Popular Christian Camp in Missouri Closes Site After 49 Campers and Counselors Test Positive for Coronavirus

Kids at a Kanakuk Kamps site. | Facebook/Kanakuk Kamps

Kanakuk Kamps, a popular network of Christian sports camps in southern Missouri which has welcomed more than 450,000 campers since 1926, was forced to shutter one of its multiple sites Friday after some 49 campers and counselors tested positive for COVID-19.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed in a Springfield News-Leader report that the infections are tied to Kanakuk Kamp’s K-2 campsite in Lampe. Kanakuk Kamps had five overnight camps in operation this season including the K-2 site, according to its website.

“Our K-2 camp (ages 13-18) will be closed for the remainder of this term, and all campers from the current term are returning home with the recommendation to families to quarantine their households for 14 days,” Kanakuk Communications Director Jeff Mason said in a statement.

“We were prepared for this possibility and responded quickly to implement the proper health and safety protocols to identify, isolate and respond to any COVID 19-like symptoms. Our Health Task Force is working to ensure this process is handled with the utmost care and caution. So far this summer, over 5,000 campers and staff have enjoyed a fun, safe, and wholesome Kanakuk summer camp experience in the beautiful Ozarks,” he continued.

The Stone County Health Department said the infected campers and counselors traveled from 10 states and multiple Missouri counties.

Mason noted that local health officials and parents of campers at all of its locations had been notified of the virus outbreak while pointing out that most of the cases were “given to us from parents of asymptomatic campers who already returned home.”

Kanakuk Kamps is among several camps across the country that opted to continue operating in the summer despite the pandemic, there appears to be a sort of consensus now that there can be no guarantee that any campsite will be COVID-19 free.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair