Camp Siloam announces full cancellation of camps for summer 2020

Camp Siloam director Jason Wilkie announced this Saturday that Camp Siloam will remain closed for the entirety of the summer 2020 season.

Watch the video announcement below and read the full text from facebook at the bottom of the page.

Full text from Facebook:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that the Camp Siloam Board of Trustees accepted the staff recommendation to cancel summer camp 2020 and all of our programs associated with summer camp.

On May 21st, Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health issued a Directive for Overnight Camps that was very difficult for Camp Siloam. After a lengthy time of strategic planning and looking at Jesus’ ministry at Camp Siloam in light of the directive, Camp Siloam leadership came to the conclusion that we could not safely host summer camp under this directive.

We understand why the directive was so difficult. Church camps are a “congregate situation” (i.e. like a nursing home or a prison) where the virus has been highly active in recent months. We have an added complexity that our camper population turns over every week. This creates the potential for a significant outbreak.

When we had a clear picture of what camp might look like under the directive, we issued a survey to 161 church leaders who had already reserved spots this summer. We asked them if they would still participate in summer camp given the directive. In the survey we painted a picture of how it would look, and 79 percent of the church leaders said they would not be willing to bring campers under the state directive.

At this time it means that we are cancelling summer camp, S-Core and T2 Leadership programs. It is important to note that this recommendation from the Home Team staff was unanimous and the vote from the board of trustees was unanimous. We will look at opening summer camp for guest groups and retreats when the Directive for Overnight camps are changed.

All of us on the Home Team want you to know we love summer camp ministry and the eternal impact it has on campers. We did our best to find a way to host camp. The loss of ministry opportunity grieves us. We will miss hearing the bell ring and the cheers that go up through the valley. We will miss watching our summer staff be the hands and feet of Jesus this summer. They were amazing in their patience, support and desire to do ministry at Camp Siloam this summer.

The difficulty of sustaining the ministry until June 2021 is overwhelming. However, God is sovereign, and we trust there is something greater He is doing. Something that will bring even more people to Him. Perhaps it is the great awakening hundreds of pastors across Arkansas have been praying for.

Churches who have deposits reserving spaces will be contacted in the upcoming weeks to discuss how you would like us to handle your deposit. Call or email us to discuss your deposit, ask questions or voice concerns over the summer.

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