As updates regarding Summer Programs and COVID-19 are sent to enrolled families, copies of communications will be available to read on this page.
- 6/23/20 Communication
- 6/4/20 Communication
- 5/16/20 Communication
- 5/8/20 Communication
- 4/13/20 Communication
I’m thrilled to write to you with exciting news! Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, we’re taking advantage of our new virtual format to innovate. Here are two big developments for Summer 2020:
- Fun summer learning should be open to all, so we’re piloting Adult and Family Classes! That’s right, summer camp for grown ups! Options include family baking and cooking classes, family trivia nights, an adult Parenting for Resiliency series, and fun adult offerings such as Nailed It! Fabulous Flops for Grown Ups and Intro to Macrame, to name just a few.
- We’re adding a 10th week to our offerings, to serve families looking for virtual enrichment options for an extra week before many school years resume.
We've heard such encouraging words from families and teachers after wrapping up the first week of Summer Programs 2.0 last week, so we're even more pumped for the rest of the summer! The course descriptions and schedule are now available for all 10 weeks of Summer Programs 2020. We have returning favorites as well as exciting new offerings!
Students may enroll for one or two classes weekly, each meeting via Zoom a total of 10 hours (an hour each morning and one each afternoon):
Block A: 9:00-10:00 am + 1:00-2:00 pm
Block B: 10:30-11:30 am + 2:30-3:30 pm
Enrollment opens this Thursday (June 25) at 6:30 pm through CampInTouch.
Please note that while we have Week 1-3 virtual classes with spaces, we also have multiple ones with a waiting list, so we encourage you to register as soon as convenient for you. In fairness to families who enrolled in on-campus programs that did not transition to Summer Programs 2.0, we do ask that you re-register even if you were enrolled in an original version of a camp.
We expect refunds of all positive balances following the cancellation of on-campus Summer Programs to be processed by the end of day Friday and visible to you by the end of next week. It was our hope to move through the process much quicker than we have, but with elements of the process outside of our control (involving CampMinder and our credit card processing contractor), we’ve not been able to wrap it up as quickly as we’d like, and I’m so sorry for the delay. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding while we moved through this complex and, for us, unprecedented financial process.
- Especially for families of younger children, we have our Alternative Programs guide with Local In-Person Camps/Events and Online Resources.
- Children of any age and their families from anywhere in the world can join us each Thursday at 4:00 pm for our free, virtual Summer Story Time!
- We also have more than a dozen instrument options for our summer and school-year virtual music lessons for children AND adults.
We hope you find a lot of useful FAQs on this General Information webpage.
We’re hosting an optional Zoom drop-in office hour this Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. We’re glad to have you stop by to ask questions about the enrollment process, waitlist procedures, supplies, etc. Please note we won’t have specific instructors on the call, just the Summer Programs Leadership Team, so we might have to email a course-specific inquiry to the relevant teacher.
You’re also welcome to email us at ExtendedLearning@cfsnc.org--thanks for your patience as we work through high quantities of correspondence at this time.
Thank you, Friends. Here's to the spirit of resilient summer fun!
First, let me share a quick word of gratitude to our compassionate CFS Summer Community. You’ve been understanding and patient as we’ve put forth our best efforts to make informed, thorough decisions while also respecting families' need to have information sooner rather than later. Thank you.
On-Campus Programs Weeks 4-9
It is with sadness that I share with you that in order to prioritize public health and certainty/stability for our families, we will not be holding programs on-campus this summer. This is not the decision I hoped we’d be able to make. I realize for many of you and your children this comes as a significant disappointment. Summer at CFS is so joyful and I’m mournful that we won’t share in this time of joy in-person, together. I share in your disappointment.
We will cancel all of your in-person enrollments for you and automatically issue a refund of all positive balances as soon as we are able. Because of credit card processing limits and the turnaround time in launching new offerings, these financial transactions may take up to three weeks. If you require your refund more quickly, please indicate so here.
The Continuation of Summer Programs 2.0
While we don’t presume virtual offerings suit your varying needs in the way on-campus programs do, we have been encouraged by the enthusiasm surrounding Summer Programs 2.0. We’re hearing from families and staff that these online classes for our first three sessions are welcomed opportunities for safe sources of community, engagement, and fun.
Thus, we will continue to offer our virtual programs for ages seven and older in July and August. Those course listings and instructions for enrollment will be shared with you as soon as possible in the next 10-14 days (our instructors have started sharing their great ideas!). We are still currently accepting (and encouraging!) enrollments for the month of June; those offerings can be viewed online here.
Please note you are not automatically enrolled for Summer Programs 2.0 nor will you be charged unless you register, this is an opt-in offering.
For those of you that require in-person summer childcare for your children, we'd be glad to do our best to direct you to some local programs that may be operating this summer, simply send us an email if this would be helpful.
We regret being unable to serve our younger students as usual. At the very least, we want to share a list of resources with you we’ve compiled--local in-person options for four to six-year-olds and online activities (from National Geographic to the Smithsonian) that might be of interest to families searching for meaningful ways to engage their children this summer. We also welcome your contributions to this document.
We're also excited to invite students of any age and their families to join us regularly for a free story time! Summer Programs and CFS school-year staff and perhaps even some of our CITs will be reading a favorite each week via Zoom. Please share your name and email on this form if you’d like notification when the schedule and Zoom invitation are available.
We also have private virtual music lessons for students of all ages (including adults!)--guitar, oboe, percussion, piano, sax, trumpet, tuba, ukulele, violin, voice, and more. They’re available from 15 to 90 minutes during the summer and beyond.
Additionally, we're taking the opportunity to explore some parent and family classes as a part of Summer Programs 2.0, so please stay tuned!
Finally, the contribution and camaraderie of our Counselors-In-Training are a wonderful aspect of Summer Programs every year. Unable to continue our traditional in-person approach, we’d like to try to stay connected with our CITs. While they’re welcome to enroll in courses for their age, we’re also trying a weekly CIT meet-up facilitated by Sophia Cleghorn, the terrific UNC APPLES Intern who’s serving on our Leadership Team this summer. Next week we’ll be writing directly to CIT families with details of this optional free program.
Additional Details and Questions
You may still have questions about the context of this decision and how it affects your family’s plans. We’ve provided additional details at this General Information webpage. You’re also welcome to email us at ExtendedLearning@cfsnc.org, and thank you for your patience as we work through high quantities of emails at this time.
An Opportunity to Support the Local Community
I want to acknowledge this email comes to you in a time of mourning and a time of action as our country and our local community reckon with continued injustices toward Black communities. In the words of Karen Cumberbatch, our Head of School: From its founding, Carolina Friends School has served to address racial injustice. We understand this moment to be a call to actively work to examine, confront, and dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy culture.
Activists and organizers in our community need support, always, but especially now. We want to highlight SpiritHouse, a local organization that would benefit from your support, financial or otherwise. Naa Adom, our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CFS, shared this about SpiritHouse:
I deeply admire the work that SpiritHouse does in Durham, and they are at the forefront of many justice movements here. Their initiative, The Harm Free Zone (HFZ) supports a community-centered vision that helps us repair the damage of racism, and the oppression of poor people of color by providing tools and trainings to both strengthen and develop our capacity to prevent, confront and transform harm. The Harm Free Zone emphasizes independent and self directing community autonomy as a necessary step towards creating shared collective accountability strategies and practice.
Other local organizations to be aware of and join us in supporting include Southerners on New Ground, BYP100, Durham Beyond Policing, Village of Wisdom, Student U, Emancipate NC, NC Community Bail Fund, we are, the Duke Human Rights Center, and the UNC Center for Civil Rights. We’re proud to have courses in CFS Summer Programs that empower students to learn about and contribute to justice movements and plan to introduce new variations of these programs in Summer Programs 2.0.
Thank you, Friends. We’re here to support you as best we can and continue to wish health and wellness to each of you and your loved ones.
We’re pleased to share our Summer Programs 2.0 Sessions 1-3 (June 15-July 3) courses with you for ages seven and up. We’ve got some old favorites transitioning to this virtual format alongside some fun brand new offerings. Even though we can’t gather together, we’re excited to connect in a new way!
You can view courses online here. You’ll notice that each session consists of Block A and Block B, allowing you to enroll in one or two courses per week at $95 each. Each block consists of two hours per day, one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.
Morning Hour: 9:00 am-10:00 am
Afternoon Hour: 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Morning Hour: 10:30 am-11:30 am
Afternoon Hour: 2:30 pm-3:30 pm
We imagine you may have some questions about Summer Programs 2.0, so please feel free to consult this FAQ list. If your question remains unanswered, email us and we’re glad to help.
To give you time to explore the offerings, registration for Summer Programs 2.0 will open (barring an unexpected development) through CampInTouch on Wednesday, May 20 at 6:00 pm. In order to move as expeditiously as possible with this revised programming, we do ask that you re-enroll even if you’re looking to register for the virtual equivalent of the course in which you were originally enrolled. If you have a positive balance from the cancellation of June in-person programs, that credit on your account can be applied to tuition for virtual offerings.
While the programming above is relevant for ages seven and older, please know that we have our youngest campers in mind and are exploring if there is any way we can effectively serve families of four to six-year-olds in future weeks.
In order to allow us to focus on moving forward with Summer Programs 2.0 work, to minimize the financial transaction costs, and to give families time to consider updated summer offerings, we’ll hold off on automatic refunds for cancelled programs until early June. At the same time, we know families are impacted financially and otherwise by the pandemic so we’re glad to work with you to address the particulars of your situation, including expedited refunds. Thank you for your patience and understanding with this process.
We’ll use demand for Weeks 1-3 to help determine how we proceed with the remaining six weeks of Summer Programs, communicating relevant decisions to you as soon as possible, so stay tuned.
I hope you’ll join us in Summer Programs 2.0, we’re eagerly gearing up for a fun summer!
Please accept our well wishes to you and your families as we near the end of this school year filled with adaptability, innovation, and perseverance. Thank you for your patience as we discern the best way to retain the joy and connection of Summer Programs while prioritizing public health. I’m writing to make you aware of our decision to cancel on-campus Summer Programs and move to virtual offerings for at least the month of June (Sessions 1-3, June 15 through July 3).
We’ve spent the past many weeks in constant conversation with Summer Programs leaders across North Carolina and the country and closely following the information shared by Governor Cooper, the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the American Camp Association. Despite our hopes, we’ve determined operating our on-campus programming in June could pose a threat to the physical health of our community.
We were thrilled for those first three sessions, with enrollments up over last year and programs quickly filling with both returning and new students. The 40 teachers scheduled in those first three sessions were gearing up for the return of long-standing favorites and the debut of exciting new programs, 59 of our 167 courses this summer. Even without the opportunity to fully execute their ideas in the intended way, we’re grateful to our phenomenal teaching staff for creating such original, innovative, and fun programs for your children.
For those of you who are registered for Sessions 1-3, we’ll take care of cancelling relevant enrollments and everyone will be entitled to a full refund. In the next week or so, when we next communicate with you with the virtual course offerings and enrollment information, we’ll also be able to share refund, credit, and other financial details. If your circumstances require a more immediate financial adjustment, of course, please let us know-- we’re glad to work with you.
The Bright Side: Summer Programs 2.0
This time is a unique opportunity to dip our toes into virtual academic and enrichment programming: 2020 Summer Programs 2.0! Following your helpful, thoughtful responses from our survey back in April (thank you!) we’re moving forward in crafting virtual programs for you. We’re workshopping a structure that prioritizes simplicity while accommodating a variety of needs amongst families.
We anticipate offering a smaller number of classes each week for students elementary age and older. They can enroll in one or two 10-hour courses each week (each meeting twice a day, for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, with a quick break every 30 minutes).
Please know the specifics may change-- and if you have suggestions that might inform program design, please feel free to email us. We’ll be in touch as soon as possible in the next week or so with details, including how to enroll.
A decision regarding July and August dates will be communicated as soon as possible, shaped in part by your response to the first three sessions. Please know we’ll be as flexible around financial and other details for Sessions 4-9 as for our first three weeks.
Despite North Carolina’s phased lifting of government restrictions, we would not run on-campus programs without 1) the ability to meet local, state, and/or federal government guidelines, 2) the support of our CFS community panel of health experts, and 3) confidence that we can minimize health risks to our staff, students, and their families.
We cherish the connections with our CFS summer community, and want to offer sincere gratitude for your kind words on the family survey, as well as your honest thoughts and hopes for the summer, your continued loyalty to CFS and our teachers, and your open-mindedness as we move into a summer that will be undeniably unique to any we’ve experienced before. And, if you’re willing, we’d be especially grateful if you’d vote for Carolina Friends School to help us retain our Orange/Chatham County Summer Camp title in INDY Week’s “Best of the Triangle.” It takes a quick two clicks and helps us reach more families in future summers. Voting has been extended through midnight this Sunday (May 10).
As always, if you have a question to ask or a thought to share, we’re here. Please feel free to email, or if you’d like to set up a phone conversation, you can email with your phone number and I’ll be glad to give you a call.
We're wishing health and wellness to each of you and your loved ones, and please know we'll be here for you as best we can.
Happy Monday to each of you and your families. This pandemic has affected each of us differently, but it’s affected us all. Still, I certainly hope this letter finds you in good physical and mental health. I don’t presume the summer is on your mind, but should you like an update:
Summer Programs 2020
Summer Programs at Carolina Friends School is a place of joy. It’s a place where new skills are explored, old and new friends are connected, and laughs are often shared. The past many weeks, Anthony and I have wondered how to hold on to this program we so love while keeping our community safe.
After being in communications with Orange County health officials, our administration here at CFS, and numerous Summer Programs leaders locally and around the country as well as considering decisions by local universities and other summer programs, we feel prepared to move forward with a number of possibilities, including:
- operating as originally planned
- operating at a limited capacity (restructuring the daily schedule to avoid large groups gathered together)
- launching a virtual program for some or all of the summer
- suspending until summer of 2021
Essentially, if there’s a viable way to safely engage together, we’re game. It is not clear, at this point, which of these possibilities (or what combination of them) will best serve our community, but we’re following developments every day and will keep you informed.
So, we’re asking for your input. The survey linked below will take approximately 90 seconds to complete and will be incredibly valuable to us moving forward. Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. An accurate idea of demand for virtual Summer Programs will be important in making sure our staff aren’t planning for programs that may not actually be viable, so your honesty is appreciated here.
We understand these are challenging times, and families’ circumstances may be changing quickly. Please know we’ll be flexible and understanding with our financial and other policies, including refunds (and, as always, should we have to cancel a program, families are refunded the full amount of their payments). We want to work with you in support of all of our students.
Updates will be emailed to you and posted on this webpage. As you have questions or things to share, we’re here. Just send us an email at ExtendedLearning@cfsnc.org and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we’re able.
INDY Week Voting ~ Thank you!
As a bit of normalcy-- We’re grateful to be a perennial nominee for the INDY Week “Best Summer Camp in Orange/Chatham County” and to have won last year. Thanks to your nominations, we have a chance again this year. So, amidst everything else, we invite you to take just a few seconds to help us reach new families in the future by voting for Carolina Friends School.
My hope is that Summer Programs will remain a place of joy, connection, and exploration for all involved in the community-- children, CITs, Interns, and staff. As we carry on with an openness to the unknown, your continued loyalty and trust is met with gratitude. Thank you.