The much awaited news about band camp has arrived. I am also camping with very little signal so this may take awhile to compose. The first thing I ask is that you read and process. Reacting is the first thing we all want to do, but please take a moment to process and reflect through the many perspectives it takes to make decisions. This is all about the SAFETY of our students, families, and staff.
For those of you that have been around know that Band Camp is my 2nd favorite holiday. I love the magic of the week! It is truly a special part of the high school band experience. Here it comes...I cannot, in good consciousness, take students to Sauk Valley or Lincoln's campus the week of July 27th. It breaks my heart to acknowledge that statement, but my brain knows it is true.
I know this is a sigh of relief for families and I also know it is a HUGE disappointment. I love how supportive you all have been in wanting to attend some version of camp and for your encouragement to do the "right thing". I am not sure there is a "right thing" in making decisions for a large group of people. I do know that if just 1 case is tied to our activities then the virus can have a very large ripple effect in our community. Even though athletics is conditioning in small groups it is no where near the same level of "togetherness" we would have for a rehearsal, no matter what modifications we would make.
Other factors include MHSAA releasing further guidelines next week, the rising cases in Michigan (especially in ages 15-25), the amount of individual prep work for families to quarantine for band camp, the aerosol study only releasing preliminary studies with 1 week of data, and a myriad of other conversations. You can read about the study in the hyperlink for yourself. Mind you, the study is ongoing and will provide more information later. Some of the information could be contradictory to the preliminary results.
In short, options for some type of camp will continue to be explored at a later date in August, but only if it is safe to do so. Mrs. Holden and Mr. Jansen have been very open, helpful and most importantly, supportive of this decision making process and we are very appreciative of them. I will continue to watch data, have conversations with administration, and keep the best interest of the band students in mind when making decisions.
With a heavy heart,