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Go West Camps – Colorado Small Enterprise Growth Heart Community


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Mar 22, 2024
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Few experiences rival summer time day camp for constructing abilities, new mates and enjoyable by way of age-appropriate actions. Native Camp Administrators Andrew and Arianne VanDerWege personal and function Go West Camps and have welcomed hundreds of children to their Colorado Springs twenty first Century tenting expertise since 2014.

When COVID-19 hit the area, the couple regarded to the Pikes Peak Small Enterprise Growth Heart, American Camp Affiliation and their native financial institution to make a heart-wrenching, however essential pivot canceling their 2020 season to make sure the long run success of their enterprise.

“By February, most of our camp classes had been full, which is typical for us,” stated Arianne, Training Chair for the American Camp Affiliation Rocky Mountain Area and a longtime chief in skilled growth for the Colorado camp business. “Summer time 2020 was shaping as much as be our greatest season at Go West with 160 campers in every of our camp classes.”

The couple work year-round to plan, put together, workers and practice to make sure a secure and significant expertise for campers, ages 5-14, for a 9-week camp season. Right now, in the midst of camp season 2020, mountain biking, mountain climbing, paddle boarding, artwork, gardening and teambuilding aren’t occurring at Go West Camps.

In late February, attending an business convention in San Diego, there was dialogue in regards to the coronavirus in connection to their business for the primary time. Andrew contacted his insurance coverage supplier to debate how Go West’s insurance coverage coverages would relate to the (then) little-known virus. Their insurance coverage service communicated that the coverages Go West had together with a communicable sickness coverage wouldn’t present insurance coverage protections in relation to the rising pandemic.

“The camp business has all the time been a frontrunner on well being points,” stated Andrew, “Arianne and I had been involved; camp the way in which we do it at Go West seems to be and seems like this: youngsters and workers shut collectively in small and huge teams, personally, and powerfully. Enjoying, laughing, hugging, driving in vans, and constructing relationships. Go West is the other of social distancing. The advantages of it are great and magical,” stated Andrew. “All of that’s in distinction to precautions vital for a ‘COVID-safe’ setting that the camp business ultimately supplied steerage on. After weeks on an emotional curler coaster, we needed to make a really tough choice.

“In the end, our business was approved to stay open this season. The query shifted from, ‘can we function?’ to ‘ought to we?’. Our primary precedence is the well being and security of the children in our applications and this summer time we additionally needed to make sure the well being and security or mother and father, grandparents and our neighborhood,” stated Andrew.

In late Could, Andrew and Arianne contacted their Summer time 2020 camp households to announce the closure of camp for the season and the plan to return pre-paid camper tuition – representing the entire camp’s annual working funds.

“Lots of our camp households selected to roll over their tuition and apply it to Summer time 2021,” stated Andrew. “We now have very loyal alumni and we’re very appreciative for the households who’re serving to us in probably the most tangible option to put together for camp subsequent season.”

On the similar time, the Pikes Peak Small Enterprise Growth Heart, a longtime neighborhood associate, reached out to help the small enterprise homeowners in making use of for pandemic-related Small Enterprise Administration and native aid funds.

“We had been proud that we had began our enterprise debt free however perceive that a part of being enterprise homeowners is doing what we have to do to fund our enterprise on this time of want ,” stated Andrew. “We had been frightened; however the course of was made simpler with the assistance of the Pikes Peak SBDC and ABC Financial institution. We obtained SBA Paycheck Safety Program Mortgage and Financial Harm Catastrophe Mortgage, each of which is able to assist us by way of these tough occasions.”

“Go West Camps is an ideal instance of a enterprise making a well timed and knowledgeable choice to shut for the season,” stated Aikta Marcoulier, Pikes Peak SBDC Government Director. “The season itself is the principle supply of revenue for the companies every year. Closing, was greater than a tricky choice for Andrew and Arianne. Holding children, households and their enterprise secure took precedence. Little question, this good move making will guarantee assist and loyalty from his prospects. This good move permits Go West Camps to assist adventures for years to return.”

Mixed with money reserves from pre-paid summer time 2021 tuition, Go West Camps is assured they’ve the funds to outlive the pandemic, but additionally plan and put together for future seasons serving Pikes Peak space youth.

“We all know we made the appropriate choice for the security of our campers, their households, and the neighborhood” stated Andrew. “We really feel extremely blessed for the assist we proceed to obtain from this neighborhood.”

Pikes Peak SBDC has been serving to native small enterprise homeowners plan, put together, get better and develop from the surprising since 2012. Be taught extra: Pikes Peak SBDC

Go West Camps is taking reservations for Summer time 2021. Be taught extra: gowestcamps.com
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