Dear LMTI participants, parents, advisors, volunteers, and funders,
During the second day of our 32nd annual Teen Institute Summer Leadership Conference, a number of our volunteers, advisors, and students experienced symptoms consistent with norovirus (commonly known as the stomach bug/virus), and by overnight into day three, it had spread rapidly. The Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute is a leadership conference that promotes wellness, and our primary focus as a public health agency is making sure everyone is, first and foremost, safe and healthy. Keeping 350 people in close quarters during a virus outbreak would not accomplish this in any way.
We made the difficult decision, with input from our on-site medical team, YMCA Camp Mason, and the Warren County Department of Health, to end our Summer Leadership Conference early and get everyone home as quickly as possible. This was, of course, disappointing to the participants and to us, but it was the right thing to do. I am sure you can imagine that getting almost 300 high school students home to family who were not expecting them back for two more days was extremely challenging, and was at a minimum very inconvenient and frustrating for many parents and guardians. We apologize for any disruption this caused, and appreciate your understanding.
Overwhelmingly, the response we received from the vast majority of our advisors and participants was a desire to have an opportunity to complete the LMTI experience. We are working on finding a way to allow this to happen – albeit in some alternative fashion – so the participants this year are not short-changed.
In the coming days and weeks, we will finalize an appropriate plan of action and reach back out. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and support.
Doug Bratton (PIP Executive Director), Jamie Sierfeld (LMTI Director), and the Partners in Prevention/LMTI team