Summer Decision 2020 – FAQ


Did Camp Tecumseh consider alternatives to canceling the entire summer?

We did. We looked at a variety of options including starting camp later in the summer with full or shortened sessions, expanding Day Camp to offer childcare for local families during the summer, reducing camper capacity to only certain age groups, smaller cabin groups, changes to schedules to limit cross-interactions, changes or eliminating large group gatherings such as chapels and campfires, and different dining hall scenarios. We also explored different options for cleaning and sanitizing various areas. Ultimately, with the lack of sufficient testing nationwide, a shortage of adequate cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), various government guidelines and recommendations, and uncertain and unknowable risk caused by this virus, we decided none of these options provided a safe and enjoyable experience.


If guidelines/recommendations clear up during the summer, will you reconsider this decision?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to change course mid-summer. Due to the amount of preparation that goes into getting facilities ready and staff fully trained, we simply cannot safely open mid-summer. Additionally, for our more than 200 summer staff, it would be unfair to think that they would put everything on hold in waiting to see if anything changed.


My child was set to be a torchbearer this summer and is crushed that he/she will not get to experience a final summer at camp, can he/she return next summer as a 16 year old?

This is, certainly, one of the most difficult parts of this decision and one that the staff team at Tecumseh has been agonizing over. As we looked at the different options, none of them were great, however we have decided that we will not be expanding the age range for Overnight or Equestrian Camp. If a camper is still 15 at the start of a 2021 session, he or she will still be eligible to attend, however at 16 he/she will have aged out.

That being said, we are exploring opportunities to recognize Torchbearers and to give them an opportunity for closure at Camp Tecumseh. While not all of the details have been worked out and some will depend on the state of the pandemic in the fall, we are looking at both virtual Torchbearer recognition/ceremony as well as in-person open houses and programming in the fall or winter.


My child was set to be a CILT (Camper in Leadership Training) this summer, can he/she return as a CILT next summer? Can he/she still apply to be on staff next summer?

The CILT program is designed for campers who are 16 or 17 during their time at camp.  If your child falls within those guidelines, he/she may apply for the 2021 sessions through the lottery program on September 2 (see for more information). Due to the limited number of spots and popularity of the program we will not be offering any sort of priority registration/preference for the CILT program.

In addition, individuals who will complete their junior year of High School and will be 17 by Summer 2021 are eligible to apply for Day Camp staff. Day Camp eligibility is not based on participation in the CILT program. Applications for Day Camp positions will be online by mid-October.


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 canceled?

We absolutely understand that this is just one more loss on top of what has been a season of losses. Our friend and colleague, Dr. Amanda Case (Assistant Professor in Counseling Psychology at Purdue University) has offered these thoughts:


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 families that have already paid some or all of their fees.

  • Donate all fees to the ongoing operations of Camp Tecumseh.
  • Donate a portion of fees paid and receive either a refund or a 2021 credit for the remainder
  • Receive a 2021 credit towards overnight camp, day camp, adventure trips, equestrian camp, or CILTS for all fees paid
  • Receive a refund for all fees paid (returned to the original payment method)


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 account at and navigate to Forms & Documents>2020 Cancellation Options. We are asking all families to complete this form by May 22. It is important to know that completing this form does not register you for Summer 2021. You will need to register your campers for any 2021 summer sessions once registration opens (see information below).

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 accounts by June 15, please feel free to call the camp office to inquire.


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

Camp Tecumseh operates year-round and nearly all of the planning and some of the purchases and improvements have already happened. We, thankfully, have been able to continue to employ our year-round staff during this time and have used the manpower in the last several weeks to reach out to local schools who are serving meals to kids, the local homeless shelters who are in need of food and other supplies, as well as hospitals and child services departments who may need emergency housing for those impacted by the coronavirus.

Your donation enables us to continue to keep our staff employed as we plan for the upcoming Outdoor Education and Groups & Conferences seasons where we look to serve thousands of youth and families as well as prepare for Summer 2021 and the changes in procedures that are sure to be needed.

Due to the new regulations of the CARES act, your donation may be subject to a 100% “above the line” tax deduction for your 2020 income tax. You will be provided with a donation receipt if you choose this route or make any donation to Camp Tecumseh. (Please consult your tax advisor for more details on this)


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 be some sort of 2021 priority registration for 2020 registered campers?

Yes. While we normally do not offer any priority registration for camp, we recognize that there is very little that is normal about this situation. As such, all campers that were enrolled in 2020 overnight or equestrian camp as of May 5, will have priority registration for overnight and equestrian camp in 2021. We will be opening priority registration May 25-31. On June 1, we will open general registration to new and waitlisted campers for Overnight and Equestrian Camp, as well as Adventure Camps. The CILT lottery registration will remain unchanged and open on September 2, 2020. 

Look for a follow-up email prior to May 25 with information on how to complete priority registration.


Will Camp Tecumseh 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 Tecumseh has gone almost 100 years without missing a summer and we have every belief that we will still be offering life-changing experiences for another 100+ years. Thankfully, due to generations of prudent financial decisions and generous donors, Camp Tecumseh 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.


Will fall programming be happening at camp?  

We are planning for a fall season of Outdoor Education and Groups & Conferences. Our staff team is working on any changes needed to provide a safe experience for all groups. If you are the primary contact for a fall group and have questions about your fall visit to camp, please feel free to reach out to our staff team.


What about the Campaign for Tecumseh and the new Dining Hall project?

For those who have been following along, we are in the midst of The Campaign for Tecumseh – a fundraising effort to improve the infrastructure, upgrade housing for seasonal staff, replace aging camper cabins, and build a brand new River Village Dining Hall to replace the 95+ year old River Lodge that has served us well for so long. Some pieces, already in progress, will continue until they are completed, including the four new cabins and staff housing facilities. However, with the current financial climate, we have put a temporary pause on initiating any new construction projects. Our intention is to resume the capital updates as soon as we are able. The Camp Tecumseh staff and Board of Directors are still committed to this project and improving the guest experience for all. For more information on this project to serve both present and future Tecumseh families, visit


How can I help Camp Tecumseh?

Camp Tecumseh is blessed with a community of supporters who care about our mission. We rely on this support to provide life-changing experiences for guests year-round.

Please consider these ways that you can support Camp through this difficult time: 

  • Pray for the spread of the virus to stop. Pray for the healthcare workers, for those who have been infected, for those who have lost a loved one, for those who have lost a job, and most of all, for us all to continue to rely on – and put our trust in – God through these difficult times.
  • Make a donation 
  • Donate all or a portion of your camp fees
  • Notify us of any grants, foundations, or other funding opportunities that would provide support to Camp Tecumseh during this time. Please contact Stacey Seeger, Director of Development, with this information. 


Back to 2020 Decision Letter