Summer 2020 Camp Season Cancelled
A message from the Directors of Pine Bush Bible Camp
This is the announcement that we were hoping we would not have to make. The Board, along with other staff have met often to look for summer options. We looked for specific directions from health authorities and governmental agencies, and we prayed. We spoke to other like-minded camps across the country and inquired of many of you who are closely tied to the Lord’s work at camp.
But at our last meeting, we made the decision to cancel the 2020 camp season. I do not think the word “cancel” has ever been associated with a Pine Bush session, let alone a season. We were not ordered by the Department of Health or the State of New York to cancel. These agencies have been helpful and cooperative to camp and to our ministry over these many years. We realize they are dealing with a moving target. We have looked to the CDC’s guidelines on having camp during this pandemic and have concluded that we do not have the capability to adhere to their good and necessary recommendations. It would be very difficult for us to adequately adhere to the testing, sanitizing, and social distancing expectations while providing the fun, meaningful and Christ-centered program our campers and parents expect. We understand that the CDC guidelines are essential for campers and staff to be safe at camp.
So, we place the summer months before the Lord and we ask Him to make this summer count. And who knows what He will do? I tend to see disappointments as simply that … disappointments. But throughout Scripture the Lord has turned great disappointments into great blessings. Abraham’s disappointment in not having a child resulted in Him making a few rash conclusions (Eliezer) and decisions (Ishmael) but then there was Isaac. Elijah’s disappointment with the nation resulted in that epic battle of the gods on Mt. Carmel. And Joseph’s disappointment with having a pregnant fiancé resulted in Joseph having the Son of God living in his home and working alongside him on his aged workbench. And what about our disappointment with not having camp this summer? Maybe many of us will come to that same truth that Asaph did in Psalm 73. He was disappointed that the wicked seemingly had it so easy while the Lord’s people struggled. This reality, Asaph said, was “too painful for me” (73:16). But in vs. 17, the Psalmist says, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.” Asaph understood what I need to come to understand; That the Lord has all of this under control; That He has our backs.
Let’s pray that the Lord will continue His work at Pine Bush even though we cannot have camp. There are multiple work projects that need to be done. And if you form a work team to tackle a project, maybe a friend who is not a Christian will come with you and spend a few days helping. And maybe by being there with you and others, that friend may come to know Christ. Maybe a vendor from whom you get project supplies may hear of Christ from your visit. Maybe the time you spend helping at camp this summer will turn out to be time with the Lord that is better than a retreat! Let’s pray for God to show Himself strong in blessing at camp even without our normal camp sessions.
Please pray with us, that the Lord will:
- accomplish great things for His kingdom at camp this summer.
- bring in the needed income for our regular needs as well as for project work.
- help our creative staff to provide meaningful activities we can share with campers.
- glorify Himself in every event of this summer’s unfolding camp experience.
Thank you, Pine Bush Family, for the prayers, financial support, and volunteering that has made our group a wonderful family to be a part of. Thank you for all you do, and please contact me or any Session Director you work with, to find out how you can help this summer. And please continue checking the website and our social media and looking for email updates on how the summer is progressing and on possible late summer events. For making donations, please visit our website for the needed information.
In His Service,
Bob Hayes, on Behalf of the Pine Bush Board of Directors