Today is a perfect spring day in the Pass. It’s warm - almost “hot”. The trees are budding explosively, like they had waited together, conspiratorially, for this weekend, and then all together, all at once, push out their first neon green leaves.
It’s a strange day to be… down. It feels impossible to be grieving, and gloomy, on a day like today. It’s a strange day to feel sad.
But then, this whole year has been a strange mix: hope, despair, chaos, calm. I expect that, at times, it has been the same for you.
This past weekend, on 15 May, the Board met and approved A (New) Plan. It’s at least the third Plan for the summer of 2021 (or… 4th? Maybe 5th?) It’s all still “Discipleship and Evangelism in a Camp Setting” but we can now confirm that, again in 2021, things will be different at Crow.
The Alberta Camping Association asked Alberta Health Services for direction on or before 14 May, 2021. Camps need to know: will overnight camping be permitted in the summer of 2021? Alberta Health Services “does not currently have the capacity or believe it is safe to provide guidance to camps of any kind.”
Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp is good at many things, but predicting the progress of pandemic restrictions is squarely outside of our area of expertise. With that said, given elevated case counts, and the greater restrictions enforced until at least 25 May, it seems likely that overnight camping for kids will not be permitted in Alberta this summer.
That’s our best guess, but even if restrictions were lifted shortly, the lead time at this point is so brief, it does not seem realistic that we could manage a full registration process, recruitment and training for new staff. At this point, chasing the small and shrinking possibility of a “normal” summer will impede our ability to make a success of the more likely Covid summer that is coming.
I feel that we have been faithful to God in praying for and anticipating the Camp work that we really believe that we are called to. I would suggest that continuing to plan for “standard” overnight camping for summer 2021 seems more like stubbornness than faith. We still have a job to do: evangelism and discipleship in a camp setting. Let’s set our sights on what is possible, and do that really well.
And a lot is possible. A lot.
In the end, it seems to me that what isn’t possible - maybe the only thing that isn’t possible - is shared (non-household) sleeping accommodation. Accordingly, the Board has directed that Crow do… whatever we want… as long as it doesn’t involve shared (non-household) sleeping. With that in mind, here’s our proposal to you:
No Change! Wilderness Outdoor Programming, Day Programs, and Outtrips.
Who’s in Charge: Daniel, and the COLTS
In summer 2020, we tore down the Manager’s Cabin. It was a good time to do that, because the Managers (Andrew & Franziska Legg) were not in the Cabin. Given another summer with no overnight camping, we can re-build that cabin, which (given how brief the access to this site is) feels like the best use of our summer site availability. We'll also be tackling ongoing projects as they arise, as well as fire-smart preparedness, and overall clean up of the site.
Primarily, our intention is to have RV camping, and tenting, with attendees providing their own meals. With that said, we have considered opening the kitchen, and the cabins, and making this space available for camping and casual camping stays - especially during Sinister Seven and so forth. If you’d be interested in contributing to building, or even just looking for a place to stay, that can be arranged.
Who’s in Charge: Randy, and the Maintenance Crew
To augment our offerings at Lake Site, we plan to operate ‘Household family camping’ at Gladstone Mountain Ranch. We’ll be there, and we’ll be social, but we will also be distant.
We’ll supply: Meals; accommodation (either in cabins, or in an RV site); activities.
Families will supply: Supervision.
Imagine taking a camping trip with your household bubble, but there are some improvements:
you don’t need to bring your own food;
we’ll bring some friends (perhaps an entire PIT Crew!) to help plan games and activities;
we’ll have some options for guided hiking and other outdoor activities;
a ready-made friend group for your kids,
a ‘speaker’ to help guide spiritual development.
You’ll be the cabin leader for your own crew, with a little more freedom and flexibility (if your cabin wants to skip the evening game, you’re allowed!)
If you were a cabin leader, or a camper, at Crow (or anywhere else) you’ll know: The Cabin Leaders are always the Coolest. You might have thought that this was a distant, forgotten past, never to be seen again, but you have a chance to be the Coolest again. Cool Like Fonzarelli. Bring your kids, and be cool again.
Who’s in Charge: Kat & Jason Ferrie
So… that’s it. The end, hopefully, the last of the modifications. The Permanent Plan. Who knows?