Peter and Meg's Letter to Families

In early May, the Kassens recognized that the risks of opening camp this summer were too great and sent this message to families. Please read on and consult other links on this page.

Dear HVC Parents,

Once again, we trust that you and your family are safe and well this spring. One silver lining recently has been the more-than-usual off-season connection with many of you, particularly your creative and resilient children.

This is the most heartbreaking moment we have had in our 32 years at HVC. Having finally gathered enough information to make a decision about the summer, and having spoken to many advisors within and outside the camping community, we know it is best to suspend on-site camp activity until 2021.

Recently, Maine’s governor wisely put restrictions on the number of participants in Maine camps and the timing of summer sessions, creating significant logistical uncertainty. More crucially, conversations with the HVC medical team and other camp professionals, messages from the CDC via the American Camp Association and discussions among ourselves have all confirmed that it would be impossible for us to assure the health of our community members. The risks are just too great.

Hearing our decision has got to be hard for you. Parenting is no easy task on a good day, and it’s so hard to have children miss out on something they desperately want and need. And that you want and need! Nor, especially, is this easy for your children, who have experienced the loss of school time and other activities, missed friendships, and perhaps have lost neighbors and loved ones.

None of this was expected. None of it feels normal. The only thing that is “OK” is that it’s all right to feel sad or angry or confused. We have prepared a video message for campers along these lines, about the choice we’ve made, people’s feelings, and our plans going forward. Please share it with your children.

We will continue to be in touch...

  • “At Home with HVC” will continue online - aided by a small group of staff who live here year round – so that the camp experience will remain as consistent as possible throughout the summer. Details will follow about that as well.
  • We will continue to discuss the ways we can all support our disappointed campers. [See link above, right]

Please tell your children…

  • They can expect to receive 2020 t-shirts this summer.
  • Campers who might normally have “aged out” of camp will be welcomed back in 2021
  • Teen campers will get a separate letter from us shortly. There is a place for them here in 2021 as well.
  • We will post daily activities and messages from camp via FaceBook and Instagram

We know that this idea of “At Home with HVC” online does not account for an essential element of camp. Children succeed and grow at HVC because they are away from home and out of their comfort zone, because they make new friends and find new role models, because they make independent choices, find their voices, take pride in their new community, and are recognized and known as their true selves in a new safe creative loving space. This is the gift you have given your children and it is the loss that breaks our hearts. It also leaves us with hope for all of us and for the future here…

We spoke to a camp mom recently who said, “I have to remind myself that the pandemic is not the end of childhood.” Thank you!! Neither is it the end of your child’s relationship with HVC. It’s an interruption – sad and scary at times - and we will do our best to be here for your children and for you.

As ever,
Meg and Peter

Helpful Links

How to help children with their continued experience of loss. We've been speaking with professionals about this and have acquired some suggestions for you.

Click here to learn about partial refunds and 2021 credits.

HVC online: Please read about ongoing presence for children and our virtual plans for the summer.

Please contact us with your thoughts and questions.