A couple of years ago, I learned fairly quickly as Managing Director, that my primary responsibility was to ensure the safety and well-being of the Pilgrim Center community. At times this responsibility has meant making decisions that are not always fun or popular. It means shutting down a swim period when there is a thunderstorm on the horizon, it means asking a camper to go back to their cabin and exchange their sandals for tennis shoes before they can play a running game, and this past week it meant making the difficult decision to cancel our summer 2020 programming schedule.
None of these decisions are ever made lightly, I have three weather apps on my phone so that I can look at all of the factors before we take shelter from a storm. And we have been wrestling for months over the decision to cancel our summer programming.
In the case of our cancellation we tried to envision countless adaptive changes in our programming. Most of them resulted in just an empty shell of our traditional program, and it continued to place our people at risk. The risk was simply too great for the anticipated benefit. We know this decision is disappointing and has caused significant sadness within our community, but we believe it was the responsible decision to make.
We also believe that we have great potential to come out of the other end of this pandemic in a stronger and more invigorating form than we have ever imagined. We will not be taking the summer off and resting on our past accomplishments. This pandemic will be requiring us to rethink almost everything we do. We will be spending our summer methodically and critically looking at every aspect of our programming and every corner of our facility. We know that the UCCI community is longing to spend time together, to enjoy our waterfronts, to roast ‘smores and tell stories around our campfires, to sing our silly songs and play our crazy games. We are longing to commune with the holy and sacred nature that make up our sites.
Rest assured we are doing everything we can to make those longings a reality as soon as we can. In the meantime, we humbly ask for your support and prayers…and please wash your hands.
~ Rev. Nathan Athorp