A Letter from Bishop Benfield
The Arkansas Department of Health has issued a directive for camps and faith-based operations, which states that “all summer camps, including pre-camp counselor preparations, cannot operate as usual this summer.” There is worry about bringing together large numbers of young people in cabin settings. The Health Department does not plan to re-evaluate this directive until May 31.
With this directive and the timing of summer camp in mind, the Camp Mitchell Board of Directors has decided not to offer summer camps this year. This decision is in line with the actions of many other dioceses. I know that it is disappointing to so many of us; summer camp has long been a way that young people find a deep appreciation of their faith and make life-long friendships.
The camp will soon start making refunds for people who have already signed up. Even without summer camp, state health directives might make it possible for the camp to host other events, such as house rentals by families. In the meantime, the task force that I appointed after Diocesan Convention will continue its work and make a recommendation to the Camp Mitchell Board and Executive Council on steps necessary to achieve long-term financial stability for Camp Mitchell.