Camp announces it will be closed for Summer 2020

Coronavirus & 4-H Camp Bristol Hills

Update:  May 20, 2020

Dear Camp Families,

It is with a heavy heart that 4-H Camp Bristol Hills announces we will not operate our summer camp program for summer 2020.   Trying to decide if camp should open or remain closed is not a decision we have taken lightly and it has been a difficult process. In the end, we took some time to think back on our mission; to provide a safe, fun, and educational experience in the outdoors. Safety is our number one priority. Each and every camper and staff member is precious to us and the risk of jeopardizing your safety is not one we feel is appropriate to take when there is still much to learn about gathering together safely as NY begins to re-open in the coming weeks.

We also considered the traditional camp experience that you have come to expect from us. A camp without hugs, team challenge, swimming, gaga, eating family-style in the dining hall, silly skits, campfire circle, meeting new friends in your classes, or any of the amazing traditions seemed unfathomable to us. We considered several scenarios and kept coming back to the realization that it wouldn’t be camp as we all know and love.

While we are heartbroken, we remain #CampStrong and recognize that we can do hard things; like finding new and exciting ways to share camp with the world because the world needs camp right now. You are experienced in the ways of 4-H Camp Bristol Hills and that campfire light burns in your heart even when you are away from camp. We hope you will stoke the fire and keep it burning bright until it is safe to gather at camp again. More so, we hope that you will share your light of Bristol Hills with the world. Teach someone your favorite camp game or song, give warm fuzzies, set the table at home, find opportunities for new adventures and getting outside, be a team player in your community. You are brave, strong, resilient, and we are proud of each one of you.

That said, Covid-19 may have closed our facility, but it cannot cancel our connection! We are actively putting together some alternative programming opportunities and invite you and your friends to connect with camp in that way this summer.We will get through this together, one day at a time. We would love to see your camp memories, photos, T-shirts new and old, a camp song sung at full volume, and campers getting outside this summer! It will remind us (and all of you) that the camp spirit lives on even when we are not physically at camp.We invite you to share your photos, videos and stories on our Facebook page!

We are offering full refunds to anyone who has already registered. While this will be financially devastating to 4-H Camp Bristol Hills, it is the right thing to do.There are two alternative options if you are able to help support camp during this time. You can defer your payment to next summer or elect to donate any portion of your camp fee to cover our non-variable operating costs, including maintenance, utilities, insurance, and supporting year-round employees who depend on their camp employment. If you choose the option of a donation, we are eternally grateful to you and your generosity. Please complete our reimbursement form to let us know how you would like to handle your camp fee for 2020.

Thank you all for your unwavering support during this difficult time. We are looking forward to hearing camp stories and photos from you, and planning an incredible summer 2021. 

Executive Director, Timothy S. Davis,
Camp Manager, Jim Hooper
Camp Registrar, Ellen Rosenbarker
Camp Director, Jessica Middleton

March 17, 2020

Dear Campers and Families,

Please know that 4-H Camp Bristol Hills is committed to the well-being of each camper, family and staff member. We are in regular communication with our Covid-19 Team at Cornell University, along with the NY Department of Health office and the American Camp Association in regards to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, we are planning to be in full operation for Summer 2020. We are actively examining our arrival screenings, health response procedures, and cleaning procedures, ensuring that we meet or exceed standards required by the Department of Health. While we acknowledge that this is a constantly evolving situation, and everything is subject to change, the guidance that we have received indicates that the virus will be under control before the start of Summer Camp, and the school systems will not be extended into the summer season.

In order to help you register with confidence, we have updated our registration guidelines as follows;

  • If you have already registered and wish to exercise caution, contact our office (585.394.3977 ext 435 or  emm64@cornell.edu) about moving to a program later in the summer. We will waive our transfer fees between now and May 1st for any transfers based on concerns regarding Covid-19.
  • Understanding you may be waiting to make your summer camp reservation we are extending our April 15 Early Bird discount to May 1, 2020.
  • In the event you need to cancel your registration due to a camper or immediate family member testing positive for Covid-19, you will receive a full refund (including deposit), with a doctors notification.
  • In the unlikely event that 4-H Camp Bristol Hills makes the decision to cancel a session of camp, you will receive a full refund (including deposit).

For accurate information on how you can protect your family right now, we suggest resources found at NYS Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We are committed to keeping you updated of any changes in our plans, policies, or procedures. If you have any questions or concerns you are welcome to contact me at (585) 394-3977 ext 407 or by email at  jah249@cornell.edu. Please be aware that as of 3/17/2020, our employees have been given the option to work from home, so I will be checking messages from home regularly, but it may take a little longer than usual for a response. Email may be a faster route for contacting me.

Thank you for your continued support of 4-H Camp Bristol Hills. We look forward to an amazing summer and year. See you soon!

Jim Hooper

Camp Manager

4-H Camp Bristol Hills

Last updated May 21, 2020