Dear SAY Community:
I’m writing with an update about our 2-week summer program, Camp SAY. These past few months have been unprecedented, in so many ways. COVID-19 has changed our world, and there are still so many unanswered questions.
I’m beyond proud of the entire SAY Family. The heart and soul of SAY has not changed. As our Founder Taro Alexander says often, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.”
While we have transitioned our year-round Confident Voices and SAY: DC programs to an online format, we have remained hopeful that we might be able to still offer our Camp SAY summer camp the way that we are used to. We have explored various scenarios over the past two months, looking at different models for how an in-person camp might work this summer. Sadly, we have made the difficult decision that our overnight camp program, Camp SAY, will not be offered in the traditional way for the 2020 summer season.
Coming into our 13th season of Camp SAY, we’ve been reflecting on how much we have grown, and all the incredible young people who stutter we’ve gotten to know over the years. Camp SAY is something we look forward to all year, every year. Making the decision to not hold our traditional version of Camp SAY was the last one we wanted to make. Our hearts are heavy. This is ultimately the best decision for SAY, and our community of staff, families, and young people who stutter.
While our hearts are heavy, they are also strong, and our spirits remain hopeful. We are committed to continue delivering on our mission, connecting our community, and keeping the incredible young people of our programs creating and soaring. We are dedicated to providing support, advocacy and life-changing experiences for young people who stutter. To empowering young people who stutter to dream big, be bold, and not let stuttering hold them back from achieving anything they want. And we will keep doing just that – through the best and safest means available to us. We are planning a robust virtual Camp SAY experience for our campers from across the country. It will be designed to celebrate these young people for exactly who they are, to connect them to a community of joy, acceptance, support and love. Our campers will create, explore, bond, and soar. Physical distance cannot stop the creative brilliance of the community of SAY. It cannot stop the love.
We’ve learned a great deal over these past few months, in providing our life-changing programming to our community through a variety of virtual platforms. We’re reaching our community – our community is strong, our community is there for one another, and our community is shining bright. We will continue to empower our youth, to show them the incredible strength, courage, and wisdom they possess, and to let them soar towards their dreams, with their SAY family and friends right beside them.
We are fortunate to have an incredible staff, who haven’t missed a beat and have not stopped creating new and exciting ways to engage with our community, all with the passion and philosophy that is core to everything we do in-person. We are fortunate to have a Board of Trustees who have been supportive and have had our backs through so much. We are fortunate to have donors, volunteers, friends and family who have reached out, and continue to be the wind in our sails through uncertain times. We are the luckiest, to have families, alumni, and the truly AMAZING young SAY participants, who inspire us each and every day, just by being themselves. They are the why. They are the good news. They are the hope.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for your continued support and faith in us as an organization. SAY is here, and SAY is love. Love cannot be canceled, and neither can SAY.
Be well and stay safe.