A Different Kind of Summer

May 19, 2020

  • Dear Highlands Families, 

    Thank you for your continued support during the last few months as we have worked to understand the current health crisis and its effects on camp. This has not been an easy time for any of us and Tracy and I appreciate your patience as we have grappled with how to proceed this summer. After weeks of intense discernment, we have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that we cannot safely operate camp this summer, and we have to cancel our 2020 camping season. 

    We did not come to this decision lightly. We have consulted with our staff, state and local health officials, the American Camp Association, and numerous camp directors. We also have talked one-on-one with many of you, as well as our families and campers. We have examined just about every conceivable way we might be able to offer a bit of the Highlands experience for our boys. Unfortunately, at the end of every discussion, the risks for our campers and staff are too great and do not outweigh the benefits.

    We are so sorry. And we are so sad.

    We know this is a profound loss for you and for your campers. We know it will be especially hard for our last-year Seniors, those fellows who have come up through the ranks at Highlands and were looking forward to being the kings of the hill, the mentors of all, the leaders of the camp. To them, we say: Gentlemen—stay tuned. We are cooking up a very special program just for you for next summer before you join us on the staff. 

    And to all our Highlands men and families: Stick with us fellas—we’re gonna be back bigger, bolder and better than ever next year and you don’t want to miss out on the magic. You can enroll today for summer 2021, and any tuition you’ve already paid will be credited to next summer. Of course, if you’d like a refund, we will return all monies paid via check. You also may consider making a donation to the Camp Highlands Scholarship Fund so that boys who might not otherwise be able to come to camp may attend. (You will receive a subsequent questionnaire asking you to share your intentions in regard to 2021 and refunds.) 

    Highlands is more than just a summer camp in the Northwoods. It is a philosophy that seeks to put the other fellow’s needs before your own. It is a community of worthwhile men who help us discover the strength of our own character. It is a constant reminder that when we can unplug from the busy world and spend some time in the wilderness, we are better people for it. These truths are universal and can be lived by each of us, every day. 

    We know you will have questions. Please take a moment to review our Frequently Asked Questions. And don’t hesitate to reach out via email or phone call.

    Stay safe, stay strong, and until we meet again, fare thee well good Highlands men. 

    Yours in Camp Spirit, 

    Andy and Tracy Bachmann