side menu icon

2020 Summer Camp Update!


News

There’s nothing like Girl Scout camp! For over 100 years, Girl Scouts have been camping together in the great outdoors. They’ve defied those who would deny them access to the sunlight, the trees, the meadows, the creeks, and the accomplishment of building outdoor survival skills to boldly face obstacles before them.

Camping is a proud part of who we are as Girl Scouts.

At this time of year, we’ve typically hired camp staff, planned amazing camp sessions with our Preferred Partners, and are busy getting our camp facilities ready to receive the flood of first-time and seasoned campers coming through our gates!

This year is different. It’s different from all our other summer camping seasons, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One unshakeable fact is that the health and safety of our campers, families, and staff are our first priority. With this in mind, we have been carefully following the guidelines of our governor, local health departments, and the state and federal government in determining how we can safely proceed in operating our summer camp program.

It is with great sadness then that we announce the cancellation of GSNI summer camp at Camp Dean, Camp McCormick, and Camp Far Horizons for 2020. This cancellation includes the following council-sponsored summer camp programming:

  • Resident camps at Camp Dean, Camp McCormick, and Camp Far Horizons
  • Day camps and horse camps at Camp Dean
  • Family camps at Camp Dean and Camp McCormick
  • CIT program at Camp Dean, Camp McCormick, and Camp Far Horizons

We have made this decision for several reasons:

  • We do not have the facilities and staff to track every camper’s potential COVID-19 exposure daily. Most qualified nursing staff are already rightly being called up to help with the pandemic.
  • Following national media surveys and calls from our own members, even when the gradual easing of shelter-at-home begins, parents have stated they will be reluctant to send their girls away for summer resident camping.
  • In order to be honest and fair to our summer staff, we need to give them the opportunity to look for other paid employment this summer.

There are three available options for refunds.

  • Camper families can receive a full refund, including deposit, for registration within the next few weeks.
  • Families can also choose to have their camper’s reservation transferred to 2021 summer camp and be allowed to sign up early to secure their camping spot.
  • In addition, Family Campers may choose to make their deposit or paid registration apply to a family camping weekend to be held September 19–20 at Camp Dean.

We are also working with our volunteer-led day camps to offer guidance and support. We are recommending day camps in June offer virtual programs or reschedule for a later date. Day camps scheduled for July and August are currently pending as more information becomes available from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Center for Disease Control, and orders from Governor Pritzker.

In much happier news, we are excited to announce we will be hosting virtual camping events this summer, including a virtual council-wide camping event! More information for virtual camps will be announced on our camp Facebook pages at Camp Dean Camp Far Horizons Camp McCormick Mary Ann Beebe Center. Be sure to check out GSNI at Home for even more at-home Girl Scout adventures!

In addition, our Resource Centers will be offering paid Camp-in-a-Box programs to help campers earn outdoor badges! Camp-in-a-Box programs can supplement our virtual camps or be completed solo.

Our camp staff, outdoor program team, and our rangers have told us how much they will miss each of our campers and families this summer! They will especially miss their laughter and watching them discover new things about themselves and all they can accomplish at camp!

As Girl Scouts, we will stand strong during this time and bravely look toward a brighter future where girls can once again blaze trails, make friends, and explore the great outdoors at camp together!

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Contact our Customer Care Team at 844-476-4463 or customercare@girlscoutsni.org, and we’ll be glad to assist you!