June 4, 2020
Dear ALC Family,
As we prepare to bring our ALC community together for our Virtual Logs this Sunday, we struggle to find words of solace and hope, as words alone will not heal the wounds of racial inequity in our country. When Jean McMullan took the helm of Alford Lake Camp during the Civil Rights movement, she set out to establish ALC as an institution that stands for respect, kindness, friendship, and inclusion. We’ve made great strides since then, but we can do better. We will continue to strive for greater diversity and to create a safe space for difficult conversations.
To our families who identify as people of color—in particular, those who are Black or African American—know that we are thinking of you. We share in your grief and pain, though many of us are not able to comprehend the mourning and suffering endured, and we recognize that, especially now, you may not feel safe. We stand with you, and we are committed to the fight against systemic racism, injustice, and oppression. We at Alford Lake Camp, as a largely white, privileged community, must continue to do what we can to address the institutional racism that is so insidious in our country. Today and always, we stand together.
At ALC, we have the privilege of empowering young people to go out and make a difference in the world. We see this week as a call to action: we encourage all Alford Lakers - campers, staff, alumnae, parents, and friends - to listen, to learn, and to treat others with respect and kindness. Together, we will work to engage in civil discourse so that we can help make this world a better place.
Sundays at camp are a time of coming together and reflection. While we can’t be together in person, we will gather again as a community for our virtual Logs ceremony - we are moving it back to 7PM EDT in hopes that many of you will be able to attend.
With love and gratitude for the ALC Family,
May 7, 2020
Dear ALC Families,
As you know, we have been closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 since the onset of this global pandemic. We have examined countless possible scenarios and contingency plans. We have studied guidelines from the medical community, camping community and state officials. We have considered the available recommendations being made by our governing camping bodies (American Camp Association and Maine Summer Camps), the Maine CDC, our Governor, and our medical staff. As always, the health and well-being of all members of our community must come first.
It is with deep sadness and profound disappointment that we announce the suspension of all scheduled ALC programs for the 2020 summer season.
Knowing the unpredictable nature of this virus and the risks that it presents to our community, we feel that keeping ALC's tent flaps closed for this summer is the most responsible decision that we can make. We simply cannot risk the health and safety of our campers, staff, and surrounding community posed by COVID-19.
We appreciate your patience, trust, support, and hope throughout these past weeks. Like you, we spend all winter counting down the days until camp. We know that this spring presented unique challenges for each of us and that camp is usually the balm that heals us all. We are determined to keep our heads up, to keep our 2020 community connected in a different, yet warm and loving way for this summer, and to begin to build the excitement for our 2021 summer together. ALL 2020 campers are eligible to return in 2021 regardless of age or grade in school.
We will be in touch very soon with details about refunds for 2020 and plans for 2021. Families will be able to roll tuition payments over to 2021, receive a full refund, or donate all or a portion of their 2020 tuition to ALC. We are extremely thankful for the generosity of our community, knowing that these donations are a real testament to the loyalty of ALCers to this great institution.
Parents, we have sent this email to you (and not directly to any campers), knowing the importance and sensitivity surrounding the conversation that you will need to have with your camper. We know that this will be an emotional time for campers and parents. Attached to this email you will find some suggestions that may help guide you in that conversation.
Just as during camp, we feel it is very important for us to come together as a community. We hope you all, both campers and parents/guardians, will join us on Zoom.
Additionally, in an effort to keep our campers engaged and connected with each other, returning campers should keep an eye out for their 2020 camp sister information. Every camper will have a camp sister, and we hope that this connection with another camper carries through to next summer. New campers should check their mailboxes soon!
In today’s world, we recognize the role camp continues to play in educating young women and empowering each ALCer to go out and make a difference in the greater community. Our six community pillars, Respect, Caring, Inclusiveness, Integrity, Responsibility, and Courage, are the ideals that are woven into the fabric of each day at camp. Now, more than ever, we need to unite and carry the ALC values into the world at large. Though we won’t gather on the shores of Alford Lake in 2020, we each carry with us the ability to get through these difficult times. Together, by staying home, we are responsible citizens who will help our world heal.
We wish you health and safety wherever you are and look forward to reuniting in Hope in 2021. Here is some ALC love in video form.