Dear Camp Galil Community,
It is with broken hearts that we share our plans to suspend all in-person overnight camp activities held at Camp Galil for summer 2020. If at any point new information emerges and conditions change that lead us to be able to provide in-person gatherings, we will do so as a top priority.
While we have continued to plan, prepare, pray, and hope for another transformative summer at Camp Galil, the risks posed by COVID-19 threaten our most important responsibility – the health and well-being of our campers and staff who attend camp – along with their communities back home. After careful consideration and consultation with experts, it became increasingly clear that the risks to bringing our community together in-person this summer would be extraordinarily unique and challenging with no guarantee of the safety and well-being of anyone. These risks also compromise our ability to provide the excellence in programming and participant care that we strive for at Galil.
You might be asking, “Why are you making this decision now and for the full summer?” Our ongoing conversations with and learnings from local, regional, and federal medical authorities, The Centers for Disease Control, and many leaders in camping, along with deep exploration by our camp professional and lay leadership teams, have led Habonim Dror Camp Galil to the difficult conclusion that there are too many known and unknown risks for us to create an acceptable pathway forward for this summer. Ultimately, the decision was made and founded upon one goal - to safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community. This includes the returning campers who love their summers spent at Camp Galil, the new campers who were looking forward to their first overnight camp experience, our professional and summer staff, their families at home, and others they are connected to and responsible for in their communities.
We are grateful for the ongoing support of our Camp Galil community, especially during this time. As we navigate next steps, our goal is to ensure Camp Galil recovers from the disappointment and major financial blow of this year, and ensure our sustainability and security today and into the future.
We take comfort in our legacy of innovation and hard work to dream up the world we want to see and then build it together. It’s that mighty spirit that will provide the resilience needed for our community to heal from this unprecedented challenge and come back stronger and better than ever before.
Now more than ever, Camp Galil could benefit from your support to ensure another 75 successful years in Ottsville. With the cancellation of our summer season, we will be incurring significant losses as a result of money we have spent in preparation for this summer (from facility maintenance, recruitment, and operational costs) and in supporting our families in requesting refunds. We are making crucial financial choices to stabilize our finances, but the key drivers of our financial model are camper fees and philanthropy. The loss of our camper fees means that we must depend more heavily on the generosity of people who love camp and value our place in the Jewish world and our future. People like you.
Philanthropic support from this supportive community of alumni and friends is critical to stabilizing our financial condition as soon as possible so that we can begin to plan ahead for Summer 2021 and beyond. We are thrilled to share with you that the Harold Grinspoon Foundation has recognized the urgency of our situation and has stepped forward with a matching grant to encourage everyone who cares about Camp Galil to act immediately. Through All Together Now: A Matching Grant for Jewish Overnight Camp, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation will give $1 for every $2 that you donate to Camp Galil now.
To contribute to the sustainability and continued success of Camp Galil, please click here.
As we all know, machaneh is about more than just the place. In the coming days and months, we will work to build, maintain, and grow the special connections made at Galil so they’re even stronger the next time we can be together in Ottsville.
Rosh Galil 2020
Camp Committee Chair