Camp Kirby COVID-19 Cancellation FAQs

Why did my child’s camp session have to be cancelled?

Camp Fire Samish & Camp Kirby staff, along with the Board of Directors, weighed many options before making this final decision. We gathered information from The American Camp Association, CDC, Camp Fire National Headquarters, Washington’s “Safe Start” phased reopening plan, our insurance company, and local experts in related fields. In the end, Skagit County Public Health released their official recommendations last week, that specifically stated no overnight residential summer camps for this summer. We also knew that our June Day Camp would not fall within the reopening phase (phase 4) that would allow for it to operate.

Why are you asking for donations?

65% of our annual operating budget comes from summer camp programming. In addition, all spring programs and events were cancelled this year. We are facing a budget shortfall of well over $150,000. Despite cutting spending to the best of our ability, camp does incur many year-round costs, regardless of whether programs are operating or not. Camp Kirby has been serving youth for 98 years, and has influenced the lives of thousands of young people over 4+ generations. We feel that it is critical to preserve our programs for generations to come. Children are going to need camp programs more than ever once we return to some semblance of normalcy.

If Camp is not operating, what was the money we paid spent on?

• ACA (American Camp Association) and Camp Fire National dues
• Bank, bookkeeping, merchant, and payroll fees
• Certifications and inspections
• Equipment and supplies
• Facility improvements
• Insurance for camp buildings and property, payroll, and staff
• Pest control treatments (namely carpenter ants)
• Repairs and maintenance of the grounds and buildings
• Staff trainings
• Taxes – payroll and property
• Utilities
• Year-round camp staff salaries

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes, Camp Kirby is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Additionally, a measure in the federal coronavirus relief bill, grants taxpayers an above-the-line deduction for up to $300 in charitable donations for the year 2020, whether you itemize deductions or not.

How will registration operate for summer 2021?

We will be opening registration in November of 2020, for the 2021 summer season. If your camper was registered for a Camp Kirby session in 2020, you will be able to register beginning on Monday, November 2nd. Registration will then open to the general public on Monday, November 16th. Emails with registration links will be sent out in late October.
Will there be any Camp programming later in the summer if the mandates are lifted?
As further reopening phases allow, we hope to host small day camps, family camping, and rentals of individual buildings at Camp Kirby. We are awaiting further guidance from the State of Washington, Skagit County Public Health, and American Camp Association. We will send out more details on these programs as they become available.

Will you offer any virtual programming?

We would love the opportunity to connect with as many campers as possible this summer, despite not physically being at Camp. We have already launched a virtual resources page on our website, which can be found here: Camp Fire National Headquarters has also launched a resource page, with many great activities:

We will also be launching “Camp Kirby in a box” later this summer. This is a subscription box program, and will include supplies for some of our favorite camp activities that could be done at home, as well as virtual content from some of our Camp Kirby staff. Details on this program will be released in June.

Can you suggest any resources for helping my child cope with this situation?

Both the American Camp Association and American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry have compiled extensive resourced on this topic. We have included a link below.

What does this mean for CIT’s?

We have been in direct contact with the teens who we invited to join our CIT 1 & CIT 2 programs this year. We will be running our CIT 1 program virtually this summer, and those participants will be eligible to continue on to CIT 2 next summer. We also hope to connect with the teens who would have been CIT 2s, but are still planning what that will look like. Either way, they will be eligible to be hired as staff next summer. Campers who are entering 10th grade in the fall of 2020, and would have been Tanika campers this summer, will still be eligible to apply for our CIT 1 program in 2021. Applications will be released in January.

What happens to Camp staff?

One of the great losses from this cancellation, is the opportunity to work with the amazing young adults that we had hired to fill our seasonal summer camp jobs. We hope to have the opportunity to work with many of them in 2021!

What else can we do to help Camp Fire Samish & Camp Kirby?

Here are some ideas:
• Start a Facebook fundraiser to support Camp Kirby or Camp Fire Samish.
• See if your company has a matching program for funds donated to non-profits.
• Share our story with others in your life who may not be on our mailing list, but who might want to support us as well.

I have more questions, who should I contact?
Please understand that we had many campers already registered for Camp this summer, so we have a lot of families to help at this time. It would be a huge help to us if you could begin your communication with us via email. We can then schedule a time for a phone call if needed. The majority of us are still working from home, so if you do call and leave a message, we will get back to you as soon as we can. Our Camp Director, Kathryn, can be reached at or (360) 255-7765. If she is unable to assist you, she will direct you to the right person.