Updated July 10, 2020

Remainder of Summer Camp Programming Cancelled

Dear families enrolled in programs for summer 2020,

I hope you and your family were able to enjoy the Fourth of July this past weekend. We have been looking forward to seeing your child at camp. We recently learned that several of our staff were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The Health department recommended that our staff self-isolate for 14 days after the contact. Upon learning what that means, to cancel another week and only have a few limited opportunities for people to attend camp, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our remaining summer programs including Ranger, Day Camp and our StayCation Family rental programs the remainder of summer 2020.

We are saddened that we were not able to see your child and family for their scheduled summer program. We believe the safety of all participants is very important, and making the precautionary decision to not run programs the remainder of the summer, is in the best interest for all. Since we had to suspend these programs we ask that you choose from the following options to tell us how we can process any payments you have already made:

1. DONATION – Making a gift of your deposit or any amount you have already paid to camp is a generous way to ensure that Wapsie can get through this extremely challenging time. We encourage you to please consider donating all or a partial amount of your camp fees if you are able, as this will help camp continue to run future programming beyond these difficult times. Cancelling our entire summer programming has resulted in a monumental loss to camp revenue around $1,000,000 which will make running future camp programs extremely difficult. You will help to ensure that Camp Wapsie can move forward from this great loss and continue to serve future generations.

2. ROLLOVER CREDIT – By selecting this option, your payments will be applied as credit to your account for future YMCA or camp programs. Credit valid through 2021.

3. REFUND – If you would like your fees refunded back to you, we can process the amount paid to your original form of payment. Your patience will be greatly appreciated as we work through this process.

Please email camp@crmetroymca.org with your choice to process any paid fees by July 17, 2020. If we do not hear from you your payments will be applied to your account as a rollover credit.

This has been a challenging time for everyone. We thank you for your support and patience as it will be extremely difficult for camp to not see and serve so many of our campers this summer. The economic impact this will have on camp will be felt for years. Together we will work to overcome, to support each other and to get back to our camp programs as soon as we can do so. We hope to be able to resume Camp programs sometime this fall and see you back at camp in the near future. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay hopeful, and keep the Wapsie Magic alive, wherever you go.

Sincerely in Camping,

The Staff at YMCA Camp Wapsie


First, remember that you know your child best. Try to digest the news yourself before talking to your camper. Below are some tips that can help guide how you:

  1. Acknowledge their feelings. Expect a range of emotions, including disappointment, anger, sadness, or even grief. Most of us, including our children, have experienced a lot of cancelled plans, and adding yet another disappointment to the list may feel overwhelming. Acknowledge that it is frustrating to suffer yet another loss.
  2. Ask: What would help? When your camper is ready, think about what can be done to cope. What are some things that your child can do to share their favorite parts of camp with your family? Maybe they can teach you a game from camp or camp song. Is there a camp meal you can make at home? Ask them to tell you about their favorite things about camp.  Below are a few resources to reference:

How to talk to your kids about COVID-19 (Mayo Clinic)

Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting From COVID-19 (National Association of School Pshychologists)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to Talk to Your Child (KidsHealth)

How to Talk to Your Kids about Cancelled Summer Plans (ReformingJudaism.org)

No field trips, spring musicals or sports? How to talk to kids about coronavirus cancellations. (Asbury Park Press)

Talking with Children About Coronavirus (Fred Roger Institute)

Not every child will feel better by doing camp activities at home, so let them be the guide. Remember, it may take time for your child to process their feelings to get to a place where they can think about pro-actively moving forward.

  1. Check-in Again. Over the next few days, gently ask how they’re doing and see if they need more support. Try to remember to ask again as we get closer to the days when camp would have started.
  2. If campers need a taste of camp encourage them to visit our Facebook page and enjoy a tour, campfire or other Wapsie photos and memories.

Camps primary revenue source is our summer programs. The loss of over four months of revenue has a huge impact on our operations and budget. We need your support! The generous donations from our Wapsie family allow us to maintain the camp property, keep key staff employed, offering alternative programing, and help us make it through this difficult time. As a member of the YMCA of Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Area association, we are a registered 501(c)(3) organization. This qualifies your donation as tax-deductible under the new CARES ACT, even if you are not itemizing your taxes.  Once we have processed your donation, you will receive a receipt for tax purposes. If your business has a gifting program or matches employee gifts please let us know. We would love to work with them as well.

If possible consider keeping your fees at camp as a system credit for future camp programs (this saves us a lot of time and processing fees) OR consider donating some or all of paid fees to camp to help us get through this challenging time.  Could you consider making a charitable gift to support camp? Please give online or contact us to discuss opportunities.

  • Volunteer! We have volunteer opportunities for businesses, our camp families and alum who wish to help us with projects around Camp. A variety of projects will be available including family-friendly options.
  • Make a donation for the reasons listed above. YMCA Camp Wapsie needs and appreciates your help. Please remember Camp if your company offers matching gifts. We’d be honored to be your match!

Notify us of any grants, foundations, or other funding opportunities you are aware of that could provide support to Flat Rock River YMCA Camp during this time.

Camp is a special place for us all.  We understand your desire to come out and visit.  For the safety of our staff, please contact us to discuss if it is a good time to visit.

Like many of you, the unprecedented times are weighing heavily on us. Camp is resilient. Though the loss of a majority of summer camp programs, it is hard for us not being able to share the life changing growth opportunities we provide to campers. We are currently exploring alternative program opportunities such as StayCation Family Cabin Rentals for later this summer.

Suspending camp programs is a devastatingly large financial loss of over $850,000 on Camp Wapsie and the YMCA.  Our staff and volunteers believe in what we do and will work hard to carry camp through this challenging time. We need the support of our camper families and community now more than ever. Please consider supporting us if you can. With the generosity of our community, Wapsie can make it through.  As we like to say at camp. “We will weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.” We cannot wait to be together again.

We plan to run most of our fall programming, opening for fall retreats, and possibly making up some cancelled spring programs.  We are continuing to monitor the situation to make decisions on fall programming through the ever-changing environment of COVID-19.


Now more than ever, Camp Wapsie needs your help. Donations to our Annual Support Campaign will ensure that campers will be able to continue to participate in Wapsie programming for many seasons to come. Please consider a donation to help serve the growing needs of our community.

Past Summer Camp Updates