Our son has a summer camp that he has gone to for the past several years now. He absolutely loves it, and it really is one of the things he most looks forward to each year.
This year, the people running the camp really did try to keep it going, even if only for part of the summer. But for whatever combination of reasons (lockdown "restrictions", and the fears of other families, etc.) they were unable to. I cried when I got the email.
A few days ago, they sent out an email asking for parents to voice any concerns they might have about coming back in the summer of 2021.
Here is my reply (I've changed the name of the camp). I am posting it here in case it is helpful as a guide or template for others who might want to correspond with their children's schools or camps, etc.:
We love, love, love Camp Wilderness Adventure. It is one of the things our son most looks forward to every year. So we were heartbroken when there was no camp this year, although we understand why you had to make the decision you did.
Our main concern now regarding next summer is that there might be restrictions in place that would either prohibit our son from attending, or would make the experience significantly less than what it has been in the past.
Again, we understand the position you are in: You have to deal with both state government orders (which, as many have pointed out, are NOT laws, and the governor of California does not have the lawful power to dictate to businesses the conditions under which they may operate), and with the fears and preferences of many different families. Of course you cannot build your business around the preferences of a single family, and we understand that.
However, since you asked, we do want to let you know what our preferences and concerns are:
1. We are not at all concerned about our son contracting Covid-19. All the available evidence shows that this virus does not pose a serious risk to young people. Children in particular, are more at risk from common influenza viruses. Should he become infected, we would keep him isolated from any elderly or vulnerable people in our lives;
2. We are very concerned about the social isolation our son is currently experiencing, as well as about the kinds of restrictions that are being put forward as the "new normal" for children in schools and other settings. To be very very clear: We have no interest at all in these restrictions. We find them dehumanizing, psychologically damaging, and in some cases dangerous to children's health. And given our first point, above, they are also completely unnecessary;
3. Some government and public health authorities are saying that these measures will have to be in place until there is a vaccine for SARS-Cov-2. Without going into all of the problems that are surfacing about this particular vaccine, let us be absolutely clear that under no circumstances will we be having our son vaccinated. So if this becomes a condition of his attendance at Camp Wilderness Adventure, then he will not be able to attend. Again, this would be heartbreaking for him and for us;
4. We understand that it must seem as if all of these restrictions and conditions are being imposed upon you and there is nothing you can do about them. But that is not true. Many people, including business owners, ARE fighting the orders that have already been imposed, and are planning to fight any future orders. We can provide information about some of these people, and resources, if you are interested.
Again, we understand that you are operating a business and that you must satisfy the needs and preferences of a wide range of different people. And we understand that there is a lot of fear out in the world right now around this virus. We believe that that fear is unwarranted, especially in the realm of children's and young people's activities. And we are committed to helping to educate about this and to combatting the fear, so that everyone's children can go back to having normal childhoods, to being around other children and to not being taught that it is normal to fear other people.
We are not alone. Just last week, a group of highly esteemed scientists came out with a statement–the Great Barrington Declaration–saying essentially what we have said here: That the lockdowns were misguided, that the vast majority of the population–including children–should be able to get back to their normal lives, and that only the elderly or otherwise vulnerable need to be protected.
We understand that you have a business to keep alive, and we are in no position to tell you how to do that. However we also feel that there is something critically important at stake here. How we interact with each other, how our children learn and play, the very foundations of human interaction and human society are being turned upside down, and for no good reason. We do not know what your opinions or beliefs about that are, but we hope that you will choose to do what you believe is right, and not just what is expedient or the least troublesome.
Thank you for your time, and for all that you have created over the years! We hope that our son will be able to spend many more years with you all!