UPDATE: As of March 15, 2021, the Kelso Office of the Department of Children, Youth & Families was still unable to say definitively whether foster children would be permitted to attend an in-person camp this summer. Our local Royal Family KIDS Camp Chapter has decided to check in with DCYF again in mid-April.
Please note: We have blocked off Sunday, July 25 through Friday, July 30, 2021 for Camp 2021. Our hope is that our campers will be able to attend an in-town day camp that week.
However, if that is not possible, we will hold an interactive zoom camp that week, with some pre-recorded content but will also be looking for volunteers to join us for some live interaction a few hours each day that week.
We ask that if you are interested in volunteering this summer, please continue to keep that week blocked off! We will keep you posted as we know more.
UPDATE: As of February 26, according to the Kelso Office of the Department of Children, Youth & Families, the state is not yet permitting any in-person meetings or gatherings with foster children and there is not yet a plan or timeline as to when foster children will be permitted to join camps or sports teams.
Our local Royal Family KIDS Camp chapter will wait a few more weeks in an attempt to gauge when DCYF may be able to make the call to allow foster children to resume these activities. If no in-person option is open to us this summer, we will be holding a Virtual Camp Week for our campers via Zoom the last week of July 2021, with supplies and activities being delivered to their foster homes beforehand.
Volunteers and Supporters,
Below are a few 2021 announcements.
Summer Camp 2021
We checked in with the supervisor at our local Department of Children, Youth & Family office earlier this month regarding their permission for us to hold Camp 2021. At this time, that answer would be, “no” and they’re not sure if/when they’d be able to change that to a “yes.” Unless it’s court-ordered, all in-person activities for wards of the state have been halted. DCYF is not even sure when they’ll be moving their staff back into the office 100%. It’s pretty certain that our regular week-long sleepaway camp will not be a possibility this year but we’ve made a plan to check in with DCYF again at the beginning of March and are hopeful that during that conversation, an alternative version of camp will be possible. Their decision will be based on how vaccinations are going and the status of in-person learning at schools.
A few alternative camp options may look like:
- A week-long day camp here in town (with masks, distancing, sanitizing, and handwashing) … aiming for the originally scheduled week of camp: Sun, July 25 – Fri, July 30.
- The above option, but with reduced numbers of children and volunteers … and repeating the week of camp multiple times to be able to offer it to more campers (a different group of campers each week).
- A weekend day camp here in town (with masks, distancing, sanitizing, and handwashing).
- Interactive via live zoom meetings and some pre-recorded content (such as drama). Hands-on camp materials and swag delivered to campers but no in-person camp component.
Because of the uncertainty, we have not yet posted our online volunteer application. We will keep you updated as we know more and if/when that application goes live.
This extra downtime offers you a great opportunity to explore some of the different ways we have to serve in-town and at-camp, to notify us of your interests, and to ask any questions about what certain positions would entail. Every month, you can find an up-to-date list of volunteer opportunities in our newsletter. The latest newsletter can always be found below in my signature or by clicking here.
Royal Tea Party 2021
Our Event Planning Team made the decision at their regular meeting this month to not hold our annual Royal Tea Party in 2021. Of course, this decision was not made lightly and several factors were considered. We recognize that for the majority of our guests the best part of the fundraiser is attending the event itself, getting to enjoy all of the hard work that the table hostesses put into their table centerpieces and decorations, as well as interacting with our costumed characters and enjoying their performances. The specialness of the day just does not translate as well to an at-home tea party.
Additionally, with last year’s event being postponed from May until September, that placed it closer to this year’s tea party, which would have been in May 2021. We recognize that this past year has been financially difficult on many households and never wish to put an undue burden on our generous supporters by asking for your donations of silent auctions items or seeking your bids on these items.
Lastly, this fundraiser has historically been our largest fundraiser each spring and when it was converted to virtual last year, our loyal supporters were still amazingly generous and we were able to raise more than we had hoped… even more than the prior two years. Because of your generous donations, and the fact that we incurred less expenses last year by not spending the week away at camp, and because it’s looking like we won’t be able to go away to camp this year, our local chapter’s budgetary needs are not as high this year and we always want to be fiscally responsible by matching the donations we solicit with the actual expenses we incur.
While we’re disappointed about cancelling this year’s fun, we’re so looking forward to the possibility of returning to our usual format in Spring of 2022!
Our event team has been brainstorming some fun and creative ways to continue spreading awareness of our ministry and the foster kiddos we serve. One idea that was brought to us included flooding a person’s yard with signage … a virtual TPing … or flocking (see photo below of ideas from other groups). There would be a fundraising aspect to it, where a donor would pay to have a friend’s home receive the signage and then the friend would make a small donation to have the signage removed. Our Event Team is finalizing pricing and details and looking into making and purchasing the signage, with the thought that our signs would be in a shape more representative of our ministry and logo. More details to come soon!
For the Children,
On behalf of your:
Leadership Team: Julia Fielding, Patty L’Amie, Becky Lowsley, Jess McCloud, Carri Urquhart
Event Team: Michelle Casanover, Julia Fielding, Patty L’Amie, Jess McCloud, Andrew Nguyen, Bryeanna Lea Siebert, Beth Schwartz
Jess McCloud, Chapter Director
Royal Family KIDS – Camp #372
(971) 225-7352 Call/Text | cowlitz@RoyalFamilyKIDS.org
www.facebook.com/RFKCowlitz | www.CowlitzCounty.RoyalFamilyKIDS.org
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