Decision Making Process

For as heartbreaking a decision it has been to suspend camp for the 2020 season, it was even more difficult and complicated.  Our understanding of the current requirements for a safe camp environment, as outlined by our expert partners, affirm our professional decision.  In short – following the guidance provided we would be compelled to create a camp environment that does not represent the best of Camp Interlaken JCC, meet our families’ expectations, or deliver on our promise to return campers home the best version of themselves.

We relied on these decision points to inform our choice:

Governmental and Expert Guidance
We have relied on expert and governmental guidance from the CDC, the State of Wisconsin, Villas County Health Department, the American Camping Association, the Jewish Community Centers of North American, and others.  Our professional and lay leadership teams considered every potential outcome, solution, and creative alternative.  Marrying the physical requirements, programmatic changes, and operational readiness to prepare camp for a season in which COVID-19 remains an active potential created a reality where the camp we love was not possible.

Camp Interlaken JCC Vision, Values and Unique Spirit
At camp – and beyond – we build relationships, resilience, joy, experiences, and expression of Jewish values that are unique and lasting.  Considering all the ways in which expert recommendations would alter our programs and facilities, we believe that our vision would be negatively impacted.  From chugim to cabins, campfires to Shabbat services, organized events to simple walks from one location to the next – we determined that the camp we could be during this pandemic was not the camp we promised to be, nor the camp we promised to our campers, parents, staff, or partners.

Camp Interlaken JCC Sustainability
As much as we have a responsibility to every camper in our care, we have an equal responsibility to all generations who have loved, or will love, Camp Interlaken JCC.  The risks to our sustainability – operational, financial, reputational, and emotional – grew too significant to overcome while delivering the safest and most meaningful camper experience.  We must ensure that Camp is available to all those who seek it as a summer home for years to come, even if that comes at the expense of this season.

Camp Interlaken JCC Policies & Protocols
Running a camp of our scale, at the level you deserve, requires an entire year of planning, resources, staff, and support.  Nearly every one of our policies required modification to respond safely to the ongoing pandemic, and virtually every resource (physical supplies, space requirements, training and readiness, access to emergency resources, staffing) has been affected by the global environment.  Again, while we could have solved for many of these needs – the ultimate experience for your camper would not have met the level of meaning we expect of ourselves.

Camp Interlaken JCC People & Places
Perhaps most importantly – we care for your children, we enrich future leaders, we build Jewish futures in our favorite place in the world.  As parents, friends, neighbors and professionals, we do not believe that both the health and experience risk of Camp was worth a forced solution.  We prioritized the physical, emotional and social health of everyone we serve. We love Camp, as much today as yesterday, and we will work every minute to return it to you the way you remember, and in the way it matters most in your lives.