"Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? …. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:27, 34
It has now been two weeks (only two weeks? Is that right?) since schools were closed in Alberta; two weeks (seems like longer, though, right?) of dedicated social distancing. Two weeks ago, I felt pretty confident - not that we’d be through the worst of it, but at least that we would know… something. There would be some generally accepted timeline, and some clear predictions about outcomes.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1
Well, it turns out… here we are, two weeks later, and no further ahead. The future is just as opaque as it was two weeks ago. Writing an update is difficult when the update is ‘we don’t know.’ Personally, I feel blessed that my uncertainty and difficult decisions are restricted to the future of this season of camp, and my job: my people are healthy and well.
There are some thoughtful predictions about various scenarios that could unfold, but always shot through with uncertainty. Even in the midst of the uncertainty, it is getting hard to find any sources saying that life will go back to normal soon. Premier Kenney has said that "drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus may be needed until the end of May."
The good news is this: we are operating with a three-week time horizon, and the summer is still three months away. At this point, we are still planning to proceed with a strong summer. There is certainly a lot of uncertainty - the summer season may yet be shorter, or smaller - but we are preparing for a full summer: planning for a full staff of volunteers; seeking funds; and readying our hearts and minds with prayer and patience.
That’s not to say that Covid-19 is an insubstantial problem. Tracking the increasing stringency of restrictions on group sizes in Alberta and around the world, it is clear: there is a considerable chance that Summer Camp at Crow will be directly impacted - and in fact, it already has been impacted, in terms of:
- Volunteers: For reasons that are very much valid, and even indisputable, several of our senior summer leaders have had to withdraw. For instance:
- One of our COLTS was coming from Australia, but their government won’t let them leave (and our government won’t let them come);
- Another was using COLTS as part of a summer internship toward a post-secondary program credit, but those internships were cancelled;
- A Program Director had planned to take time off with banked overtime that will not now be accumulated;
- Training: We’ve cancelled an impressive slate of Spring Training - our Leadership Retreat and our Program Director’s Training Weekends - as well as the Standard First Aid that was scheduled for 22-23 April. First Aid will need to be re-scheduled for closer to the summer; for many reasons (including legal reasons) we cannot operate without First Aid training.
- Income: Anticipated revenue (~$32,000 gross) from April and May retreats, rentals and school programs will not be realized.
I feel a temptation to whip rapidly from hope to despair - feeling one moment like every detail is well in-hand, and then the next like everything is spinning away and out of control. And our summer plans do matter; the decisions we make do matter - so we will endeavour to be ready for what tomorrow brings. But we’ll continue to be patient, day by day, in waiting for a good word, knowing that “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.’” ~ Exodus 16:4 (NLT - emphasis added)