Lakeside Institute, 2021 – UPDATE!
Hello Lakeside Institute Family,
Can you all believe it is nearly June already, and in two very short months Lakeside will be filled with “Oh Fill My Cup”, Hulas, maybe a “Johnny Appleseed” or two, along with all the other traditions that we both so dearly miss from Institute. A year away from Lakeside and all of you amazing people has definitely taken its toll, and we can’t wait to see you all in person at Lakeside very soon!
Your Deans and Staff have been meeting over the past few months, and have been planning even longer, to try to give everyone an amazing Lakeside Institute experience while also trying to keep everyone as safe as possible as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic. We just wanted to take a few minutes to give everyone a quick update on what Lakeside Institute will look like this summer.
While we realize that as of writing this (5/28/21) Governor DeWine has announced that he will be lifting statewide COVID-19 restrictions on June 2 nd ; the Camps of the East Ohio Conference have meet with local health departments as well as reviewed the suggestions of both the CDC as well as the American Camp Association to try to come up with a plan that reaches a balance of following these suggestions to keep everyone safe while also trying to give our campers and staff a great experience. This means that while some of the restrictions that were originally put in place for us have been reduced, we will still be taking steps to help prevent a potential COVID-19 outbreak at Institute.
This summer we will be broken into “Pods” to try to minimize a potential outbreak. These pods will consist of roughly 20 or so men and women that will make up 2 different small groups. You will be spending your typical time in your small groups, and then during Chaplains Hour, Closing Circle, Meal Time, etc. you will get the opportunity to sit and interact with the other members of your pod. However, we will still be limiting the interaction between the different pods.
This was our best option on how to give our campers the opportunity to not be with the same group of 10 people all week long, but also try to limit a potential outbreak that could spread across the entire camp. We will still be limited on who we can interact with, but we are very excited to be able to offer coed small groups, and the ability to interact with some different people throughout the week. To go along with the Pods, the decision has been made that when we are in our pods we will not be required to wear a face covering. While, anyone is more than welcome to wear a mask at any time they choose, we will not enforce masking while in your small groups or pods. However, whenever the small groups/pods are around each other we will still be requiring everyone to wear a mask. This means that during things like Chaplains Hour, Closing Circle, and any camp wide activities we will still expect everyone to wear a mask. However, during your small group time, afternoon activities, in your sleeping areas, etc. you will no longer be required to wear a mask.
These two changes, along with the fact that we will be able to increase the total number of campers that can join us this summer, are the biggest pieces of news when it comes to what Lakeside Institute will look like this summer as we navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are asking all of you to trust us, when we say that we are trying to plan camp in a way that allows us to follow the guidelines that have been given to us, while also giving our campers the best experience possible. We want all of you to feel comfortable and excited to join us this summer.
Our Chaplain, Eric Kluth of the Mogadore UMC, has shared with us that a message on Hope has really been on his heart to share with us this summer, in particular Romans 15:13 which says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” So, with that scripture as inspiration the staff is excited to announce that the theme for Lakeside Institute 2021 will be “Oh Fill My Cup”!
As we enter these final 2 months of planning please stay tuned to all our social media sites for further announcements about what to expect this summer, for signups for our talent show on Friday evening, for instructions on what to do when you arrive to Lakeside for camp on Sunday July 25th , as well as hopefully some messages from our staff. If at any time over the next couple months anyone has any questions at all please feel free to contact us.
We know we speak for the entire staff when we say we cannot wait to see you in July at Lakeside for another amazing week of Lakeside Institute!
Blessings & Shalom,
Lakeside Institute Deans (Brian & Kim) & Staff, 2021