April 2, 2020
Hello SEP Staff, Campers & Parents,
We are sad to announce that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our denomination, Grace Communion International (GCI), has had to make the difficult decision to cancel all GCI summer camps this year.
Even though this is very disappointing news because this was the final year for SEP So Cal regional youth camp, it is the responsible and right thing to do. We want to protect you and everyone that would potentially be involved in camp. In a moment we will address some of the factors that went into making this decision, but first, we know that one of the primary questions parents will have is “What happens to the money that I have already paid toward camp?”
Please be assured that we will be refunding the entire amount that you have paid towards SEP So Cal 2020 (including your non-refundable deposit). And even though we will most likely lose thousands of dollars by cancelling our contract, our team believes this is the right thing to do.
We will refund you via PayPal or by check depending on how you paid. You can expect to receive your refund by the end of April. Please note that if you sent a check within the last month we will be mailing it back to you. Our Treasurer, Sue Braden, is available to answer any questions you might have.
This decision wasn’t made lightly, and it wasn’t made out of fear or panic. It was made out of love and concern for you and your family, and out of wisdom and responsibility. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind.” Some of the sound minded factors that were taken into consideration:
Protection of the health, safety and lives of all who would be involved in camp
Not wanting to potentially create an environment that could start a new cluster of infection
Recommendations by our insurance company and legal office
Reality that the mandated shutdown might continue through June/July in CA in which case Pine Valley Bible Conference Center would not be able to host our camp
Difficulty in securing adequate Camp nurses on staff and instituting new and more stringent health protocols in a communal camp environment.
Other factors that affect the viability of holding camp are family finances, changes in employment & time-off (affecting staff availability), and school schedule changes impacting campers.
We are so sorry for the disappointment that this may be for you and your family and we know you may need time to grieve this loss. We have had 18 GREAT years of SEP So Cal that we will hold near and dear to our hearts. The memories will be with us forever – and so will the friendships.
One question you or your campers might have is can we postpone the camp to later this year or to next year. We’ve asked the same question and the answer is no, due to the legal dechartering process of our camps which needs to be in motion by the fall.
We hope that you will stay in touch with each other. We will stay in touch with you about our new camp model – neighborhood camps – and how these camps will move forward in 2021. Hopefully you’ll be able to be involved in one near you!
Again, we know this is not the news anyone wanted to hear, but the most important thing right now is the health and safety of you, your family and your communities. Please let us know how we can be praying for you! We love our SEP family & that will never change!
God bless you and grant you protection, good health and a spirit of peace!
Mark & Anne Stapleton
SEP So Cal Youth Camp Directors
SEP So Cal stands for Spirital Enrichment Program of Southern California. SEP So Cal, an amazing one-week life-changing Christian youth camp, has been held every July for youth ages 8-17 from 2002-2019.
This SEP So Cal Promo Video was shot by the SR Camp Videography Track during camp July 2011 under the direction of Cody & Heather Urban. (Editing by Cody Urban.)
Order this video on DVD for only $5 (plus s/h) (also included on the DVD is the Variety Show & Track Showcase)
Click here to order:
"SEP is the place to be!"
Over 40 denominations are represented at SEP So Cal Youth Camp. We are part of a terrific camp network called GenMin (Generations Ministries).
GenMin is the U.S. youth ministry arm of Grace Communion International, GenMin is made up of three primary ministries: camps, short-term mission trips and leadership development programs.
SEP So Cal Mission
TO LOVE: To communicate God's outrageous love expressed in the life, death & resurrection of Jesus and lead people into true hope.
TO GROW: To grow & strengthen believers, both staff & campers, in their walk with Father, Son & Spirit.
TO TRAIN: To identify, equip, train and release leaders of all ages into local ministries back home.