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Word of Life Florida Campus Update

It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to close our Florida Youth Camp, effective immediately. We are also cancelling the remaining weeks of camp out of an abundance of care and concern. Recognizing that we have a responsibility to each camper and their families, our staff and students, and to the community at large, we believe this is the best decision for all involved. Recently, we were made aware of two additional staff members testing positive with COVID-19, which brings our total to four staff for the summer testing positive. We have followed our health and safety protocols and all staff were isolated upon any signs of sickness. We believe it is best to shut down to prevent any further spread of illness.  

We are asking that all campers be picked up no later than 11am on Tuesday, July 14. We understand that your time and schedule are important to you, and we will make every effort to support a time that suits you. We also understand that your student’s health is of utmost importance to you, as it is for us as well. With this in mind, if you decide in the coming days that medical attention is needed and you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover the testing or care, our student activity insurance may provide assistance. Also, you may desire to have your student be in isolation for a few days before returning, we are happy to assist with this by providing housing and meals.  

As it relates to the completion of the required Summer Ministry Practicum, the week of training and nearly six weeks of camp ministry will be judged adequate for completion of the practical component of the program.  The Academic Office will work with students to enable completion of the reading, Scripture memory, and Supervisor/Unit Leader evaluation portions of the final grade.  For non-counseling staff, the essay paper which was due Wednesday, July 22 will now be due Friday, July 24 instead.  Further details will be communicated shortly via Canvas. 

Sadly, circumstances also prevent us from moving ahead with plans for the Baccalaureate and Graduation Celebration!  We are very disappointed that we will not be able to formally mark the completion of this remarkable year during which students have shown extraordinary resilience and perseverance.  In lieu of this, we will be holding an informal “Summer Camp Ministry Recognition” celebration at 3:00pm tomorrow (Tuesday, July 14) in the Bollback Performing Arts Center.  Parents are welcome to attend if they are able.  It will also be available online at: We are hopeful that we may be able to organize a more formal graduation celebration at a later date; we’ll be sure to let you know.  Another option would be to participate in the graduation celebration planned for Saturday, October 10 on the New York campus. 

We have communicated throughout this time that our approach would be one of responsibility and reasonableness. We believe this response is the correct course of action. Please know we remain committed to the care and concern of your student. If we can serve you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us at: 727-379-5000 

As always, thank you for your understanding and cooperation concerning this matter. We remain prayerful and hopeful for the days ahead.  

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