An update on Camp BB-Riback from Camp Director Stacy Shaikin:
Dear Camp BB-Riback Families, Campers, Staff and Community,
We hope this email finds you and your family safe and sound. After careful and thoughtful consideration, and in consultation with experts, it has become clear that bringing our community together this summer at camp would be very challenging.
As such, it is with the deepest sadness that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 summer season at Camp BB-Riback. This decision follows the recent guidance and information provided by the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Camping Association, as well as consultations with other community organizations and professionals. The decision was made with the primary goal of ensuring the health and safety of everyone in our community.
For almost 65 years, Camp BB-Riback has been the home of countless campers, staff, and families like yours. The memories made at camp last a lifetime, and we know that not having camp this summer will be hard for each and every one of you – campers, staff, parents, and alumni. We have already started planning for the 2021 camp season, and look forward to celebrating our 65th Anniversary with the entire community.
However, the financial implications of closing camp are serious, as our business model needs to balance year-round expenses and investments with revenue from camper registration and summer rentals. The loss of our registration and rental fees, annual fundraisers and the postponement of the casino cost the camp $300,000 in net revenue. We must now ask for the assistance and generosity of people who love camp and value our place in the Alberta Jewish community.
All of us stand in the footprints of those who have supported the camp over the past 65 years; generations of camper parents, alumni, and philanthropists who rose to the unique challenges of their time to find the financial resources that were required to help ensure Camp BB-Riback could survive and thrive for future generations. These visionaries believed in the power of a Jewish camp experience to shape the lives of both campers and staff, providing fond memories, lifelong friendships, and a self-awakening of independence, responsibility, and empowerment that lasts a lifetime.
This was going to be my 15th year at Camp BB-Riback; and, like me, many of us have very deep and heartfelt connections to camp and for the experiences we have had there. Whether you were a camper in the 70’s, 80’s, or 2000’s, we all know how it feels to be from Camp BB-Riback. It’s such a soulful place that transcends the generations. I am so sorry for all of those campers and staff who won’t get to be at camp this summer. We know that the cancellation of camp is most impactful for our kids and to those who come out each summer to take care of them and pass on the experience of camp from one generation to the next.
Next summer seems like a long way off, but between now and the next time we gather at camp, we plan to keep our campers, staff, parents, donors and alumni engaged through virtual programs such as a camp Havdallahs, Video Scrapbooks, and a virtual Maccabiah (among others). We will also offer staff development programs to ensure that this season’s Staff and CIT groups are fully prepared for summer 2021.
We have many ideas and plans for camp in the coming years, and we know that with the support of our community, camp will continue to be there for future generations of campers and staff. We appreciate your patience, partnership, and on-going support, and we look forward to being in touch with you again soon.