At long last the Quebec government is allowing campsites to open on June 1st. We are all very excited about this news and we are eager to go to Gracefield to reconnect with our friends and connect with our God in Gracefield’s beautiful setting. So the question everyone is asking is “are we open?” The answer unfortunately is “not yet”.
As many of you know, in order to open the camp each spring a dedicated group of volunteers descends on the camp on weekends to ready the camp to welcome guests. As the camp has been closed by order of the Quebec government, we have been unable to ready the camp and we will not be able to do so until after June 1st. This year is particularly challenging as we must abide by the Quebec government rules regarding COVID-19 social distancing and sanitization requirements. For example, we cannot have more than 10 persons from a maximum of 3 households in close contact. This presents a bit of a logistical challenge.
The first work weekend is planned for June 5-7. Topher Whitehead, our Property Chair, is in consultation with staff to compile a list of essential tasks that must be completed prior to welcoming guests on site. I know many of you are eager to help at this work weekend. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we need to coordinate the essential work to particular volunteers. Topher will be reaching out to persons who have the necessary skill sets to complete these tasks.
In addition to readying the camp structures and grounds for guests, we are only permitted by the Quebec government to open Gracefield provided we have the necessary policies and procedures in place to respond to COVID-19. We are preparing these policies and procedures and training staff as quickly as possible in order to comply with the requirements.
Due to COVID-19, we also require dedicated staff and volunteers to work at the camp this summer in housekeeping, waterfront, maintenance, kitchen assistants, and program staff. Without these persons, we are unable to safely operate the camp. If you know of anyone who can volunteer their time or are seeking employment (remember, students and CERB recipients can earn up to $1,000.00 a month in addition to their benefit), please direct them to contact Mark Hamilton at email@example.com.
We will keep you informed of our progress and advise you of the opening date as soon as possible. In the meantime, we ask for your patience, support and prayers during this difficult time.
With thoughts and prayers,
Gracefield Board of Directors, Executive Committee