On May 18, Camp Bob Waldorf announced that all in-person camp programs would be canceled for the 2020 summer season. The decision was made after listening to public health officials, national camp leaders, and their staff and Board of Directors.
“We believe that you and your campers deserve the clarity, that while painful, allows for grieving, healing, and moving forward towards hope, joy, and better days ahead,” camp director Dale Decker wrote in a letter to the camp community. “This also enables our team to plan and create exciting camp programs that you can experience with us at home.”
To this end, Bob Waldorf has created four virtual components in an effort to recreate the camp experience virtually. Virtual camp will kick off July 6. Registered campers will each receive “Camp in a Box,” filled with activities, art supplies, a camp shirt, science kits, and friendship bracelet string to enjoy during the virtual programming. The other components are virtual bunks, virtual field trips, and community outreach programs, including community Shabbat services.
“We added the virtual bunks and virtual field trips to build a sense of community,” Cari Uslan, Executive Vice President of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and the Foundation for Camp Bob Waldorf, told the Journal. “When camp is in person, the community feeling that develops among campers and staff is one of the strongest values and experiences of the summer. Since we can’t come together physically, we wanted to find a way to still build community in the virtual setting. We feel that giving campers time to connect with each other and the counselors in virtual bunks and on virtual field trips will achieve that goal.”