the heroes caring for our sick and keeping up with our basic needs.  

Our current contribution is simply to try and spread laughter and joy. So we hope you enjoy this silly video.

#ExperienceWMC 30 Days of Giving Fundraiser

logo 30 days of giving campaign.

The WMC 30 Days of giving fundraiser was extended into 45 days. We are so thankful, grateful, and blessed by EVERYONE that helped to BUILD up Camp! Your support helps us to GROW the WMC scholarship fund and provide quality outdoor adventures for youth, families, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We drew five raffle winners— Victoria, Anne, Sarah, Andrew, and Luca. THANK YOU to all of our SPECTACULAR supporters of Camp Life!! #ExperienceWMC #ThankfulGratefulBlessed

$20 Entry Fee. Players receive a WMC themed Dynamic Disc included with registration. A representative from Dynamic Discs will be on site for live disc golf tutorials. 

To honor our newly redesigned 9-Hole Disc Golf Course and to raise funds for our White Memorial Camp scholarship fund, WMC is hosting an Open Tournament and welcomes folks to join in the fun of the 2019 Inaugural Harvest Festival- complete with food, beer, music, and yeah, some adventure. Come join us!

Disc Golf Course Description: 9 Holes, Par 27, 2,435 ft

WMC course site includes water stations, restrooms, and on site activities such as: Axe throwing, Gaga Ball, Zip-Line, Rock Wall Climbing, and much more!!! Stick around after the tournament and join in the fun of the Harvest Festival. Disc golf competitors receive a discount on festival tickets.

Register here for the Disc Golf Tournament

 

Saturday, September 21 Harvest Festival

Mark your calendar for the WMC Harvest Festival. Fun for the whole family! Follow the WMC Harvest Festival Event on Facebook for updates!

 

SCHEDULE

12:45 PM – 1:00 PM Disc Golf  Registration

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM Disc Golf Tournament with Dynamic Discs

2:00 PM General Admission Opens!

2:00 PM – 8:30 PM Beer Garden, Cornhole, Ladder Golf, Yard Jenga, & MORE!

2:30 PM – 8:00 PM Hay Maze, Camp Grounds, Sports, & Games

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Ag Olympics with FFA

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Prairie Surfing

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM Disc Golf Workshop with Dynamic Discs

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM Zip line, Rock Wall, & Cargo Climb

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM Game of Throws: Axes, Archery, & Slingshot

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Hayrack Rides

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Gaga Tournament

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Old Fashioned German Dinner

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Laser Tag, Free-for-all Gaga Ball, & Outdoor Sports

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Polka Cats!

7:30 PM Announce Raffle & Tournament Winners

8:30 PM Closing 

 

GUEST FEES

FREE General Admission: includes Ag Olympics, Axe Throwing, GaGa Ball, Prairie Surfing, Hay Maze, and WMC Outdoor Sports and Amenities.

Disc Golf Tournament: $20 (includes tournament entry and collectable disc.) Get registered for the Disc Golf Tournament HERE!

CLIMB-ON! Activities: Zip-Line: $5 each and Rock, Cargo, Milk Crate Climb: $5 each

Dinner and Music: $10 Old Fashioned German Meal and Live Band 

Beer Garden: $4 per drink

Harvest Festival Flyer (PDF)

Hi, everyone –

Here is a review for the festivities and fun!

Folks are invited to come anytime, even the night before. However, there are no plans for breakfast or any formal activities prior to the worship time. The restrooms in the dining hall will be available. No charge for campers, tents, RVs, etc. Cabins or an apartment may be reserved, space available, for which there will be a charge. Either way, arrangements to stay overnight must be made through the WMC office.

Worship will be held at 10:30am. We’ll be at Vesper Point, unless there is rain or threat or excessive wind or some other nasty thing. If that happens, we’ll meet in the dining hall. There is a fairly good amount of seating, but it might alleviate overcrowding if a few folks were to bring lawn chairs.

The potluck will begin about noon. We want to keep labor requirements as simple as possible, since at times our hardest workers have missed out on some of the fun. So . . . 

We hope some folk from each congregation will bring a dish or some sort – salad, dessert, side dish, main dish or whatever. I’m sure there will be plenty of food, so please do what you can to see that no one stays home because of the hassle of preparing a dish! There will be ovens, refrigerators and freezers available. The camp will provide trays, flatware, napkins and drinks. Peace Alma will provide meats: grilled burgers, hot dogs, and maybe some smoked meat that can be prepared ahead of time. A few of you have said you would bring a grill. Again, wanting to keep things simple, we’ll not make a big deal about this. Hopefully several volunteers can work together to make short work of the cleanup.

Activities the rest of the day: There will be plenty of camp fun! Swimming in the pool, kayaking or paddle boating in the lake (or try out our giant splash mat!), archery, axe throwing, zip-lining, rock-wall climbing, the infamous Gaga Ball, 9-hole disc golf, pickleball, volleyball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, ladder golf, cornhole, a playground – still not satisfied? How about Prairie surfing?!  Maybe someone wants to bring a kite?! Besides kite flying and the hayrack ride, there will other more “relaxed” activities. There are a variety of board games and card games in the dining hall, there are trails to walk and discover. There’s shuffleboard and a few hammocks. It’s definitely “pick and choose,” but I don’t think anyone will be bored. I know – a lot of this is “weather permitting.” Pray for a good day! Yet even if we’re inside there are plenty of team games the staff can lead, board games, trivia competitions, or maybe we can create a miniature golf course like a youth camp did a couple years ago! Either way, it’ll be an authentic camp experience!

Folks can stay as little or as long as they like. Activities requiring camp staff will wind up by 4:00pm. Hope to see you soon!

2019 Third Quarter Newsletter

A Great American Tradition: Community Service at its Finest

Thanks to a partnership with Symphony in the Flint Hills, Rock Springs Camp, Camp Wood, Emporia Main Street, and others, we were able to host a team of ten Americorps members at WMC for two weeks. What a wonderful bunch of individuals from across the United States (California, Ohio and several from the Northeast.) We are one of their final stops of a ten month long tour.  They leave July 5th – and we have been busy! They’ve cleaned up our shorelines and stacked an abundance of firewood, painted lines for a pickle ball and tennis court, repaired all of our picnic tables, put benches at Cedar Point, built a firepit at Inspiration point, tilled our vegetable garden, weeded existing flower beds, painted and repaired steps to the waterslides and added depth markers at the pool, rebuilt our new ropes course element “spider’s web” making it more accessible, and relocated another low ropes course obstacle to safer ground due to erosion. Flooding prevented us from renovating our labyrinth and installing our temporary dock, but we’ll keep them on our ongoing improvements list. THANK YOU AMERICORPS!!!

Read the entire 2019 WMC QTR3 Newsletter (PDF)