Give the gift of camp this Giving Season!
Activities are still happening during this unique year!
There is no doubt that 2020 has been difficult. With a global pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home initiatives and economic repercussions, many individuals experienced a range of emotions including loneliness, anxiousness, and sadness. For Horizon, the decision to cancel our in-person activities was extremely hard. From a health and safety perspective, it was an easy decision to make; however, knowing how much our community looks forward to Horizon Camp, it was devastating. As an organization, we quickly pivoted by providing our traditional in-person activities in a virtual format, creating new weekly hangouts, and providing our members with the necessary technology to access these activities.
Horizon Connects Grant
This year and its unique circumstances forced us to provide our activities in a different format. In doing so, we discovered that there were members of our community who did not have the technology to access these virtual activities. To help members of our community stay connected, we created the Horizon Connects Grant to increase online accessibility to the members of our community by providing them new laptops. As of Giving Tuesday, we have provided 7 members of the Horizon Community with laptops.
Virtual Summer Camp - Horizon@Home
Organizing a virtual summer camp differs in many ways from our traditional summer camp. There was no need to rent buses for transportation, collect donations of supplies, or plan cabin placements. Instead, our organization quickly mobilized to determine technology needs, shipping logistics, and Zoom friendly activities.
Each of the over 150 camp participants received a box with a Horizon@Home T-shirt, supplies for the activities, and lots of treats. The week consisted of wide variety of activities including spa day, karaoke, arts and crafts, games, and informal mealtime and late-night hangouts.
It was a great opportunity to keep our Horizon Community connected even though we could not physically be together. An additional silver lining was that campers who have not previously been able to attend camp in-person in recent years due to medical needs were able to join and fully participate in virtual camp.
Virtual Fall Weekend
Following the success of the Virtual Summer Camp, our typically smaller, more laid-back Fall Weekend doubled in size when offered virtually. Over 90 participants received fall-themed boxes containing treats, arts and crafts supplies, and a postcard to send to another member of the Horizon Community. Over the weekend, activities included morning breakfast demos, a costume contest, a scavenger hunt, trivia, and late-night hangouts.
As a virtual event, participation was not limited by distance and participants joined from all over and we welcomed not only community members who had never attended Fall Weekend, but also participants who were new to Horizon.
Weekly Zoom Hangouts
What began as an informal way to stay connected to our Horizon Community in the early stages of the pandemic has become a weekly event. With suggested discussion topics, members of the Horizon Community join a weekly Zoom to share stories, catch-up, and most importantly share some much needed laughter.
A few of our campers had this to say about our weekly Zoom Hangouts:
- “Wednesday night calls make me feel special loved. Horizon is my family and the friendships are amazing.” – Jessica Wood
- “Our Wednesday night Zoom chats make me not miss camp as bad because I can still connect with my camp family despite not having camp due to coronavirus” – Lisa Caldwell
We appreciate your support during this difficult time!
If you have any questions regarding Giving Tuesday please contact us and we’ll be glad to help.