This letter was sent to our summer 2020 staff on May 28, 2020.
To our Netop Staff,
It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to cancel our summer sessions at Netop and to focus our attention on ensuring a safe and healthy camp for 2021.
This decision does not come lightly and was one of the hardest we’ve ever had to make. We know that Netop was a beacon of hope these past few months and we have devoted our time towards answering the question of whether we “could” operate this summer because of the love we have for our Netop family.
Ultimately, it became a question of if we “should” run camp this summer. After digesting all of the guidelines and facts and debating numerous “what-if” situations, we knew that running this summer wasn’t the best choice. All of the changes that we would have to implement to mitigate risk and create a safe and healthy environment would have had a huge impact on the heart, soul and spirit of Netop.
Many of you did feel confident that we could open this summer and we truly appreciate that support and trust. We thank you now for understanding and trusting the decision that we made. Ultimately, it is the health and safety of you and our campers that is the most important and we did not feel that we could truly and confidently mitigate all of the risks. It was also going to be a very big undertaking for you, as a staff member, to keep everyone safe this summer. It was a level of responsibility that we didn’t want to force upon you.
The other big underlying factor was how much we would have had to change our traditional Netop experience. The Netop experience is a lot of things – Yes, it’s the activities and the outdoor experience. But it’s also the community-building and the group bonding; it’s a one-camp vibe that blends our different age groups and cultures into one welcoming, inclusive and confidently silly family. This is such a huge aspect of our program and it’s the biggest thing that the virus prevents us from accomplishing.
We understand that this is going to be tough for a myriad of reasons. You have had to deal with so much disappointment over these past weeks and now we are adding to that list. This was your summer job and your summer home. For many of you, it was more than just a job – it was a lifelong experience in which you got to change lives. Don’t worry – we will be back next summer, stronger than ever, and we can’t wait to work with each of you in 2021.
As we suspend our in-person programs, we will continue to navigate ways to stay connected as a Netop community. You will be hearing more from us as we create opportunities to engage with you throughout the summer and into next year. We are also hard at work for summer 2021. We have already decided to retain the entire 2020 Work Staff/CIT team for next summer so that you can still have that experience. Plus, we are offering an early sign-up bonus for any 2020 staff member who signs their contract for next summer by November 30th.
Please email us at [email protected] or call 516-458-7012 with any questions that you might have or just to check in. We will also host a virtual “milk and cookies” with all staff members and Lisa will be following up individually with everyone.
In the meantime, we will keep the campfires burning for you until 2021.
Lisa, Tom and Steve