COVID-19 Update: Camp Closure for 2020

Dear Merrick Woods Families, Friends and Staff,

There comes a time when it just stops being camp.

As much as it pains me to make this announcement, I feel there is simply no clear avenue for us to provide a safe and healthy camp experience for you and your child this summer. We have not come to this decision easily. Quite the contrary. We have been engrossed in brainstorming sessions, discussions, meetings, and planning for different scenarios. We had hoped that our region would recover quicker from COVID then it has. We have contemplated all the recommendations coming down the pike and discussed how can we make this work in our camp community. The unfortunate answer we have reached is we simply cannot.

For 65 years Merrick Woods has served the families of our community with pride and professionalism. For the past 42 years we have done so with a Langbart at the helm. Many of you were campers with us and now enjoy seeing the excitement in your own children’s eyes when they talk of camp. A summer without Merrick Woods is not something we anticipated when this started back in March, or quite honestly ever. Based on what we do know now, and more important what we don’t, we feel it is the only logical decision to make. It is painful, because I know how devastated our campers and counselors will be, but it is the right thing to do.

To our campers who have been stuck at home these past few months, I am sorry we are not able to open your summer home so we can play, laugh and love being with each other. To my counselors who love coming to camp every morning, who love leading our campers on the journeys that help turn them into adults, and simply love Merrick Woods, I am also deeply sorry. This is not how we anticipated the summer of 2020 to be.

As I write this letter, I think of all the traditions camp holds. Imagine me announcing the winning Olympic team and then not having hundreds of campers and staff wearing same color t-shirts jumping on each other, hugging and high fives. Imagine the pudding tug of war keeping each participant 6 feet apart. Imagine trying to console or help a camper through a problem without a hug at the end. I know camp will return, and I know it will be better than ever before. We just need to wait a bit longer, so when we do reunite, camp can be camp, and Merrick Woods will continue to be the summer home we cherish.

We will immediately begin the process of returning payments made towards this summer. If you wish to begin planning for 2021 and sign up now, we will roll your payments towards next summer and add an additional 15% credit. Please let me know if you wish this option. Otherwise, credit card payments will be refunded to the card used, and other payments will be issued a check. Please allow us some time to process this.

I have always concluded my messages with the phrase “I thank you for entrusting your children to Merrick Woods.” I never take for granted the fact that you, our parents, entrust us with your most precious asset, your child. We strive every day to continue to earn that trust and would never jeopardize that which we have worked so hard to earn over so many years. I know this information is hard for you to digest. It is even harder for us. I take solace in knowing it is the right thing to do, and hope you understand our reasons why. As best we all can, please have a wonderful summer, stay safe and healthy, and we will reunite soon enough. We cannot wait to see all our friends again.

All the best,
Adam and Amy Langbart

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