By Qiao Li
After two years of not being together in person, Yunasa and Yunasa West 2021 marked a smooth and graceful transition back to our traditional week-long sleepaway summer camps.
The pandemic has taught us many valuable lessons, and throughout camp, I witnessed many of these great qualities. Campers and staff demonstrated incredible kindness, understanding, and support to one another. We have learned to treasure the beauty in everyday small moments, to pay attention to nature, appreciate what we have and who we love, and to extend a helping hand to those in need. Despite the lack of social interaction during shelter-at-home, it took no time for campers to reconnect and find common interests. They were courteous, respectful, considerate, and kind.
Leading up to camp, IEA took many steps to prepare for a safe and fun week for all participants. Partnering with our host camps – YMCA Camp Shady Brook in Colorado and YMCA Camp Copneconic in Michigan – we thoroughly studied the federal, state, and local health guidelines to make modifications for our residential summer camps. We made thoughtful changes to comply to the “cohorting” guidelines while creating safe opportunities for all campers and staff to connect throughout the week. Additionally, our host camps held themselves to the highest cleaning standard by implementing strict cleaning procedures daily and weekly to ensure that all campers can safely enjoy all camp activities.
Throughout the planning process, IEA kept close and frequent communications with all parents. We made sure that there are no questions left unanswered, and that all families know “what to expect” during this special year.
Though we had a lot of modifications this year, both camps offered a much-needed reunion after all that we have endured. We are able to ran both camps safely and successfully due to a combination of teamwork, leadership, improvisation, and good faith. I especially want to thank all of our parents for their trust in IEA, persistent partnership and understanding throughout this camp season.
I wish everyone a refreshing and joyful start to fall, and look forward to another great camp season in 2022!