Due to the mandates banning mass gatherings by the State of New York, we are sad to announce that we must cancel Flower City Work Camp 2020 (April 5-9).
There are a number of practical reasons why the current situation will keep us from holding Work Camp. But, we also want to be a good corporate neighbor and take measures to protect the most vulnerable in our community by working to limit the potential spread of disease. It was a very difficult decision to cancel Work Camp, and one that saddens all of us. This page will help answer some of your questions about why we made the decision and what will happen next.
Why can’t we still do some form of Work Camp without large gatherings?
Even if we avoided having large gatherings (worship in the sanctuaries, sleeping overnight and hosting group meals), we are finding that most of the venues we would be serving at are also closing or restricting visitors and outside volunteers. Recreation Centers in the city where we host our sports camps are not allowing for gatherings of greater than 50. Foodlink, where multiple Agency Support teams were going to serve, is no longer allowing outside volunteers. And, many of the Heritage Christian Services locations we were going to serve at have residents who fall into the high-risk category of being impacted negatively by exposure to illness. Simply put, the places that many of our teams were going to go serve are no longer available to us.
Could we still go out in small pockets and serve at some of the Worksite homes?
No, unfortunately that won’t be possible. Because we will not be fully operational the week of Spring Break (April 5-9), we will not be providing the level of support that we would typically have available for those working on a Worksite. That includes first aid and medical support, provision of meals, provision of safety equipment, coordination of police coverage in the area, etc. If work is done under the umbrella of Flower City Work Camp we would still be liable for anything that happened on those sites. We have come to accept that Work Camp is “all or nothing” in order to maintain the safe environment we have been known for. And, even though young people aren’t heavily hit by the Coronavirus, some of those we serve with and provide service to are in high-risk categories that we still don’t want to potentially harm.
Will FCWC2020 be rescheduled for another time?
Work Camp is definitely coming back, and our current plan is to be ready to go for an incredible Spring Break week serving together in 2021.
Will families be refunded for the Camper Fee they paid to attend Work Camp?
Families can receive a full refund for the fees they paid for their students to attend Camp. Families may also choose to designate all or a portion of what they paid to be retained as a donation to help Flower City Work Camp cover the costs we have already incurred this year. We will email you in the coming week to ask what you would like to do.
Online payments made early in the enrollment period aren’t eligible to be refunded electronically, so manual refund checks would need to be generated and mailed. Please give us 30 days to complete the process of refunding if you request one before you inquire.
Will volunteers who donated online or who purchased a t-shirt receive a refund?
Because of the costs we have incurred preparing for Work Camp this year, we will retain the donations made by volunteers when they registered online. Please let us know if you do want your donation returned. Refunds for t-shirts purchased by Other Adult Volunteers will available and we will be emailing you to see if you would like it returned or would like to donate that portion as well.
Was it difficult to reach this decision to cancel Work Camp?
There have been hundreds of volunteers working to plan and prepare Work Camp, and to see it get cancelled now is a major letdown. We feel it as much as you do. Just as the youth grow through serving God by serving others, so do we. And, being around youth helps us feel younger and inspires us to greater depths in our own discipleship. Not having Work Camp is going to feel like a great loss. But, we don’t serve through FCWC for ourselves. We do it for the One who created us. And we do it to bless others. While FCWC feels incredibly important to all of us, we have to look at it in the greater context of what is happening in our community right now. God knows all about this and is already at work. In fact, it will be amazing to see what He does in and through this challenge. If we seek Him, our faith and trust will increase as a result.
I can’t wait a whole year for FCWC to happen again. What do I do?
You should look for opportunities to serve in other ways this Spring Break, even if it is just serving the other members of your family at home. And, you can stay connected with FCWC friends online and share stories from previous years. We are already working on a reunion worship night in May if possible. And, you can look for opportunities with your youth group to take on some smaller service projects to do on your own to still lend a hand and help others.
Will you still announce a winner for the t-shirt design contest?
We have selected three finalists and are working to select a winner. We may produce one or more of the designs as a t-shirt later this year or next. The winner(s) will receive a free year of Camp in 2021 as the prize (along with a free shirt with their design).