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Sci Tech West Letter

It is with broken hearts that we share our plans to cancel all in-person activities held on our site 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 6 Points Sci-Tech West, the risks posed by COVID-19 threaten our most sacred value – the health and well-being of our children, staff, and faculty that attend camp – along with their communities back home. These risks also compromise our ability to provide the excellence in programming and participant care that are hallmarks of Sci-Tech.

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 the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) to the difficult conclusion that there are too many known and unknown risks for us to create an acceptable pathway forward for this summer. As soon as that became clear, we wanted to communicate to you, our community. We believe that you and your children deserve the clarity, that while painful, allows for grieving, healing, and moving forward towards hope, joy and better days ahead. This also enables our team to transition to serving you in new, creative, and different ways through this unique moment in time.

While this news about camp is devastating, we also acknowledge the global suffering caused by COVID-19 and are sending thoughts and prayers to you and your community. We acknowledge the many weeks that we have already been sheltering-in-place and the related emotional challenges that all of us have faced in many ways. Please find resources below to support you and your children during this difficult time.

We hope you take a moment with your children to express sadness together; listen, embrace the loss, and savor the gratitude for the blessings of camp, which will continue through the summer and will sustain into the future.  We will be gathering as a community tonight, April 30 at 7pm Pacific to comfort one another, to ask questions and to simply be together. We hope our east coast friends will be able to stay up late to join us! To join the Zoom call, click here:  

As we sing at camp, “kol haolam kulo, gesher tzar m’od v’hayikar lo lifached klal” – The whole world is a very narrow bridge, but the most important part is not to be afraid. Once we cross this bridge, we will get to a new normal when we will be together again.

We are looking forward to seeing as many of your faces as possible on screen tonight and we look forward to continuing our virtual time together in the months to come.

B’chaverut (in friendship),

Jordanna Flores

To help you find what you need easily, here are some summaries below:
Let’s Come Together as a Sci-Tech Family
Emotional Support for Campers, Staff & Families
Summer Virtual Programming
What is the Financial Impact of this Decision?
What do I do now?

Let’s Come Together as a Sci-Tech Family 
Dealing with news like this is hard under the best of circumstances. It is even more difficult in the current reality of social isolation and sheltering-in-place. More than ever before, we need to be together as a camp family to comfort each other, celebrate all that is good and special about 6 Points Sci-Tech and have a chance to get any questions answered (you know how we value questions!).  To join the Zoom call tonight at 7pm Pacific, click here:

 Emotional Support for Campers, Staff & Families 
Not having camp in person this season will be heartbreaking, and we want you to know that we are here for you. Our professional staff and lay leaders are working together to provide support to you and your family. We understand how hard it is to break this kind of news to your children and want to support you through that process.

Join us for a webinar with our sister camp, URJ Camp Newman, and their camper care staff about helping your child through this situation. Tuesday, 5/5 at 8pm. Please join us:

We have curated some resources for sharing the news with your child. Read more > This is supposed to link to the resources IT put on our website

How else can we support you and your family? Let us know:

Summer Virtual Programming
While we are sheltering-in-place physically, we see our virtual experiences as bringing us together socially and in spirit. We will also continue to monitor health conditions to see if we are able explore creative ways to gather in small groups and/or in different locations – this will be a priority for us. Our ongoing virtual community building, new friendships, reunions, growth, and learning together will make our in-person experiences that much sweeter in the future.

Check out what we have been doing. Explore:

As we work on planning additional virtual camp programming for this summer, we would like to understand what your family would enjoy and find meaningful. This is the same survey we sent a few weeks ago—thank you to those who already completed it! Please participate to share your insight and feedback.
Take Survey:

What is this Financial Impact of This Decision?
We know you have questions about the tuition you already have paid and about what this means for the future of camp. You will be able to receive a full refund of the fees you have paid to date. We made the decision to cancel in-person activities at camp this year based on our values, and with the health and safety of our campers and staff as our top priority. The financial ramifications of this decision are significant for all of us. Right now, we are focused on helping our campers and families process this news.
Next week you will receive more details about opportunities to support one another and camp through this unprecedented moment. This follow-up email will include several options on how to handle your tuition, including options to make a donation that will be generously matched by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, to credit fees paid for use on future URJ programs, and/or receive a refund. Look out for the email containing some logistical next steps, coming next week.

You are in our hearts, and we are counting down the days until we can be together again.  For now, we hope you’ll join us tonight as we gather as a community.

Author: bbraunstein

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