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Camp Webb closes summer program for 2020

"It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you that we've made the decision to close our program this summer," Director Allison Hodges said.
Credit: Camp Webb

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Officials with Camp Webb have made the decision to close their program for summer 2020, the camp's website released on Thursday. 

"It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you that we’ve made the decision to close our program this summer. All families currently enrolled will receive a full refund of the previous amount paid," director Allison Hodges said in a letter released online. 

The announcement further went on to clarify the camp did not believe they would be able to logistically maintain a good camper experience in light of COVID-19 protocol and recommendations. 

"We took a long look at the logistical recommendations posted by the CDC and ACA. For our specific model of camp that offers a multitude of options and environments, we determined that the new operating protocols would not allow us to fulfill your, or our, expectations for your camper’s experience," Hodges said. 

In the year 2020, Camp Webb would have entered its 60th year as one a summer day camp programs. 

Camp Webb's cancellations comes as other summer camps across East Tennessee announce plans to remain open. The Knox County Health Department said they will release camp guidelines for Knox County on Friday. 

East Tennessee camps that will remain open for the summer of 2020 include:

Zoo Knoxville's day camp - The zoo's camp activities include animal interactions, games, crafts, activities, excursions through the zoo and trips behind-the-scenes.

The Cutting Edge Classroom Cooking Camp - Students can go on a culinary journey this summer and learn to be chefs! 

Here’s the official announcement:

We know you’ve been waiting a long time to receive an update on the status of camp this summer. Information has been changing weekly in light of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve finally received the long-awaited guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Camp Association (ACA). It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you that we’ve made the decision to close our program this summer. All families currently enrolled will receive a full refund of the previous amount paid.

This decision is a multi-faceted one and cannot be pinpointed to one factor alone. Our decision to remain closed this summer, in the midst of Knox County showing good progress forward, is specific to Camp Webb’s complex program model and the newly released guidelines from the CDC and ACA.

Safety has been, and will always be, our number one priority. We have been hard at work on new procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of everyone on campus this summer. In addition to focusing on safety concerns and needed supplies, we took a long look at the logistical recommendations posted by the CDC and ACA. For our specific model of camp that offers a multitude of options and environments, we determined that the new operating protocols would not allow us to fulfill your, or our, expectations for your camper’s experience.

We are a large summer day camp that offers a diverse selection of active, hands-on activities that occur both indoors and outdoors. We are proud of the experience we offer our campers, the facilities they are able to enjoy on our campus, and the many staff that work as a team each summer to make camp successful (both from within the Webb School community and from the greater Knoxville area).

This year, in the midst of so many unknowns, we cannot run our program with full confidence that we are giving our campers the best experience of camp possible. It breaks our heart to close this summer, and we know this may be difficult news to share with your campers. We hope the following video will help explain this news to them.

At this time, we must proceed with what is best for our campers, our community as a whole, Webb School, and our Camp Webb family. In the weeks ahead, we will work diligently to process all refunds. Please be aware this process will take some time for us to complete. We thank you for your continued trust in Camp Webb, and we hope to see you for our 60th year of camp in 2021.

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