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Camp Wapsie cancels all summer overnight camps, set to begin next week, due to ongoing pandemic

Campers paddle in the backwaters, an oxbow lake that was once part of the Wapsipinicon River, at YMCA Camp Wapsie in Cog
Campers paddle in the backwaters, an oxbow lake that was once part of the Wapsipinicon River, at YMCA Camp Wapsie in Coggon on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

All overnight camps are canceled at Camp Wapsie this summer, according to a Monday news release from the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA Association.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic led camp leaders “to face the disappointing reality” of not being able to provide quality programs, the release stated. The pandemic also caused staffing uncertainties.

Staff had held out hope of opening the camp in Coggon this summer. Camp management previously planned to open to campers next week onSunday, after deciding in late May to cancel June overnight sessions.

“It is with heavy hearts that we have come to this difficult decision,” YMCA Camp Wapsie Director Paul Denowski said in the release. “We apologize for yet another change to summer camp plans after our recent announcement that we would be resuming camp.”

Canceled camps include those in Wapsie’s cabins for kids in grades 4 through 10, tent camps for first- through third- graders, and wilderness education and leadership programs.

More than 1,700 children attend Camp Wapsie every summer.

Day camps and outdoor skills programs will continue to be provided at the camp this summer, according to the release, and cabins will be available for family rentals later this summer.

“The economic impact this will have on camp will be felt for years,” Denowski said in the release. “Together we will work to overcome, to support each other and to get back to our overnight camp programs as soon as we can do so. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay hopeful, and keep the Wapsie Magic alive, wherever you go.”

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