Summer 2020 Family Camp »

Update for Summer 2020


With so many unknowns in these uncertain and trying times, we have come to the difficult decision to postpone overnight resident camp at YMCA Camp Gorham until 2021. We waited as long as possible to make this decision in hopes of arriving at a strategy that would allow us to navigate the challenges that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis presents the overnight camping world today.

We know this is not the decision any of you were hoping for and that you and your camper were looking forward to this summer at Gorham. Believe me when I say this news is just as devastating for us.

While this news is hard, it will not stop us from serving your family. Gorham started more than 100 years ago as a family retreat, even hosting U.S. presidents. This summer, we are going back to those roots.

Your family will have the chance to stay on Gorham property and rent one of our cabins at Summer 2020 Family Camp! We know these past three months have been especially hard on families. Gorham is excited to offer your family a place to unplug and unwind in the beautiful Adirondacks. Running Camp in this way allows us to safely provide the unforgettable Adirondack experience that we are unable to provide with traditional overnight camp this summer. More information regarding our cabin rentals will be shared soon.

If you have already registered for camp, we  have several options regarding camp fees paid to date:

  1. Use your credit towards a stay in one of our cabins this summer with your family or towards another Camp Gorham program.
  2. Apply the fees paid towards next year’s camp registration! This will allow you to lock in at 2020 pricing and receive a 60th Camp Gorham Anniversary shirt.
  3. Become a Sustaining Camp Family. Donate your fees to help ensure the continued viability of Camp Gorham and for us to return stronger than ever in 2021.

If you’d like to take another action, please reach out to us at 315-357-6401 or contact us. We understand this news is hard, but please know that we are still here to support your family. You can view resources and tips for talking to your child below.

We wish your family continued good health and can’t wait to welcome you to Camp Gorham again soon.



Jackie Rudolph

Executive Director

YMCA Camp Gorham



Tips for Talking to Your Child about Camp Being Canceled

First, remember that you know your child best. Try to digest the news yourself before talking to your camper. This is why we are waiting to publicize it so you have time to discuss as a family. Below are some tips that can help guide how you:

1. Acknowledge their feelings. Expect a range of emotions, including disappointment, anger, sadness, or even grief. Most us, including our children, have experienced a lot of canceled plans, and adding yet another disappointment to the list may feel overwhelming. Acknowledge that it is frustrating to suffer yet another loss.

2. Ask: What would help? When your camper is ready, think about what can be done to cope. What are some things that your child can do to share their favorite parts of camp with your family? Maybe they can teach you a game from camp or camp song. Is there a camp meal you can make at home? Not every child will feel better by doing camp activities at home, so let them be the guide. Remember, it may take time for your child to process their feelings to get to a place where they can think about pro-actively moving forward.

3. Check-in Again. Over the next few days, gently ask how they’re doing and see if they need more support. Try to remember to ask again as we get closer to the days when camp would have started.

4. Resources addressing other challenges that can arise in a crisis:

How to Talk to Your Children When Bad Things Happen: This article offers help with one of the biggest challenges of parenthood, explaining bad things in the world.

Supporting Families During COVID-19: The Child Mind Institute shares supportive and comprehensive resources for parents on a number of coronavirus-related topics.

Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home: These tips from the American Academy are designed to help families through the current crisis.

How to Be Your Best Self in Times of Crisis: Psychologist Susan David shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage, and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in this TEDtalk.

Emotional Regulation Worksheets: A Coping Skill Activity: This worksheet and calming technique can help you focus on the present rather than overthinking about the past or future.

51 Mindfulness Activities for Kids: These tips and activities can teach elementary-aged students how to practice mindfulness.