Cancelling Syrendell Summer Camp 2020 was one of the hardest decisions we had to make. Faced with an unprecedented pandemic, we based our decision on the following:
SSC thrives on social interaction. Instructors need to closely demonstrate the workshops, food prep and meals are communal, the kids want be with their friends. Managing and enforcing safety protocols would have posed a major challenge. We wash hands, we sanitize. We can even wear masks. But social distancing in the construct of our daily camp routine would have been near impossible to monitor and enforce.
SSC holds itself to the highest integrity. The reason families return year after year is for our reliably unwavering commitment to the pedagogical approach of camp. We created a camp experience that embraces and enriches the child's whole being. We model respect in our interactions, we teach with compassion and encouragement, we create an inclusive, nurturing space for expression. With state mandates in place, we would be committed to instituting best practices in safety measures. We strongly believe that the safety protocols would compromise the integrity of camp.
SSC is resilient. So mother nature had plans that were different from what any of us would have imagined for 2020! We could cave, shut down, panic. Or we could acquiesce and demonstrate human resiliency. Syrendell can look towards the future with reopening SSC for 2021. We could go online and offer workshops. We could reinvent teaching. The doom and gloom give us an opportunity discover new light and new hope.
We feel for the families who had signed on with us this summer. We were all looking to see our children emerge from the lockdown and be with their friends, to engage in camp workshops, to interact, to smile. But there was something more powerful at play in 2020. We have to be at peace with that.
Rick and Jennifer Tan
Photo | Bethany Petrik Photography