JCC announces cancellation of its 2020 Emma Kaufmann Camp program

JCC announces cancellation of its 2020 Emma Kaufmann Camp program

Leadership looking into 'creative options' for community to be at campground this summer

Still from EKC video, July, 2017.
Still from EKC video, July, 2017.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh announced today that it was canceling its 2020 EKC Summer Camp program. EKC, founded in 1908, is located on Cheat Lake near Morgantown, West Virginia.

The decision to cancel camp this summer was arrived at “following careful review of guidance from a number of national and local authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the American Camp Association (ACA), and the Monongalia County Health Department,” according to a JCC press release.

West Virginia’s Guidance for Organized Camps, “which has not been updated as expected,” limits groups larger than 25 members, therefore making “it impossible to operate EKC this summer as a traditional overnight camp,” the press released continued.

Camp leadership could wait no longer to make a final decision, according to Aaron Cantor, EKC Camp director.

“Even if we ultimately receive updated regulations from West Virginia less restrictive than the current guidance, it will not alter our decision given the unique focus of children living in a residential environment in the midst of the evolving nature of the pandemic,” Cantor said in a prepared statement.

In notifying camp families of the decision, Cantor said, “Please know that we are exploring creative options for our community to be at EKC this summer – albeit in very different ways. We have received a seasonal permit to operate as a campground and are increasingly optimistic that a family experience, loosely modeled after our popular Kirshner Family Weekend, can operate in July and into August. This would afford parents and their children the opportunity to enjoy a retreat-style vacation at EKC in a physically distanced environment. It goes without saying that any experiences we provide this summer will need to follow guidelines shared by West Virginia. We continue to closely monitor this guidance and will share opportunities to serve you as soon as they become possible.” PJC

Toby Tabachnick

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