I spent many summers as a camper and staffer at Camp Lebanon on Cedar Lake in Upsala. Swiming in the lake, making crafts in the gazebo, eating (always delicious, always heart-healthy) Camp Lebanon oatmeal, and cleaning bathrooms with my best friend as junior staff. Some of my fondest memories come from that summer camp.

Unfortunately this year Camp Lebanon has had to make the difficult decision to not host youth overnight camps. Due to COVID-19 regulations set by the state, and out of safety for the kids and staff, all youth camps for the summer have been canceled.

We know how much youth, families and adults love coming to Camp Lebanon. After last summer’s record year (God sent us 1,939 kids and over 5,600 summer guests in all), we had even bigger plans for Summer 2020. But along came the COVID-19 crisis and the lives of countless families have been disrupted, some forever.

Not only are youth camps canceled for the year, they have also canceled a women's quilting retreat. They are still tossing around ideas in regards to making the 4th of July and Labor Day family camps happen.

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Officials at the camp have pivoted and found a solution to still get families out to experience the amazing facilities they have on Cedar Lake. Morrison county gave them the green light to open as a "summer resort" in 2020. Beginning the weekend of June 5-7th Camp Lebanon will be offering Family Resort Mid-Week and Weekend sessions. This will be offered to families and small groups looking to get a taste of the  "camp" experience and use their amazing facilities.

What does the future have in store for a camp that can't technically be a camp this year? Camp Lebanon remains optimistic.

There are huge challenges ahead, for sure, as normally summer is Camp’s biggest season financially. There are also big questions about the Fall. Nevertheless, our Camp Board and staff remain confident and excited about the future.

Camp Lebanon is such an amazing place that does so much for the youth across all of Minnesota and it is a wonderful asset to Central Minnesota. I'm hopeful that this summer is just a slight pivot and next year campers of all ages will get to experience the funnest fun!

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