The Covid-19 Pandemic has been challenging for the camp industry. Over the last two years, Circle F Dude Ranch Camp has been one of only a few camps across the country to operate during the pandemic. We made necessary adaptations to keep our camper and staff family safe while at camp, resulting in negative and positive outcomes to our program. This year we are excited to begin the process of returning Circle F Dude Ranch to our original format and program. However, we can not forget some of the valuable lessons we learned during these last two years. As we celebrate 70 years in continuous operation this summer, we look forward to bringing the positives from the past summers to 2022.
All Camp Gatherings
One of the best programs to arise from the past summers is the “All Camp Gathering.” All camp gathering occurs directly after dinner each night. During that time, our entire camp family, from campers to staff, come together on our beach to make announcements, sing songs, and reflect on our day. This highly successful program will continue this upcoming summer.
Another successful part of our Covid 19 operation was splitting meal times into two sittings; this allowed our campers to eat comfortably with space between cabin group tables. We will continue this practice as we move forward into 2022. However, meal times at camp are the perfect opportunity for creating connections and catching up on events from the day. In the summer of 2022, our counselors will return to sitting with our campers. From talking with our staff and camp families, we realized how vital these mealtime moments are for both and look forward to mealtimes returning to normal.
During the summers of 2020 and 2021, Circle F decided to remove staff from camper cabins for their safety. In the summer of 2022, counselors will be returning to living in cabins with campers. Campers can expect to return to bunks with two counselors and ten campers sharing one communal space. Like meal times, many wonderful camp experiences happen during simple cabin time, such as silly inside cabin jokes, creating crazy dance routines, playing made-up camp games or other board games.
Connecting campers of different ages
Campers love the big brother/sister atmosphere that is created when sharing different activity periods. In the summer of 2022, we hope to move back towards a programming schedule that will allow us to build this atmosphere naturally. This will include a schedule that enables our older campers to mentor and encourage our younger campers to step out of their comfort zone by participating in the same activities and inspiring them to do likewise.
Masks and Vaccines
We understand that there are many questions surrounding Covid 19, such as masks and vaccines. At this stage, it is too early for us to answer these questions effectively; however, we do not see changes to our current mask policy, which has been campers are not required to wear masks while at camp. If you have questions regarding any of these topics, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Camp Director Ben via email or call the office at 863-676-4113.
The Circle F Team is continuously working hard to make this summer our best one yet, taking feedback from our camper families and staff alike to make the necessary changes to improve our overall camper experience. We look forward to welcoming our returning families back to The Ranch and, as always, bringing new families into our Circle F Community.