LANSING, Mich. — Fenner Nature Center’s 2020 “Go Wild” Summer Day Camp sessions, originally scheduled June 15 through August 14, have been canceled. All registered families have been offered full refunds.
“We have been privileged to share our summers with countless Go Wild Day Camp families over the years and it’s the season that we look forward to the most,” executive director Liz Roxberry said. “Not once in more than 40 years have we ever considered a summer without campers. The energy and enthusiasm that these campers bring with them to the park will be sorely missed, and we want our families to know that this was a very difficult decision to make.”
Some of the considerations that contributed to this decision included evaluations of the safety measures that would need to be implemented and how those measures would impact campers’ experiences.
“Our program is adventure-based, and much of the camp's culture is rooted in how the campers connect with their environment and with one another,” Roxberry said. “Masks, social distancing and being unable to share equipment in many ways would devalue the experience we wished to provide.”
In addition to the loss of the camp sessions and their opportunities to immerse area children in meaningful nature education this summer, the facility recognizes the financial impact this will have on its ability to deliver programs into the fall.
“With everything that has happened this year related to Covid-19, there will likely be more difficult decisions ahead, unfortunately. Summer camp provides nearly 50 percent of our program revenue for the year and sustains many of our other mission related programs,” Roxberry said. “We will need to rely heavily on our community to help us get through to the other side of this so that we can return ready for programming in 2021.”
In an email sent last week, registered families were offered full refunds or the option to donate their deposit or a portion of those funds to the organization. Program manager Sam Ansaldi also outlined alternative engagement options for families, including Fenner’s Citizen Science projects and the Trail Stewards volunteer docent program scheduled to launch this summer. Families wishing to learn more about these opportunities should visit mynaturecenter.org.
About Fenner Conservancy: Fenner Conservancy, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization and managing body for Fenner Nature Center, connects people to nature in the heart of Lansing through conservation,
education, and stewardship. To learn more about Fenner Conservancy please call 517-483-4224 or visit www.mynaturecenter.org. Fenner Nature Center is located at 2020 E. Mt. Hope Ave., just East of Aurelius Rd. in Lansing.
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