2020 Frequently Asked Questions

The questions are organized in several categories, click as indicated to get more information. If there is something not answered here, please call our main office (262) 248-3600 to be directed to the right person.

Please note that we recognize that the situation changes frequently, and we often ask questions we do not know the answers to yet. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make decisions accordingly. We remain committed to communicating regularly and honestly with our camper families.

Learn more about the current reality of Covenant Harbor in the sections below.

Covenant Harbor

What is happening at Covenant Harbor right now? 

Covenant Harbor is uniquely located in Lake Geneva in southern Wisconsin, and we welcome campers and guests from not only our own neighborhood but all throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and beyond. With this in mind and our goal of meeting and exceeding the recommendations of and guidance from state and local officials, the CDC, and the American Camping Association, we have designed and implemented our own “Reopening Phases” for our staff, campers, and guests.

Before June 1st, Covenant Harbor was following the “Safer at Home” guidelines and recommendations from the CDC. We had no guests onsite, and only essential staff working on our grounds while other staff safely worked from home. On June 1st, Covenant Harbor entered into our first of four reopening phases. This first phase has limited use of our facilities, and allows more staff to work onsite while following social distancing. On June 16, we were able to safely progress to phase two of reopening.

The following two phases will gradually and safely release Covenant Harbor into a fully operational mode, with each phase scaled to slowly increase total group size as well as spaces and activities used. The transitions between each phase will be planned and thoroughly briefed by our leadership staff and health professionals.

Covenant Harbor has also delayed the start of summer camp for 2020 and has cancelled all overnight programs. That is hard news to hear, and hard for us to share. Under the leadership of our board and through prayerful discernment, we concluded that safety for overnight campers in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic simply could not be achieved in compliance with guidance from healthcare and public officials and our own high standards.

We are pleased to announce that Covenant Harbor is moving forward with planning two new and reimagined Summer 2020 Programs beginning the week of July 5: Day Kids and Youth Programs and Family Getaways.

Why are you making these decisions now? 

We navigated these last months praying and seeking different scenarios about what summer could look like for all aspects of Covenant Harbor. Thank you for waiting patiently with us as we discerned what was next. Our aim is to make wise decisions about our present situation, this coming summer and our ministry into the fall, next year and beyond. Covenant Harbor has always had a high standard of safety for our campers, guests and staff. Following federal, state and local guidance, we believe this is the most loving, wise and appropriate course of action for Covenant Harbor. Covenant Harbor has been here since 1947, drawing people into Christian community and the presence of Christ. We trust that God is still calling us to steward this ministry for decades yet to come.

How are you making decisions? 

Covenant Harbor has always had a high standard of safety for our campers, guests and staff, and we remain committed to excellence and earning your trust. As we move forward with any program, especially our new 2020 Summer Programs, we are committed to meeting and exceeding: 

  • Your safety expectations for health, cleanliness, and supervision.
  • The latest guidelines and regulations from the state and CDC. 
  • Our high standards of quality for programming.

Is there a chance the new 2020 Summer Programs could also be cancelled?

We continue to adhere to and make decisions about reopening based on information known to us by CDC and local and state officials as we plan in faith. Should future recommendations and guidance prohibit us from running programs or serving guests safely, we will continue consultation with our board and make the responsible decisions to cancel the program(s).

Is there still a chance overnight summer programs will take place? 

Unfortunately, no. Leadership has decided that overnight summer camp programs cannot safely take place this summer. We know this is a disappointment to so many, and the health and safety of campers is our priority. We hope you will consider one of our new summer program options here.

What has been cancelled at Covenant Harbor?

First, the following Summer Camp programs will not take place in 2020:

Additionally, the following summer events and hosted group gatherings will not take place in 2020:

All rental and school groups through May 26

60+ Day 

Believe.Love.Serve June volunteer day

All Summer Sunday Worship services

Public celebration for retiring Executive Director, Rev. Ray Warren (postponed)

Road Scholar programs through June 30

Annual Fall Fellowship Women’s Retreat

Youth Ministry

What will summer 2020 look like now? 

We are pleased to announce that Covenant Harbor has two new and reimagined Summer 2020 Programs beginning the week of July 5: Day Kids and Youth Programs and Family Getaways.

Day Kids and Youth Program: This new, non-overnight program reimagines and expands our thriving Day Camp summer program and now provides kids and youth programs for campers entering 1st through 9th grade this fall. Teams are separated by age group and are purposely designed with appropriate programming to incorporate what each age group loves most about Covenant Harbor, including our popular Skills Program for 7th through 9th grade campers.

Family Getaway: Gather up to ten cabin mates and spend a week or more in one of Covenant Harbor’s cabins. Enjoy meals provided by our food service staff and limited activities throughout your stay. Your children can also attend one of our Kids and Youth Programs during your Getaway.

My camper’s summer program was canceled, what do I do now? 

We recognize these are difficult times, and every family’s situation is different. To help you determine the next step in making changes to your camper’s 2020 Summer Camp registration, we have provided the following options:

Request a spot for your child or family in a new Summer 2020 Day Kids and Youth Program or Family Getaways. 

Roll your camper’s registration fee into a 2021 Covenant Harbor and receive priority in registration.

Request a full refund of what you paid toward your camper’s registration fee. 

Donate a portion or all of your camper registration fee to the Covenant Harbor Fund to help sustain the ministry through the pandemic. Friends of Covenant Harbor have generously offered to match (dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000) donations of any amount made to the Covenant Harbor Fund through camper registration fee changes.

If you were previously registered for one of our Summer Camps, follow the link below to begin the process of making changes to your camper’s registration. Please note that all families with campers currently registered for summer 2020 (including campers registered for Day Camp in July and August) must complete this form. 

2020 Summer Camp Change Form 

If you have additional questions about 2020 Summer registrations or cancellations, we invite you to also read our Summer Registration FAQ page

Do you have any resources for me and my family to help us navigate these changes?

Know that we are with you and your families as we all mourn the loss of what we thought summer would look like. Your camper may struggle with this hard news. To help you talk with them, we suggest some ideas in this discussion guide. We are praying for you and your family as you process this news and adjust to a summer you were not anticipating.

How are summer staff being affected by these changes? 

Our summer staff are a huge part of Summer Camp and this summer is no different. Hiring summer staff for summer 2020 was taking place as normal, and now we are re-evaluating our staffing needs for reimagined 2020 Summer Programs. 

We have communicated with each of our summer staff members about the program changes and how this affects them. We will continue to care for each of them personally. 

Currently we are not taking any new applications. If you are interested in joining our staff for this summer, please contact us by email or phone. We would be happy to talk with you about the available options.

If you have additional questions or concerns about our 2020 Summer Programs, we invite you to read our 2020 Summer Registration FAQs, as well as our program specific web pages.

Group Rentals and Retreats

Can I still bring my group to Covenant Harbor?

Covenant Harbor has started to welcome guests back onto our grounds. If you are interested in planning a retreat here with us, please contact us at (262) 248-3600 or by email.

Have you made any changes that affect my upcoming group event?

We would love to work directly with you if you are already planning to bring a group to Covenant Harbor and would like to discuss any changes. If you have questions about your group’s reservation, contract, deposit, or anything else, feel free to contact us.

How can I talk to someone about bringing a group to Covenant Harbor?

You can call our office at (262) 248-3600 or contact us through our online form

Health and Safety

What are you doing to ensure camp is clean and safe? 

Covenant Harbor remains committed to the safety and health of our campers, guests, and staff. We also are constantly monitoring the guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and state and local health officials. We have developed specific safety procedures and health guidelines for Covenant Harbor with the help of experts, including health professionals, our insurance company and the state inspector.  

You can find our detailed Health and Safety Guidelines here.

What are your cleaning procedures? 

All meeting and common spaces will be cleaned and sanitized in between being used by different groups and at the end of each day. 

Additional hand washing stations will be placed outside common spaces, and all campers and guests will wash their hands upon entering and exiting those spaces.

Will there be health screenings? 

Adult guest health screenings: All guests will complete a pre-registration questionnaire. Guests will be asked to complete this before their arrival and asked to verbally confirm the form indicating “no change” at the beginning of their stay and/or at every drop off. 

Camper health screenings: 

  • One week before the camp session you will receive a brief health history and exposure survey. These questions will ask about not only the camper, but also their household’s exposure and risk factors.
  • Upon arriving at Covenant Harbor all cars will be greeted by health staff (that will be wearing PPE). You will answer a few health questions and your camper’s temperature will be taken. Upon passing the brief health screening process, your car will proceed to our drive through check-in process. If the camper is symptomatic, or if there is concern about anyone in their household, that car will be turned around before starting the check in process. Our screening procedures are subject to change with the latest guidelines and best practices.
  • During the day at camp each camper’s temperature will be taken before every meal. If a camper has a fever or exhibits any symptoms they will immediately be taken to a separate infirmary space with our health staff. Parents will then be contacted and that camper must be picked up immediately.

Staff Health Screenings: Our year round and summer staff will complete a daily health assessment. All staff will be consistently monitored by our health staff to help ensure their health and safety. Staff members who exhibit any symptoms will be placed in isolation. 

What are the policies about masks?

As a general rule, neither campers nor staff will be required to wear a mask as we will be designing our programs around outside and lower risk activities per guidelines.

If you would prefer to send your child with a mask, you are welcome to, however there may be certain times of day when wearing a mask is not possible (meals, snacks, waterfront). Covenant Harbor will not provide masks to campers.

Covenant Harbor staff may be required to wear masks in specific circumstances (e.g., during initial health screenings at check in, while doing temperature checks). Just like campers, staff may also choose to wear masks.

Will social distancing be practiced at camp? 

In order to minimize risk, groups will be encouraged to comply with current guidelines throughout their event. For our 2020 Summer Programs, campers and staff will be divided into age-based squads of no more than 50 individuals, including staff. Squads will be further divided into teams of no more than 15 individuals. 

All groups will share a meeting space and do activities together while they are at camp, as well as eat meals together.

We will encourage and assist groups not to interact with or concurrently share spaces with the other groups that are present at camp, beyond potentially walking past each other as groups travel from place to place around camp.

Our practices are subject to change based on the latest guidelines and best practices.

Financial Outlook and Ministry Updates

What is the current reality for Covenant Harbor?

Without campers and guests on site since March 12, and with the cancellation of spring and summer program and rental groups, Covenant Harbor expects an operational deficit of more than 53% this year.  

We expect to lose about 100 guest groups by the end of the year.

Under normal conditions, our operations are covered by program and rental fees.

Covenant Harbor has a diversified approach to funding this expected deficit that includes a combination of accessing operational reserves, securing government loans and conducting a fundraising campaign for the Covenant Harbor Fund.

How can I help? 

Many of you have reached out in recent weeks to ask us how things are going at camp, to let us know you are praying for us and to ask what you could do to help. Please know that our staff has felt your prayers and has been encouraged by you. 

The cancellation of all spring programs and rental groups, and our overnight summer youth programs is difficult to comprehend, leaving us disappointed and with unexpected financial challenges. 

As we navigate these uncertain times, please continue praying for us. Shifting gears and moving forward in faith with a reimagined summer calls us to be wise stewards of Covenant Harbor’s ministry in new ways.

We will be conducting a fundraising campaign to raise support for the Covenant Harbor Fund. During this unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic, the Covenant Harbor Fund will assist in funding our operations deficit in order to uphold our ministry through this crisis. 

What is happening with the Kishwauketoe Village Transformation campaign? 

We have good news to share with you about our Kishwauketoe Village Transformation: Cabins for Campers campaign. The $1.8M capital project was fully funded as of early spring 2020. We are grateful for the generosity of so many who helped us realize our fundraising goal before June. 

Kish construction has safely continued under exemptions stated within Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, and we have been taking extra precautions on site to accommodate social distancing guidelines and to maintain a safe work site.

Due to Covid-19, the essential Kish components needed for summer ministry (the six camper cabins, the summer directors’ cabin, the playground, the campfire circle, site grading, pathways and landscaping) are scheduled to be completed in June. 

Due to Covid-19, all non-essential capital projects (excluding the essential Kish components listed above) are currently on hold. At Kish, this includes improvements to the tree house and the Knoll, a new pavilion and the new parking lot. Though the non-essential Kish projects are currently on hold, please rest assured that we will resume construction on them as soon as possible.

As best we know now, we plan to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Kishwauketoe Village in spring/summer 2021. 

What is happening with the executive director transition? 

After 13 years of service as the executive director of Covenant Harbor, Rev. Ray Warren will retire May 31. Ray has served in ministry for over 40 years and in Christian camping leadership for 37 years. 

During his tenure at Covenant Harbor, Ray managed the completion of the Jackson Family Activity Center in 2009, the renovation of the Geneva Bay Center in 2015, the restoration of the Carriage House in 2017 and the Kishwauketoe revitalization project in 2019-2020. 

Janette Warren, Ray’s wife, is a key administrative staff member at camp and also will be retiring in May. Ray and Janette look forward to spending more time with their family and relocating to Florida this summer. 

Please note that the public celebration for Ray and Janette scheduled for June 14 has been postponed. We are certainly disappointed about this, and will keep you updated as to when we are able to reschedule. 

The Harbor Point Ministries board has named Eric Anderson, Covenant Harbor’s current associate director, to serve as interim executive director beginning June 1. The board has affirmed its confidence in Eric’s long tenure at Covenant Harbor and in the talented staff that will support him during this time of transition.

We will provide updates during the search process for Covenant Harbor’s next executive director.

Do you know what is happening this fall and winter?

We do not know with certainty. We hope and pray we can safely offer fall retreats and winter camps. Rental guest groups are welcome to inquire about use of our grounds and facilities. As long as groups can meet safety standards, we are prepared to host. 

Whatever fall and winter bring, our vision remains steadily on our long-term future. We will not compromise ministry for years to come for short-term possibilities that might cause harm.

Prayer Requests

Pray for the campers who will not be attending camp this summer. Ask God to comfort them in their grief, to meet them in their places of need and to remind them their hope is in Christ. 

Pray for pastors and congregations as they care for campers who long for camp.

Pray that God’s Spirit would move freely and powerfully in the hearts and minds of campers who are not with us, so that whatever their needs, they would know God loves them and desires to draw them to Jesus. 

Pray for the health, safety and joy of summer staff, campers and families who we trust will be at camp beginning July 6.

Pray for summer staff who were anticipating Christian community at camp and now find themselves seeking new employment or ministry opportunities. 

Pray for our year-round staff, as they serve and minister in new ways. 

Pray that God would provide the funds needed to meet our operational needs, and sustain our ministry through the pandemic and into the future.

Pray for our board as they continue to lead with integrity and wisdom. 

Pray for our sister-camp, Covenant Point, as their campers and staff are also grieving the cancellation of all summer programming.