Activities are still happening during the Covid-19 pandemic!
There is no doubt that Covid-19 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 is 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.
Weekly Zoom Hangouts
Back in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, an idea was formed to keep everyone in the Horizon community connected through the hard times. On April 8th, 2020, the first Horizon Wednesday Night Friends Call happened on Zoom. Since then, it has become a weekly get-together for friends in the Horizon community. Two years later, the weekly hang-out is going strong. There’s a core group of 15 people at the call every week along with many other friends and family from the Horizon Community. People who are new to Horizon and those who have been there since the beginning, gather to spend hours laughing and chatting with friends over Zoom.
In 2021, each weekly call had a theme from favorite love songs to favorite winter activities to favorite camp memory. Each week stories are shared, bonds are created, friendships are strengthened, and joy is had every Wednesday evening. It is all thanks to everyone who has and continues to join the Wednesday Night Friends Call.
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|
Please contact Frances for more information on how to join.
Virtual Summer Camp - Horizon Staycation
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.
Update: We are planning our 2022 summer camp to be in person. Of course there is still a lot of uncertainty and things can change. Please see our Summer Camp page for more information.
Also new in 2021 we hosted our first Weekend Spring Camp virtually.
Virtual Fall Weekend
Following the success of our 2020 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.
Our 2022 Fall Camp application will be posted once available.
Horizon Connects Grant
In 2020, the pandemic hit and 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 today, we have provided 7 members of the Horizon Community with laptops.
To apply for the Horizon Connects Grant, please click the link below.
Note: Applicants must have attended at least one summer of Horizon Camp to qualify.
We appreciate your support during this difficult time!
If you have any questions regarding Horizon please contact us and we’ll be glad to help.