What Should the Voters Know?:
In a typical camp season, Camp Mak-A-Dream offers around 16 weeks of programs at its facility in Gold Creek, Montana from April through September. Like so many camps in 2021, the season looked very different due to the ongoing pandemic. Since we serve a national population, we decided to offer several new online options for participants to keep that sense of Camp community and connection going.
We created a monthly e-newsletter that was sent out to campers, volunteers and past summer staff that included fun articles, historical facts about Camp, various holiday crafts, do-on-your-own activity suggestions, puzzles and bonus videos including monthly cooking sessions led by our own Camp Chef Joe. We also offered two game nights filled with interactive activities, silly puzzles and games (not to mention some clever costumes)! We also took a camp tradition of small group chats and transitioned that to online monthly fireside chats.
Our three spring and five summer program sessions were held virtually using Zoom. Each week included chats, games, art projects, presentations, cooking classes and camp traditions such as a dance party, campfire, and talent show.
For all virtual sessions, we also created Camp in a Box and sent those out in advance to everyone who registered to join us. The boxes included supplies for interactive games, dance party costume props, art project supplies, a camp t-shirt and bag and more!
In the fall were able to hold two sessions in person – one family camp and one women’s retreat. Activities were modified, as were meals and any indoor sessions. We used cohort groups for housing, meals and some activities and despite several mitigation modifications, things still felt like Camp – and people were very happy to be together once again!
Below are photos of the various activities, zoom sessions, schedules, e-newsletters and a link to our YouTube channel where bonus videos can be found.
The goal in 2021 was to keep our Camp community connected, despite not being able to be together in person – and from camper feedback, it was successful!