Summer 2020 Update


Dear PL Camper families,

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe as we continue to persevere through our global health crisis. 

We have been closely following the developments in Maine and throughout the country arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, April 28th, Governor Mills shared her stages for re-opening the state, and while Stage 3 could allow for some degree of opening for summer camps with appropriate safety precautions, Governor Mills said that “the month-by-month plan should not be considered a hard and fast timeline.”  (You can read more about the Governor’s plan at .)

For this reason, the members of the Pilgrim Lodge Leadership Team and the Maine Conference UCC Board of Directors have made the very difficult decision to cancel all of our summer camps for 2020. We have made this decision in the belief that it is the best way to protect the health and safety of everyone in our community during this unprecedented situation and ensure the sustainability of Pilgrim Lodge for years to come. 

In making this decision at this time, we have also taken into consideration the need for the families of our campers to make alternative plans for the summer. We are devastated that we are not able to host summer camps at PL this summer, but we are confident it’s the right decision. We are devoted to PL’s mission to emphasize spiritual and outdoor exploration, personal growth, and authentic self-expression in a safe environment, and intentional community to affirm individual sacredness.

Our small year-round staff of three will spend this summer checking as many things as possible off the never-ending PL maintenance to-do list as well as working on grant writing and fundraising, cutting costs where we can, and most importantly, planning for 2021. 

Pilgrim Lodge relies upon the revenue from summer camp fees to not only run the camps in the summer but to support the site and full-time staff year-round. To keep PL staff working so camp will be ready for next summer, we have a goal of raising $50,000. If you are able to support PL with a tax-deductible contribution, your donation will help ensure PL’s presence and sustainability for summer 2021 and beyond. Donate online at or send your donation to Pilgrim Lodge, 103 Pilgrim Lodge Lane, West Gardiner, ME 04345.

As summer camp professionals, the thought of a year with no summer camp is heartbreaking, and we know your camper and family will likely be disappointed as well. Pilgrim Lodge is a summer home for so many of us—a place to breathe fresh air and connect with friends, both old and new. It’s a place to walk in the forest and share songs and worship; to fall asleep listening to the loons on the lake and discover new things about ourselves. Please know that we hold these things in our memories all year long, and we can’t wait to join our camp community back on the boardwalk next summer. 

Please stay safe and healthy, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

Rev. Jennifer Paty

Director, Pilgrim Lodge


From Director Jen 

In my last letter, I promised I would update you as soon as I had new and important information on COVID 19 and camp.

On Tuesday, April 28th, Governor Mills laid out stages for re-opening the state, and the Maine CDC provided new restrictions on social distancing, the wearing of masks, and the need for future testing requirements. The stages and restrictions are complex and are open to change during the next couple of months. 

Within the next week, the Pilgrim Lodge Leadership Team will make a recommendation to the Maine Conference United Church of Christ’s Board of Directors regarding the 2020 camp season, and the Board will make a decision shortly thereafter. Our number one priority has always been and will continue to be your health and safety.  

As the Governor continues to remind us; We must do all that is necessary to ensure our neighbors, our children, our parents, and grandparents are healthy and safe and we must continue to be part of the solution during this unprecedented national emergency.

Thank you for your continued support of Pilgrim Lodge – stay safe!

Director Jen