COVID 19 Update
Letter from Manderson
Dear Special Friends Camp Campers and Families,
The leadership for Special Friends Camp has been closely watching the numbers and monitoring
recommendations from the CDC and others regarding COVID-19. Tennessee Baptist Adult
Homes and the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board officially closed offices on March 17 th through
April30 th . So, early in April, Bryan, Jenni, and I met, via ZOOM, to discuss whether we could
realistically and safely hold Special Friends Camp for 2020. We agreed that we did not have
enough information at that time to make the decision. So, we left camp as a tentative “Yes” until
the first week of May, realizing that we would know more when May came.
As the shut-down has been extended through May 30th and the number of Covid-19 cases
continues to rise, we have unanimously made the very difficult decision to cancel
Special Friends Camp for this year. This was a very painful decision to make, which is
part of why we waited so long to do it. But we cannot put this important decision off any longer.
While we remained hopeful that the pandemic might somehow have more of a resolution in time for
us to have camp, it seems clear that even if businesses and social gatherings are opening up by
then, the risk remains too high for the population we serve at camp to be brought into such a
confined space for an entire week. We cannot guarantee the safety of our campers or our staff.
There are some who have already registered and paid for camp. We will be processing refunds
for any fees paid. Some have sent checks that we chose not to process. Those checks will be
returned. We regret having to cancel camp and will sorely miss seeing everyone.
However, on the bright side, we are hoping to offer something for our campers when camp time
gets here. It is our desire to put together some videos that will have familiar faces in them to
bring words of greeting and encouragement and making them available online. More details will
be published on our website in the near future. Please be watching for news
Thank you for your love for Special Friends Camp. Please know that we are committed to staying
in touch and bringing camp back in 2021!!