Happy New Year from your Florida Elks Youth Camp! This year, more than any other, we are ready to turn the page and start fresh. We know there’s still a long way to go to beat this pandemic and get back to normal, but the finish line is in sight!
As of right now, we are planning to move forward with summer camp 2021 and have kids back at camp. Obviously, the final determination on camp will be made much closer to June and will align with federal and state guidelines, but with everything we’ve learned over the last nine months, I am confident that we have the facilities, the equipment and the procedures here at FEYC to manage a safe experience for our kids.
Dates for this summer’s sessions are listed below. There is no cutoff date for registration, but it will be first come, first served. In the last two years, we reached our capacity by early April, and I expect we’ll fill up early again, despite the virus, so please don’t wait! Let the families in your area know that camp registration is officially open.
As always, if you have any questions regarding camper registration, please contact your lodge’s District Director from the FEYC Board of Directors first and our registrar, Jen Scott, second if needed. You can find your lodge’s District Director contact information on the website, floridaelks.org, and you can reach Jen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s also incredible at helping the non-tech savvy navigate the process.
With that said, we are also implementing some exciting new changes this year. First, we’ll be increasing the Elks National Foundation (ENF) scholarships for each lodge from 6 to 10. Each scholarship provides a free week of camp to one camper, and we hope that you will use them to make an impact on a child or family in your community. Your District Director will distribute the scholarships for your lodge. Contact him or her if you have not received them. Also, please remember that each lodge can and should send more than 10 campers! If the camper’s family or your charity account can afford it, the cost is $180 for each camper beyond your first 10. If neither the camper’s family nor the lodge has the money, please send them anyway! We’ll find an Elk somewhere to cover the cost.
Second, we will be adding virtual camp sessions for 8-year-olds this year. These sessions are for those who are just a bit too young to come to camp in person. We’re hoping that this will introduce our youngest campers to the traditions of FEYC and get them excited to attend in person when they turn 9. They’ll get to participate in our flag ceremonies each morning and night, they’ll meet and play games with seven other kids in their virtual cabin, and they’ll have nightly debriefs with their counselors to discuss the day and what they learned. Registration for virtual camp will be available Feb. 1.
Third, for the first time, we will be offering two-week sessions for our oldest campers. That’s right; there will be three sessions of two-week camp. These sessions allow for check-in on Sunday of the session and then checkout 13 days later. These sessions will allow for much more in-depth programming, and these campers will get the chance to participate in activities that single-week sessions just can’t provide. Currently, these sessions are only available to 12- and 13-year-olds.
Registration is available through the website just like regular sessions, and with only 84 spots available in each session, they will fill up even faster than our regular sessions. Two-week sessions will run during:
The cost is simply double that of a single week. So, one-week sessions are $180, and two-week sessions are $360. For lodges wanting to use ENF scholarships for this, it will simply mean using two ENF scholarships instead of one. As always, check with your District Director from the FEYC Board of Directors if you need more info, and if they can’t help, contact Jen. We can’t wait to have kids back at camp!
Let me close with our next major camp event, which is the state quarterly meeting here at the camp Feb. 4-6. Quarterly meetings are a great opportunity for you to meet other Elks from across the state and to learn the latest about your major projects’ operations. This meeting is also special as it will be our Grand Exalted Ruler’s official visit to Florida. Grand Exalted Ruler, Paul R. Ryan, will be here throughout the event and will be addressing all Florida Elks at Saturday morning’s session. Don’t miss it! In addition, we’ll have great food and entertainment Friday night as Re-Creation once again takes the stage here at FEYC. While lodging at the camp is currently full, you can still contact Jen to get on our waiting list — it’s very active. Also, you can still make reservations at hotels in Eustis, Tavares, Mount Dora or Leesburg.
Thank you for all you do as Elks, and we hope to see you soon!
Summer Camp 2021
Week 1 June 20-26
Week 2 June 27-July 3
Week 3 July 4-10
Week 4 July 11-17
Week 5 July 18-24
Week 6 July 25-31
Week 7 * Aug. 1-7
* Military Week: Dependents of veterans and/or active military attend for free!