Frequently Asked Questions

Why was camp cancelled when many states are talking about opening?


While information regarding community health restrictions for our summer will continue to take shape and change throughout the coming months, one thing has become clear. Any program we are able to offer at YMCA Camp Carson this summer would not resemble the program you registered for.
We feel it is important to remain consistent with orders, recommendations, and guidance from government officials and healthcare professionals. Due to the many unknowns at this time, and the trust that so many have put in Camp Carson to provide a safe environment for all, we cannot – in good faith – offer the high-quality experience that we promise and you expect. We considered many different possibilities over the last two months: adjusting our activities, having smaller groups, changing how we eat our meals, and so much more, all in the hopes that we could get campers and staff to camp safely. Ultimately, we determined that we could not offer a meaningful program similar to what we all know as Camp Carson, which is so rooted in the community experience and meaningful relationships that come from time spent living, working, and playing together.




Is there a possibility that camp will happen this summer if things change?


Unfortunately, we will not be able to change course mid-summer to go back into Overnight Summer Camp. Due to the preparation that goes into getting facilities ready and staff fully trained, we simply cannot safely open mid-summer for the full Overnight Summer Camp experience. Additionally, for our seasonal summer staff, it would be unfair to think that they would put everything on hold in waiting to see if anything changed.




This is going to be really difficult for my child, do you have any advice on how to talk to them about summer camp being cancelled?


Whenever and however you decide to talk to your camper about Camp Carson this summer, we want to thank you for partnering with us as we share this difficult news with those in our community. Please remind your campers that while these decisions were difficult, and not made lightly, they are what is best for the safety and well-being of our campers, staff, and families. First, remember that you know your child best. Try to digest the news yourself before talking to your camper. This is why we are waiting to publicize it so you have time to discuss as a family. Below are some tips that can help guide you: 1. Acknowledge their feelings. Expect a range of emotions, including disappointment, anger, sadness, or even grief. Most of us, including our children, have experienced a lot of cancelled plans, and adding yet another disappointment to the list may feel overwhelming. Acknowledge that it is frustrating to suffer yet another loss. 2. Ask: What would help? When your camper is ready, think about what can be done to cope. What are some things that your child can do to share their favorite parts of camp with your family? Maybe they can teach you a game from camp or camp song. Is there a camp meal you can make at home? Not every child will feel better by doing camp activities at home, so let them be the guide. Remember, it may take time for your child to process their feelings to get to a place where they can think about pro-actively moving forward. 3. Check-in Again. Over the next few days, gently ask how they’re doing and see if they need more support. Try to remember to ask again as we get closer to the days when camp would have started. 4. Resources addressing other challenges that can arise in a crisis:

  • Helping Our Children Manage Summer Disappointments: Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, Pediatric and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Best Selling Author of The Whole Brain Child, No Drama Discipline and The Power of Showing Up has some practical suggestions for parents whose children will be forced to deal with the disappointment of not being able to attend camp this summer.
  • Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home: These tips from the American Psychological Association are designed to help families through the current crisis.
  • Emotional Regulation Worksheets: A Coping Skill Activity: This worksheet and calming technique can help you focus on the present rather than overthinking about the past or future.




What about fees that I have already paid?


We recognize that this global pandemic is financially affecting people in different ways. As such, we have several different options for our families that have already paid some or all of their fees.

  1. Donation to camp. Making a tax-deductible gift of some or all of the funds you have already paid helps sustain our camp operations which allows our campers to grow. Every moment a camper spends at camp is a moment bursting with a powerful youth development opportunity. Campers are fully engaged and active in the outdoors but they aren’t just soaking up the sun! They are unplugged and learning about communication, collaboration and true friendship as they interact with each other and our staff. For one week, they are living in an adventurous but safe place to progressively gain more independence in making decisions, setting goals and caring for themselves. Through all this nurturing, camp is building kids of strong character and faith. THANK YOU to everyone who is able to make this gift to Camp Carson. ( Recently passed CARES Act legislation allows for tax deductions in some amounts for qualified charitable contributions in addition to the standard deduction. Please consult your tax accountant with questions about your specific tax situation.)
  2. Carry your fees over to 2021. Roll over your fees as a credit for Summer 2021. We will open registration for Summer 2021 on June 1st and enrolled families will have priority registration through August 10th. The fees you have already paid will be rolled over to Summer 2021 as a credit. You can register for Summer 2021 by logging into our Parent Portal and completing this online.
  3. Receive a full refund. We can process a full refund in the amount paid or you may choose to take a partial refund and make a donation with the remainder. Refunds will be returned by the same method of original payment. Please be sure to log into your Parent Portal and update your credit card information and mailing address.
  4. Combination. You can do a combination of a donation, rolling over your fee as a credit with a minimum of $75 per camper, and a partial refund.
We are grateful for all of our camp families and their trust and loyalty over many years. If you have to cancel and request a refund due to your family’s circumstances, we understand and hope you will consider joining us again in the future!




What is the process to indicate my preference? Should I call or email camp?


Due to the number of camper families and our desire to streamline the process as much as possible, we have set up a form for you to indicate your preference. You can login to your Parent Portal account here and navigate to the “Forms and Documents” section, then complete the “2020 Cancellation Information Form.” We only need one form filled out per family. We are asking all families from cancelled sessions to complete this form by May 29th. Please know that due to the large number of camper families and the complexities with the process that refunds, receipts, and credits will take some time. If you have not seen the appropriate changes to your account by June 15, please feel free to email Barb, our Office Registrar at carsonoffice@ymcacampcarson.org to inquire.




Why is camp asking me to consider donating some/all of my paid fees? Would this be a charitable donation?


We ask that you take time to consider a donation to Camp Carson Every bit makes a difference, whether it is $5, $50, $500, or the entire amount of your program fees. Our staff team has invested a lot of time and energy in making Summer 2020 happen and that time cannot be undone. Further, we have many expenses at our camp facility whether camp runs or not. We will find a way to stay strong until Summer 2021 no matter what, but your support now will ensure that we can continue investing in our community for the future. Our status as a 501-C3 organization under ownership of the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, Inc. qualifies all donations for a receipt for tax purposes. Also, recently passed CARES Act legislation allows for tax deductions in some amounts for qualified charitable contributions in addition to the standard deduction. Please consult your tax accountant with questions about your specific tax situation.




One of my children is aging out of the program, if I apply my funds paid to 2021 can I use those funds for a different child in my household?


Yes. The credited funds will go toward the household balance, not an individual camper’s balance.




Will there still be 2021 priority registration for 2020 registered and waitlisted campers?


Yes. We will be opening registration for Summer 2021 on June 8th. Our currently registered campers will have Priority Registration until August 10th. Our currently Waitlisted Families will have Priority Registration from August 11th to September 1st. And then registration for Summer 2021 will open to the general public on September 2nd.




Will Camp Carson survive without a summer of camp?


Yes. Part of the difficult decision to cancel summer programming for 2020 was thinking what was best for camp in the long run. Camp Carson has gone over 80 years without missing a summer and we have every belief that we will still be offering life-changing experiences for another 80+ years. Thankfully, due to generations of prudent financial decisions and generous donors, Camp Carson is positioned to weather this storm and come out on the other side ready to serve kids and families even better than we have in the past.




Can I come visit Camp Carson this summer?


Camp Carson is a special place for many, it is a refuge and a second home to many alumni and families. We understand your desire to visit. At present, under Indiana Phase 2 rules and Gibson County guidance, it is simply not appropriate to visit. If you are interested in visiting when it becomes safe to do so, we ask that you please contact Sarah at shooper@ymcacampcarson.org. Sarah will subsequently let you know when it is permissible to plan a visit and what precautions will be necessary.




Will Fall programming be happening at camp?


We are currently planning on operating our fall programming. Our fall programming, which includes our Family Camp and Fall Camp as well as school trips, group retreats, and camper weekends, will be proceeding and we will take into consideration all recommendations and guidelines to ensure the well-being of our camp community. If you are registered for a program in late August or thereafter, we are still holding your spot and hope to see you then. Registered guests will be informed immediately if any changes are made.




My camper was meant to be a part of your Teen Programs this summer, what are their options for Summer 2021?


Summer 2020 was to be my LIT year, what now?

  • You have a few options moving forward. We do accept incoming Juniors as LITs and our CIT Programs are offered for incoming Juniors. You will have the choice to return for the LIT experience or to join us for the CIT Program. You do not need to be a LIT in order to be a CIT.
Summer 2020 was to be my CIT year, what now?
  • You have a few options moving forward. We do accept incoming Seniors as CITs and our Service Corps Program is open to incoming Seniors. You will have the choice to return for the CIT experience or to apply for a place in our Service Corps Program. We will be in touch with 2020 CITs with Fall volunteer opportunities and with the application and informational packet on the Service Corps Program. A detailed letter about your options will be distributed later in the summer. Please contact Ryan Meeks at rmeeks@ymcacampcarson.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Summer 2020 was to be my Service Corps year, what now?
  • You will be eligible to apply for our Summer 2021 staff. Our applications will be available in the Fall. We will reach out via email when our Staff Application has been made available. Please contact Ryan Meeks at rmeeks@ymcacampcarson.org if you have any questions or concerns.




How can I help Camp Carson?


We are very grateful for a community of supporters who care about our mission and there are many ways you can help.

  • Understanding and supporting the Carson team in our decision making during this challenging time
  • Please consider a donation to Camp Carson through your program fees
  • Make a donation. Thank you for your support—we are beyond grateful to all members of our community who recognize the challenges Camp is facing due to COVID-19. Camp relies on tuition fees and donations to maintain our property, pay our staff, and ensure Camp will survive. Your gift will help us continue many of the enduring traditions of Carson as well as our camperships and diverse programming options where campers can develop their independence and personal strengths. For those of you who are able and interested, you can make a gift here. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for your support of the Carson Community during these uncertain times.
  • Notify us of any grants, foundations, or other funding opportunities that would provide support to Camp Carson during this time. Please contact Heather Pierce, Director of Engagement and Development, hpierce@ymcacampcarson.org with this information.
  • We always appreciate hearing from you. Please share messages or photos of how you’re living the Camp Carson Spirit this summer!
We will continue to communicate ways throughout the summer that you can help Camp Carson.




I have more questions, who can I contact?


We are not surprised to hear it – there is a lot to process right now! The best way to get in touch with our team is to email carsonoffice@ymcacampcarson.org. Your email will be routed to the appropriate staff member and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please be patient as we respond to many questions.




I am a camper or I have a camper who has questions. Who can I/they ask?


Campers, we know how painful this news is. We feel it too. We're sure you have had many emotions after hearing the news, and we know how hard it is to hear that Camp will not happen this summer. We want you to know that this decision is likely the most difficult one that Camp has had to make since we opened 81 years ago. Your safety and your counselor's safety are what we care about most and we had to make the responsible choice for you. Many thoughts have probably crossed your mind, and we will try to help you with those here.