We’ve successfully completed one week of fairly intense social distancing here at the Graham house: you know there might be a hint of cabin fever when a (solo) trip to WalMart in Pincher Creek is the undisputed highlight of the social calendar. I also lost my headphones this week, but I am 100% sure that they are somewhere in this house, because I haven’t been anywhere else. Small silver linings.

Here’s What We Know

The bulk of Springtime programming at the camp has already been cancelled or postponed: school groups, and outside rentals as well as our own leadership retreat and Mental Health First Aid Training have all been put off. If the number of active Coronavirus cases in Canada continues to rise, we will continue to cancel programs.

And cases continue to rise. Sticking to our three week time horizon for forecasting, we can now see that all events at the Bible Camp will be cancelled until at least mid-April.

After that… we still don’t have clear insight. At present, we are still aiming for a strong, full summer of programming. But we’re discussing a wide range of possibilities with the camp board (a virtual meeting will be held this Friday, 27 March):

  • COLTS - because the group is small (<10 participants) and stationary (not coming and going, but staying on-site full time) should be able to begin as planned at the end of April.

In terms of kid’s camps:

  • We might run a truncated, 4-week season;
  • We might possibly see extra sessions - if restrictions are lifted in June, but children do not return to school! 
  • We might consider offering day-camps only instead of overnight camps through the summer;
  • We could also end up running camps for only local kids, if travel restrictions remain in place;
  • We just don’t know.

Kyle M, a clever and attentive friend of mine, picked up the below video clip, and sent it to me. It made me feel good to hear infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch repeat, essentially word for word, my own claim from last week - “We still don’t have an answer. We want to prepare, but we’re gonna be in this position for two months.” 

CoronaVirus Camp Question (clip starts at 10:55)

According to his LinkedIn Profile, Dr. Bogoch has two degrees from Harvard in addition to his MD and residency (U of T) as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in science (U of C). 

My own credentials are that I know someone who went to Harvard, but like Dr. Bogoch, I arrived at the conclusion that we don’t know! “We don’t know” was what I said! Last week! 

There are a range of estimates, from temporary but necessary “stopgap” to an “aggressive” and durable solution that will be in place for 8 months or more. The forecast has not become clearer in the past 7 days. What is becoming clear is that it won’t be in our control. And I knew this… knew that despite the many plans in my heart, it would be “the LORD's purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21) We at Crow know what it means to be “under authority”, as the Roman centurion was. And now is no different. We’ll do what we are told.

So, given that we don't know anything, why have I bothered to outline all of this? Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. If I were a camper parent (and indeed, I am a camper parent - Sam is signed up for Junior 2), I would want to know that leadership at the camp were proactively preparing for whatever comes next. I would want to know that the camp is reviewing cleaning procedures, prioritizing camper safety, thinking carefully about next steps, staying in contact with Alberta Health Services, speaking with medical professionals, and erring always on the side of caution. I hope that you will read this update and recognize that we are serious about preparing.
  2. I want to be realistic. I breathed a sigh of relief when Sam registration was confirmed for camp. It felt like that was it: we’re in! Now we just gotta pack the suitcase - there is nothing more to think about. Turns out, this year, that isn’t true. Camp might not go the way we planned. We all need to be prepared for the possibility that the summer may not unfold the way we want it to. 
  3. I want to stay in your mind. This is a tough time for Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp. The rentals that were cancelled leave a big gap in our revenue. If everything goes the way we hope it will, absolute best case scenario, we are going to need to find some dollars to fill that revenue hole back in. Crow “runs fairly lean” at the best of times; seeing a 10% hole in the budget is a concern, especially at a time when many of our donors are also economically hard-pressed. If you are in a position to donate, now would indeed be a good time.
  4. I know I am thinking about what comes next, and if you have any suggestions - things I ought to read, or opinions I should consider - please email me! david@crowcamp.ca I would love to hear from you. Really!

That’s it for now. Check back on the blog; we will continue to provide updates as this situation develops!

In Christ,


Mar 24, 2020 By David Graham