Dear Camp Bernadette and Camp Fatima Community:
During these unprecedented times due to COVID-19, please know the camp staff is praying specifically that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy in mind, body, and soul. As we continue to monitor the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, camp leadership in union with the Camp Board of Directors, continues to receive recommendations from the CDC, World Health Organization, the New Hampshire Department of Health (NHDH), the American Camping Association (ACA), and the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association (NHCAMPS).
Our world has changed dramatically over the last ten days. Our New Hampshire Governor declared a state of emergency, Catholic and public schools transitioned to remote learning through April 3, 2020, restaurants are only providing takeout, businesses transitioned to remote working, and New Hampshire residents have been doing their best to comply with the recommendations for social distancing, etc. To date, our Governor has not enacted “Shelter in Place” nor has he addressed the question of whether or not the State of New Hampshire will cancel the 2020 camping season.
In the meantime, with many questions still unanswered, camp leadership realizes that we need to make a decision on whether or not Camp Bernadette and Camp Fatima will open this summer. The following is a timeline for making these decisions. Please note that earlier decisions may occur if, for example, the State of NH cancels the upcoming camping season.
· Special Needs Week – Decision to cancel will be made no later than April 23, 2020.
· Bernadette and Fatima Regular Season – Decision to cancel one or more sessions will be made no later than May 22, 2020.
· EC Week - Decision to cancel will be made no later than July 2, 2020.
The Board of Directors has approved the following tuition reimbursement policy. This policy is specific to the COVID-19 crisis only. If Camp Bernadette and Camp Fatima are able to have the entire camping season or a shortened camping season, the camps will enact the following:
· If a parent has lost his/her job due to pandemic and CDC guidelines, they receive a full refund of tuition and registration fees upon request.
· If a parent is concerned about the well-being of their child due to the COVID-19 virus, they receive a full refund of tuition and registration fees upon request.
· If a child needs to go to summer school or school extends into camp dates because of COVID-19, they receive a full refund of tuition and registration fees upon request.
· International campers who may be unable to travel, receive a full refund of tuition and registration fees upon request
In the event that Camp Bernadette and Camp Fatima cancel one or all sessions due to COVID-19, parents receive a full refund of tuition and registration fees. However, parents will be given the opportunity to secure their child’s session-specific spot for the 2021 camping season. In choosing this option, the camps will retain the family’s FY2020 tuition and fees and as a result, the family will lock in their FY2021 tuition at this year’s rate and avoid the annual tuition increase. Additional details on this option will be presented should this situation arise. Please know that we will continue to communicate with you on a weekly basis to provide updates in relation to the current COVID-19 situation and general camp news.
In the meantime, it is important for us, as a camp community, to remain a people of faith and to continue to pray with one another during this time of uncertainty. Camp Fatima’s patron is, Our Lady of Fatima and Camp Bernadette’s patron is, Our Lady of Lourdes. Please join us in asking Our Lady to intercede for us and for a quick end to this crisis. Like your local Catholic dioceses, the Diocese of Manchester does not have public Masses for the faithful. When we cannot attend Holy Mass and receive Jesus in the Eucharist, especially during this time when we need him most, the Church encourages us to make an act of “spiritual communion,” where we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to unite with Him when we are unable to receive Him in Holy Communion. An example of a spiritual communion prayer is below.
Spiritual Communion Prayer
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”
There are many opportunities to watch the Holy Mass on television or via Facebook Live from your local parish. You can also find the Mass on line at www.ewtn.com/tv, www.catholictv.org/masses/catholictv-mass, or www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/. You can also find the readings and video reflections for daily Masses at www.usccb.org.
This week, my wife set up a family prayer space on the fireplace mantle with a wooden sign that reads, “PRAY (more)”. We decided as a family to begin each day of remote instruction with the Morning Offering, the Angelus at Noon, and the Rosary together as a family after dinner. Of the many opportunities this sudden transition to remote instruction has provided, the increased prayer time as a family has meant the most to me as a Dad. Because of this, I am inspired to ask our entire Catholic camp community to join in solidarity by praying the Rosary on Mondays and the Stations of the Cross on Fridays for the remainder of Lent. The following are some links to the Stations of the Cross and the rosary online.
Although these are uncertain times and many of us share a feeling of unease, I am encouraged by the tremendous sense of community among our camp family. We as a people of faith will get through this together.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
David A. Thibault
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
President, Camp Board of Directors