Camp Bethel suspends summer overnight, day camps

The summer is going to look very different for a sleep-away camp in one hometown.

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Camp Bethel announced this week it will suspend its overnight and day camps for the 2020 season.

"You just can't take that risk when you can't have a 100-percent guarantee of safety. Camp Bethel is a safe place and it's known as a safe place," Camp Director Barry LeNoir said.

Their mission is to bring people together, but social distancing requires the opposite.

"We have a tradition of family-style meals, learning to pass the green beans and helping each other pour the lemonade and with all that not being able to be done, it's just not camp and it's not our ministry," LeNoir said.

Camp Bethel typically serves about 1,200 children a summer from ages 4 to 17. While the hiatus is disappointing and difficult, but the camp plans to come out stronger on the other side.

"We are going to be using this time to just be better and be ready for next year. It's likely that this is going to continue, we weren't ready for it this summer, we will be ready for it this fall and next summer," LeNoir said.

The campground will stay open for limited guest rentals throughout the next two months, and they hope to offer more individual and family programs in August.

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