Goodbye to Junior Session, and to the summer

Greetings from Hilltop. Whew. Just like that, the most remarkable summer of my 17 years here is over.

I want to comment on Junior Session in particular, but it feels wrong not to start out by thanking everyone who made this summer possible. Everyone had to shoulder quite a bit for this summer to happen. Families signed up in fall 2020, with no idea of what this summer might look like or whether we’d be able to have camp at all. Many summer staff signed up with similar uncertainty. Parents and guardians read all the emails (so many emails), and did their best to absorb complicated, changing information. Families compromised, giving up easier travel options and the ability to visit during our four-week sessions. Campers compromised, accepting alterations to beloved traditions and programs.

And we made it happen. We gave these campers an experience that was sorely needed. I’m thankful and proud.

Junior Session was a lovely capstone to the summer. The campers were quintessential Junior Sessioners. They played, asked questions, dressed up in crazy costumes, used their imaginations, and made friends. It was just lovely to have them here. I know I wrote about this in my last blog post, but I can’t help but reiterate how profound it is that these campers had a fun, successful experience away from home at such a young age. Every child should. These children did.

By now, many of you have heard that we had three positive COVID cases in the last 12 hours of Junior Session, all limited to one cabin. All Junior Session families have been given the appropriate details by email, but we know this blog gets readers outside of the families of campers at Camp. Of course, we wish we had ended the summer with no positive cases at all. But, we are still in a pandemic, and this was always a possibility. If it was going to happen, it happening in such a way that all campers are asymptomatic, no one’s camp experience was affected, and it being limited to one cabin* is about the best outcome possible, short of no positive tests at all. Thank you to all the Junior Session families for your remarkable understanding and perspective as we worked through that process while also completing our departure day.

(*Based on the information we know now, it’s limited to one cabin. We hope it stays that way, but we’ll know more in about a week. We’ve advised Junior Session families to be cautious, and advise of any positive tests.)

I’m impressed with how many Junior Session families have been able to quickly look past the bad luck at the end of the session, focus on the wonderful big picture, and look forward to next year. If that’s you, registration for 2022 is already open. Just log in to your parent account, select the 2022 season, click on “Registration Form,” and you’re on your way. There’s no rush. Returning campers are guaranteed enrollment as long as you sign up by November 30. We’ll send out reminders.

Thank you all, once again, for a wonderful summer. We’ll look forward to some rest, and seeing all the campers back next year.