Dear PL Camper Families,
We have collectively endured a year like no other, and while there is hope that 2021 will end on a healthier note than 2020, life is anything but certain these days. Given so many unknowns, we are sharing our decision about camp with you as soon as possible. Members of the Pilgrim Lodge Leadership Team and the Maine Conference UCC Board of Directors have made the decision to continue our pause on traditional summer camp for the summer of 2021. We undertook months of thoughtful and deliberate analysis which brought us to this solemn decision.
We are saddened that we are not able to host week-long summer camps at PL again this summer, but we are confident it’s the right decision to protect the health and safety of our campers, staff, and volunteers. Based on the state guidance in place at the time of our decision, we could not ensure a completely safe experience for all using our traditional camp model. Additionally, given the many COVID-related restrictions, alterations that would be needed to staffing models, and limits on the number of campers, fully opening and staffing PL for this summer does not make good financial sense.
We are devoted to continuing PL’s mission to emphasize spiritual and outdoor exploration, personal growth, and authentic self-expression in a safe environment, and intentional community to affirm individual sacredness.
Pilgrim Lodge relies upon the revenue from summer camp fees to not only run the camps in the summer but to support the site and its year-round staff. Our core staff team will spend this summer maintaining PL, fundraising, and preparing for a return to camp in 2022. Supporters really stepped up to get PL through 2020 and allow us to move toward sustainability. In 2020, more than 300 individuals and families and 28 churches and associations donated to keep PL going for another year. Your donation will be put to use to help ensure PL’s presence and programs continue long after this pandemic has passed. Donate online at www.pilgrimlodge.org/giving/ or send your donation to Pilgrim Lodge, 103 Pilgrim Lodge Lane, West Gardiner, ME 04345.
We are heartbroken at the thought of another summer without traditional camps, and we know your camper and family will likely be disappointed as well. Please know that we are doing all in our power to create some safe opportunities to get people to PL this summer, and we are looking at offering day passes to come take a swim, walk the labyrinth or the nature trails, and maybe enjoy some ice cream. This is in the planning stages and official updates via email, social media and pilgrimlodge.org will be posted as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the PL office at 207-724-3200 if you have any questions.
Yours in the spirit of Pilgrim Lodge,
Pilgrim Lodge Leadership Team
Rev. Marraine Kettell, Chair, Laura Barrantes, Rev. Marcia Charles, Allison DiMatteo, Ben Haskell, Xander Keiter, Stephenie Michaud, and Megan Williams.