Updated June 5, 2020
Dear Camp Grossman Families,
I wish that I were writing with better news. For the past two months, we have been in daily communication with our camp staff, camp colleagues, state and national camping organizations, the CDC, public health experts, and the Dover, MA Department of Public Health to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic would impact Camp Grossman. Based on those conversations, we all believed that, though camp would look different, we would still be able to open this summer. However, upon the release of the long-awaited camp operational guidance from Governor Baker’s office on Monday, as well as additional local guidelines from Dover, we have come to the sad conclusion that we will not be able to operate Camp Grossman this summer.
We know this news is not what you wanted to hear. Nor is it the news we wanted to share. Throughout this pandemic, we have realized that children and families need camp programs this summer more than ever. Frankly, I, and our staff, have been saying that WE need Grossman now more than ever. For months we have been working night and day, planning for a different, but safe and enjoyable, camp this summer. However, the guidance from the state received Monday afternoon is far stricter in language and detail than any of us anticipated based both on other states’ guidelines and our months of research and conversations with experts. That guidance, coupled with unique aspects of our site, makes it almost impossible to operate a camp that adheres to those guidelines as well as the additional restrictions put in place by the Dover Department of Public Health. It truly breaks our hearts that we must make this decision.
I know so many of you must be thinking, “how it can be summer without Grossman?” We are thinking the same. For generations of families, Grossman is where our children have learned to swim. Where they learned that “wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish.” Where they learned to fight hard as a team, but to win and lose gracefully in Maccabiah. To conquer fears of heights on the ropes course or climbing wall, to try – and enjoy and succeed at - new things like sewing or knitting or wrestling. And to repair the world as they raise money for Chai Lifeline or other charities. We know that so many of our campers and staff members look forward to summer all year long to go back to their happiest place with their best friends in the world. How can we possibly not have that this summer?
We are working with our colleagues at JCC Greater Boston and partners across the community to find ways to support families this summer, as well as ways for us all to connect as Camp Grossman. We will be in touch with more specifics as these plans evolve. In the meantime, we know many families need childcare this summer and we would like to connect you with our many staff members who will be looking for babysitting jobs this summer. In our letter to staff today, we have included a Google survey form for those interested in finding babysitting/childcare work this summer to enter their information. You may access the list here. Please note that this is a live document, so check back often as staff digests this news as well and takes the time to complete the form.
Your options regarding camper fees:
Please understand that a large portion of our expenses occur outside of the summer months: facility maintenance and repair, rent, professional staff salaries, insurance, utilities, and everything else required to make nine weeks of Camp Grossman as magical as possible. The potential loss of camper fees means that we must rely more heavily on the generosity of people who love our camp and value our place in the Jewish world. People like you. For more than 40 years, Camp Grossman has taken care of your families and done so much for our JCC. We are now turning to you to help take care of Camp Grossman. The loss of program and camper fees and membership dues will make the next few months at JCC Greater Boston incredibly challenging, as we re-open with restrictions and reduced capacity. We need you, our camp families, now more than ever to secure our community’s future. It isn’t just about today or the next two weeks, but how we emerge from the pandemic with the relationships, connections, and Jewish community on which we all rely. We are offering several options for families who have already paid all or a portion of their camp fees for this summer, but we hope that if you are in a position to do, you will strongly consider donating all, or a portion, of any fees paid. Thank you for generously considering this option.
In addition, to show our appreciation for families who stick with us through this difficult time, if you are willing to roll over your child’s deposit from this year to next year, we are able to guarantee your child’s spot with all current discounts, scholarship rate, and our 2020 weekly rates for Camp Grossman next summer! To take advantage of this opportunity*, please do so by August 1 by choosing option 2 or 4 (Credit or Mix and Match) in the Camper Fee Options form (access instructions below). Remember, if you have paid more than your deposit at this point, and are in a position to donate, or take a credit rather than a refund for, all or part of your fees paid to date, it will go a long way in sustaining Camp Grossman for summer to come.
Please let us know how you would like to designate any fees paid to date by:
- Logging into your Family Profile page
- Clicking on a camper’s name
- Clicking on ‘Camper Fee Options’ and completing the form (Note: the form is only needed once per family)
To donate beyond any fees already paid, please go to the JCC Greater Boston Sustainability Fund page.
In closing, we’d like to thank you for all of your patience and encouragement as we tried to make camp work this summer. Your thoughtful, and hopeful, emails were shared amongst our team and really kept us going. We wish you all the best, but not goodbye. We will stay connected, and although it won’t be in the ways we had expected, we hope to connect with you virtually, or maybe even in person in some way, this summer.
Leslie (and the entire Camp Grossman Team)
* Please note that if you have not yet paid your deposit or any fees for this summer, but would like to take advantage of the offer to guarantee your camper’s spot for 2021 while retaining 2020 rates, you may still do so until August 1. We will send an email next week with more information about how to do this.
Option 1 - Donate
Please consider donating all or a portion of your camper fees to support the ongoing and future needs of Camp Grossman in the months ahead and as we begin to look to our future together. Even in the best of years, Camp Grossman relies on philanthropic support to ensure that we can welcome every camper, regardless of their family’s financial situation. The camp provides more than $600,000 in scholarship support every summer. We expect the need for financial aid to grow, as we know many of our camp families have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more than 40 years, Camp Grossman has taken care of your families and done so much for our JCC. We are now turning to you to help take care of Camp Grossman. The loss of program and camper fees and membership dues will make the next few months at JCC Greater Boston incredibly challenging, as we re-open with restrictions and reduced capacity. We need you, our camp families, now more than ever to secure our community’s future. It isn’t just about today or the next two weeks, but how we emerge from the pandemic with the relationships, connections, and Jewish community on which we all rely. Thank you for generously considering this option.
Option 2 - Credit
You may choose to receive a credit of some or all of the refundable amount to apply towards next summer at Camp Grossman, or any future JCC Greater Boston program including our schools, other camp programs, school vacation week programs, enrichment classes, memberships, etc. If you choose to credit at least your deposit amount to your account you will secure your 2020 rates, discounts, and scholarships for next summer.
Option 3 - Refund
You may choose to receive a refund of the fees paid to date. Given our current reality, refunds will take approximately 90 days to process. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please let us know and we will do our best to expedite your refund.
Option 4- Mix and Match
By choosing option 1 or 2, or a combination of these choices, you will be providing much needed financial relief to Camp Grossman and JCC Greater Boston during this critical time and help to ensure ongoing, high-quality programs for your family and others in our community.