LifeWay cancels summer camp sessions for 2020 amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated after its initial posting.
NASHVILLE (BP) -- LifeWay Christian Resources announced that FUGE, StudentLife, Student Life for Kids and CentriKid camp sessions for 2020 have been canceled because of continued concerns stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ben Trueblood, director of students at LifeWay, said the decision came after monitoring the impact of the pandemic and evaluating guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local and state authorities, "to ensure we are taking the right actions to protect our campers, staff and the communities where we host camps."
"While we are disappointed, we know this is the right decision to ensure the health and safety of all participants," Trueblood said. "We know God uses camps to impact the lives of kids and students in incredible ways, and we are looking forward to serving churches through our camps ministry in 2021."
Groups registered for a 2020 camp may transfer deposits to a 2021 camp registration. Alternately, they would receive a 50 percent refund and 50 percent LifeWay credit, which could be used for camp or other LifeWay products.
"We recognize the recent COVID-19 crisis has placed many churches in a difficult financial position," Trueblood said in a statement provided to Baptist Press. "We share in this difficulty as the camps team has been working all year planning and preparing for camp, which means current deposit monies have already been spent on items such as giveaway T-shirts, recreation and ministry site supplies, printing, production, and personnel. We want to continue to be a strong ministry partner and walk alongside churches during this season."
In the days ahead, the LifeWay Kids and LifeWay Students teams will be working to provide digital resources including Bible study materials, devotion materials, worship services and more to assist children's and student ministry leaders in discipling their groups this summer. In the meantime, church leaders can find free resources at LifeWay.com/coronavirus.
"We believe God is moving in the middle of this challenging time," Trueblood said, "and we are praying for churches and church leaders as they navigate this season."
Ridgecrest Summer Camps
Ridgecrest Summer Camps, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys and Camp Crestridge for Girls, will be postponing the beginning of their 2020 summer camps. They will not offer their traditional two-week sessions or starter camp. However, registration is still open for Family Camp, Mother & Daughter and Father & Son Camps.
"We are continuing to monitor updates from our local and state authorities and are following their guidance," said Ron Springs, executive director of Ridgecrest Summer Camps.
Springs said the camp staff is exploring new options and working to design a shorter camp experience this summer.
"We still hope we'll be able to offer a camp experience later in the summer for as many campers as possible, whether it be one-week sessions or additional Family Camps," Springs said.
For more information and updates, visit ridgecrestcamps.com.