BROOKSTON, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana YMCA camp that's been a summer destination for generations of children has canceled its summer camps for the first time in its nearly 100-year history to protect young campers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Camp Tecumseh YMCA officials said the 660-acre riverside camp will be vacant this summer for the first time since it opened in 1924 because they didn't believe they’d be able to guarantee campers' safety with so many unknowns about the spread of coronavirus, the Journal & Courier reported.
Camp Tecumseh's CEO, Scott Brosman, said 6,000 campers were expected for overnight and day camp sessions that were filled before this spring.
He said part of the decision to cancel the summer camps was driven by how difficult it would be to track local infection rates, given that campers — at any given session — come from 17 to 20 states and between five and seven countries.
“Camp is based on a social experience and being around one another,” Brosman said. “We finally decided, how were we going to do that, keeping a six-foot distance, with all the things that are staples at Camp Tecumseh? We just couldn’t.”
Brosman said families have been offered refunds, along with opportunities to apply deposits toward camps in 2021 or to donate to Camp Tecumseh.
The camp is located along the Tippecanoe River in Carroll County, about 70 miles northwest of Indianapolis.