03.18.2021 - Kanuga Stories

The pandemic has swept the globe and affected everyone. On behalf of the generations who have called Kanuga home, please know of our prayers for you and yours, especially if you have lost a loved one or suffered hardship.

Even while faced with many challenges, Kanuga was blessed. The year 2020 brought the highest level of annual giving for operations—ever—to Kanuga. In fact, the annual fund received $1 million more in 2020 than in 2019. Total giving across all funds, from 1,561 different donors, totaled $2.802 million as compared to $1.289 million in 2019. These gifts, combined with revenue from Kanuga Retreats and the Paycheck Protection Program, literally saved Kanuga. We still need your support, no doubt, but we enter 2021 hopeful and determined to emerge better and stronger.

Not surprisingly, the disequilibrium of COVID exposed many “pre-existing conditions” within institutions and organizations worldwide. Kanuga was not spared. Inefficiencies have become more clear, and we have looked deeply at our policies, procedures, and practices in every aspect of operations.

While we do not have all the solutions, we do know that some things must be adjusted for Kanuga to thrive. Going forward, we will collaborate with leaders in hospitality management for their expertise in reservations, food and beverage, and sales, which will allow us to create new Kanuga traditions for future generations while preserving our legacy. For example, this effort will result specifically in forming a lean but seasoned, professional team, streamlined booking systems, clear reservation and cancellation policies, and renewed emphasis on our role within The Episcopal Church and our mission to welcome all people to connect with each other, nature, and God.

As you know, I am surrounded by an incredible team, and as we move forward, we are committed to improving, expanding, and elevating Kanuga’s mission in all that we do. We hope familiar faces return, but we also know that during the pandemic many former staff have relocated, accepted new positions, or begun a new life. We are committed to gathering the best possible team to guide Kanuga. We ask for your help, patience, prayers, and understanding as you find new systems and people in place. Below you will find an update on operations.

Key Points:

  • Camp Kanuga registration is open for summer. If a member of your family or
    someone who wants to attend has not registered, please encourage them to do
    so now on our website. Some sessions are already full.
  • Camp Kanuga is now hiring summer staff! Click here for more information.
  • Summer Guest Period registration is open; general registration opens at the end
    of this month.
  • Some summer conferences are returning for in-person or hybrid events.
  • Camp Bob will not operate this summer, but missional opportunities for children
    who would have attended Camp Bob will be incorporated into Camp Kanuga. We
    hope to host some area groups on the Bob Campbell Youth Campus this
    summer and have numerous inquiries from parishes as well as schools.
  • We hope to resume Mountain Trail Outdoor School in fall 2021.

When the pandemic hit and we were entering the second month of shut-down, our entire team was sustained by the hundreds of letters and gifts we received from people all over the world, all sharing how important Kanuga was in their lives. When we get to the other side of this pandemic, we know that Kanuga will be needed all the more. We are now, with vaccinations underway, poised to begin reimagining Kanuga.

Before COVID, I used to say, “if the world has ever needed Kanuga, it has never needed it more than now.” The pandemic has made this statement all the more true. We are more than ready to share this holy place with you—and indeed, the whole world—as we move forward together with God’s grace.

~ The Rev. Michael Sullivan, President & CEO