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COVID19 Camper Family Email Updates

We can't wait for summer at HoneyRock!

The email sent on July 7th about Check-In procedure is exactly what is shared on our Check-In and Transportation page. We're going to refer you to that page to view the update. 

For Res 3 families, hold tight! We'll send you check-in information specific to your check-in day of July 27.


Camper families of registered Res 2 and EPIC campers were sent the following email on July 6, 2020.

Dear Camper Families,
This is a quick reminder that the 7-day temperature check begins today for your camper! This should be recorded on our new Pre-Screening Health Form. A physical copy of this form will need to be presented at check-in next Monday, July 13.
We're eagerly preparing for your camper’s arrival. Our 100+ summer staff have been on-site for two weeks and we have had 0 suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 since their arrival. Additionally, we have secured 20-minute COVID-19 tests through a local health care provider. If you are curious about our COVID-19 response plan, you can view it on our 2020 Q&A page on the “Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19” tab.

While not a health center note, speaking on behalf of our Registration Team, you can expect detailed camper check-in information for both the HoneyRock and Wheaton, IL locations to be available online and emailed to you tomorrow, July 7.
If there are any questions we can answer as you prepare for camp, don’t hesitate to reach out! We look forward to having your camper at HoneyRock.
Sara Waltz BN, RSN
Health Center Coordinator

Camper families who have registered campers were sent the following updates via email on June 26, 2020.

Hello from the Northwoods!
This is a quick reminder to complete roommate requests and transportation plans no later than July 1.
This year, we cannot make any exceptions to the July 1 deadline as it impacts how we’re placing campers into their cabins and units while they’re at camp. Please log in to your account and confirm the following things:

If your transportation information is not completed by July 1, we will automatically assign you to the HoneyRock drop-off/pick-up location. All families must choose transportation plans for their camper(s) for both to and from HoneyRock. Here are other important notes:

  • If taking the bus, campers will need to wear cloth face coverings for the duration of the trip (except for lunch at a rest stop); we will provide them.
  • Both check-in locations (HoneyRock and Wheaton, IL) are drive-thru style. We will send more information after we have finalized the numbers for each location and planned accordingly (around July 5).
  • No shuttles from airports are provided for arrivals; HoneyRock can provide a shuttle to RHI or CWA after your camper’s session ends.

Roommate Requests:
If you have requested (or would like to request or accept a roommate) please do so before July 1. Ensure you have both requested and accepted the requests. Have a question about this? Visit our Requesting Roommates FAQ!
If I can be of any assistance, please let me know!

Rachael Botting
Program Manager

Camper families who have registered campers were sent the following updates via email on June 19, 2020.

Dear Camper Families,
This is a quick email to point you to the new and required Pre-Screening Health Form for Campers that was mentioned in Monday’s email.

As a reminder, every camper family will be required to turn in this form upon check-in. It includes a 14-day self-quarantine and a 7-day daily temperature check.
We will be putting a hard copy of this form in the mail to you on Monday, June 22nd. For our EPIC and Residential Camp Session 2 families, this will arrive right on time to start the 14-day quarantine. Questions? Submit your questions here.

If you would like to hear from our Executive Director, Rob Ribbe, and leaders of our program team, please register for a webinar with the links below.

Thank you!

Nancy Robins
Camper Registration Assistant

Camper families who have registered campers were sent the following updates via email on June 15, 2020.

Dear Camper Families,
We look forward to welcoming your campers to HoneyRock this summer!
Before I share more, I want to emphasize: until there is a readily available vaccine, few if any places in the world will be coronavirus-free. However, HoneyRock has planned and prepared what we believe is a coronavirus-safe experience for your camper. 
As I mentioned in our June 1 update, we received lengthy guidelines from the American Camp Association and the State of Wisconsin. Beyond that, we’ve been following recommendations from our local health department, the Center for Disease Control, and Wheaton College’s COVID-19 Response Team.
We recognize there are varying personal views regarding COVID-19 and appropriate prevention measures. As you read through all of the new information (yes, there’s a lot!), we hope you do so with grace. While many of these changes are not our preference, we make them out of love and respect for the wellbeing of others. 
Here are key changes, though you can explore them in full on our summer 2020 Q&A page. Read this list first for the highlights!

Health & Medical

We will require a new, additional health form for all campers.

  • We will email you the form on June 19 and will mail a hard copy to the address we have on file for your camper. 
    • 14-days before your camper arrives at camp they must conduct a 2-week self-isolation period (limiting exposure to non-family members, maintaining social distancing, wearing a task mask or cloth face-covering around non-family members, avoiding large gatherings, and limiting nonessential travel)
    • 7-days before arriving at camp, you must take and record your camper's temperature daily
  • Campers with pre-existing conditions (asthma or immunocompromised) will be required to obtain and mail, fax, or present at the time of drop-off, a letter from their primary care physician stating: 
    • The camper is healthy to attend camp.
    • Their health is stable with their current treatment plan.

Check-In and Transportation

This year we're limiting our transportation options to two: 1) coach bus transportation from Wheaton, IL, or 2) drop-off at HoneyRock.

  • July 1 is the deadline to select your arrival and departure transportation option.
  • Campers will need to wear cloth face coverings on the bus; we will provide them.
  • Both check-in locations, Wheaton and HoneyRock, will be drive-thru style—only your camper will get out of the car!
  • No shuttles from airports are provided for arrivals; HoneyRock can provide a shuttle to RHI or CWA after your camper's session ends.


Unfortunately, many roommate requests were lost in our programming shifts. After July 1, we cannot add new or make any changes to roommates.


While July 1 is still the last day to cancel and receive your refund, we ask that if you are considering canceling, do so as soon as you're confident in your decision. This will help us manage staff and camper numbers. We would ask that you prayerfully consider donating some or all of your payment to the Onward fund. While we're still running some camp sessions, between what we've had to cancel and modifications to existing programming, we're looking at a loss of $350,000. If you would like to donate the fees of these activities to the fund, please click here.

This is a lot of information, and there's even more on our updated Q&A page. We wanted to make space for you to hear from us in person. For that reason, we've set up two camper parent webinars next week, Tuesday the 23rd and Thursday the 25th. You can email sarah.elizabeth.davis@wheaton.edu to get a registration link.

In the meantime, if you have questions about how we're proceeding with summer camp, submit them with this form. You'll be connected with the best person to answer your question and they'll respond as soon as possible.

Our programs are full, our staff is ready, and we can't wait to welcome your campers to HoneyRock! Thank you for your grace and patience as we navigate these changes. 

In Christ's service, 

Rob Ribbe, Ph.D.
Executive Director of HoneyRock

Camper families who have registered campers were sent the following updates via email on May 26, 2020.


We’re excited to share that camp is still a go!

Late last week, we received recommendations and guidelines from both the American Camp Association and the State of Wisconsin that gave us helpful guidance on how to proceed with camp in our current world. Multiple camps in our area are proceeding as well under these guidelines.

Between now and June 15th, the date of our next update, our team will diligently review and implement the recommendations and guidelines that apply to our setting at HoneyRock.

We understand families will want to see how our policies and procedures have changed due to COVID-19 before making a final decision about sending their kids to (and paying for!) camp this summer. In light of that, we’ve revised a few important deadlines:

  • June 15thYour next email from HoneyRock, providing additional information about new/updated policies and procedures in light of COVID-19. Please complete a financial aid application, if needed, by this date so we can complete the process by July 1.
  • July 1st – Your last day to cancel your registration and have your deposit refunded. You will also receive notification of your financial aid award if you’ve applied for financial aid.
    • As always, if the amount awarded is not enough, please contact Nancy Robins at nancy.robins@wheaton.edu for further consideration. We want your child at camp!
    • If you cancel your registration, you will have the option to donate funds to Onward: COVID-19 Response Matching Fund and have your donation doubled, dollar for dollar. More info coming in the June 15th email!
  • July 10th – Final Payments Due

Thank you for your trust, patience, and grace over the past couple of months. We’re deeply grateful for you and look forward to welcoming your campers to an incredible camp experience this summer.

On behalf of the HoneyRock team,

Rob Ribbe, Ph.D.
Executive Director


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