2020 VBS, Camps, Summer Serve Week, Grad Recognition
As we all look ahead and attempt to plan our calendars in a time of great uncertainty, we realize there are several “marquee” events that many families plan their spring & summer around because they love them so much. Among those are VBS, Middle School Camp, and High School Beach Camp. Because each of these events has proven to be life-changing year after year and impact over a thousand families, we know that whatever decision is made regarding these events is significant.
While some have suggested we take a “wait and see” approach to these events, here are some realities we face:
- To plan large events like these, tens of thousands of dollars must be committed months in advance to pay for deposits, products, and production.
- Commitments from hundreds of volunteers are needed to determine event capacity and meet SHC’s standard of quality service to families.
- Because of SHC’s commitment that finances not keep a student from participating in a summer camp experience, the anticipated scholarship monies needed to fulfill this commitment was in the tens of thousands of dollars, even before our current financial crisis.
- It is unknown what the social distancing guidelines will be two weeks from now, and certainly unknown what the guidelines will be two months from now. What is known if that the COVID-19 is likely not “going away” anytime soon and that there needs to be great agility in event planning as guidelines continue to change.
- There are many families in our community that have been significantly impacted physically and financially in recent weeks and Sugar Hill Church is committed to doing all we can to meet the needs of all families, especially those who are most vulnerable and hurting in this time.
These are just a few of the many factors that have been considered when making decisions about major events for the summer. In considering all of these factors and after much prayer, we have come to the following decisions:
- VBS – There will be no VBS the week of June 8-12; Kids Ministry team is discussing options for an alternate experience for families in the fall.
- Middle School Camp – There will be no MS Camp the week of May 26-29; Student Ministries team is discussing options for a modified Camp experience the week of July 25-Aug 1. More info will be announced by June 1.
- High School Camp – There will be no HS Camp the week of June 15-19; Student Ministries team is discussing options for a modified Camp experience the week of July 25-Aug 1. More info will be announced by June 1.
- Summer Serve Week – Tentatively still planned for July 13-17; Kids Min team is discussing ways to modify this event to accommodate various social distancing scenarios.
- Parent/Child Dedication – Will be rescheduled for October.
- 5th Grade Graduation – Will be moved to a virtual celebration on May 21 in combination with 4th & 5th Grade Celebration. Additional details will be sent to 5th Grade families.
- High School Graduate Recognition – Will be held virtually the evening of May 17. Additional details will be sent to Junior & Senior families.
It is very difficult to announce these decision as we know they will disappoint many. There may not be anyone more disappointed than our staff team that works on these events year-round to ensure we offer the best possible experiences to our families.
However, we feel that making these decisions now is the way we can best serve all of our families given our current circumstances. It ensures good stewardship of the monies that people have faithfully given in a time that our community is hurting. It also prevents families from being in the tough position of having to make a choice the week of camp when the country may be “open,” but social distancing still recommended.
While we are disappointed that these events aren’t happening as they usually would, we are greatly encouraged by the following:
- We are very hopeful that we will get through this season together and will once again make great memories through times together like camps and VBS.
- Just as we always see God work in amazing ways through these events, we see God working NOW through incredible circumstances to draw people to him. We see kids & students sharing Christ with their friends and encouraging one another in life-changing ways.
- The same sense of community that makes these events so great is not limited to these events. We are seeing the Church come together in new ways to experience community and invite others into that community.
- Together, we are able to serve our community in unprecedented ways for the glory of God.
While we may not have pictures this year of the entertaining VBS skits, the “BLOB” at Camp Longridge, or competing for greasy watermelons on the beach, I believe we can remember this season with incredible memories that surpass even all of those. I believe if we approach this summer with the same prayer and anticipation as we would all of these “marquee” events, we can look back on this summer with life-long memories and stories of life-change… in us, our families, and our community.
And how sweet it is going to be when we get to share those stories TOGETHER!!!
Know that we love you dearly and are praying for your family at this time. As always, we are here to serve you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out as you need encouragement, prayer, or assistance.
Here for you,
Tripp Atkinson & Your Family Ministries Team