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COVID19 Camper Family Email Updates

(5/15/20) We are aware of the recent Wisconsin supreme court ruling and are considering its implications as we await further guidance from authorities and continue to plan what summer looks like at HoneyRock. We will provide updates on May 26 as outlined in our May 1 communication to camper families, included below.

Camper families who have registered campers were sent the following updates via email on May 1, 2020.

Thank you for your patience. For those who completed the survey we sent on April 17th, an additional thank you—this helped us develop the plan we’re sharing with you today. 

We have not yet cancelled summer camp, though there are significant changes to what we are able to offer. It’s important that you read this email in its entirety and complete the action needed (details below) by May 8th.

Knowing your plans, with the information you have now, will help us manage the shift in numbers for our remaining camper programs and our summer staffing.

Changes to Programs

Day Camp

Day Camp is cancelled for 2020. We will begin processing your deposit and refunds as soon as we are able. For more information on refund processing, visit our Q&A page.

6-Day Res-Intro Camp (6/22-6/27) and Residential Camp Session One (6/29-7/10)

These two sessions have been cancelled. This was a difficult and lengthy decision. In short, Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order extension and the additional new policies and procedures we anticipate needing to put into place requires more time to prepare. However, you will have the option to shift your registration to Residential Camp sessions 2 and 3. 

Action Needed by May 8th: We still have space in Residential Camp sessions 2 and 3 for additional campers. If you would like your current registration to be shifted to Res 2 or 3, complete this form for each camper. Once May 8th arrives, we will begin filling Res 2 and 3 starting with the oldest campers (as determined by grade level) from 6-Day Res-Intro Camp and Res Session 1. We will confirm your registration status on or before May 15th.

Residential Camp Sessions Two and Three

These sessions—date, time, cost—remain unchanged.

Action Needed by May 8th: If you are currently registered for Res 2 and 3, there is no action needed unless you wish to cancel by May 8th to have your deposit returned. Please complete the form for each camper’s cancellation.

High School Programs

We will be merging all high school programs (Advance Camp, 2:22, Venture, Voyageur, Service Team, Assistant Counselor) into one three-week session. Campers will be placed into cabin groups based on their age and gender so that we can incorporate elements of their age’s program into their experience.

  • New Program Name: EPIC
  • Program Description: see here
  • Dates: 7/13-7/31
  • Cost: $1,795

Action Needed by May 8th: With the merger, all camper families will need to complete the form whether you want to cancel, shift, or receive more information about the new high school program.

Final Notes

We know this will raise a significant amount of questions. Before you make your final decision, please read our Q&A page. It covers topics like programmatic changes, refund policies, policy and procedure changes, and more.

It’s important to say: as we’ve all seen the information, guidelines, and orders around COVID-19 can change quickly. This decision was made with the information we have today. Our next update will be released on May 26.

We understand the information in this email and on our webpage might not be enough for some families to feel confident sending their child to camp. If you want to wait and watch how the situation evolves, we encourage you to cancel now and re-register (pending space) once our public registration reopens in early June.

Questions? Click the link below and someone on our team will respond! We will be monitoring it throughout the weekend.

Thank you for your grace and patience during this time. 

Rob Ribbe
Executive Director, HoneyRock

Camper families were sent the following updates via email on April 9, 2020.

As a brief update from HoneyRock, the past couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity. We sent our Vanguard Gap Year students home six weeks early, transitioned to working remotely/low-contact, and have moved all of our graduate classes online. We know we aren't the only ones undergoing major change, as you're also adjusting to new routines, navigating new and difficult conversations with your kids, and managing a new work/life balance.
Know that we are praying with you. If we can pray for specific requests, let us know. The HoneyRock team continues to meet for our daily devotionals (digitally, now) and will stand with you in prayer.

Summer camp at HoneyRock has not yet been cancelled. However, we do have a few important announcements, detailed below:

  • If HoneyRock cancels summer camp programs due to COVID-19, we will issue full refunds on all payments and deposits.

  • Our Financial Assistance deadlines have been delayed. If your financial situation has changed since registering for camp, we encourage you to complete the form or update your existing submission. The new timeline for financial assistance is as follows:
    • May 15th: Financial Assistance Application Due
    • June 1st – 5th: Financial Assistance Award Amounts Emailed to Families
    • June 15th: Final Payment Deadline

  • We’ve launched a webpage “Creating a Place Apart” for HoneyRock families and their friends. It has HoneyRock devotionals, recipes from our bakery, and quick-reads for parents. It will be updated with new content weekly.

If HoneyRock Cancels Summer Camp

As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our campers, students, and staff. Currently, HoneyRock is conducting a thorough review of its processes and procedures to ensure the safety of campers and staff and mitigate the possibility of COVID-19 entering HoneyRock.

If HoneyRock cancels summer camp due to COVID-19, all deposits and payments will be returned in full. 

You might also be wondering “when”? When will we know if summer camp will happen? Right now, we’re targeting late April/early May to have an answer. That gives us at least 2 full months before campers arrive to finalize our plans for ensuring the safety of all who attend. 

However, as we’ve already seen from this virus, the situation can rapidly change. We are tracking local, national, and global updates as well as working with the Wheaton College COVID-19 Response Team to make our decision about summer camp.

Rachael Botting, one of our program directors, recently wrote an article about how to talk with your kids about unanticipated changes, of which cancelling summer camp could be one. I recommend reading it—it’s written in a way that could be read out loud with your kids.

Financial Aid Deadlines Extended

In light of the economic impact of COVID-19, we are extending the Financial Assistance Application deadline from April 15th to May 15th.

Those who apply for financial assistance will be notified of the amount awarded from June 1st – 5th.

Final payments for all families, whether they applied for financial assistance of not, will be June 15th

If you’re wondering how you’re going to pay for camp this summer, we strongly encourage you to apply for financial assistance

A Resource for Families

This is a small contribution, but we’ve launched a webpage Creating a Place Apartfor HoneyRock families and their friends. It has HoneyRock devotionals, recipes from our bakery, parent resources, and soon, activities for your campers to do on their own or with you—we’ve already launched Solid Rock: Home Edition!

If there are ways we can partner in prayer with you specifically, please share your request. We will pray for your requests around our daily staff Devo Circle.

If you have questions about HoneyRock or our summer camp programs, submit them with the form below, and you’ll get a direct response from our team.


This statement is for our HoneyRock camper families. If you are a Wheaton College undergraduate or graduate student or are employed by Wheaton, please view Wheaton College's official COVID-19 Campus Updates Page.

Like us, we’re sure you’re keeping up with the news on COVID-19 and wondering how this could affect HoneyRock summer programs. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our campers, students, and staff.

This article from the CDC addresses common questions about children and COVID-19. The majority of cases reported have been adults, especially those 55 and older. There have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) involving HoneyRock or Wheaton students or employees. While the immediate health risk to people in Wisconsin from the coronavirus (COVID-19) remains low, we are taking a proactive approach as the situation continues to develop.

One of the benefits of HoneyRock camp programs is the support Wheaton College provides regarding our health care services. Wheaton College has formed a COVID-19 Response Team with representation from across campus to ensure we make timely decisions, communicate updates, and are prepared with ready-to-activate continuity plans.

Currently, HoneyRock is conducting a thorough review of its processes and procedures to ensure the safety of campers and staff and mitigate the possibility of COVID-19 entering HoneyRock.

At this time, no summer programs are cancelled. If this decision changes, we will notify you immediately.

For those who are currently living and working at HoneyRock, we are educating the entire community about the CDC-recommended practices for preventing the spread of sickness:

  • Wash hands frequently and often or use hand sanitizer until able to wash hands with soap and water
  • Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other individuals
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick
  • Note that masks are ineffective for preventing contraction of the virus
  • Take extra measures to increase cleaning and sanitary practices in public spaces

Despite COVID-19, summer camp is filling quickly. Compared to last year at this time, we are tracking 25% ahead on camper registrations, we are still accepting registrations, and we have yet to see registrations slow. If our summer camp programs are cancelled due to COVID-19, we will issue full refunds. Again, the decision to cancel summer camp has not yet been made.

We take very seriously the health and safety of our HoneyRock staff and campers. We remain prayerful and alert as we prepare for this summer’s camp season.

In Christ,

Rob Ribbe, Ph.D.
Executive Director, HoneyRock

canoeing under the bridge at HoneyRock

Have a question?

Complete the linked form, below, to ask HoneyRock any questions you have about summer camp.

Submit Your Question

Additional Resources for COVID-19