Dear Witchlets Community,
We are holding you all in our hearts in the midst of this current moment, where we are all facing so many challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic and related issues.
We are writing to share with you the difficult news that we have decided not to hold camp in person this year. This was a heart-wrenching decision for us as Weavers, and we know this news may range anywhere from disappointing to devastating for you as well. There is more information below in this email about what factors we kept in mind while making this decision.
We have started planning to offer the community a virtual retreat and alternative camp experience during the time Witchlets was scheduled (Aug 8-12). In our Zoom meeting, as we began to imagine ways that we could re-create some experiences from camp in our own homes, smiles started to emerge on our downcast faces. We know this experience can’t replace Witchlets, but we think we’ll be able to create something beautiful nonetheless.
All campers will be able to get a full refund (1-2 weeks for processing). Here are your registration options:
1. Receive a full refund, including your deposit
2. Receive a refund, minus your deposit; roll your deposit over to next year, holding a space for you at 2021 Witchlets
3. Receive a refund, minus your deposit; donate your deposit to the Mendocino Woodlands*
Please reply to this email to let Adissa know which one of these options your family chooses.
*The Mendocino Woodlands is currently closed due to the pandemic, and it is unknown when they will be able to re-open. They will be very hard hit financially by the loss of camp income from this summer. They gave us the option to carry forward our initial deposit to next year, but instead, we have decided to donate that deposit to them, and will add onto that any of your individual deposits you’d like to donate. The Woodlands have been a spiritual home to many of us for years and we want to support them as much as we can.*
We will also be giving a deposit/ cancellation payment to our wonderful cook Ross.
Some of our plans so far for a virtual Witchlets experience include:
- Daily recordings of each day’s portion of the story, shared on our website
- Daily adult path time over Zoom, with adult path ritual activities shared daily on our website so that folks have the option to do these on their own
- Daily song and story time for Faeries and others
- Daily youth path time for Newts, Raccoons, and Ravens, as well as some activities that youth and families can do on their own time, such as scavenger hunts, crafts, costume contests, or building altars
- Daily evening ritual via Zoom for those who wish to participate
- Daily recipe demo by the cooks – try cooking it on your own with your family!
- Regional get-togethers for mini-rituals in person, if restrictions on small gatherings have been lifted by that time
- And of course a virtual talent show
We know a lot of folks are feeling isolated right now in the shelter-in-place setting, so between now and August, we will be offering a Weekly Witchlets activity as a way to build remote/ virtual community and keep us all connected to each other. We’ll be posting these on our Facebook page and on our website.
Our reasons for deciding not to hold camp in person are as follows:
- Although much is unknown about what will happen in the next few months, it is not likely that a Covid-19 vaccine will be available or even that universal testing will be available.
- Even when shelter-in-place guidelines are lifted, all of the guidance from public health officials indicates that things will not immediately go back to “normal” and that in order to slow down transmission of the virus, large gatherings will continue to be prohibited. Governor Newsom has said that large gatherings are unlikely to be allowed in June, July, or August, and maybe not until 2021.
- Social distancing is not possible at camp, where we are all eating and playing and doing ritual together at close quarters.
- Our elders, folks with certain medical conditions, and immuno-compromised community members will continue to be at higher risk until effective treatments and vaccines are available. We don’t want to hold a camp that puts our community members at risk or excludes them from participating.
- We considered putting off this decision until May, but had a hard time imagining any factors that could change in the situations above, such that it would be possible for us to safely hold camp.
Again, we are sending out love and blessings to each and every one of you Witchlets community members. Please don’t hesitate to write back with any comments, questions, thoughts, or just anything you’d like to say to us!
Your 2020 Witchlets Weavers (Adissa, Alla, Feather/ Lisa J., Jamie, Meg, Phil, and Stas)