As 2020 began, bringing the COVID-19 Pandemic with it, it was quickly evident that so many things were not going to be able to go on as planned because of the new normal brought on by the virus. Schools went to distant learning, concert halls closed their doors, and sports at every level came to a halt.

With more and more organizations announcing closures, we knew one thing remained – kids need camp, more than ever before. So at that time we made a commitment to our Camp families, our summer staff, and everyone involved with Camp Ozark that we were going to do whatever was needed to safely operate. 

Yes, we met with officials, doctors, infectious disease specialists, and more. But ultimately, we prayed. We prayed that the thousands of families who call Camp Ozark home each summer could experience their session as normal. Maybe, at times, it was not completely normal (buff up!), but Camp was Camp and that was our commitment from the beginning.

Why the Wiggins Family ❤️ Camp Ozark

Rendi and Josh Wiggins of Texarkana, Texas chose to trust our commitment to them and send their two boys to Camp Ozark as planned. We recently spoke to the Wiggins family and asked them why.

“As the spring of 2020 progressed with lockdowns, social distancing, and virtual education, we began to see that all of the isolation, uncertainty, and changes in the world were taking a social and emotional toll on our boys (ages 6 and 12). As we learned more about the virus, we became convinced that the benefits of attending Camp Ozark far outweighed the risk of contracting the virus. Our 6-year-old attended Camp Ozark for the 1st time in 2020 and our 12-year-old attended for his 7th summer in 2020.

A little trepidation occurred as we realized how different things were going to be with the changes to drop off, temperature checks, etc. However, when we arrived for drop off, the magic and excitement of Camp Ozark was still as present as ever. Our boys had a week full of fun without the worry of COVID-19 looming over them. They were connected to people and not laptops for virtual learning. They played outside and had positive social interaction with their peers. When we picked them up, even in the midst of their exhaustion from a full week of summer fun, there was a joy and lightness to them that had been subdued through all of the uncertainty of the spring. We cannot thank Camp Ozark’s owners and staff enough for choosing to stay open, making the necessary changes, keeping our campers safe, loving our children, pointing them towards Jesus, and giving them the opportunity to truly just be kids.”

Here at Camp Ozark, we will always be committed to providing the best experience for kids through our commitment to excellence. Whatever it takes, that is our mission.

Special thanks to the Wiggins family for sharing their thoughts. 

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