Dear UU Friends of de Benneville Pines,
Because of COVID-19, this year’s Santa Monica UU Family Retreat, slated to take place September 18, 19 and 20, is cancelled. We are sad and disappointed to say that after careful consideration, we have decided that under today’s conditions, Church Camp as we know it would not work very well.
The retreat represents a gathering of people larger than what is considered safe, given social distancing. Room sharing would not be possible for singles, and the food serving protocol would also entail necessary but unwelcome changes, like no self-service salad bar.
Also, as a result of COVID-19, de Benneville Pines is in serious financial trouble, and it is not clear if it will survive. We think about all the joy that we have found at our blessed retreat in the mountains and are motivated to help. One way, if you can afford to do so, is to offer as a donation whatever you would have spent actually going up to Camp.
If you can afford it.
This is a big ask — but a reasonable one. Camp Director Janet James says that if the churches can raise the money that their members would have spent on coming to Camp, then de Benneville will survive.
Here is the fee structure from our registration form:
Find the “Make a Donation” button on the UUSM Church webpage (under What’s New on UUSM.org) and you will see two online-donation options, UUSM Online and UUSM Mobile, where you can specify “de Benneville Pines Camp” under Program Support. You can also simply write a check to “UUSM,” specify “de Benneville,” and mail it to 1260 18th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404. Thank you!!
Camp de Benneville Pines will indeed be closed for the near future, and for that we are sorry. Let’s think now for the long term and sustain the Camp that we love so much.
~The de Benneville Pines Planning Committee
Karl Lisovsky, Amy Brunell, Joyce Holmen, Linda Van Ligten, Chela Metzger, Sunni Pavlovic, Judith Martin-Straw