A new year means new opportunities to connect with the community and continue to bring one-of-a-kind camp experiences to campers near and far.  Last year, Camp One Step was able to reinvent a new “normal” for campers, sending exciting care packages to engage individuals and their families in virtual programming on Zoom and in their homes.  Now, the chance to continue reaching campers who cannot physically attend programs continues, as well as the hopeful return to in-person programming sometime later this year.  The entire Camp One Step community is waiting in eager anticipation as the early 2021 programs are slated to bring even more virtual fun to campers.

The decision to return to in-person programming will be focused on the ability to maintain the health and safety of campers and staff, attained primarily through control of the COVID-19 virus and the achievement of widespread vaccination in the United States.  Strategies for returning to in-person camp safely will be guided by recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the American Camp Association.  With the hope that widespread COVID-19 vaccination could occur by early summer, planning to return in person for Summer Camp 2021 is an exciting potential!  Campers would have the option to join in person, virtually, or both during Summer Camp.  A task force has been convened, and the strategies to safely return are continually being planned and adjusted.  Though programming may look different at Conference Point Center this year, Camp One Step is committed to bringing happiness and joy through the continuation of year-round camp spirit.

Looking forward to the excitement of the spring and early summer programs, exploring new and creative opportunities is important to the success of virtual programming.  Chicago Day Camp, Brain Tumor Family Camp, and Sibling Camp were all huge virtual hits last year, and planning for even more at-home engagement is underway for this year!  What kind of virtual field trips will Chicago Day Campers take, and where around the world will those trips lead them?  What family activities and parent support will Brain Tumor Family Camp Virtual provide for the community?  Will there be another program-long, connection-building competition during Sibling Camp Virtual?  Join in for these respective programs to see how virtual camp can be elevated to a new level of fun in 2021!

Our Camp One Step community is made up of some of the most caring, determined, and resilient people you’ll ever meet! Our family of campers, families, volunteers, staff, and supporters are also united in our belief that camp isn’t just a place, it’s a community, and it’s not about where we are, but who we are; that makes our programs so special.

So when faced with this unprecedented health crisis affecting our country and world, it’s no surprise that we are collectively saying “Camp will go on” this Summer, it may just look a little different this year. While change can be difficult at times, it can also bring creativity, fun, and new ways of experiencing camp with friends and others! This Summer, our staff and volunteers will be working together to bring camp to our kids and families. As Darryl Perkins, our Chief Programs Officer said, “Our recent Virtual Chicago Day Camp taught us that the energy that the campers have at Camp One Step is far more contagious than any virus, and transmits through your screen.”

Normally we talk about kids coming to camp, but to protect the health and safety of our kids and volunteers, we know this isn’t possible right now. So how will we bring camp to our kids? It starts with our incredible team of Program Leaders, who will be planning a variety of both virtual and at-home, indoor and outdoor activities for each of our Summer Programs (Sibling Camp, Summer Camp and Utah Adventure Program). Counselors will lead their groups in providing some virtual experiences via Zoom that will feel very familiar (like singing songs, dance parties, games, and talent shows), as well as planning some surprises that our campers can do at home with their families too! To support these activities, Camp One Step will be sending campers “care packages” to their homes, filled with lots of fun items, activity supplies, and t-shirts to make them smile, and feel our camp hug. “The opportunity for kids to connect and feel like they are not alone is more important than ever. We are so excited to offer the same fun, creative activities our campers know and love in this unique virtual way. It’s going to be a summer like no other!” said Jessica Hopper, Director, Summer Camp.

Nothing is stronger than the bonds, friendships, and connections of our community, and that is why not even COVID-19 cannot stop camp from taking place this summer! Our campers are heroes to us, showing incredible strength, courage, and tenacity on a daily basis. So we hope every eligible camper will register for virtual programs being offered this Summer, and be part of this incredible story of how camp marched on, and nothing could stop us, not even this global situation. We are Camp One Step! #ForwardTogether

Sibling Camp Virtual:
Being held June 13-18. Registration opens April 30th: (Register here)

Summer Camp Virtual:
Being held July 11-24. Registration open now through May 8th (Register here)

Utah Adventure Virtual:
Being held August 8-15.  (Learn more)