The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a major shift to the world and to Covenant Harbor. The past few months have brought challenges for everyone. Know that we continue to pray for you during these uncertain days. Whatever your circumstances, may you know God’s presence and peace.
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. On June 16, we were able to safely progress to phase two of reopening. Additionally, on June 24, Covenant Harbor entered phase three of reopening. Each phase has gradually and safely released Covenant Harbor into a fully operational mode and with each phase we have scaled slowly to increase total group sizes 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.
As we navigate these phases and their transitions, we will continue to practice social distancing and use proper personal protective equipment.
Covenant Harbor has been here since 1947, drawing people into Christian community and the presence of Christ. We remain committed to our mission of being a space for all to experience Jesus Christ and we will continue to do all that we do safely. We trust that God is still calling us to steward this ministry for decades to come.
Below you will find different sections that address the changes around Covid-19. If something is not written below that you are looking for, please reach out to us by phone at (262) 248-3600 or by email.
We invite you to explore the sections below to learn more about the current reality of Covenant Harbor.
Our Decision Making Process
Covenant Harbor takes safety very seriously. We are 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.
Please note that we continue to adhere to and make decisions based on information made known to us by the CDC and local and state officials as we plan in faith. Should future recommendations and guidelines prohibit us from running these programs safely, we will make the responsible decision to cancel the program(s).
Take a look at this video for more information about summer 2020 changes.
We want to be transparent about the programs and events that are being cancelled.
First, the following Summer Camp programs will not take place in 2020:
- Day Camps starting June 15, 22 and 29
- All Kishwauketoe, Pier 30, Alpha and Basecamp programs for the entire summer
Although this is disappointing news to so many, including us, we believe that it is the safest and wisest decision to make for our programmed camps this year. Even if CDC or state policies change, we will continue to uphold these decisions to cancel these camps. Summer will not look the same, but we hope you will consider one of our new summer program options here.
Additionally, the following summer events and hosted group gatherings will not take place in 2020:
Summer Camp Registration Cancellation Policy
We do recognize that these are difficult times, and that 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 Getaway.
- 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’s registration fee to the Covenant Harbor Fund to help sustain the ministry through the pandemic. Your donation is tax-deductible and will have double the impact thanks to generous friends of Covenant Harbor who offered to match (dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000) donations made to the Covenant Harbor Fund through camper registration fees.
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.
Because we are experiencing a high volume of requests at this time, please expect a delay between when your request is submitted and reconciled. We appreciate your patience. If a processing delay is cause for financial stress on your family, please contact Covenant Harbor by email or call our office at (262) 248-3600, and we will do our best to accommodate your family’s needs. Additionally, if we do not see your family’s form within seven days, we will personally reach out to you to make any necessary updates.
We have also put together Summer 2020 Registration FAQs for your reference.
New Expanded Programs for Summer 2020
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.
Please watch this introductory video to learn more about these opportunities.
Health and Safety
Risk Management for Staff:
There are many things that are different about summer 2020 and our reimagined programs are just the start. We want to share with you some basic steps Covenant Harbor has implemented to make sure we are doing everything we can to be safe, healthy, and manage potential risks, starting with our summer staff.
Many of our summer staffers arrived last week to begin training and the remaining members will arrive this week! All summer staff are completing a ten-day self quarantine before the first campers arrive on July 5. After the ten days, their outings are extremely limited, controlled and monitored.
Upon arrival, summer staff receive cloth masks with charcoal filters and their own refillable hand sanitizer. Counselors may use their discretion about wearing masks outdoors with their own squad of campers. At this time, counselors wear masks indoors except when eating or during high exertion activities. Food service staff wear masks at all times, when prepping, serving, and in the kitchen. All non-counseling staff wear a mask anytime they enter a building that campers or guests are using. While outdoors, non-counseling staff wear a mask if distancing cannot be maintained with campers or counselors.
Summer staff are trained to respond to illness and injury risks, and to look for symptoms in campers and themselves. Additionally, staff are trained in how to effectively clean the spaces and equipment they use.
Risk Management for Campers and Health Screenings:
The safety and health of our staff, campers and guests has always been our number one priority, and especially this summer we take this extremely seriously. On Sunday, July 5, we are welcoming families for Family Getaways and then on Monday we start Day Kids and Youth Programs. We are so excited, but we know serving them this year is a privilege and we do not take your trust lightly.
Prior to campers and families arriving, each person will have completed a health screening to monitor potential risks. Upon arrival, campers and guests will have their temperatures taken and will review a handful of health questions with our trained medical staff. Additionally, staff and campers will have their temperatures taken before coming to each meal.
If a camper complains of not feeling well or has a temperature reading of over 100.2 degrees, they will immediately be separated and masked. Our trained medical staff will follow safety and health procedures to ensure proper care for both campers and staff. If the camper’s temperature remains above 100.2 degrees, they will be sent home within an hour. Additionally, they will be advised to see a doctor.
Risk Management for Space and Equipment:
As we prepare to welcome campers and families back to our grounds the week of July 5, we are eliminating as many health risks as possible.
Throughout each week of camp, families will remain separate from the Day Kids and Youth Programs. Additionally, each squad (a group of less than 50 counselors and campers) of Day Kids and Youth campers will operate independently of one another, including separate waterfront, teaching, games and activity times.
Each squad will also have its own designated meeting room, bathroom and changing area that will be cleaned daily. All non-counseling staff entering these rooms will be masked. Each squad also has its own box of supplies, used only by them throughout the week.
Covenant Harbor has installed hand washing stations throughout camp. Campers and guests will be instructed to wash or sanitize their hands before being served food or entering a communal space and as they leave those locations.
Additionally, as we are purposefully managing risks this summer, no visitors are allowed on site for the entire summer.
Group and School Rentals:
Although Covenant Harbor remains closed to guests through May 26th, we continue to plan ahead for when our grounds are open to host groups safely again. If you are already planning to bring a group to Covenant Harbor and would like to discuss any changes that may need to happen, we would love to work directly with you. If you have questions about your group’s reservation, contract, deposit, or anything else, feel free to contact us at (262) 248-3600.
We are still taking group reservations for this summer, fall and 2021. We would love to talk with you about scheduling a future event at Covenant Harbor. You can learn more about booking a group experience or an outdoor education school experience on our webpages.
Please contact us about what you are interested in scheduling with us by either filling out a “Book Group Experience” form or by phone at (262) 248-3600. We would be glad to help your group safely come to Covenant Harbor soon.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information about the current status of Covenant Harbor, please take a look at our Covenant Harbor Ministry FAQs.
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.